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Smith College A Culture of Care

A Message from the Provost: Important Notice About Campus Access, March 24, 2020

A Message from the Provost: Important Notice About Campus Access, March 24, 2020

To All Teaching a Course During the Spring 2020 Semester,

As you have probably heard by now, Governor Baker issued an order yesterday requiring non-essential businesses across the Commonwealth to close as of noon today. The college has been redefining its own essential on-campus functions, and I write today to urge you to conduct your own work from home. During this evolving crisis, we have tried to leave you discretion about where you’ll teach as you move your courses to alternate modes of instruction. The current situation requires us to limit that discretion.

We understand that there might be a small number of courses that require an exception to access on-campus offices, labs, or studios for delivery of curriculum. Such exceptions will require approval from the Office of the Provost & Dean of the Faculty. Please submit a request for that exception via this form.

Unless an exception has been granted, all instruction must take place from off-campus locations. If you need technological equipment to conduct your courses from home (e.g. wireless hotspot), please request it from IT at this link. If you need to retrieve materials from your on-campus space and do not have access (lost keys, etc), please send a short email to to let us know.

Note also that academic administrative assistants will not be working on campus and faculty should not ask them to undertake any on-campus task.

I also want to urge faculty who are planning to conduct synchronous, real-time activities with their classes to hold those during the course’s scheduled time block. I know many are making efforts to include students scattered across time zones, but we must minimize scheduling conflicts for students who are trying to participate as required.

We appreciate your observance of the schedule and of this limited access to campus as part of the college’s effort to flatten the pandemic curve and to prioritize the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty.

Thanks and all best,

Michael Thurston, Provost and Dean of Faculty
Helen Means Professor of English Language and Literature