COVID-19 Information

Further Guidance

Date: March 14, 2020

From: Dean Abramson

Dear Thayer faculty and staff,

I am following up on the recent announcement from Provost Helble about the significant steps Dartmouth is taking to protect the health and safety of our community during this time of increasing attention to COVID-19. Our utmost concern is the health and safety of Thayer staff, faculty, and students as well as the overall Dartmouth and Upper Valley communities, and to limit the spread of infection.

Provost Helble’s email discussed working from home wherever feasible beginning on Monday, March 16. The purpose of this email is to provide additional guidance to faculty and staff.

Faculty

Faculty can be in the building and their offices as needed with social distancing and good hygiene practices in place. Otherwise, faculty are encouraged to work remotely to prepare for classes, hold meetings, and interact with students, taking advantage of technology solutions such as Zoom. While many courses will need to be delivered by faculty using on-campus technology, we also may be able to accommodate delivery of courses from home. We will be revisiting IT support needs to facilitate this. Faculty, please complete the questionnaire you received last night from Doug so that we can better prepare to address your teaching plans and meet your course needs. 

Laboratory research may continue on-campus with social distancing and good hygiene practices in place. As always, faculty should ensure that all safety protocols are followed in their laboratories. Faculty, staff and students also should seek ways to do non-lab-based work remotely when possible. Faculty, please communicate with your staff and students to prepare plans for the future potential of a no lab-presence situation. Even more, please have a discussion with each laboratory staff member and student about their level of comfort to remain working in the lab and accommodate accordingly. We expect future guidance from the federal agencies regarding any research progress delays as a result of reduced lab presence.

Staff

Supervisors will be contacted this weekend to help identify categories of work that need to be done on-campus, work that can be done remotely (either fully or with reduced time on-campus), as well as employees who can temporarily take on a different role during this time. All staff should check to make sure you have the necessary technology (laptop, access to Internet, VPN access, etc.) at home to begin remote work. You may still come into the office on Monday to grab items necessary to do your work (paperwork, notes, etc). If you do not have the technology at home to do your job, please consult with your supervisor so that we can work to obtain laptops and or other remote technology for you. Additional information and guidance will be coming to staff soon. If you are not contacted with specific guidance from your supervisor this weekend, staff should plan to work remotely on Monday, checking email frequently for updates.

The details of Dartmouth's remote work policy and a related FAQ are available on the COVID-19 information website at https://news.dartmouth.edu/covid-19/workplace-policies.

As a reminder, here are the Thayer points-of-contact if you have specific questions or seeking additional guidance beyond the information presented on Dartmouth’s COVID-19 website:

There is a lot of rapid change happening on campus and in our world. As Provost Helble stated, we urge any staff or faculty members who need help with feelings of stress or anxiety about these events to contact the Employee Assistance Program at +1 (844) 216-8308. Please take a moment to reach out to someone who might be struggling with the impact of COVID-19 on their work or family life and offer your support. We are all in this together.

Best,
Alexis