Dear staff, faculty and students:
As we shared in our September 1 letter and follow-up meetings, the decision to pivot to an all-remote fall semester and interterm, with very few students in residence, means that we need to align staffing with available work. As part of our commitment to transparent and timely information, we are writing to share details about employee furloughs.
Today and tomorrow, the Office of Human Resources will be reaching out to 230 Smith employees to let them know that they will be placed on—or continue on—furlough for the fall and interterm. Altogether, 48 employees will be on partial furloughs and 182 on full furlough. Some employees will be furloughed for this full period, while others will be furloughed for a portion of it.
As before, furloughed employees will be eligible to apply for unemployment benefits, and human resources will support them in that process. We remain strongly committed to minimizing the impact of furloughs on members of our community. For every furloughed employee, Smith will:
- Continue to provide health coverage
- Cover the employee contribution for health coverage
- Continue to fund tuition assistance
Please know that these furlough decisions are temporary actions based solely on the college’s current operating context, given that very few students are on campus. Decisions about inviting employees to return from furlough will depend in large part on when we will have students living, learning and participating in clubs, sports and other activities on campus. As you know, we hope to be able to bring students back for the spring semester, scheduled to begin on February 15, and we continue to plan accordingly.
We will communicate frequently going forward, as we have since last March. Stay safe and be well.
Vice President for Finance and Administration