June 5, 2020
Dear Babson Community:
Earlier this week, I was joined by College leaders in expressing solidarity and concern for everyone impacted by the death of George Floyd and countless others. Our community, nation and world are grappling with important and disturbing concerns about institutional racism, violence against the Black community, and injustice in our society. Like many of you, I am sad and frustrated – feelings that are compounded by the ongoing coronavirus crisis.
As entrepreneurial leaders, we are driven to solve problems, to lead with empathy, and to create solutions to complex systemic challenges. Our mission is to be the leaders of the change we seek. Our work to improve equity and inclusion at Babson is ongoing – there is more to be done. In the coming weeks and months, we will continue to facilitate critical discussions around diversity, equity and inclusion. For now, this dialogue will happen virtually. This fall, when we return to campus, those conversations will take place face-to-face. I fully recognize that action must result from these discussions. We will thoughtfully and purposefully advance initiatives that support our community.
We continue to plan and prepare for the Fall semester and our anticipated return, guided by two principles: the health and wellbeing of our community and maintaining academic continuity for our students. A comprehensive plan for our return will be shared by July 1, though we do expect that plan to evolve over the summer, taking into consideration progress made on the Reopening Massachusetts plan and the continued guidance and recommendations from the CDC and other public health authorities. In the meantime, I want to share several key decisions that are central to our planning efforts.
Undergraduate Academic Calendar:
An important strategy for maintaining our community’s health is minimizing interactions outside of our campus community throughout the semester. Risk increases for everyone when large numbers of students leave our contained campus environment, return and interact with one another, and again return to their home communities. Therefore, we are modifying the undergraduate academic calendar in a way that will limit our collective exposure while providing a full semester of instruction. Changes include:
- Early start: classes will begin on Monday, August 24. We will communicate new information about move-in dates as details are solidified.
- Early end: classes will end on Thursday, November 19, prior to Thanksgiving break.
- Students will not return to campus between Thanksgiving break and the end of the semester.
- Final exams will take place virtually between Monday, November 30 and Saturday, December 5.
- Classes will be held on Labor Day (September 7) and Columbus/Indigenous People’s Day (October 12).
We continue to plan for a variety of circumstances and teaching modalities this fall. In addition to on-campus classes, all courses will also be delivered virtually. This WebFlex model will allow students the flexibility to move between face-to-face and online learning as needed throughout the semester. Additionally, class times may change slightly to allow more time between classes and less congestion during transitions. Students will begin to receive follow up communications from Student Life with additional information in the weeks ahead.
We made the difficult decision to suspend fall 2020 education abroad programs. We know that this is deeply disappointing for many of our students, but safety is our top priority. We have reached out directly to students impacted by this change, and encourage anyone with questions about study abroad, or re-registering for fall classes, to contact the Glavin Office or your Class Dean.
Graduate Academic Calendar and Registration:
All graduate classes will start on Monday, August 31 as scheduled. The Graduate School’s course registration will open the second week of July –an email regarding registration will be going out early next week. We continue to plan for a variety of delivery methods, and course formats may shift based on evolving public health requirements, with the expectation that all courses will be delivered face-to-face.
Ongoing Planning and Opportunities to Connect:
We are committed to sharing important decisions as they are made. We will share a full return to campus plan by July 1, but in the meantime, we invite you to join us at upcoming Community Forums where we will preview the fall semester, and give an update on decisions that have been made and what is still to come.
- Undergraduate Students and Families: Thursday, June 11 at 11:00 a.m. ET
- Faculty and Staff: Wednesday, June 17 at 9:45 a.m. ET
- New Undergraduate Students and Families: Thursday, June 18 at 11:00 a.m ET
- Graduate Students: To be scheduled for mid-July
We continue to thoughtfully and diligently prepare for our return to campus, and I am energized both by our developing plan and by the prospect of being together again as a community. We have many details to plan and prepare, and our teams are working to ensure progress continues as information evolves over the weeks and months ahead. I look forward to connecting with you at our upcoming Forums. Thank you for your continued flexibility and support.