COVID-19 Information

Follow Up: Increasing Campus Access

From: Dean Alexis Abramson
Date: May 26, 2021

Dear Thayer Community,

With Dartmouth’s upcoming transition to "Less Limited" access on June 1 and the additional flexibility for laboratory research, I look forward to moving towards a different normal, where we have more opportunities to learn and work in-person together. I want to follow up with what this means for Thayer and some of the changes we can anticipate this summer.

First, if you are fully vaccinated, I strongly encourage you to submit your vaccine record to help Dartmouth better gauge our community’s vaccination rate for planning purposes and to reduce your required COVID-19 testing frequency. Current students should forward documentation of completed vaccination to Faculty and staff should complete and submit documentationvia the online form to Axiom.

After a long and difficult year, we know that some of the outlined changes may feel significant for some in our community. We hope that the months ahead will provide time for a thoughtful approach to our transition and help us prepare for a different rhythm to our work and learning environment. Starting June 1, the following safety protocols and guidelines will be in effect:

  • Testing and Daily TSA: To be on campus, all members of our community must continue to complete required COVID-19 testing and the daily TSA.
  • Masking and distancing: When in a space with others, masking and a minimum 3-ft. distancing will be required, although a 6-ft. distance must be maintained while dining together.
  • Summer Courses, Labs, and Project Spaces: This summer, Thayer will offer 12 courses, 10 of which will be in-person or have some in-person components. Students can anticipate expanded access to our labs and project spaces, including Couch Lab, MShop, and conference rooms, as room capacity allows.
  • Graduate Carrels and Research: Graduate students may begin requesting access to carrel spaces. Interested students should reach out to Thayer’s Building Manager Dave McDevitt, starting June 1.
  • Buildings and Facilities Access: All Thayer students, faculty, and staff will be able to access Thayer facilities with their Dartmouth IDs. This includes non-Thayer students registered for a Thayer course this summer. Thayer buildings will remain locked to the general public for the time being.
  • Visitors: Visitors accompanied by Thayer faculty or staff, who also have an essential purpose on campus, may also access our buildings with prior registration (form not yet live). For example, visitors may include: prospective students, visiting faculty and staff, alumni volunteers, vendors and contractors, or other visitors who have work-related reasons to be on site.
  • Events: Starting June 1, events with more than 25 attendees in an approved Thayer space (as well as other campus spaces approved by Dartmouth’s Conferences and Events) is permitted with approval from appropriate Thayer leadership. All events must meet room capacity requirements and must adhere to current Dartmouth COVID-19 guidelines. To seek approval, student groups can reach out to Holly Wilkinson, Assistant Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, and faculty and staff should reach out to Tricia Spellman, Chief Financial and Administrative Officer.
  • On-Campus Staff: To better support students and faculty who will be working or attending classes on campus this summer, some members of our staff will also be asked to return to work on site.

Transition to On-Campus WorkIn the weeks ahead, staff managers will begin to create transition plans for their teams that take into account our academic mission, our student-centered and service-oriented culture, as well as individual roles and responsibilities. By August, we hope to have plans in place that allow for a vast majority of our community to work and learn together safely on site.

Starting in June, I encourage staff who have been working remotely, in consultation with their supervisors, to find time, even just for one day a week, to return to campus to get reoriented in your workspace. While Thayer has felt different with COVID-19 protocols in place, our spirit and sense of community has persisted throughout this year, and I have found it to be genuinely uplifting to connect with faculty, staff, and students in-person in recent weeks. For our staff returning to on-campus work for the first time, Dartmouth HR is offering a "Returning to the Workplace" workshop to support you in this transition.

We continue to be grateful for the faculty and staff who continued to work on-site throughout the pandemic to maintain our facilities, support academics and research, and provide in-person computing, academic, and other support for our community throughout this year. I recognize that upcoming changes will also require a period of adaptation for these members of our community, with the increased number of people in our buildings.

As we near the end of the academic year, I hope you continue to remain healthy and safe. I look forward to our summer together and to seeing many of you in-person soon.


Thayer School of Engineering Dean's Office
Alexis R. Abramson, Dean & Professor