Babson’s Response to 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)
President Spinelli has announced that the college will postpone our May 16 Commencement Ceremonies and all related activities.
We welcome you to share your thoughts and suggestions for innovative and safe ways to recognize the accomplishments of the Class of 2020, both virtually and when it is safe to gather together. Please submit ideas to Classof2020@babson.edu or through the Commencement page by Friday, April 3.
Messages from Campus Leadership
March 27, 2020
Dear Babson Community,
As we close our first week in the fully online learning environment, I have taken some time to reflect on how far we have come in just a few short weeks. The effort to prepare our community is truly a cross-functional one that touches all of us. To achieve our goals, we need everyone - faculty, staff, students, parents and friends - to come together in ways that draw on our core abilities. That entrepreneurial spirit, central to who we are, has led the way in our response to this global challenge. We have solved problems large and small with a perspective of creating value. We have engaged in discussions and debates with a focus on the future. And, we have drawn on each other - despite physical distance - to deepen connections.
As I shared in today’s Virtual Community Forum, I believe that entrepreneurial leadership is needed now more than ever. The ability to solve problems, create value, and make connections is what Babson was built to do. This is an interesting moment in history that will surely test this theory. I have no doubt that we will prove to be among the greatest problem solvers of our time. We have shared many stories and examples of the heroes among us, and we know there are many more. We encourage you to share the stories that shine a bright light on the impact of our community and the ways we are supporting one another.
This week, we announced the undergraduate pass/fail option as well as the decision to move undergraduate summer courses online. In addition, we continue to engage with the Class of 2020 as we begin to plan activities that will celebrate their success and achievements. Continue to check the website for ongoing updates and information.
It was wonderful to connect with more than 650 members of our community who joined the Forum. For me personally, it was an extraordinary way to end a long week of emotional work. For those that were not able to join, we will share a recording of this shortly. As I shared in this session, I believe this is our time to lead. And, I’m proud of the way the Babson community has led during the most difficult of times.
As we close out this week, remember words of advice from Dean Matsuno: use this time to reflect on what truly is important to you. I will be doing just that this weekend, and I encourage you to do the same.
Thank you for all that you do for Babson.
March 25, 2020
Dear Class of 2020:
The world has thrust upon the Babson community a great challenge. We understand the disappointment this has caused you and hear your desire to have a voice in the decisions surrounding celebrating your achievements.
Please know we are intensely exploring ways to celebrate the Class of 2020 and honor your accomplishments. Based on current government recommendations, and guidance from a cross-functional Babson task force, our commencement exercises, scheduled for May 16, 2020, will be postponed. We know this is something you’ve all been looking forward to as an opportunity to come together and celebrate everything you’ve accomplished during your time at Babson. We did not come to this decision lightly and share in your sadness.
There are many questions that remain to be answered. Our goal is to support you through this transition and recognize you as individuals and as a collective community. While there is no definitive date for when we will host a graduation ceremony, and no decisions about what it will look like, our goal is to find a way to celebrate together, surrounded by the people who supported us and enriched our Babson experience.
Our community is special, with many friends and classmates coming from all around the globe. This presents a unique challenge in finding a time, place, and manner in which we can all be together to celebrate our success. We ask for your patience and collaboration as we work through this process, identify new opportunities to celebrate the Class of 2020, and plan for a future date when we can safely celebrate our Commencement in a more traditional manner.
In the meantime, we want to hear from you.
How would you like to celebrate your graduation?
Are there creative ways to be together while we are apart?
When we are able to gather in person, what should Commencement look like?
Please share your thoughts and suggestions for innovative and safe ways to recognize your accomplishments, both virtually and when it is safe to gather together. Submit ideas to Classof2020@babson.edu or through the Commencement page by Friday, April 3.
While Commencement events have been postponed, your degree will be conferred as scheduled and you will become a Babson graduate on May 16 for employment and/or graduate education purposes. You will hear from the Registrar’s Office regarding important steps to maintain this timeline.
Commencement is the culmination of your Babson experience. It is an opportunity to celebrate with family, friends, and classmates and be recognized for your individual and collective accomplishments. It is an opportunity to look to the future with joy and excitement. It may look different this year, but we will celebrate you, in many ways, as we look towards a moment when you can be safely surrounded by the Babson community.
The past several weeks—and the weeks and months ahead—are a true test of what Babson has instilled in all of you; entrepreneurial leadership is the core competency we must possess to look at this daunting challenge as an opportunity to see the world in new ways. Thank you for your ongoing leadership, resiliency and willingness to adapt to new traditions—while we wait for the old ones to be safely held.
President Spinelli, Nori Horvitz ’20, Aly Massoud MBA’20
March 14, 2020
As we come to the close of another very trying and anxiety filled week, I want to thank you for your continued efforts, focus and support as we navigate this now declared worldwide pandemic crisis. Each day brings new revelations and challenges which impacts our lives and the lives of our families.
I am so proud to work with you in this community of dedicated, caring professionals. Our students are fortunate to be the recipients of the culmination of your talents
As President Spinelli just announced, at this time we are shifting the majority of our employees, both faculty and staff, to remote operations, to support the health and wellbeing of our community while we continue to provide academic continuity.
As such, Monday, March 16 will serve as a transition day.
We recognize that some of you may not be ready for remote operations. In these cases, I ask managers to work expeditiously in planning for as much of their operations to be remote as feasible. Managers should refer to my email of March 12 and ensure they complete the required steps.
- On Monday, offices will be accessible and you are encouraged to come to collect any key items needed to accommodate remote operations such as laptops, monitors, chargers, etc. Please know you are not banned from doing so, unless you or a member of your family has been advised to self-quarantine.
- If you are already positioned to perform your role remotely, there is no requirement for you to come to campus.
- IT resources and assistance to support remote operations (IT Resources and Support section)
- Please see the following Guidance for Your Whole Self During COVID-19 that contains links with information.
- Preparing for deep cleaning by removing items from work surfaces is no longer a necessity as offices and work spaces will be cleaned throughout the week.
Lastly, I ask that you do all you can to ensure self-care, and the care of your loved ones. Our collaboration and commitments serve as key drivers to our collective success.
After very thoughtful conversations and collaborations between faculty, staff, and academic leadership of the College, I am pleased to share with you a new policy regarding course grades taken by our undergraduates.
For the Spring 2020 semester you can:
- Continue to earn letter grades for all of your courses.
- Select any or all of your courses to be taken using pass-fail grades.
If you seek letter grades for all of your courses, no further action is needed.
If you would like to select course(s) to be taken pass/fail, here are the steps you need to take:
- Using your Babson account, email your professor with a cc: to firstname.lastname@example.org
- In the subject line type “Pass-Fail” followed by the course code. As an example, if you select to take the course Negotiations using pass-fail grades the email subject line would be Pass-Fail MOB3580-01. Your course code and section number can be found in the student portal.
- No additional content is needed in the email.
The deadline for declaring a course pass-fail is April 29th, the last day of classes (prior to finals period). Note, a separate email should be sent for each course you select for pass-fail.
We were intentional in giving you the rest of the semester to immerse yourself in the online learning experience and assess your performance in the context of the learning modalities and the conditions you are taking your coursework. I encourage you to reflect carefully on your decision and to seek the guidance of your class dean, career advisor, and/or faculty member. We all remain available to support you.
Letter grades continue to have the same GPA weight and appropriate application of degree credits.
A “pass” grade in a course earns credits toward your degree, as appropriate meets academic requirements, and does not affect your GPA. A grade of “fail” has the same significant impact as an “F” letter grade, it will lower your GPA and credits will not be applied toward your degree.
Your professor’s course level grading rubric and expectations for learning still apply. To earn a “pass grade” you must earn the equivalent of a passing letter grade. Please seek guidance from the student handbook or your professor as needed.
Half-semester courses that ended before we shifted to all courses being online are not eligible for pass-fail grading.
To be eligible for the Dean’s List this semester you must earn a semester GPA of 3.3 and be enrolled in a minimum of 12-credits of courses that are receiving letter grades. As an example, you are eligible for the Dean’s List with 16-credits of letter grades and 4-credits of pass/fail.
If you are unable to engage in a course and complete course requirements, please discuss your situation in a timely manner with your professor and class dean to determine if an “incomplete” should be taken.
We recognize the fluid nature and the varied impact of COVID-19 on you and your loved ones over the remaining weeks of the semester that may impact your ability to learn and perform in your courses. We ask that you do the best you can to sustain your own learning, to support the learning of others (in particular in group projects), and engage with your professors and the larger Babson community.
Best wishes on a successful semester,
Ian Lapp, PhD
Dean of the Undergraduate School
March 13, 2020
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we work diligently and thoughtfully to transition our community online for the remainder of the spring semester. For your convenience, the following information also is included on the Community FAQ and Resource Guide page and will be continuously updated here.
Prorated Room and Board
Many of you have inquired about the impact of this decision on your room and board fees. We are able to share that room and board costs, which include all meal plans, will be prorated for the seven-week remainder of the year for all students leaving campus and completely vacating their housing by Saturday, March 21.
You will receive this amount as a credit on your student account. If you wish to receive a refund check, or EFT, from any resulting credit balance, please initiate the request on the Babson Hub under SFS, then select ‘Refund Request’.
Please note, if you have been formally approved for later check-out by the College, your credit will be prorated based on your actual check-out date. If you are a financial aid recipient, your credit will be adjusted proportionally based on your Babson or institutional grant.
As the health, safety, and well-being of our community remains our top priority, we have also made the difficult decision to cancel all spring sport seasons effective Monday, March 16. Babson’s Director of Athletics, Mike Lynch, shared the following:
“All of us within the athletics community are disappointed and saddened about this situation, but feel this is the best decision given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in. I feel for our coaches, student-athletes and especially our seniors, whose time, hard work and commitment have elevated our athletics program.”
MOVE OUT Reminder
To reiterate, we are requiring residential students to move out of their campus housing assignments, remove all personal belongings, and return room keys by next Saturday, March 21 at 8pm. If you have significant barriers, restrictions, or other circumstances that may prevent you from returning home safely at this point in time, please submit a petition (via the SELF-SERVICE section of the Hub) to remain in on-campus housing by Monday, March 16 at 12pm (noon).
We understand that some students may require a reasonable extension to check-out after the March 21 deadline. If you need an extension, please complete the petition to remain in on-campus housing as noted above. Here are some of the College’s considerations for the petition process:
- Immigration Status—Please contact Glavin Office of Multicultural & International Education for appropriate guidance and/or documentation
- Permanent residence is shared with an older adult, pregnant person, or person with a compromised immune system/chronic medical condition (per CDC guidelines)
- Permanent residence is located in a CDC Level-3 country
- Significant hardship or extenuating personal circumstances (evaluated on a case-by-case basis)
Any student who is approved to remain on campus for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester will be notified by Wednesday, March 18 at 5pm.
The impact of this pandemic clearly has far-reaching implications for our academic, professional, and personal lives. I am so sorry that we cannot complete this semester under normal circumstances. Please know that our College community is stronger and more resilient than this virus. Let’s find new ways to stay connected and commit to helping each other continue to feel that Babson is a special place.
We will get through this challenge, together.
Stay safe … lpw
Lawrence P. Ward, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Physical Distancing Guidelines at Babson
These guidelines on distancing are created to deliberately increase the physical space between people to avoid spreading illness. It’s important to stay connected, socially, with friends and family during this unsettling time.
To keep yourself and others healthy, but connected, it’s important you remember:
- In any public setting, maintain a safe distance between yourself and others. The CDC recommends keeping at least six feet apart from one another so as to not allow possible contact if an infected person were to cough or sneeze.
- Limit discretionary travel, including shopping trips, social visits - Use drive thru, delivery and take out options
- Avoid non-essential use of public transport
- Do not host or attend gatherings of more than 10 people; opt for virtual meetings and gatherings – this includes academic group work.
- Maintain your mental and physical health; Exercise, fresh air and connections with friends and family are important to continue through technology options and in small groups (less than 10) while maintaining distance of 6 ft apart