Babson College will be open this fall. Details available in Babson Together, our return to campus plan

Community Messages

Messages from Dean Rollag

Babson Graduate Students, Faculty and Staff:

In these challenging times, the health and safety of our entire Babson community remains our first priority. Given the uncertainty of pandemic progression and the future status of travel and meeting restrictions, we have made the decision to shift all Summer 2 Courses (July 7- August 20) to 100% online.

While we are planning for a fall return to campus, we will need the entire summer to develop, test, and implement the physical distancing, cleaning, and other protocols required for a safe opening of our Wellesley, Boston and Miami campuses (including face-to-face learning).

As with our unprecedented shift to 100% online classes this spring, the Graduate School, ITSD, Registrar’s Office, and related groups will or have already begun working with faculty teaching Summer 2 Courses to move their course design to a fully online format. Once again, we will ask faculty to schedule any synchronous “live” class sessions in their originally scheduled timeslots.

If you have any questions, please let me or my team know. We’re all in this together as we keep moving forward. Thanks to everyone for their commitment, hard work, support, and patience in these difficult times.

Sincerely,
Keith Rollag
Dean, F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business
Babson College

Messages from Katherine Craven

April 27, 2020

Dear Babson Staff & Faculty,


Your safety, health and the continuity of our Babson community have been our paramount concern and guiding principle. Life, as we all knew it, has changed dramatically. Babson experienced significant revenue losses with less than 90 days to go in FY2020. COVID-19 financial impacts include: the distribution of pro-rated student room and board refunds; additional aid to our students; lost business at the conference center and in some of our non-credentialed learning programs; the delayed start of certain programs until next year; lost rent at the Boston Sports Club; and a (-13%) drop in our endowment within the past 30 days.

Over the last few weeks, we have outlined some of the known fiscal impacts and initial phases of a financial management plan, with the recognition that many global uncertainties lie ahead. We requested a re-written budget for the remainder of this fiscal year, including a spending freeze on discretionary funds. We enacted a hiring freeze, and a merit and bonus pool freeze. We asked for our broader community to support students in need. We asked for your recalibration of spending expectations.

Our community delivered. We managed the current fiscal year COVID-related deficit.

Babson was fortunate to be in a position of financial strength when the COVID-19 crisis began. That factor, in combination with your collaboration, creativity, sense of shared sacrifice, and hard work, has brought us a balanced current fiscal year budget. This is an even more remarkable feat given the scope of our financial losses: a -6% or (-$14M) decrease in operating funds with very few opportunities for new tuition generation remaining after the Spring semester began in January. Your caring, resilience, and commitment to the greater good of “One Babson” is reflected in this truly incredible accomplishment, which puts Babson on better footing going into the next fiscal year than many of our peer institutions. Even more significantly, you accomplished all of this while remaining student-focused, maintaining academic continuity, and simultaneously dealing with the personal uncertainties and anxiety brought on by these times.

Simply put: Thank you. Your actions are helping to preserve our institution at a time of abundant global uncertainty, under the constraints attendant in needing to manage all of our activities remotely in order to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Your continued support and flexibility will be critical as we manage through these times, model various operational and financial scenarios, and look ahead to continued uncertainty in FY2021, which begins on July 1, 2020. These scenarios will need to reflect versions of a potential new economic and physical reality for our students and their families. We will need to model the possible COVID-related impacts on undergraduate and graduate enrollments, and the generosity of our donors.

Babson’s finances are dependent upon student enrollments, and as such, our budget is sensitive to international travel restrictions, the economic impacts on our students and their families, and our ability to maintain a safe and healthy living and working environment for our students, faculty and staff. We remain committed to academic continuity and will continue to deliver the Babson experience in safe and effective ways, including a mix of learning modalities which accommodate the complexity presented by this global health situation. Summer courses will be offered online, and we are working with state and local officials and health and safety experts to develop a reentry plan for fall.

We know that we will need to be extremely frugal for the upcoming fiscal year. The following is a list of actions that will be taken to curtail spending for the remainder of FY2020 and going forward:

  • We will continue the current hiring freeze until December 31, 2020.
  • We will offer an Early Retirement Incentive opportunity for certain eligible employees. Over the next week, Human Resources will notify eligible employees, and begin discussions with them on this option. More information will come from Donna Bonaparte as this program begins. Early Retirement Incentive is a program that Babson has periodically implemented, as recently as three years ago.
  • We will continue to carefully manage employee headcount and expenses.
  • We will look to reduce costs and generate increased revenue opportunities.


The Strategic Planning process, which began last summer, included recommendations for radically recreating the organization. The urgency of this global crisis requires that we accelerate that effort.   

The process of assessing opportunities for increased efficiencies and expense reduction across the full organization will be transparent and ongoing, and will consider our current and future strategic priorities. We will continue to provide updates as we move forward, and I look forward to presenting potential FY2021 budget scenarios to the Faculty Senate on May 1, in preparation for the discussion and vote of the Trustees in mid-May. Working together, I’m confident we can weather this unprecedented situation.

Thank you once again for your continued collaboration, hard work and foresight which is helping to mitigate the financial impacts of this crisis and shore up Babson’s future. Much gratitude and congratulations are due to all of you who worked to solidify our financial footing as we prepare for building next year’s budget plan. Most importantly, I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.


Thank you,
Katherine

Dear Babson Staff & Faculty,


Your safety, health and the continuity of our Babson community have been our paramount concern and guiding principle. Life, as we all knew it, has changed dramatically. Babson experienced significant revenue losses with less than 90 days to go in FY2020. COVID-19 financial impacts include: the distribution of pro-rated student room and board refunds; additional aid to our students; lost business at the conference center and in some of our non-credentialed learning programs; the delayed start of certain programs until next year; lost rent at the Boston Sports Club; and a (-13%) drop in our endowment within the past 30 days.

Over the last few weeks, we have outlined some of the known fiscal impacts and initial phases of a financial management plan, with the recognition that many global uncertainties lie ahead. We requested a re-written budget for the remainder of this fiscal year, including a spending freeze on discretionary funds. We enacted a hiring freeze, and a merit and bonus pool freeze. We asked for our broader community to support students in need. We asked for your recalibration of spending expectations.

Our community delivered. We managed the current fiscal year COVID-related deficit.

Babson was fortunate to be in a position of financial strength when the COVID-19 crisis began. That factor, in combination with your collaboration, creativity, sense of shared sacrifice, and hard work, has brought us a balanced current fiscal year budget. This is an even more remarkable feat given the scope of our financial losses: a -6% or (-$14M) decrease in operating funds with very few opportunities for new tuition generation remaining after the Spring semester began in January. Your caring, resilience, and commitment to the greater good of “One Babson” is reflected in this truly incredible accomplishment, which puts Babson on better footing going into the next fiscal year than many of our peer institutions. Even more significantly, you accomplished all of this while remaining student-focused, maintaining academic continuity, and simultaneously dealing with the personal uncertainties and anxiety brought on by these times.

Simply put: Thank you. Your actions are helping to preserve our institution at a time of abundant global uncertainty, under the constraints attendant in needing to manage all of our activities remotely in order to slow the spread of the pandemic.

Your continued support and flexibility will be critical as we manage through these times, model various operational and financial scenarios, and look ahead to continued uncertainty in FY2021, which begins on July 1, 2020. These scenarios will need to reflect versions of a potential new economic and physical reality for our students and their families. We will need to model the possible COVID-related impacts on undergraduate and graduate enrollments, and the generosity of our donors.

Babson’s finances are dependent upon student enrollments, and as such, our budget is sensitive to international travel restrictions, the economic impacts on our students and their families, and our ability to maintain a safe and healthy living and working environment for our students, faculty and staff. We remain committed to academic continuity and will continue to deliver the Babson experience in safe and effective ways, including a mix of learning modalities which accommodate the complexity presented by this global health situation. Summer courses will be offered online, and we are working with state and local officials and health and safety experts to develop a reentry plan for fall.

We know that we will need to be extremely frugal for the upcoming fiscal year. The following is a list of actions that will be taken to curtail spending for the remainder of FY2020 and going forward:

  • We will continue the current hiring freeze until December 31, 2020.
  • We will offer an Early Retirement Incentive opportunity for certain eligible employees. Over the next week, Human Resources will notify eligible employees, and begin discussions with them on this option. More information will come from Donna Bonaparte as this program begins. Early Retirement Incentive is a program that Babson has periodically implemented, as recently as three years ago.
  • We will continue to carefully manage employee headcount and expenses.
  • We will look to reduce costs and generate increased revenue opportunities.


The Strategic Planning process, which began last summer, included recommendations for radically recreating the organization. The urgency of this global crisis requires that we accelerate that effort.   

The process of assessing opportunities for increased efficiencies and expense reduction across the full organization will be transparent and ongoing, and will consider our current and future strategic priorities. We will continue to provide updates as we move forward, and I look forward to presenting potential FY2021 budget scenarios to the Faculty Senate on May 1, in preparation for the discussion and vote of the Trustees in mid-May. Working together, I’m confident we can weather this unprecedented situation.

Thank you once again for your continued collaboration, hard work and foresight which is helping to mitigate the financial impacts of this crisis and shore up Babson’s future. Much gratitude and congratulations are due to all of you who worked to solidify our financial footing as we prepare for building next year’s budget plan. Most importantly, I hope that you and your loved ones are staying safe and healthy.


Thank you,
Katherine

Community Update from Donna Bonaparte

Dear Colleagues:

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. 

What’s Next?

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.

  1. 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.
  2. If you are already positioned to perform your role remotely, there is no requirement for you to come to campus.
  3. IT resources and assistance to support remote operations may be found here (IT Resources and Support section)
  4. Please see the following Guidance for Your Whole Self During COVID-19 that contains links with information.
  5. 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.


Best,

Donna

Messages for Students from Dean Lapp

March 26,2020

Dear Students,

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.


Next Steps

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 passfail@babson.edu
  • 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.

Guidance

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.

Additional Considerations

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


Ian Lapp, PhD
Dean of the Undergraduate School
Babson College

Dear Students,

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.


Next Steps

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 passfail@babson.edu
  • 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.

Guidance

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.

Additional Considerations

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


Ian Lapp, PhD
Dean of the Undergraduate School
Babson College

Dear Students,

In preparation for the start of online learning on Monday, we have setup a website to centralize all that you need to know about your virtual Babson experience. Please visit this site before classes start and throughout the semester for the most up-to-date information regarding online learning and the virtual campus experience.

I do want to highlight three key issues that are likely on your mind:

  • A decision on the assignment of course grades for full-term and half-term (second half of the semester) will take place the week of March 23rd. I have been listening and consulting across our community and observing the decisions of other institutions. The faculty, academic leadership, and myself are engaged in a deliberative and thoughtful process and I have complete faith that a Babson appropriate decision will be made that will serve well your learning and academic progress.
  • The deadline for withdrawal in each of your courses has been extended to April 16th to provide you more time to assess your academic progress in this new learning environment.
  • Registration for Fall 2020 classes will now take place April 13th to April 17th to allow you more time to make plans for the next academic year.

While all of us are consumed with the events of here-and-now, I encourage you to take time to contextually reflect each day on everything that is taking place.When I think about all of you at this moment, I reflect on how I began my time in college being among the first cohort of students to live in the age of HIV/AIDS and witness the impact of the stock market crash in 1987 on family and friends. I think about three months into the start of my higher education career being on the campus of Columbia University on September 11, 2001. I also think about being on the campus of Harvard University on the day of the Boston Marathon Bombing.

I share these moments in my personal and professional life not to say that experiences and tragedies are analogous. Rather, I share them to encourage you to weave together your experiences and observations from your new ways of virtually connecting with your peers and professors; your re-established relationships with family and friends at home (or from afar); and your critical evaluation of the various sources of information that describe the events of today. You might even prepare yourself to participate in The New York Times annual student competition for the word or phrase of 2020. One early contender for this recognition is “social distancing.” Let us move away from this phrase and adopt two new phrases that are being discussed, “physical distancing” and “social solidarity.”

This is the moment for learning in every sense of the word; to take care of yourself, your family, and your friends; to take your leadership skills learned on campus to help your communities; and to team-up with others to assure the continuity of community that makes Babson special. Look for more ways to connect with me, our faculty and other students in the weeks ahead. We’ll be using all of our communication tools to stay connected, share information and listen to your feedback,

In support and solidarity,


Ian
_____________________________

Ian Lapp, PhD
Dean of the Undergraduate School
Babson College

Dear Students,

The campus is eerily quiet, drowning out the around the clock activities of faculty, staff, and college leadership working to support you and keep Babson moving forward. I want you to know that the difficult decisions that have been made this past week have been agonized over because of their impact they have on you. We are all lamenting the loss of so much that you had to look forward to this spring.

My heart breaks, in particular for the seniors for which all these activities would have been their last time to enjoy what they love about Babson and to revel with their classmates in all the special events planned for them.  While we are online for now, we will return to campus.  We will celebrate our seniors, and the ritual of graduation will transition to the rhythm of campus life returning.  The question is not if, it is when.  Let us hope for the best and move forward together, supporting each other, staying healthy, and protecting the health of all.  We will soon make a decision about keeping graduation on the scheduled date or postponing. Please be patient.

We are developing plans for the start of next week’s virtual classes and experiences that will guide your learning, professional development, and personal growth for the rest of the semester.  While the medium of learning changes, our faculty’s commitment to teaching excellence and the expectations for our students to be engaged learners does not change.  While the commitments and expectations does not waver, the reality is we are all going to have to work harder to make all of this happen.  Please look for information regarding the virtual experience to come out by the middle of this week.

We are all in this together.  Your faculty, staff, and college leadership are navigating these disconcerting times with you.  They too are being impacted by all that is happening on campus, in their community, and the world.  We are thinking of you and I know you are thinking of us.  Let us lead together with compassion and caring for each other.  Let us move forward with learning and the academic completion of your semester that will allow our seniors to graduate and all of you to make degree progress.  If you have any questions, concerns, or just want to talk, I am available to you as is our community of faculty, staff, college leadership, alumni, and governance members.


In support and solidarity,


Ian

_____________________________

Ian Lapp, PhD
Dean of the Undergraduate School
Babson College

Dear Class of 2020,

As a follow up to my email to the entire student body, I thought it was important to share my thoughts and feelings with the seniors recognizing that you are uniquely impacted by all that is transpiring.  Your graduation will be my fifth one at Babson and the most special for me to date.  You are my first class that I knew many of you as prospective students and said to all of you “Welcome to Babson College” at orientation.  In my remarks to you when you first arrived on campus I said: “You are about to embark on one of the great adventures in higher education.  The journey will transform you and you will transform Babson.”  It is my hope that these words ring true for you.  My bearing witness to all you have accomplished at Babson, and supporting you along the way, has changed me for the better and provided me with memories that will last a lifetime.  I know so many of our faculty, staff, and college leadership feel the same way.  In my remarks at orientation, I dubbed you, the “Second Century Class, the first to graduate in Babson’s second century.”  We will bring you back together, we will celebrate you, and it will be a special graduation ceremony.

There are many unknowns and uncertainties right now for Babson, the nation, and the world.  Please know, that you remain in our thoughts, our here-and-now actions, and our planning.  There is a lot going on but our commitment to the Class of 2020 has not wavered.  I also encourage you to think about how this disrupted spring semester is impacting your other classmates in many different ways including students who were studying abroad; our spring athletic teams and some of our winter athletic teams; students in the Class of 2023 who waited six-month to join their class in January to have their campus experience end in six-weeks; and students across all cohorts who are differentially impacted based on economic resources, family circumstances, and nationality.

In preparation for graduation (it will happen!), we will move forward with the process of selection of student speakers for the Baccalaureate and Commencement Ceremonies as well as the selection of students that will be honored at the Senior Awards Ceremony.  Our Student Life team will be in touch as well with related activities.  For now, focus on the transition to online learning, completing your degree, and securing the next steps in your career.  We remain available to you, please do not hesitate to reach out.


Stay healthy and be safe,


Ian
_____________________________
Ian Lapp, PhD
Dean of the Undergraduate School
Babson College

 

Updates for Students from Dean Ward

Dear Parents and Families:

I hope that this message finds you and your loved ones safe and doing as well as can be expected given the extraordinary range of challenges that so many are facing. I have been thinking about you all and your students extensively and look forward to engaging with you in person.

As a follow up to President Spinelli’s recent message, I want you to know that we actively are preparing for and eagerly anticipating a return to campus operations this fall. This process involves considerable planning and several complex decision factors that are being assessed with an emphasis on academic continuity along with the health and safety of our entire community. To this end, we have engaged a leading industrial hygiene firm to assist with de-densifying residence halls, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, airflow and building circulation, and other public hygiene safety measures.

As we continue to develop and finalize our path forward, your input is important. Please take a couple of minutes to provide answers regarding your student’s plans for the Fall 2020 semester. Participation is voluntary, and responses are confidential. We will collect survey responses until June 16th at midnight.

Several important decisions have been developed over the last several weeks, and I want to highlight some of them:

  • Course Delivery: In addition to face to face classes on campus, 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.
  • Undergraduate Academic Calendar: We have modified the undergraduate academic calendar to limit our collective exposure while providing a full semester of instruction. Classes will begin on Monday, August 24 and end on Thursday, November 19. Finals will take place virtually and students will not return to campus after the Thanksgiving holiday.
  • Study Abroad: Fall 2020 education abroad programs have been suspended. 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.
  • Advanced Cleaning Protocols: Our Facilities team has deployed advanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including use of technology that covers larger spaces with more precise targeting of disinfectant.
  • De-Densified Residence Halls: We will not offer quad or triple occupancy rooms in residence halls and will make additional modifications related to ratio of students per restroom fixture, square footage of double rooms, airflow, physical distance and gathering guidelines.


Additional information and decisions are still to come, and will be included as part of a robust return to campus plan and resource guide to be shared with the Babson community by July 1. That plan will include full details about health and safety policies and procedures; de-densification efforts for campus buildings and classrooms; new considerations for campus dining; athletics and recreation; and shared responsibilities and individual accountability that will shape our “next normal” and help keep our community safer.

This Thursday, June 11, at 11am ET, we will host a virtual community forum for students and families. I encourage you to join us and to share your questions in advance.

A Personal Note
During the past three months, much of our focus has been on pandemic scenario planning and related preparations. Although this is important work, it cannot happen in isolation from what is happening around us with respect to new levels of social consciousness about race, privilege, and systemic racism. I believe that there is an urgency to this particular moment in history that feels profoundly different. So, as we prepare for our return, we have an obligation to foster an environment of inclusive excellence where Black lives matter and educational opportunity is universal.

I look forward to welcoming your students back to campus and to learning, growing, and making progress together. Please stay safe and be well.

With appreciation…lpw

Lawrence P. Ward, Ed.D.
Vice President and Dean of Students

 

Dear Students,

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.

Athletics Update

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
Babson College

Dear Students,

I am writing as a follow up to President Spinelli’s announcement regarding the College’s decision to move to a virtual classroom environment in response to the unprecedented global impact of Covid-19. This decision was not made lightly or without significant thought around the impact to the student experience. Those of us in leadership recognize that the speed (and personal implications) of this transition caught many of you off guard and understandably generated a range of strong emotions and reactions.

Covid-19 is a rapidly unfolding public health crisis that is affecting many colleges and universities simultaneously. Nevertheless, you need answers to specific questions that immediately come to mind. As such, I want to share the latest guidance and address some of those initial questions that have been raised regarding next steps. Please know that we will remain committed to providing ongoing communication throughout this crisis.

Move-Out Information

As President Spinelli communicated yesterday, we are requiring residential students to move out of their housing assignments, remove all personal belongings, and return room keys by next Saturday, March 21 at 8pm. Students with special circumstances or conflicts may request a reasonable extension of time to move out by emailing housing@babson.edu. The move-out process will be outlined in detail for all residential students by their Area Directors via email by 12pm (noon) today. The College is securing packing boxes for students which will be available in the Pietz Lounge beginning at 2 pm today and will be replenished throughout the week. For students who want to store belonging, a local storage option is listed on the College’s preferred vendor webpage.

Petition to Remain in On-Campus Housing

The College anticipates that some students will have significant barriers, restrictions, or particular circumstances that may prevent them from returning home safely at this point in time. Any student seeking to remain in campus housing for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester may petition to do so through the SELF-SERVICE section of the Hub beginning today at 12pm (noon). Here are some of the College’s considerations for the petition process:

  • Immigration Status – Please contact the Glavin Office 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)

Completed petitions including appropriate documentation are due on Monday, March 16 at 12 pm (noon) and will be promptly reviewed by the College. Any student who is granted approval to remain on campus for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester will be notified by Wednesday, March 18 at 5pm.

Please note that the College will be assessing the need to re-locate students who remain in residence into a reduced number of residence halls in an effort to support a smaller residential population and mitigate the potential transmission of COVID-19. Details regarding this decision will be communicated before online classes begin on March 23, 2020.

Dining During Spring Break

Babson Dining Services will remain open in a limited capacity throughout spring break and for the remainder of the spring semester. The dining website will be updated regularly to reflect hours of operations at the various venues.

Room and Board Fees

The College’s budget office is developing a financial policy and process to address this disruption in the residential experience. More specific information on this policy will be communicated shortly.

Residential Community Requests

Given recommended guidance from public health officials about the potential for human to human transmission of Covid-19, we are suspending the guest policy in the residence halls and request that only currently enrolled students with campus housing assignment at Babson may stay in the residence halls until further notice. As you make plans to move-out of campus housing, we also ask that any family members or friends, who come to assist you, limit their time on campus and comply with CDC recommendations to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.

As you prepare to depart from campus, we know that you will want to spend time much of your time over the next few days with your friends. We ask that you be thoughtful and use good judgment in how you choose to socialize. Consider avoiding large public gatherings that have the potential to place you and your peers at greater risk for the transmission of Covid-19.

Varsity Athletic Competition

Decisions on the continuation of varsity athletic events for the remainder of the spring semester will be made in coordination with our athletic conference (NEWMAC) and the NCAA. Any information on changes or adjustments related to the athletic schedule will be communicated shortly from the Department of Athletics and Recreation.

Student Support and Services

All student support offices from Academic Services, Health Services, Counseling and Psychological Services, Glavin Center for International Education, Career Development Center, Student Financial Services, Public Safety, and deans’ offices among others will remain open and available throughout the academic year. We will be here to provide assistance, answers, support and encouragement. As you all have been asked to adapt, we too will adapt to support and help you to navigate the remainder of the semester.

Additional Information

We encourage students and their families to review the campus communications website for up-to-date information from the College. Any questions that have not been addressed can be sent to healthupdate2020@babson.edu

The priority for Babson remains the health, safety, and well-being of our community. I know that this level of disruption to your Babson experience is unprecedented and upsetting, especially for our seniors. The College anticipates moving forward with Commencement-related activities and will communicate those plans as soon as they are finalized.

As we are seeing with each new day, Covid-19 is a far-reaching, global crisis that is impacting major economies, markets, and industries, including higher education. Regrettably, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Babson College have now been significantly impacted as well. I recognize that not every member of our community agrees with the College’s most recent decision. Nevertheless, we remain a community facing a serious crisis. As such, we have two options – we can turn on each other or to each other. This is not the first crisis and likely will not be the only challenge that we face together. We have to prioritize and make difficult decisions. We have to take care of each other. We have to be resilient in the face of adversity. We have to maintain perspective and move forward together in our new reality.


Sincerely…lpw


Lawrence P. Ward, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Babson College

Campus Health Advisory: Coronavirus Update

Dear Babson Community Members,

Babson’s Crisis Response Team (CRT) continues to monitor the outbreak of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are closely following the guidance and recommendations provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to ensure that appropriate measures are taken to keep our campus safe and provide our community important information and resources. Currently, there are no cases of Coronavirus at Babson. The immediate risk in Massachusetts continues to be low; however, understandably there is a high level of anxiety as the virus spreads worldwide.

International Travel Planning

If you plan on traveling internationally over spring break or in the near term, we recommend that you use the following resources to anticipate potential travel interference including entry restrictions, exit screenings at airports and/or quarantine measures based on your citizenship, past travel history or destination country. 

You can also register your travel with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) (available for any student studying at a U.S. institution regardless of citizenship) to receive alerts of safety conditions or emergencies in your destination country.

Glavin Office of International Education

The Glavin Office of International Education is actively monitoring travel restrictions/recommendations and communicating directly with students enrolled in impacted study abroad programs. The Glavin Office continues to assess current and future scheduled programs and make related decisions about their viability. Glavin and Academic Services staff will work directly with students to provide alternative options. Parents and families may be directed to the Glavin Office with study abroad questions and concerns.

Business Continuity and Other Considerations

A small working group with representatives from the Glavin Office, Babson Academy, BEEE, Advancement, Admissions, Risk Management, and Human Resources among others will be convened shortly to assess Babson’s global business operations and other continuity considerations that may be impacted by the spread of the Coronavirus. This group will coordinate with the College’s senior leadership and CRT to keep the campus updated accordingly.

Support and Self-Care

Many of community members have been impacted by this situation, and we must continue to be supportive as a college community. Students who may be affected emotionally by this situation can seek support through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) by calling (781) 239-6200 to schedule an appointment. Faculty and staff similarly are encouraged to contact Human Resources for guidance in accessing Babson’s Employee Assistance Program.

Please keep in mind that the majority of individuals who have contracted Coronavirus have recovered. People with the highest risk are pregnant women, individuals with compromised immune systems, and the elderly. 

While there is not currently a vaccine to prevent COVID-19, taking the following preventive measures can help you to avoid infection:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Frequently disinfect surfaces with wipes.
  • Avoid non-essential travel to highly affected countries or regions in the world.

We remain in the middle of Influenza season, so if you are ill with a fever, it is important to stay home avoid unnecessary contact with others. Employees who are sick or have questions about their health are strongly encouraged to contact their personal physician or contact an urgent care center.

The CRT will continue to monitor this rapidly evolving public health situation and provide further updates, as appropriate.

Sincerely…lpw

Lawrence P. Ward, Ed.D.
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students
Babson College

Important Messages from President Spinelli

Dear Babson Community:

Over the next two months, we will return to Babson’s campuses for the 2020-2021 academic year. We know it will look and feel different, but I am energized by our plans for fall and look forward to welcoming you back to Babson.

Today, I am writing to share details about the academic experience. We are sharing decisions as they are made and have already communicated some important changes, including a modified academic calendar. That information, and the details shared below, have been incorporated into our comprehensive return to campus plan, which will be released next week.

Learning together will be different this fall. Most classes will include a mix of face-to-face class time and online learning, with a smaller number of 100% online classes. Building on two decades of successful distance learning, and the lessons learned from our virtual campus experience this spring and summer, we have engineered our courses to capture the full potential of technology-enhanced learning while enabling safe physical distance. Students, both undergraduate and graduate, will have two primary choices for fall class formats – hybrid and fully online:

  • Hybrid Classes: Hybrid classes blend face -to -face, in-person instruction with technology. These classes are designed to maximize your in-person experience in creative ways that still allow for proper distance at all times. Throughout the semester, faculty may use different delivery strategies at different times – teaching techniques such as split attendance, small groups, and blended learning. The majority of fall courses – any that are not 100% online – will be offered in the hybrid format. Hybrid classes can be attended virtually, which makes them accessible to all students, regardless of whether or not you are on campus.
  • 100% Online Classes: Fully online classes provide engaging and dynamic delivery of content completely online. Classes are designed to take full advantage of technology capabilities in order to serve students who need the flexibility online instruction provides. Online courses are scheduled to begin from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET throughout the day, in an effort to provide options for students studying in different time zones. Classes will be scheduled five or six days a week.

Each of these learning formats is supported by considerable investment in technology and the virtual learning experience. This spring, when COVID-19 necessitated a move to virtual learning, 650 in-person classes quickly shifted online. The lessons learned from that experience have motivated enhancements and investments in hardware and software that will improve the academic experience and facilitate more seamless class discussion. Our faculty are participating in an intensive online teaching program and redesigning courses to be more accessible, creative, and innovative.

Things are changing, but the fundamental elements of the Babson experience remain constant. We are committed to building entrepreneurial leaders who will create scalable solutions to complex global problems, lead with empathy, and generate sustainable value across business and society. And no matter what, we will ensure that all students can make progress on their degrees, and that our campus and community remain as safe and healthy as possible.

Next week, in addition to releasing our full return to campus plan, I will mark my first anniversary as president of Babson College. It has been a tremendous and unexpected journey. I invite you to join me on Facebook Live next Wednesday, July 1 at midnight ET as I reflect on year one and look to the future.

Thank you for your continued support and flexibility as we navigate the next normal. We are moving forward together, as One Babson. I look forward to seeing you soon – online and in-person.

My best,
Steve

Dear Faculty and Staff:

Yesterday, we hosted a Community Forum for undergraduate students and families and shared a preview of our plans for fall. It was energizing to reconvene with our students and families – nearly 600 attended – and I look forward to being back on campus together this fall.

Preparing for our return to campus is a considerable process with complex decision factors. Those decisions are guided by two principles: the health and wellbeing of our community, and academic continuity for our students. I am proud that we have largely achieved those goals, and they continue to inform our planning. Things will look different this fall, but no matter what, all learning will continue.
At the Forum, we shared a significant amount of information about our evolving plans for campus life, the academic experience, and the steps we are taking to ensure that our community remains as safe and healthy as possible. I encourage you to watch the session recording. Below, I have included several of the key points presented during the Forum.

This is an ongoing process, with more information and decisions still to come. We will share a comprehensive return to campus plan and resource guide with the Babson community by July 1, with additional details about protocols and procedures to help keep our community safe.

Please join me next week for our Faculty and Staff Community Forum on Wednesday, June 17 at 9:45a.m ET. Together, as One Babson, we will shape and navigate our “next normal.”

My best,
Steve


Undergraduate Student and Family Community Forum Highlights
Please note, this information has not been finalized and will continue to evolve.

Academic Experience:

  • Undergraduate Academic Calendar: We have modified the undergraduate academic calendar to limit our collective exposure while providing a full semester of instruction. Classes will begin on Monday, August 24 and end on Thursday, November 19. Finals will take place virtually and students will not return to campus after Thanksgiving.
  • Course Delivery: In addition to face to face classes on campus, 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.
  • Additional Time Between Classes: To promote physical distancing and avoid congestion during class transitions, there will be 30 minutes between class times. Classes will be held at new time blocks: 8a.m., 10a.m., noon, 2p.m., 4p.m., 6p.m. and 8p.m.
  • New Registration Period: Babson will reach out to undergraduate students to look at current schedules and determine if changes need to be made. A new registration period will be available so students can make adjustments. More information is forthcoming.
  • Education Abroad: Fall 2020 education abroad programs have been suspended. 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. 

Housing:

  • De-Densified Residence Halls: We will not offer quad or triple occupancy rooms in residence halls and will make additional modifications related to ratio of students per restroom fixture, square footage of double rooms, airflow, physical distance and gathering guidelines.]
  • Fall Move In: Move-in dates are being reassessed due to the change in the campus calendar. Those dates will be shared once final. Students can expect to see a staggered move-in schedule that spans a few days allowing for physical distancing throughout. 

Dining:

  • Dining at Trim: Gathering and physical distancing guidelines will reduce seating in Trim, and there will be fewer opportunities to dine-in. We are identifying locations around campus, indoors and out, for students to eat and socialize.
  • Trim Express Dining: Trim will be divided into two spaces to allow for more expedient service with the main dining room being one space, and a combination of Roger’s and the Grill Room being branded as Trim Xpress, offering a faster paced service with all foods prepackaged.
  • Food Preparation and Service: Food will be prepared fresh on campus but largely prepackaged and prepared for grab and go. Menus will continue to rotate and change daily but there will be less variety offered. Students will see increased portion sizes for added meal plan value. Where possible, fresh foods will be displayed and served by Babson dining staff. There will be no self-service of any kind.
  • Dietary Restrictions: Babson Dining remains committed to serving food across campus for all dietary needs, including allergen-free foods, and food that meets approved medical and religious accommodations.
     

Health and Safety

  • Advanced Cleaning Protocols: Our Facilities team has deployed advanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including use of technology that covers larger spaces with more precise targeting of disinfectant.
  • Expert Consultants: We are working with expert industrial hygiene consultants, Environmental Health and Engineering, to implement sophisticated safety procedures and protocols.  

 

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.

Education Abroad:

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.

My best,
Steve

Dear Faculty and Staff:

The 2019-2020 academic year elicits vast and varied emotions. Gratitude for the flexibility and resilience of our community. Concern for our continued wellbeing. Grief for a semester upended by crisis. Motivation to bring Babson back stronger and more impactful than ever. And, most immediately, anticipation about our return to campus. It can feel overwhelming, but I continue to be energized and inspired by your support for our students and each other.

I am writing to share our preparations for a safe and measured return to our campuses. Our intent is to welcome the majority of faculty and staff back to campus and to begin on-campus classes this fall. We continue to plan for scenarios that may require flexibility to move between online and face-to-face options as the situation unfolds. The planning related to a return to campus operations continues to be grounded in two principles: the safety and health of our community and continuity of the academic experience for all students.

Let me share an update on immediate next steps and ongoing planning:

  • Continuation of Remote Work Environment: Based on data from our recent manager survey, we feel confident that most areas of the College can effectively operate remotely. This allows us to preserve resources for students and community members returning to campus this fall. The following phased approach will be taken to return our workforce to on campus operations:
    • Essential staff working on campus will continue to do so, adhering to physical distancing and other CDC guidelines.
    • Remote work will continue for the majority of our staff and faculty.
    • In the coming weeks, senior managers will work with their teams to determine when additional employees will begin to transition back to campus over the next few months to properly prepare for fall.


Exceptions to the stay-at-home order will continue to be at your manager's discretion and require advanced notification to Public Safety. Today, Human Resources will follow up with a detailed guide for planning the return to on campus work.

  • Expert Guidance and Partnership: Reopening requires a new way of life for our students, staff, faculty and visitors. We have examined and are enhancing our safety protocols and operations. We are working with external experts, Environmental Health & Engineering (EHE), a leading industrial hygiene firm specializing in higher education, to help guide our decisions. EHE is providing solutions based on the most up to date public health, scientific, medical and engineering guidance. Additionally, we will continue to access expertise through our industry associations and state offices.
  • Safety Guidelines and Health Monitoring Protocols: Several campus safety and health protocols are in development to ensure compliance with local reopening guidelines:
    • Masks: Masks have been secured for all members of our community, and a policy will be issued for face covering as we get closer to the start of Fall semester. We will be fervently educating and reminding our community about proper mask wearing and hand washing.
    • De-densification Planning: Working with our partners at EHE, we are examining all options for de-densification of buildings, including changes in classroom and residence hall capacity and altering dining areas and common spaces. This intense planning will continue for several weeks and be communicated well in advance of the semester start.
    • Advanced Cleaning Protocols: Our Facilities team has deployed advanced cleaning and disinfecting protocols, including use of technology that covers larger spaces with more precise targeting of disinfectant.
    • Practicing Physical Distance: Physical distance has been shown to limit virus spread. We are working to determine physical distance policies in and outside the classroom, public areas and residence halls.
  • Other Strategies to Keep our Community Safe: In collaboration with other area colleges and universities and leading health experts, we are actively investigating a variety of additional tools and resources to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and keep our community as safe as possible.


On Friday, June 12 at 10am EST, we will host a virtual Community Forum for faculty and staff to discuss our ongoing planning efforts and timeline for critical decision-making. I invite you to join us for that session and to share questions in advance at healthupdate2020@babson.edu. Additional details will be shared next week.

I continue to be proud of our community’s exceptional management and response to this ongoing situation. I know the toll it has taken on so many, and I wish I could take away the fear, frustration and exhaustion with simple answers. While we may be growing weary of the constraints placed on our lives, there are positive signs of progress and we are beginning to understand what our new normal will entail. We have much work ahead. In order for us to succeed we must do the hard work together, as one community.

My best,
Steve

Dear Babson Community:

This week, please join me in celebrating the Class of 2020, honoring their achievements, and recognizing their tremendous contributions to our community.

The past two months have presented all of us – and the world – with unprecedented challenges and change. For the Class of 2020, COVID-19 upended many of the traditions they had planned for and looked forward to. Yet there are valuable lessons imparted by the current global situation. It has us all more resilient and adaptable. It is drawing on our ability to develop solutions to complex problems. And, it has invited us to find opportunity in challenge and disruption.

Arthur M. Blank, a 1963 Babson graduate, co-founder of Home Depot, owner of the NFL Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United FC, and namesake of Babson College’s Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, shared a message with the Class of 2020. His words are motivating and relevant: “Even in our most difficult moments, hard work and positive thinking, and doing the right things, will lead to something special. So I challenge all graduates in the Class of 2020: how will you respond to this moment?”

Our Class of 2020 is already responding in extraordinary ways – creating value and having an impact on the world. Below, I’ve shared a few of the many stories on Babson Thought & Action that highlight their action and inspiration. Please continue to share your stories of the Class of 2020, and to support and celebrate them.

As we plan for and await our in-person Commencement, I look forward to celebrating our graduates virtually throughout the week and conferring their degrees on Facebook Live this Saturday, May 16 at 11am EST. I hope you will join us.
Congratulations, Class of 2020.


My best,
Steve

Read about our amazing Class of 2020

  • 26.2 Miles of Motivation - To raise money for members of his Vermont community, Alex Crompton ’20 ran an impromptu marathon on the back roads of his home state.
  • Embracing Who We Are - In the face of adversity, Wes Woodson ’20 discovered his passion for entrepreneurship and an ability to embrace change.
  • They Care About This - Prabaarja Bedi MBA’20 saw opportunity in her family's business. She founded UNfabricated, which produces furnishings, apparel, and accessories.
  • The MSEL Program Carries On - The close-knit students in Babson's MSEL program have found new ways to be connected and do their work.
  • Leaving His Mark - Sienzhi Kouemo ’20 shares how he has made his mark on Babson—and how Babson has made an impression on him, too.
  • FututureLab and an Unexpected Crisis - Transitioning online, students and faculty in FutureLab: Mobility Innovation worked to help the experiential program reach its potential.

Dear Babson Community,

Last month, I conveyed to our community that Babson will maintain academic operations and continuity in the fall. We are committed to delivering a mix of learning options that provide students with flexibility to ensure the complete Babson experience. Today, I write to share an update on fall semester planning and steps we are taking to prepare our campuses for the community’s safe return once health experts and local officials allow.

Our decision-making remains focused on two imperatives: the health and safety of our community and maintaining academic continuity for all students. We recently shared a set of principles for academic continuity:

  • Delivering quality, credentialed education with no interruption to degree completion for our students
  • Integrating experiential options and co-curricula content delivered in conjunction with our Centers and Institutes 
  • Supporting our faculty so they may remain accessible to all students and delivering innovative education through a mix of asynchronous and synchronous content 
  • Supporting our students with flexible and nimble learning options and student support resources that accommodate the fluidity required from this situation 
  • Staying true to our core values and beliefs by continually developing entrepreneurial approaches to solving the challenges presented by this pandemic together 


Planning for Return to Campuses:  

Our plan for a safe return to our physical campuses will include a series of de-densification measures, social distance policies and safety procedures such as staggered scheduling, continued mandate on face coverings and glass installment in high traffic areas. Human Resources has engaged managers with a survey to gather input into a campus wide plan for re-entry. We’re asking all managers to complete this survey in a timely manner to inform planning efforts. When a return to our physical campus is deemed safe, we will provide a detailed review of health and safety measures and let our community know exactly what to expect upon return to campus. Planning will take into account the status of the Massachusetts stay-at-home advisory, which we expect will be updated over the next several weeks to guide a timeline for return.

Fall Scenario Planning and Investments in Technology-Enabled Learning:

As previously shared, all learning will continue this fall, and we will be fully prepared to deliver courses online and face-to-face, as the situation warrants. We recently launched a comprehensive faculty development program in online instruction, supported by a menu of training modules and adjustment in scholarship expectations. This innovative program is an investment in our faculty as we build a world-class technology-enabled learning environment that delivers a consistent, high quality of instruction regardless of modality.

n addition to the investments underway, we are seeking guidance from external industrial health experts as we develop a series of measures including sophisticated cleaning strategies, de-densifying decisions in classrooms and residence halls, and other safety and health measures as required. We will continue to update you on our progress, investments and preparations.

Face Covering Mandate and Campus Visits:

Governor Baker’s mandate for face covering goes into effect today, and requires anyone over the age of two who is unable to maintain a distance of six feet from another person, whether inside or outside, to wear coverings over their face and nose. We have supplied all essential staff members remaining on Babson’s campuses with face coverings and will require all visitors to adhere to the Governor’s mandate.

Despite the extension of the stay-at-home advisory, we have seen an increase in visits to our Wellesley campus. As a reminder, for urgent/non-avoidable circumstances requiring access to faculty and staff offices, your manager or division chair must make a request to Public Safety on your behalf. Offices were closed on March 24 under the original mandate and are being deep cleaned. We must continue to be diligent in our maintenance of the campus facility.

Our goal is consistent communication of the progress being made on our planning efforts. I’m grateful to all community members who have been working relentlessly to prepare for our safe return.


My best,
Steve

Dear Babson Community:


The Babson community continues to adapt to a new normal and recreate the Babson experience in the virtual environment. Beyond online courses, which are the core of our virtual campus, the agility of our Centers and Institutes has enabled us to go above and beyond our goal of maintaining academic continuity. It has allowed for the continued delivery of the hands-on, immersive programs that make us unique.

I am proud to report that one hundred percent of planned student-facing experiential programs were delivered this semester – what an incredible accomplishment. Signature programs and events – like the BETA Challenge, WIN Lab Finale, Uncommon Tables, Finance Fridays, and Family Entrepreneurship Pop-Up Forums – quickly pivoted and shifted online. In total, since we moved to virtual learning, our Centers and Institutes have delivered more than 77 offerings virtually, including new programs created in response to COVID-19. Another 30 online activities are planned between now and early August. Our BabsonDiscover webinar series is a hub of new resources, and has engaged nearly 3,000 members of our campus and alumni communities to date.

I am grateful to our Centers and Institutes for their dynamic response to the evolving needs of our community and their commitment to supporting our students. Gratitude is an important theme as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation and find our way to what a new normal may look like. I encourage you to use this new page on Babson Thought & Action to say thank you to colleagues and teams who have gone above and beyond to support our community. The stories are uplifting and motivating, and many of you have shared your own words of gratitude for students, colleagues and friends.

We continue to collect and share stories of Babson Heroes and highlight the ways our community is adapting together. As we approach the end of the academic year, these stories provide an important opportunity to reflect on how far we have come and how much we have achieved in the last few months. They illustrate our resilience and creativity, and highlight entrepreneurial leadership in action.

Final exams begin today, and although our end-of-year traditions look different this year, the next few weeks will be filled with connection and engagement. I wish you all the best of luck in your final exams, projects and presentations and I look forward to seeing many of you, virtually, as we wrap up the semester, prepare for summer, and continue to plan for fall.


My best,
Steve

 

Dear Staff:

Over the last few weeks, I have framed my thinking about Babson’s current situation and path forward in an integrated three-stage strategy: survive, reemerge and thrive. In the survival phase, our response to the COVID-19 crisis has been guided by a senior leadership team that made a lot of hard decisions; good decisions that have navigated the College through acute challenges. Our decisions are based on two imperatives: maintain the health of our community and academic continuity for our students. With your help, we are substantially achieving those goals.

Now, our focus shifts to planning – with input and counsel from appropriate authorities and the Babson community – for our reemergence. We will be fully prepared to deliver fall courses online and face-to-face, with the likelihood that a hybrid model will be required. We are developing a series of measures including sophisticated cleaning strategies, de-densifying decisions in classrooms and residence halls, and other safety and health measures as required. We are confident this reemergence phase, in conjunction with the acceleration of strategic planning, will prepare us to thrive in the future. We continue to evolve the organization, including addressing redundancies and inefficiencies while advancing our strategic initiatives.

We are also carefully managing the dynamic market impacts on our business model. As CFO Craven recently shared, we projected a $12-15M loss at the onset of the pandemic. Difficult choices across the College were made to reduce expenses, freeze hiring and control costs. Those decisions, along with the collaboration, creativity, and shared sacrifice of our community, put us very close to achieving a balanced budget for the current fiscal year. This positions us positively in the credit markets and signals a strong financial architecture for future operations.

Beyond the cost saving measures implemented to help close the FY20 budget gap, the entire President’s Council has agreed to increase financial support of the College. I am grateful for their leadership and steadfast support of Babson, made at a time when they carry the burden of this crisis in very personal ways. Carol and I are also enhancing our ongoing philanthropy to the College by committing to a minimum $1M lifetime gift, which is in the form of salary give back last year and will be ongoing. We are doing so because we believe in Babson’s future.

Looking to FY21, we will continue to face difficult decisions as enrollment and retention become clearer, and phases of reentry are announced at the state and federal levels. We will all be called on to intensely manage and monitor inputs in real time, and to work together as One Babson. We are cautiously optimistic about trends in undergraduate and graduate new student enrollment, which are ahead of last year and on target to meet (or exceed) goals. Summer undergraduate enrollment is the largest in recent years with 550 students. Some corporate clients have shifted to online delivery, and the market has responded positively to new content which addresses the needs of professional learners in this new normal. The weeks ahead will provide more clarity on travel restrictions, reentry policies and safety requirements, and ultimately these measures will impact our financial modeling.

Last, with Governor Baker extending the stay-at-home advisory until May 18, we are continuing our remote work arrangement. The ways our community has adjusted to a virtual workplace, and continues to support our students, campus and community, are tremendous. We are collaborating and connecting in new ways and demonstrating great agility, flexibility and resiliency, key characteristics of entrepreneurial leaders.

Thank you for your hard work and support as we manage through uncertainty. Together, I am confident that we can lead through this unprecedented moment and emerge stronger and more impactful than ever.

My best,
Steve

Dear Faculty:

Our decisions are based on two imperatives: the health of our community and academic continuity for our students. I am pleased that we are substantially achieving those goals. Guided by those imperatives, we will deliver classes in the summer and into the fall. We will be fully prepared to deliver fall courses online and face-to-face, with the likelihood that a hybrid model will be required. Below are expected investments for continued success in our online learning environment and financial scenario planning.

Technology Enhanced Learning

Over the past few years, we invested $7M in network infrastructure to enable access to campus resources from anywhere. Over the past year, we migrated our Learning Management System to Canvas, and began introducing Webex Meetings and Teams for student use to offer more flexibility in our MBA offering. We are currently deploying Salesforce to improve the student experience. These investments helped us rapidly mobilize our transition to a fully virtual environment in March. We migrated 650 courses online in 12 days, and trained 250 faculty members to enhance online teaching capabilities. We deployed 51 tech drivers to support faculty delivery of online learning. Forty-two out of our 50 classrooms have been outfitted with sophisticated audio and video technology to enable hybrid online teaching, and we are exploring options for upgrading the remaining rooms this summer.

Our virtual campus has developed into an active platform for teaching, learning and engagement. Your significant efforts to quickly shift to online learning, and your ongoing collaboration to develop and implement best practices, has enabled this transition.

Technology-enhanced delivery of the Babson experience is a competitive advantage. We are already seeing extraordinary examples of faculty leveraging technology and elevating the experience in new ways: David Nersessian and Shay Blanchette are receiving rave reviews from first-year students who say their classes are even better online; Nan Langowitz is leading an important discussion about pedagogy in the online environment and how we can continue to improve our teaching and design our coursework for the virtual classroom; Bret Bero is customizing coursework to focus on real-life challenges in the era of COVID-19 and students have praised his efforts to adjust lectures for online consumption; Mark Potter is actively supporting our enrollment strategy as a strong faculty partner.

As Dean Matsuno announced last week, we are designing a comprehensive faculty development program for online instruction to further enhance our faculty’s expertise. Our progress has laid the groundwork for continued success and your commitment to our students is palpable.

Financial Impact

As we invest in faculty development, online instruction and technology to support our plan, we are carefully managing the dynamic market impacts on our business model. As CFO Craven recently shared, we projected a $12-15M loss at the onset of the pandemic. Difficult choices across the College were made to reduce expenses, freeze hiring and control costs. Those decisions, along with the collaboration, creativity, and shared sacrifice of our community, put us very close to achieving a balanced budget for the current fiscal year. This positions us positively in the credit markets and signals a strong financial architecture for future operations.

Looking to FY21, we will continue to face difficult decisions as enrollment and retention become clearer, and phases of reentry are announced at the state and federal levels. We will all be called on to intensely manage and monitor inputs in real time, and to work together as One Babson. We are actively monitoring our new student enrollment and, thus far, are cautiously optimistic about our trends in undergraduate and graduate new student enrollment, which are ahead of last year and on target to meet (or exceed) goals. We are experiencing the largest summer undergraduate enrollment we’ve had in recent years with 550 students enrolled. Some corporate clients have shifted to online delivery, and the market has responded positively to new content which addresses the needs of professional learners in this new normal. The weeks ahead will provide more clarity on travel restrictions, reentry policies and safety requirements, and ultimately these measures will impact our financial modeling.

Looking Forward

Over the last few weeks, I have framed my thinking about Babson’s current situation and path forward in an integrated three-stage strategy: survive, reemerge and thrive.

In the survival phase, our response to the COVID-19 crisis has been guided by a senior leadership team that made a lot of hard decisions; good decisions that have navigated the College through acute challenges. Beyond the cost saving measures implemented to help close the FY20 budget gap, every member of the senior leadership team (the President’s Council) has agreed to financially support the College. I am grateful for their leadership and steadfast support of Babson, made at a time when they carry the burden of this crisis in very personal ways. Carol and I are also enhancing our ongoing philanthropy to the College by committing to a minimum $1M lifetime gift, which is in the form of salary give back last year and will be ongoing. We are doing so because we believe in Babson’s future.

Now, our focus shifts to planning – with input and counsel from appropriate authorities and the Babson community – for our reemergence. In preparing for a fall start, we are developing a series of measures including sophisticated cleaning strategies, de-densifying decisions in classrooms and residence halls, and other safety and health measures as required. We are confident this reemergence phase, in conjunction with the acceleration of strategic planning, will prepare us to thrive in the future. We continue to evolve the organization, including addressing redundancies and inefficiencies while advancing the strategic intents outlined in the plan.

Your continued support and flexibility will be critical as we manage through uncertainty. We are problem-solvers. Together, I am confident that we can lead through this unprecedented moment and emerge stronger and more impactful than ever.


My best,
Steve

Dear Babson Community:

Our global community came together to celebrate #OneBabson, and you once again demonstrated your commitment to our students and support for one another. More than $140,000 was raised to assist our students most affected by the COVID-19 crisis. I understand these times are difficult for you personally and professionally, yet you joined together to support our students when they need it the most. The spirit of the Babson community has been a beacon of hope for 100 years and I am proud of way it continues to be a bright spot in this moment of global uncertainty.

The majority of gifts were directed to our Emergency Fund, which directly supports students impacted by the pandemic. The fund was established in the first days of the COVID-19 crisis to address the immediate logistical needs of our students. It has now transitioned to a new phase, helping students access online classes, assisting those who relied on income from internships, and providing daily essentials to students who couldn’t safely leave campus. We expect that the need will continue to grow.

Your support for #OneBabson is one of many examples of our community’s ongoing leadership, empathy and resilience, and I encourage you to keep sharing the stories of our Babson heroes in action. The way our community has responded to the rapid change and ongoing challenges of the new normal – transforming how we teach, learn and do business – is motivating and inspiring.

Together, we are #OneBabson. Thank you for embracing and embodying the tenets of entrepreneurial leadership that we strive to instill in our students: empathy, morality, compassion and drive. And thank you for demonstrating so clearly the strength and kindness of our community.

My best,
Steve

Dear Babson Community:

Our community has responded to the challenges of the past several weeks, shining a spotlight on our entrepreneurial spirit. It hasn’t been easy, but we have come together in extraordinary ways to adapt to changing circumstances and to support one another in fulfilling the imperatives of community health and academic continuity. I recognize the intense impact the closure of our physical campus has had on your lives. Your strength and resilience provides hope for our future.

I have also been inspired by the outpouring of support offered to our students, even as many members of our community have themselves been impacted by this crisis. In uncertain times, there is one thing we can be sure of: the Babson community always comes together as one.

Today, we join to celebrate #OneBabson and support our most affected students. By giving to our Emergency Fund, you can directly help students impacted by the pandemic. The fund, created in the first days of the COVID-19 crisis, was established to support students with their most immediate logistical needs. Now, it is being used to help students access online classes, assist those who relied on income from internships, and provide daily essentials to students who couldn’t safely leave campus – and we expect that the need will continue to grow. You can also support financial aid, where we anticipate significant additional need, as well as initiatives directly related to the COVID-19 response, faculty resources for virtual learning, or a fund dedicated to the Class of 2020. Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, gifts will be matched dollar for dollar up to $500,000.

Beyond giving, I invite you to provide words of support, gratitude and well wishes for our students and community on the #OneBabson Wall. Share messages via email, Facebook, or by using #OneBabson on social media, and they will be reposted on the wall to uplift, support and inspire our community. And I encourage you to spread the word and share #OneBabson within your Babson network.

Now more than ever, the world needs entrepreneurial leaders with empathy, morality, compassion and drive. Leaders who create scalable solutions to improve the human condition. That is the power of Babson – we are building those leaders. And, working together, we will make Babson even stronger. Thank you for all that you do to support our students and community.

My best,
Steve

Babson Community,

As we continue to support our community through the end of this semester, we know many of you are anxious for details on a return to our physical campus. Our Leadership Team is focused on immediate response as well as planning for reemergence with the ongoing priorities of health, safety and academic continuity. Let me share with you a few updates related to summer and fall.

Continued Commitment to Academic Continuity
The classroom, despite looking different, is filled with the same energy, debate and discovery that students and faculty experienced just months ago. Our guiding principles for academic continuity remain:

  • Delivering quality, credentialed education with no interruption to degree completion for our students
  • Integrating experiential options and co-curricula content delivered in conjunction with our Centers and Institutes 
  • Supporting our faculty so they may remain accessible to all students and delivering innovative education through a mix of asynchronous and synchronous content 
  • Supporting our students with flexible and nimble learning options and student support resources that accommodate the fluidity required from this situation 
  • Staying true to our core values and beliefs by continually developing entrepreneurial approaches to solving the challenges presented by this pandemic together  


Fall Planning
We are developing a reentry plan using all appropriate data, guidelines and information provided by state, local and federal agencies, as well as seeking counsel and support from faculty, staff, administration and Babson’s alumni network. We will continue to deliver the Babson experience in safe and effective ways, including a mix of learning modalities which accommodate the complexity presented by this global health situation. This includes fully online modalities, face-to-face if safe to do, and a mix of the two if phased approaches to return are required. We plan for students to have the flexibility to move between online and face-to-face options as the situation unfolds, and all learning will continue in the fall. We have many details to plan and communicate, and we ask for your continued patience and support as we determine our approaches for reentry to our physical campus.

Summer Options
Our Centers for Career Development are available to support students with summer plans as we all navigate the uncertainty of this market. Students may also consider enrolling in summer courses to accelerate towards a degree and, ultimately, career start. Registration for undergraduate summer courses is now open and enrollment continues to grow. Additionally, seniors who are considering graduate school as a next step should consult Graduate Admissions as Babson has several programs which may be of interest.

The decision to reopen our physical campus is intrinsically connected with the impact of this virus in our state, as well as around the globe. We know you’re anxious to return to our physical campus - we are too - but knowing that our virtual environment is vibrant, dynamic, and coming together in entrepreneurial ways is really what our community is all about. We must forge ahead with optimism and focus on our reemergence with the safety and well-being of our community as the top priority. Thank you for your ongoing support, engagement, and understanding of the complexities associated with this decision. Keep taking care of each other and keep sharing your inspiring stories.


My best,
Steve

Dear Babson Community:

Our lives have changed dramatically over the past several weeks and we’re all facing new challenges in the ongoing balance of personal and professional responsibilities. I know this isn’t easy. Like many of you, I’m trying to focus on my emotional wellbeing during this quarantine. Getting outside and safely walking in my neighborhood brings a sense of normalcy and comfort, and allows me to reflect on the impact we are all experiencing. I’ll admit, I’m struggling to find moments of downtime while managing the critical issues facing our community. I enjoyed a virtual get together with my family this weekend, and it’s in those moments that I’m reminded of what we must not take for granted.

While it may be more difficult to do so these days, health professionals tell us it is important to prioritize our physical and mental wellbeing – and to support one another – during this time of uncertainty. Our community continues to have access to an array of wellness services and programming. Today, I want to share a few ideas for how we can connect, stay well, and lend support to our friends, classmates, colleagues and community:

  • Connect with our Employee Resource Groups or virtual support group: ERGs offer an opportunity to stay connected to colleagues, to seek and offer support, and to learn how others are managing through this unprecedented time. While we are physically distant, we have introduced a variety of confidential, drop-in, virtual support groups that meet weekly.
  • Learn something new: Join our Centers, Institutes, and other community members for a new series of BabsonDiscover webinars designed to help all of us discover innovative ways to solve the unique challenges we face in these unprecedented times.
  • Take a virtual fitness class: Students, faculty and staff have access to hundreds of virtual fitness classes including yoga, cycling and shadow boxing through WELLBEATS.
  • Participate in Community Awareness Activities: April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month (SAAM) and Babson’s Wellness & Prevention Services and the Title IX Office have planned activities encouraging dialogue about how sexual and relationship violence impacts the Babson community. On April 24 at noon, join Wellness and Prevention Services for a webinar titled Responding to Disclosure. More information on SAAM events will be sent shortly from Babson’s Title IX Coordinator, Betsy Rauch.
  • Give backThe Emergency Fund provides support to our students impacted most by the College’s efforts to minimize the exposure of COVID-19 to our community. 


This is just a small sample of resources available to the Babson community. We will continue to share opportunities for wellness and connection on Babson Thought & Action, through social media, and on our website.

Also, as a reminder, Monday, April 20 is Patriot’s Day and a Babson holiday. Although we marked the first day of spring a few weeks back, Patriot’s Day has always felt like the unofficial start to the season. Everything is different this year – but I hope you are able to use this time to rest and recharge during these challenging times.  

As we begin another week of teaching, learning and working virtually, I want to reiterate how grateful I am for your adaptability and perseverance. Thank you for continuing to support our community and each other. Take care, be well and please remember to connect with our resources as you need them.

My best,

Steve

 

Dear Babson Community,
 
When will we return to campus and our routines? I hear this question almost daily. I find myself asking it too.

I know we are all anxious for a clear path forward and return to normalcy. Though for many, normal will be forever changed. Across the globe, the losses are already immeasurable. Here in New England, we are bracing for what is being called the toughest two weeks yet. So, I’m not sure what normal will look like in the weeks, months and even year ahead.

I do know that our priority steadfastly remains our community’s health and safety. So while we cannot answer the question on returning, we will make sure you have the resources needed to continue to navigate this uncharted situation.

With the expected surge here and in many locations around the world, we anticipate more personal impact to our community. We have created this resource for those who may find themselves or a family member dealing with COVID-19. We hope this helps answer some of the questions related to personal impact, and we expect it will be updated as we learn of new cases connected to the Babson community. I also remind you to take the appropriate measures of physical distance and follow the stated protocols, including limited access to campus offices. Deep cleaning protocols have been completed in most areas and access requests require another round of cleaning and possible exposure for our essential personnel on campus.

Our planning and modeling has been focused on current semester impact, changes to summer options, and developing a plan with the Class of 2020 to celebrate their achievements. We are now beginning to look closely at Fall and will continue to update our community as we make informed decisions about next steps. We know many are anxious to understand the timing of decisions we’re facing for the future. I continue to ask for your patience and understanding as we move through the next few weeks. We will evaluate the information coming in daily from global health advisors, and continue to work closely with the local and state governments to follow their recommended protocols.

Until we’re able to come together physically, our community is connecting in ways that shine a light on the opportunities presented through this challenge. Continue to use the Babson community as your resource, and we will continue to be here for you. Stay well.
 
My best,
Steve

Dear Babson Community:

The core values of a community are tested when “normal” life is disrupted. We have been steadfast in our focus on safety and academic continuity, and our entire community has undertaken heroic efforts to support those goals and transition to learning, teaching, and working virtually. We are continuously adapting to new conditions, connecting and collaborating in new ways, and supporting one another while we are physically apart. The uncertainty that remains as COVID-19 continues to disrupt lives and economies requires agility, problem solving, and collaboration across our organization. This is the essence of entrepreneurial leadership.

We have also learned a great deal about the power of the strategic initiatives our community is developing. In fact, the last three weeks have proven to be a real-time market test of the strategy. The current global health crisis validates what we have identified as our strengths - specifically our initiatives around delivering education where and when learners demand it, radically recreating our organization, and owning entrepreneurial leadership. Now is the time to accelerate implementation for the greatest impact on Babson’s future.

  • We will deliver education to learners where and when they need it. It is essential at this moment and, if we are to thrive in the future, we must continue to innovate our educational models to reach learners – anywhere – and empower them to lead in a robust ecosystem.
  • We will build on great strength as we seek to become a more nimble, collaborative and inclusive organization. Across our community, individuals and teams have come together in new and intensive ways during this crisis to problem-solve, innovate, and address the immediate and evolving needs of our students and community.
  • We are witnessing the global community’s need for and recognition of the power of thinking and acting entrepreneurially to produce scalable solutions that can benefit individuals, communities, and the world. Babson is expanding our view of entrepreneurship to focus on the human condition, and building leaders with empathy, morality, compassion, and drive. Our unique ability to define, own, and propagate the core competencies of problem solving, values-based leadership, and collaboration will be more relevant and necessary than ever before as individuals and organizations around the globe look to emerge stronger and more resilient.


Earlier today, Provost Rice and Dean Matsuno announced an important step in support of our initiative to own entrepreneurial leadership: the launch of a national search for the Arthur M. Blank Endowed Chair for Values-Based Leadership. This role is critical to achieving the vision of the Arthur M. Blank School for Entrepreneurial Leadership, and while we work to alleviate the financial impacts of COVID-19 through hiring freezes and other measures, we are grateful to have received dedicated funding from the Blank Foundation to recruit for this position.

Accelerating the implementation of our strategy as we continue to plan and pivot is key to surviving these historic circumstances and positioning Babson to thrive. We will need to continue to work in a dynamic fashion; simultaneously implementing and further developing our strategic initiatives over the coming weeks and months.

As we do this important work, we are mindful of three converging forces informing our decision making: the acute need to mitigate significant FY20 financial losses; our responsibility to prepare for greater impact in FY21 given what remains unknown regarding student enrollment and financial aid needs; and the mandate of the strategic planning process to radically evolve the organization, including addressing redundancies and inefficiencies.

Our community has shown great agility, resiliency and creativity – hallmarks of entrepreneurial leadership and the Babson way – throughout this unprecedented situation. I am confident that, if we continue to work together and align around our shared vision, we can address our financial needs and advance our strategic intents. In the process, we will make Babson stronger and more impactful than ever.

My best,

Steve

Dear Babson Community,
 

Our primary focus remains the health and safety of our community. Today, I am writing to share that a Babson employee has tested positive for COVID-19. The employee, who is a member of our staff working on campus, was last there on Friday, March 27. This employee is being carefully monitored under medical attention. Please join me in sending the best wishes of the entire Babson community to our staff member. 

Per the protocols in place for positive cases, the local Board of Health is tasked with carefully reviewing the staff member’s movements and anyone who may have been exposed is being contacted. The Department’s leadership has contacted those employees who were working closest with the employee to counsel them through necessary steps to monitor their own health. We must remember that the employee deserves the utmost privacy during this difficult time.

We want to reassure our community members that all appropriate measures of communication and additional cleaning are taking place. As an academic institution, under the Massachusetts Stay-At-Home mandate, Babson is permitted to continue to have essential personnel working on campus to support student needs and distance learning. It’s important to know that we continue to follow the recommended protocols for swift and decisive action to minimize exposure and thereby mitigate spread, including:

  • Deep cleaning of all points of access by the employee: We have traced the locations of the staff member on campus and have begun a deep cleaning process for all points of access.
  • Ongoing limited access to campus: Employee offices were closed on March 24, as previously announced. Urgent access must be granted by your Manager or Division Chair through a request made to Public Safety. Please remember that deep cleaning protocols have been completed in most areas, therefore each access request of an employee requires another round of cleaning and possible exposure to our essential personnel on campus. To limit the need for additional resources to re-sanitize areas already cleaned, we must limit the campus access.
  • Accomodations for faculty to maintain academic continuity: Faculty coming to campus for the purpose of delivering courses online must report directly to Horn Library, as individual offices are closed. If urgent issues arise, requiring a study space to ensure academic continuity, faculty may request a room here. If there is a need for a space on campus, or a request for remote technical assistance, please complete the request before coming to campus. 
  • Maintaining physical distancing protocols: We remind you to practice the recommended deliberate increase of physical space between people. This physical distance- keeping at least six feet apart - is the best course to prevent illness spread.


I am grateful that we have dedicated staff who continue to do the work necessary for our community’s safety, and I will keep each of you in my thoughts as we experience this unprecedented situation together. I encourage you to reach out to those on campus and let them know we all are thankful for their work, and we will continue to support them.

In the weeks ahead, it is anticipated that COVID-19 will peak in New England. It continues to be extremely important to take care of yourselves, to heed the advice of our medical and public health professionals and to support each other. We will overcome these challenges, and emerge stronger and more connected than ever.


My best,

Steve

Dear Babson Community,


The stress of this environment has affected all of us deeply. Each day, we’re all facing new and scary challenges. I wake up concerned about the health and safety of our entire community – along with that of my family, my grandkids, my friends, myself. I understand your burden, and I wish I could better share it.

We know many of you are teaching in ways you have never before.
We know many are balancing families at home, kids needing schooling, while your inbox piles up.
We know many of you are working late into evenings and weekends to do what’s needed for our students.
We know our students are learning from places they didn’t expect to be.
We know you’re all doing the best you can, and some days it’s just overwhelming.

It’s okay to feel angry, to be frustrated, and sad. We’re all feeling these emotions. I want you to know that our primary objective remains your health – students, faculty, staff, alumni, parents and all our extended network. Babson is here for you. Our community is here to lift you up. I believe the most important thing we can do for each other is to be there, to stay connected and to lean into our community, even when it feels too much to handle.

I may not have the chance to see each of you face-to-face every day, but you should know that the impact you’re having on our community is not going unnoticed. I wish I could reach out to each of you individually to say a personal thank you, but please know that we see you, we hear you and we believe in you. I miss walking around campus. I miss attending events on campus. I miss the daily interactions that bring us together as a community.  I’m certain that when I do see you, I will offer up a hug and a handshake for the work each of you are doing to keep us moving ahead and for the way you have come together to support each other.

Extension of Stay At Home Mandate

Today, Governor Baker extended the current Stay At Home mandate which directs all non-essential businesses to stay closed through May 4. As a reminder, Babson College is permitted to have essential personnel working on campus to support student needs and distance learning under this order. But we continue to have a responsibility to do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect others from this disease. To that end, we will continue the directives we have previously announced, as we work together to flatten the impact of this pandemic. 

  • For urgent/non-avoidable circumstances requiring access to Faculty & Staff offices: Access may only be granted by your Manager or Division Chair through a request made to Public Safety. Offices were closed on March 24 under the original mandate and are being deep cleaned.
  • Continued support for faculty who have requested access to study spaces and IT drivers, or may have an urgent need:  These individual study spaces are continually cleaned, and physical distancing must be practiced between the faculty and the IT driver. Faculty coming to campus for this purpose must report directly to Horn Library, as individual offices will be closed. If urgent issues arise, requiring a study space to ensure academic continuity, faculty may request a room hereIf there is a need for a space on campus, or a request for remote technical assistance, please complete the request before coming to campus.  

Our community is working to bring as many events and programs as possible to this virtual environment as we head into April. We encourage you to engage in events with our Centers and Institutes, academic areas and student organizations. This week, for example, we will hold BETA Challenge Semi-Finals and Beta Gamma Sigma Induction both online. We also invite you to participate in new webinars and programs on topics such as Leadership in a Volatile World, Developing Your Personal Brand, or Innovation and Growth Post-Crisis.

We’re all coming together in new ways to overcome the challenges presented by this pandemic. That is the true spirit of Babson. The heartfelt gratitude for this community will be felt for the next 100 years. I can’t wait to hug you.


My best, 

Steve 

 

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.


My best,

Steve

Dear Faculty and Staff Members of the Babson College community,


Your health and safety, and that of our students, has been at the forefront of our decision-making over the past two weeks as we face an unprecedented challenge against an invisible enemy. Our community has pulled together in magnificent ways to put students first, provide academic continuity, support each other, and communicate and plan for the uncertainty that comes with a global pandemic. Dynamic impacts to our business model are evolving: some known, and some unknown at this time.

With your teamwork, shared sacrifice, and collaboration we will manage the finances of Babson College through this crisis to mitigate long-term harm. We need to act swiftly in order to minimize consequences later in the fiscal year. Today, we would like to outline our phased approach to mitigating the multi-year financial impacts of the COVID-19 with a focus on the current fiscal year (FY2020) at this time.

We are carefully monitoring the situation in order to optimally manage in an unpredictable time. By way of context, tuition, room & board and executive programming revenue account for 86% of Babson’s operating revenues. To date, we are projecting an $11M-$12M economic impact to Babson for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, with just three months of the fiscal year remaining to make up some of that loss.

Here are some of the financial impacts to Babson College as a result of the global economic impact due to COVID-19:

REFUNDS AND CREDITS FOR UNUSED STUDENT DINING AND HOUSING and LOST BUSINESS REVENUES HAVE A BUDGET IMPACT: 

  • Closing the residential portion of the campus required nearly $7M in refunds or credits to our students. Academic continuity has been maintained, thanks to the community pulling together to offer instruction online.
  • Other business which relied upon in-person sessions has also been cancelled, ranging from executive programming to BRAC revenue.
  • Our Conference Center hoteling business has been all but cancelled for the 4th quarter.
  • Although Babson College has adequate cash reserves to pay bills, the College relies upon recurring revenue in order to operate.
  • Therefore, expenses will need to be strictly managed and evaluated in the context of these uncertain financial and societal times.


ENDOWMENT and CASH IMPACT:

  • The Babson College endowment provides approximately 7% of our operating spending.
  • Three weeks ago, after 20 years of intense management and strategic investing, the endowment had hit an all-time high of $500M. Over the past week, all endowments have seen a significant loss of about 25% due to the market unrest.
  • Similarly, we rely upon annual donations for 7% of our operating spending. The economic pressures that our donors are facing as a result of the market downturn may negatively impact their willingness or ability to continue donations to our annual fund.


ENROLLMENT IMPACTS:

  • Moving the One Year MBA start date to August, 2020 has a financial impact on FY2020, and this is only the first program to pivot a starting date.
  • Depending upon the length of this global situation, we need to anticipate some scenarios:
    • returning students may need more financial aid if their family income has changed
    • less students may take summer courses
    • more undergraduates may take Leaves of Absence next year
    • international students may not be able to come back to Babson in the fall to resume or start their undergraduate or graduate programming
  • We are happy to report that applications and deposits remain on track, but the situation is very fluid.

 

Therefore, we are engaging the community and our business managers across campus in the following multi-phase budget mitigation plan, for the foreseeable future. We are asking budget managers to develop an alternative budget for their 4th Quarter FY2020 needs based upon the following parameters:

Phase 1: Alternative FY2020 Budget Development for the 4th quarter

COMPENSATION BUDGET IMPACTS:

  1. Staff and Faculty Merit Pool for FY2021 and Year-End Bonus Pool for FY2020 will be suspended until further notice
  2. A hiring freeze will be implemented until June 30, 2020, with some critical positions able to be hired after July 1, 2020. 
  3. Existing vacancy savings will be transferred from the departments into the central Coronavirus emergency fund, and temporary and contract employees are under review.


NON-COMPENSATION BUDGET IMPACT: ZERO-BASED BUDGET PROCESS for April 1, 2020 to June 30, 2020

  1. Given the restrictions on travel and entertaining, all remaining travel, meals and entertainment budgets will be frozen.
  2. All unspent funds not dedicated to an ongoing contract or essential operation will be frozen.
  3. All Capital expenses are hereby frozen, pending review.

Again, we appreciate how difficult this situation is not only for the College, but also for all of you in this tumultuous time. By working together in this initial phase, we will do our best to keep Babson College on sound financial footing as we anticipate various best, realistic and worst-case scenarios for the upcoming Fiscal Year 2021.

 

Thank you for your support and hard work,

Steve Spinelli, President
Katherine Craven, Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial Officer
Mark Rice, Provost 

Dear Babson Community,

Welcome back to classes in our fully online learning environment. It’s been an intense day listening to some of the opportunities and challenges. The Babson community has been exceptional in adopting new ways to work, learn and interact. While it seems these changes have occurred in the last few weeks they really are the result of years of Babson’s commitment to technology assisted learning. Our faculty and staff have done tremendous work to prepare for this transition, and they are committed to continually improving our learning experiences. Please know we see our students as partners. There are many resources available for students and teachers to prepare for this learning experience. Babson has launched a virtual campus site with tips, technology and classroom expectations that will continue to be updated regularly. I encourage you, no matter your role, to seek those that are ready and willing to help. Together we can use this moment of crisis as a pivot point for the way we learn, connect and communicate. 

Let me share below a few important updates:

“Stay at Home” Mandate 

Today, Massachusetts Governor Baker directed all non-essential businesses to close tomorrow, Tuesday, March 24 at noon and remain closed through April 7.  As an academic institution, under the new order Babson College is permitted to continue to have essential personnel working on campus to support student needs and distance learning. But we have a responsibility to continue to do what we can to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect others from this disease. To that end, we will implement the following directives as we work together to flatten the impact of this pandemic. 

  • Access to Faculty & Staff offices will be restricted after 12pm tomorrow, Tuesday March 24. Those who need to pick up anything in support of remote work (course materials, technology needs, books etc.) should plan to do so by noon, tomorrow. For urgent circumstances after tomorrow, access will be granted by your Manager or Division Chair through a request made to Public Safety.
  • We will continue to support those faculty who have requested access to study spaces and IT drivers. These individual study spaces will be continually cleaned, and physical distancing must be practiced between the faculty and the IT driver. Faculty coming to campus for this purpose must report directly to Horn Library, as individual offices will be closed.
  • If circumstances change after tomorrow, and a study space is needed to ensure academic continuity, faculty may request a room here. We strongly encourage faculty to take advantage of the ITSD resources to conduct classes remotely. However, if there is a need for a space on campus, or a request for remote technical assistance, please complete the request before coming to campus.  

 We will continue to actively monitor these ongoing protocols and communicate necessary adjustments. 

Physical Distancing - Not Disconnecting Socially 

While we continue to work together to provide resources and support for our community, let me also stress that the most important thing you can do for yourselves, your families and the Babson community is to practice physical distancing. 

Many college students across the country have, unfortunately, indicated their lack of participation in distancing guidelines because they feel they can recover from this virus. While most people who become infected do experience mild illness and recover, it is clear that this virus can be more severe for others. It’s also clear that the rate of infection is exponentially worsened given that some can carry the virus with little to no symptoms - therefore affecting others without being sick themselves.

Simply put, this is not just about individuals. This is about protecting our community, our neighbors, our families and ourselves. 

As we work together to slow the curve of impact, we must maintain our mental, emotional and physical health while practicing the recommended deliberate increase of physical space between people. This physical distance - keeping at least six feet apart - is the best course to prevent illness spread.

Exercise, fresh air and connections with friends and family- within physical distance guidelines - will help maintain as much normalcy as possible during this unsettling time. Students residing on Babson’s campus should take advantage of its serenity - go for a walk, sit outside and study, connect with families and friends via technology. Faculty and staff working remotely must also remember to maintain schedules, and participate in ways to connect socially to maintain mental and physical health. 

Babson’s physical distancing guidelines are as follows: 

  • 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.
  • Outside activity is encouraged to maintain mental and physical health; in small groups (less than 10) and maintaining distance of 6 ft apart 

Now, more than ever, we need our community to stay connected while staying safe and healthy, and doing our part in flattening the impact curve. I encourage you to discover new resources, connections, and opportunities to keep socially connected while doing your part in physical distancing. I’m confident in our ability to extend academic continuity while responding to the needs this crisis has presented. And, I’m energized by those who are embracing this situation as a way to experience the opportunities, and the challenges, the online environment presents. We want to hear from you, share your classroom experiences with us at news@babson.edu.


My best,

Steve 

March 20


A Generation’s Test: The Corona Pandemic

I have had little time to reflect on the decisions and discussions that will impact us for years to come. When I do, I find myself wondering what our legacy will be. Ultimately, for the rest of our lives, people will ask “how did you lead during Corona 2020?”

What will our answer be?

The challenging questions and gut-wrenching decisions over the past few weeks have tested Babson’s resolve. A senior undergraduate broke down in tears as I shared the news about moving online. A parent called about graduation, and their voice was trembling. A staff member said “I can't come in because of my health, but I can't lose my job.” There are hundreds of these stories, many private and very personal. All heartfelt. The emotional impact of this situation is real. It is raw. And, it is important.

It is okay to grieve what we have lost. We must also celebrate what we have gained.

Quickly, the Babson entrepreneurial mindset kicked in. Front line staff deployed support for our students immediately. Hours after making the decision to move online, an online training and support program was launched. Administrators formed planning and support teams overnight. An assessment on infrastructure and teaching readiness was delivered immediately. Division Chairs and individual faculty are embracing the online environment, in support of their own classes and to voluntarily support their colleagues. Students are learning ways to learn. Vendors and contractors extended generous offers of additional supplies and services. Nearly 100% of the 650 classes begun this semester will continue online. Creative, innovative and even exciting new modules are being added to classes. Governance, alumni, and friends are reaching out to offer financial support, recruiting assistance, their participation in classroom discussions and even employment assistance. We have seen the Babson spirit in action—and it is incredible.

The next several months will be taxing. Our individual and collective character will be challenged.

We are assessing the financial impact of this situation. Just a few weeks ago, we were optimistic about the current and future fiscal year outlook. Today, we know the toll of this unforeseen pandemic will be in the millions. This will challenge us to work together to identify cost saving measures that will be tough to implement. It will require us to make difficult choices. And, it will show us ways to think differently about required investments we need to make. I assure you that we are assessing the short-term impact while taking a long range approach for financial stability. We will share specific requirements for all of us to undertake as we work together to decrease the financial strain thrust upon us.

We are working through the decisions that need to be made for the Class of 2020. We will share more information early next week as we consider all options and put together a plan that gives us all an opportunity to celebrate your achievements—together.

Our business model changed overnight.
Our classrooms will look different come Monday.
Our students and faculty will learn new ways to connect. 
Our staff are finding new ways to perform and support.

Remember this—when we are remembered for our contributions during this historic event, we will be proud to say that Babson’s entrepreneurial leaders led the way.


My best,


Steve

 

Dear Babson community,


So many of you have reached out to share your thoughts and ask what you can do to help during this tumultuous time. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing our community come together - even when we are apart. We continue to be humbled and grateful for the work that our faculty and staff are doing to provide academic continuity in the face of this evolving crisis. 

The new Emergency Fund, which provides support to our students impacted most by the College’s efforts to minimize the exposure of COVID-19 to our community, has received nearly 130 new gifts. Students in need of assistance should contact Student Financial Services directly. 

Preparation for online learning continues with faculty engaging in technology and teaching sessions throughout this week. Tomorrow, students will hear from the Academic Deans to underscore expectations of the learning environment as well as reinforce the resources available to make this transition successful.

Business operations continue to adjust to support those remaining on campus. If you have questions about the availability of services, please consult the website.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge our faculty and staff who have evolved into a virtual organization in an immensely tight timeframe. Babson is a place that prides itself on personal connections and service. For many, the idea of becoming remote was daunting just a few short days ago. We see so many of you positively embracing this situation. From offering help to those who need it most, to learning new ways to connect and contribute, and all while balancing families at home that need your attention. This support for each other is what makes us special.

Please know we appreciate all that you are doing for Babson during this time.


My Best,

President Spinelli

Dear Babson Community,

Even amid the heartbreak and frustration of this unprecedented event, I am continually energized by how our students, faculty, staff, alumni and neighbors have responded in challenging circumstances. Today, we launched an initiative to share the heroes among us who are answering the call for support, service and encouragement to our community. I encourage you to read these great stories on our social channels and on Babson Thought & Action. We want to hear from you - send us your moments, stories and people you see answering the call for leadership in these times (news@babson.edu). We’re stronger together, and these stories remind us that in the middle of chaos, light can shine.

Our Leadership Teams are preparing for the start of online classes next week. Students will return to the academic environment in a virtual way. There will be a high level of support and resources also available. We will begin to roll out more information on our website, and through our communication channels as students and faculty enter this enhanced learning environment together.

Library Closure/Card Access Required

Beginning tonight, per the federal government’s limit on gatherings over ten persons, the use of the Library will be limited to small study rooms available to any faculty needing the space and IT resourcing to deliver courses online. Card access will be required for entrance into the library for those needing the study rooms or IT support.

Assessing Financial Impact

Along with other higher education institutions, nonprofits and governments worldwide, Babson is facing unprecedented challenges in responding to this situation. I am proud of the work we are doing together to maintain the long-term financial health of the College. Our Chief Administrative Officer, Katherine Craven will update our community on the current situation regarding FY2020, the fiscal year which ends on June 30, 2020 and address the FY2021 outlook. We have identified several cost saving measures which benefit the college in both the short and long run.

Lastly, as we adapt to learning and working remotely, the Babson community continues to prove its strength and resilience. That’s what entrepreneurial leaders do. And, that’s why today, for the 27th consecutive year, Babson is recognized by U.S. News & World Report for having the best MBA for entrepreneurship in the country. In the midst of the stress and impact, I share this as a reminder that our leadership is needed now, more than ever.


President Spinelli

Dear Babson Community,

With the dawn of a new week, and a new reality upon us, we know that our community is coming together in ways seen, and unseen. We are hearing stories of partnership, support and engagement across our community.  We are feeling the impact of the work we’re doing to safely and swiftly transition our operations to a virtual environment. And, we’re optimistic about the opportunities ahead for our community to thrive in a virtual way post Spring Break.

As federal and state officials move quickly to implement policies and procedures, our Leadership Team continues to make the decisions necessary to comply with these directives and keep our community safe.

State Restrictions/Impact on Business Operations

We have shifted to a fully online remote environment in response to direction set by Massachusetts State Government. As a reminder, staff and faculty were instructed to begin this transition and are working with Division Chairs and Managers on this immediate shift. Our Facilities Team, using state-of-the art equipment, has begun a deep cleaning of the campus.

Preparation for the online academic environment is well underway. Starting this week, students will hear from the Deans of the Undergraduate and Graduate Schools as we roll out resources, guides and important information that will help with this transition. We recognize the vast amount of information being communicated, and will use multiple communication vehicles including email, social channels and our learning platform, Canvas, to ensure students have what they need to be successful.

Lastly, there are important changes to campus operations related to the gathering limits set forth by the Baker administration. These include the closure of Babson Recreation and Athletic Center (BRAC) and a new 3 meal a day dining schedule. Community members will receive more specific detail regarding campus resources via a health update shortly.

We continue to manage complexities in this rapidly shifting environment. Please remember to check the website on a regular basis. We must remind students, at this time, that the move-out process needs to be completed expeditiously given the unpredictable nature of state and federal restrictions. We will continue to work directly with students who have petitioned student life to remain on campus. And, we will continue to expect respectful and responsible behavior by those needing to remain. Remember, we are all in this together.

President Spinelli

Dear Babson Community,

As new developments arise in this ongoing global health situation, the health, well-being and safety of our community remains our priority. Today, I am announcing important operational directives that align with CDC and local guidance, support our employees’ needs to balance evolving personal and professional responsibilities, and advance our commitment to provide academic continuity for students.

Shift to Remote Workplace

Babson will be shifting to a remote workplace as the vast majority of employees across our three campuses will begin to work virtually. Monday is designated as a transition day so faculty and staff can access their workspaces and/or engage with HR and IT for support. Details regarding how to implement this change will be sent immediately following this correspondence from Vice President of Human Resources, Donna Bonaparte.

Business Operation Impact

Priority areas to support student’s health and wellbeing are dining, housing, health, spiritual life, recreation, financial aid and academic resources. Communication with these offices will substantially be virtual to address the remote environment. Dean of Students, Lawrence P. Ward will communicate with you shortly to outline the student support resources available next week. Changes to these schedules may be frequent, please continue to check the website.

To our students, and specifically our seniors, we understand this is an overwhelmingly sad and difficult week for all you. These changes are necessary to mitigate exposure to COVID-10 (Coronavirus), but we know they come with an impact on your lives. We are committed to our partnership, and we’ll craft the future together. As Spring Break comes to close next week, we will be ready to help you succeed in this new environment. We will begin to address ways we will celebrate your achievements, and acknowledge your contributions to Babson’s community. We want to do that with as much information as possible including a complete understanding of the impact these first steps are having on the public health situation.

We recognize these changes are drastic, swift and the world may feel like it’s moving fast – we feel it, too. There are longer term questions unanswered at this point but we are determined to make decisions week by week so we can properly evaluate the information. I want to assure you that Babson’s Leadership Team continues to focus on public health information, expert guidance and your input to guide our decisions, and help us understand what is needed for our community during this tumultuous period.


President Spinelli

 

Dear Babson Community Members,

The Babson community is strong and resilient. We have seen that in so many ways. Throughout the week, our Campus Partners have shared various student’s needs, and so many of you have responded with offers of support, financial assistance and connections for those who need it the most. The Student Emergency Fund is assisting students with travel funds, storage needs, and alternative accommodations. Thank you to each and every one of you who has reached out to support the Babson family.

Other important updates we want to share:

Request to Remain on Campus

A reminder: students with significant barriers, restrictions, or particular circumstances that may prevent them from returning home safely at this point in time may petition to remain in campus housing for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. The link is here; completed petitions including appropriate documentation are due on Monday, March 16, at Noon. Any student who is granted approval to remain on campus will be notified by Wednesday, March 18, at 5 p.m.

Preparing for Online Transition 

Over 250 of our faculty have worked with Academic Innovation Technology this week to begin the process of online transition. Our Centers and Institutes are working on integrating experiences and interactive content into the online environment. It’s a major undertaking but one we are approaching with confidence. Faculty may find resources on the website, and they may also speak with their Division Chair if there are questions not answered online.

As we enter this next phase of transition and support, our teams are engaging with many students, families and community members individually. If you have a need we have not addressed with the resources available, please reach out to healthupdate2020@babson.edu.

Lastly, we have also seen disappointing behavior from a small number of students. We can do better, especially during difficult times. We know, and understand, students are disappointed, frustrated and sad about this situation. Students demonstrating irresponsible behavior in the residence halls and causing damage to College property is unacceptable. Also, with our campus safety in mind, we must have students that live within a 200 mile radius (3 hour drive) of Babson’s Wellesley campus return home as soon as possible (barring any personal situations that have been submitted via the petition to remain in on-campus housing for the remainder of the spring semester). At this point, we must stay focused on the most urgent work of supporting campus safety and wellbeing.


President Spinelli

Dear Babson Community Members,

We know how difficult it is for our students to say goodbye to friends, classmates, faculty and community members. Many of you are leaving with heavy hearts. Our hearts are heavy, too. This has been an unprecedented week for our community. I want you to remember that while you may be leaving our campuses, you are not leaving Babson.

We’re working diligently to prepare students and faculty for the transition to an online learning environment. We are altering services and resources to accommodate this upheaval, and we are listening to the feedback to be sure we’re addressing the most urgent of needs. I continue to be heartened by the outpouring of support we are receiving, and I know our community is stepping up in ways that will forever be remembered. This is Babson’s entrepreneurial leadership in action.

Today, my update includes new announcements as well as a few important reminders about social distancing and changes to events.

Changes For Study Abroad Students 

Based on the guidance of our partners and the US Department of State’s Level 3 Global Travel Advisory we have advised all students currently studying abroad to return home as soon as possible. The Glavin Office of International Education is working directly with these students to assist with the decisions they are facing. We know how disappointing this decision is for students who were eager to experience a global perspective.

Financial Policies

We are able to share today 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. More information on this process is available on the website, and Vice President for Student Affairs Lawrence P. Ward will follow up shortly with specific details on how this process will work.

Athletics 

Unfortunately, the difficult decision was made to cancel all spring sport seasons effective Monday, March 16. NCAA also canceled all remaining winter and spring NCAA championships, including Babson Hockey's NCAA Division III game against Wesleyan University on March 14. We know the magnitude of this decision on our student athletes, especially our seniors. Your commitment and dedication to Babson athletics has elevated our athletics program. 

Social Distancing Guidelines

We remind you that the focus of many of the changes being instituted around the world, and here at Babson, is to mitigate risk and exposure to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). As such, please keep these guidelines in mind: 

  •  Do not host or attend gatherings of more than 25 people until at least March 31 or otherwise noted.
  •  If possible, opt for virtual meetings.
  •  If you must host an in-person gathering (of no more than 25 people), choose a meeting space in which attendees do not exceed more than half the room’s capacity.
  • 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.

We continue to provide updates in this format so you are informed of the ongoing changes, and we have built extensive FAQs, segmented by topics and audiences to house all of the important details our community needs to know. If you don’t see a topic in the FAQ, and feel we need to address it, let us know via email at healthupdate2020@babson.edu.

Each day brings new challenges as we respond to this complex and evolving situation. Please continue to take care of yourself, and each other. 


President Spinelli

Babson Community,

We are heartened by the outpouring of communication and offers of support from our alumni, friends and partners from all over the world. Our community comes together in times of need, and through the last few days we have felt this through the messages and offers of support, financial assistance and personal outreach. In the days ahead, we will share ways you may choose to support our students as they work through this new reality, and we continue to be inspired by your support of our community.

Today, I share a few updates on policies related to social distancing, travel and administrative operations as well resources we have made available for students and faculty.

FAQs and Resource Guide

This morning, we outlined the processes and policies we have created to address this unprecedented event and communicated with all students and families. The Student Resource Guide may be found here, and will be updated regularly.

Faculty continue to prepare for online course delivery, beginning Friday March 13.  Teams from the Academic Technology Innovation Center and IT Support are actively engaged with faculty and a resource guide may be found here for those needing more direction and information.

Social Distance and Travel Policies

To do our part to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we have decided to cancel all College-Sponsored (domestic and international) travel that commences by March 31. In select cases where in-person participation remains essential or vital, this request can be presented and reviewed. We continue to urge all community members to follow the CDC guidance on any personal, international travel.

At this time the College is restricting organized public and internal events/gatherings on all Babson campuses to no more than 25 persons through March 31st. We realize that this restriction may impact some business operations but our priority is mitigating potential exposure of COVID-19 as best we can and we will be reassessing these restrictions regularly. 

I will continue to communicate daily with our community, while the Leadership Team ensures students, faculty and staff receive specific instructions and messages related to their areas. It is important everyone understands the steps we are taking to minimize unnecessary exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19 (Coronavirus) while assuring academic continuity for the remainder of this academic year, so please continue to stay connected. I continue to be proud of the way our teams are coming together with professional intensity to optimize a healthy community and uphold Babson’s educational mission.


President Spinelli

Dear Babson community members,

Our highest priority is the safety and wellbeing of our students, faculty, and staff. We are deeply concerned about the impact of this evolving global health situation and have worked tirelessly to make the necessary decisions to protect our community. Though we do not currently have a case of the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) on our campuses, we need to do our part to help mitigate the spread and minimize exposure and risk. 

To that end, we have made several decisions which I’ll share below, but know that the priority is academic continuity for all students. We have teams working hard to prepare our operations and ensure we are posed to respond to this rapidly changing situation.

As a proactive measure against the spread of COVID-19, Babson College will transition all classes fully online beginning Friday, March 13 and will remain online through the end of the Spring semester. 

Students will be able to meet academic requirements remotely. We are requiring students to move out of their residence halls by March 21. We acknowledge that this is a challenge for all, and recognize that some students will need to remain in campus housing due to travel or other unique circumstances. More specific information and guidance will be communicated tomorrow.

Business operations will remain scheduled, however, in concert with other mitigation policies recommended by the Governor of Massachusetts, we are instituting the following social distancing policies to minimize risk and exposure: 

  • Significantly limiting larger events and activities on campus through March 31 with regular assessments being made on additional restrictions;
  • Prohibiting all non-essential, College-sponsored, out-of-state travel until further notice, and urging all community members to follow the CDC guidance on any personal, international travel; and
  • Assessing our campus operations. We will communicate further guidance and impact in the next 24 hours. In the meantime, employees (faculty and staff) who have concerns about coming to campus should contact their Chair or Manager. 

Please know that these decisions were made with extreme care and with the benefit of guidance from leading health officials. Our goal is to minimize unnecessary exposure to, and spread of, COVID-19.

To our students, we’re doing this to protect you. To be distanced from your friends, teachers, and community is not something we ever imagined would have to happen, and we did not take this decision lightly. We will continue to do everything we can to give you the Babson College experience you know and love, and for graduating seniors, we anticipate moving forward with Commencement activities and will communicate accordingly.

To our faculty, we know that changing course halfway through the semester is no simple feat, but we are here to help. Please stay connected and supportive of your colleagues and students, as we move online and continue to deliver the very best learning experience. 

To our staff, we understand that business continuity relies on your many areas of expertise, hard work, and continued commitment to this College and we will work with you to ensure your personal and professional needs are met. You have been working diligently to maintain exceptional student services and operational excellence. We all appreciate your commitment to our community.

To families, your student’s health and wellbeing remains our top priority. We know this has been a challenging few weeks as we navigate these uncertain times together. We are focused on academic continuity and will communicate frequently as we move through this situation together.

Our community is global, understanding, and resilient, and I am proud of the way we have come together to address this concerning and evolving situation. If there is ever a time to practice more love and care for one another, no matter the distance, now is that time. We ask you to be patient and understand further information and guidance will be provided tomorrow.

President Spinelli

As you are aware, policies and procedures are changing rapidly so we urge you to stay updated with our campus communications and the website: www.babson.edu/coronavirus

Babson Community,

As we have been sharing, we are actively monitoring and planning for the possible impact of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) on Babson’s campuses. We have no confirmed case on our campuses, and currently Babson campuses are all operating as normal. All attendance policies and course schedules remain as scheduled.

We are writing to share several new updates:

Planning for Continuation of all Classes

We are committed to academic continuity for our students. We have the ability to continue classes online if there is a scenario where we cannot operate classes on campuses. We have communicated that expectation to all faculty, and our Academic Technology Innovation Center is preparing for technology enabled class delivery if needed.  If the College makes the decision to move online, we will work with faculty and students to ensure a continuation of coursework while we protect our community’s wellbeing. Until then, all courses will continue as scheduled and all students are expected to attend classes, unless they are feeling ill.

Attendance and Exams

Students who are not feeling well should contact their faculty member and stay out of class. Faculty should work directly with those students, as they normally would, to ensure access to the content while the student is out. If students are sick and missing exams, they should complete the e-form found in the student portal for missing an exam. Staff or faculty members who are not feeling well, or are on a required self-quarantine, should work directly with their manager and Human Resources to accommodate their needs.

Several important expectations and directives are in place to best protect the community, including our self-quarantine policy and other important human resource policies. Check the website for those important updates.

New College-Related Travel Policy 

We are prohibiting all non-essential, College-sponsored, out-of-state travel until further notice, and are urging all community members to follow the CDC guidance on any personal, international travel.

Spring Break Reminders

For those traveling over Spring Break, here are a few reminders:

  • Urging all community members to follow the CDC guidance on any personal, international travel to anticipate potential travel interference including entry restrictions, exit screenings at airports and/or quarantine measures based on your citizenship, past travel history or destination country
  • Prohibiting travel to CDC-Designated Level 3 countries, and requiring self-quarantine for any community member returning from these countries
  • Not to travel as a precautionary measure, if you have any cold or flu like symptoms including fever or respiratory issues
  • Reminder, there is no expectation of self-quarantine beyond those traveling to CDC-designated Level 3 countries or those that have been contacted by a Board of Health regarding exposure. However, these designations and recommendations have the potential to change quickly and you must stay informed by frequently checking the CDC website if you intend to travel to any destination
  • All Campus housing, some dining venues and student life operations remaining active over the Break for those that have decided not to travel
  • We advise you to take all necessary technology and academic materials to be prepared to continue your coursework online

Health and Wellness Reminders

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water – this is the best form of illness prevention.  Other health and wellness tips are available here.
  • If you are feeling ill, stay home. Students who are sick on campus should contact Health services to schedule an appointment, or visit a local urgent care center.
  • Staff and Faculty who are sick or have questions about their health are strongly encouraged to contact their personal physician or contact an urgent care center.

As you are aware, policies and procedures are changing rapidly so we urge you to stay updated with our campus communications and the website: www.babson.edu/coronavirus. Thank you for your continued support as we work together to address this evolving situation.


President Spinelli

Babson Community,

In our efforts to communicate frequently regarding the COVID-19 (Coronavirus), we are sharing the news below from the Town of Wellesley (shown as WPS) related to a resident who has tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus). We want to assure you we are in close communication with the local Board of Health.

Effective immediately, if you, or a family member, have come into close contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 (Coronavirus), or has been contacted by the Board of Health, you must self-quarantine for 14 days.

This means:

  • Any Staff or Faculty who has had close contact with a person diagnosed or has been contacted by the Board of Public Health should contact their manager directly. Human Resources is prepared to work with our staff and faculty who need to self-quarantine to determine the most appropriate accommodations.
  • Any student who has had close contact or has been contacted by the Board of Health with a person diagnosed should contact Health Services at 781-239-6363.

Health and Wellness Reminders

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and hot water – this is the best form of illness prevention.  Other health and wellness tips are available here.
  • If you are feeling ill, stay home. Students who are sick on campus should contact Health services to schedule an appointment, or visit a local urgent care center. Staff and Faculty who are sick or have questions about their health are strongly encouraged to contact their personal physician or contact an urgent care center.
  • If you have any cold or flu like symptoms, including fever or respiratory issues, we advise you not to travel as a precautionary measure

Reminder on Travel Policies

  • College sponsored education abroad in U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 countries, has been suspended and all students returning from these countries have been asked to self-quarantine.
  • Any community member who is still planning to travel over Spring Break is strongly advised to use current travel resources and policies to anticipate potential travel interference including entry restrictions, exit screenings at airports and/or quarantine measures based on your citizenship, past travel history or destination country.
  • Campus housing, some dining venues and student life operations will remain active over the Break.


Currently the college remains in normal operations, and continuity planning is actively underway.  As a reminder, currently there are no cases of Coronavirus on Babson’s campuses, however we understand the concern and anxiety related to the ongoing virus, and remain committed to consistently communicating during this situation.  Our community’s health and wellness remains our top priority, and our Leadership Team will continue to follow evolving guidelines and protocols from the Center of Disease Control and the Massachusetts Department of Health. We will continue to update the website and share new information as it becomes available.  


President Spinelli

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Dear WPS Families and Staff,

We learned a short while ago that a Wellesley resident has tested positive for COVID-19 (Coronavirus.)  This individual is a parent of children who attend the Upham Elementary School and Wellesley Middle School.  It’s important to know that these children are showing no symptoms and are healthy.  Out of an abundance of caution, we have made the proactive decision to release students early at Upham and WMS in order to fully clean and sanitize both buildings. All other WPS Schools will complete their day on a regular schedule. We will continue to work closely with the Wellesley Health Department and other Town officials in providing additional updates.

 

Wellesley Public Schools

Learning • Caring • Innovating

Babson Community,

As we continue to learn more about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19), Babson is taking several steps to respond to this global health situation. We have launched an informational website to keep our community updated on policies, processes, and helpful information and resources. We are actively developing guidelines to protect our community, and preparing for business continuity should the situation further impact our community and business operations.

The following is an overview of the steps being taken:

1. Expanded Self-Quarantine Policy for Travel to/from Level 3 Countries

Babson has already suspended college sponsored education abroad in U.S. Department of State Travel Advisory Level 3 countries, and has required all students returning from these countries to self-quarantine. We are working with these students and their families to minimize disruption and ensure they are supported through their quarantine periods.

At this time, we are expanding this self-quarantine requirement to all campus community members who recently traveled to a CDC-designated Level 3 country. If you have recently traveled to a Level 3 country, we are requiring that you not come to any of Babson’s campuses (Boston, Wellesley or Miami) and not have close contact with other Babson community members for a minimum of 14 days following your return date to the United States—whether or not you are symptomatic.

As the number of cases has expanded, we have learned that asymptomatic persons may unknowingly pass the virus onto others. Therefore, it is very important that each individual take precautions to help safeguard the broader health and well-being of our community. Students should contact their faculty or academic advisor for assistance with managing any academic responsibilities while absent from campus. Similarly, Babson faculty and staff should seek guidance from their supervisor or human resources if they need to self-quarantine. You may find details on what self-quarantine means, as well as more detail on the available support services should you need to self-quarantine, on the website.

2. Preparations for Spring Break and Accommodations for Those Staying on Campus

We are advising any community member who is still planning to travel over Spring Break to use current travel resources and policies to anticipate potential travel interference including entry restrictions, exit screenings at airports and/or quarantine measures based on your citizenship, past travel history or destination country. Given the fluid situation and the need for some students to remain on campus in Wellesley due to the travel restrictions, campus housing, dining and student life operations will remain active over the Break. We will keep the residence halls and some of our dining venues open, and our Student Life staff is actively working on activities and programs for students staying on campus. 

3. Business Continuity and Campus Precautions

Our Leadership team has convened an ongoing group to assess our global business operations and other continuity considerations that may be impacted by the spread of the Coronavirus. Any community member experiencing disruption due to travel policies or self-quarantining should consult the website for resources to help with continuity and connection to campus.

While we have no reported cases at Babson’s campuses, we are taking several precautionary steps for wellness including increasing daily disinfections of classrooms, bathrooms, and common areas, with particular attention to hard surfaces. We encourage students to frequently disinfect surfaces, doorknobs, and other commonly-touched objects in their rooms, and faculty/staff to do the same in their offices.

4. Community Expectations and Support Services

The College asks that all students, faculty and staff review the CDC anti-stigma guidelines issued recently regarding coronavirus. The CDC advises that we collectively focus on the disease that is causing the problem and avoid casting blame on individuals, cultures, or nationalities. For example, if you see an individual wearing a protective mask that does not mean the individual is sick, but likely taking extra precautions to protect themselves. This is common in many countries and cultures and should not be ridiculed, judged, or stigmatized.

Finally, as a reminder, we recognize many in our community are personally impacted from this situation. Students who may be affected emotionally by this situation can seek support through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Faculty and staff similarly are encouraged to contact Human Resources or can access Babson’s Employee Assistance Program at 800-648-9557.

Our community’s health and wellness remain our top priority. We will continue to communicate and share new information as the situation evolves. Please continue to consult the website as necessary and utilize any of the available resources should you need support, information, or guidance. 

President Spinelli

Campus Health Advisory: Coronavirus Update

To the Babson community:

I am writing to update you on the steps being taken by the College in light of the recent Coronavirus concerns. Currently, there are no cases of Coronavirus here at Babson and the immediate risk in Massachusetts continues to be low; however, understandably, there is a high level of anxiety as the virus spreads worldwide. It is important to know that we are actively managing the situation, and working to ameliorate its impact on the normal operation of the college.  The are several steps being taken:

Active Communication and Updated Information

This recent communication was sent to all students to share the recommendations from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the U.S. State Department. In addition, we have advised students who are preparing for international travel through Spring Break to check travel policies of their destinations and to consider registering with the U.S. Department of State Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive alerts of safety conditions or emergencies in their destination country. Those members of our community who are seeking support through Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS) may reach them at (781) 239-6200, and our faculty and staff are similarly encouraged to contact Human Resources for guidance in accessing Babson’s Employee Assistance Program.

International College-Sponsored Travel and Events

The Glavin Office of International Education is actively monitoring travel restrictions/recommendations and communicating directly with students enrolled in impacted study abroad programs. Parents and families may be directed to the Glavin Office with study abroad questions and concerns. Additionally, we will continue to monitor and assess international travel and events for our staff, faculty and alumni community. This includes Babson Connect: Worldwide, being held in Panama City on March 19-21. Over the next few days, we will actively monitor the situation in Panama and communicate directly with event registrants about the status of the event.

Personal Health and Safety

Our Health and Wellness Team reminds us there are simple steps you may take to help prevent the spread of all respiratory viruses and create a healthier campus community:

  • Frequently wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick and stay home when you are sick.
  • Cough or sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Frequently disinfect surfaces with wipes.
  • Avoid non-essential travel to highly impacted countries or regions in the world.

Our goal is to focus on the institutional imperative of an exceptional student life experience and to support uninterrupted study. The College’s Leadership Team will continue to actively monitor, communicate and make the necessary decisions to ensure a safe and healthy community.

President Spinelli