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Important: Spring Term BE Planning and Resources

Date: March 17, 2020
From: Associate Dean Douglas Van Citters

Dear Thayer BE candidates,

Not enough time to read?

Action item 1: Please fill out this very short Important Form
Action item 2: Please be sure you have registered for classes (to the best of your ability) by tomorrow, Tuesday at noon.

The full story:

With the turbulence and inevitable anxiety caused by global and local changes, I wanted to reach out to you to provide an update and some reassurance with respect to your BE degree. Most importantly: If you have submitted an approved BE plan, and you were on track with your plan as of the end of winter term, we will work to ensure that you still graduate with your BE on time!

There are a very few courses that simply cannot be taught remotely, and for those of you who are impacted by the decision to cancel these courses, we will directly reach out with one or more pre-approved replacements. This is not ideal, but I anticipate very few individuals will actually be impacted by these cancellations (less than 10 students).

Many of you are likely wondering “how can we possibly teach ENGS XXX remotely?” The short answer is dedication, problem solving, and around-the-clock work from Thayer faculty and staff. You are part of a wonderful community that has come together to provide you with the very best education possible under the circumstances. Yes: ENGS 21, 22, 31, 146, 147 etc. (Thayer hallmarks, and many more) are all going to be taught with enthusiasm, excitement, and probably a huge FedEx bill for Dartmouth.

We can’t do this without your help and participation. I am asking you to please fill out this very short Important Form (same as linked above) so that we can better understand your plans for the spring term (4 questions). This will help us allocate resources, understand how to contact you, time classes (we think 8am class is somewhat difficult for our California students at 5am), and secure TAs. 5th years: If you have not already enrolled in your spring term courses, please do so by noon tomorrow, March 17. It is important that we have “close to final” enrollment projections for each Thayer School course for immediate planning purposes.

Many of you are likely still in the Hanover area, or are planning to return to your housing. I cannot speak with any confidence as to whether your classes will be held on site (at all) since Professors are allowed and even encouraged to teach from home. Please do not count on classroom learning. Any course (graduate or undergraduate) taught this spring will be available online for 100% of the term, even if some or all students are welcome back on campus. For those who are not returning, the prior statement means that we shall have equity in how courses are offered and how you are evaluated. There will be no “missing out” if you don’t come back to campus or if you choose not to come in to Thayer.

I’m certain there are a lot of questions right now, and as you can imagine, we’re getting inundated with email. Please feel free to send questions regarding your BE plans or any other details to me AND Jenna Wheeler ( The messages must come to both of us to ensure that you don’t fall through the cracks.

Honors thesis students (there are 11 of you): I will contact you separately about options.

We know this is a very stressful time for many students, please do not hesitate to reach out if you have questions or just need someone to talk to.

  • Douglas Van Citters – BE Plan Questions
  • Daryl A. Laware - Course enrollment, degree requirements, graduation requirements
  • Candace S. Potter – Financial aid and TA assignments or questions
  • Jessica Moody – General questions
  • Holly Wilkinson – Student support of any kind, accessing resources, other concerns
  • Jennifer St Laurence - Another friendly supportive student resource

Stay safe and healthy, and we will continue to provide updates,
Prof. Van Citters