Babson Front Gate Fall

Transitioning Home

As we enter the final weeks of the fall semester, working to safeguard the wellbeing of our community and maintaining academic continuity and excellence remain our top priorities. We also are particularly focused on helping students make a safe transition home and helping employees stay safe and well as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.

While our community’s compliance with safety protocols remains high and our seven-day average positivity rate remains under 1%, we have experienced an uptick in cases this week and see some concerning trends among the metrics we evaluate daily – including indicators that project an increase in cases in Massachusetts over the coming weeks. Those factors—coupled with the guidance of EHE, our external health consultants—has informed the following changes as of Friday, November 13:

All classes shift to 100% online.

This includes undergraduate and graduate classes across all three of Babson’s campuses—Wellesley, Boston and Miami.

Employees to transition off campus.

Employees who are not student-facing must transition to off-campus remote work.

Off campus students.

Off campus students (including Graduate students) should remain off campus.

Testing Frequency and Availability

As an added safety measure, we are also increasing testing availability and implementing additional testing protocols.

  • All residential first-year students must be tested within 24-48 hours (as of November 12).
  • All undergraduate students on campus must be tested twice within the next week, with at least three days between each test.
  • We strongly recommend that students returning home for Thanksgiving get tested within 72 hours of planned departure from campus. We are allowing students to test twice during a seven day period to facilitate this service. 
  • Student interacting employees have the option to test twice during the week of November 16th.

Expanded testing center hours through 12/2:

  • Friday 11/20: 9 a.m.–4 p.m.
  • Monday 11/23: 6 a.m.–6 p.m. (closed from noon–1 p.m.)
  • Tuesday 11/24: 6 a.m.–6 p.m.
  • Wednesday 11/25–Monday 11/30: CLOSED
  • Tuesday 12/1 and Wednesday 12/2: 6 a.m.–6 p.m.

Campus Operations

This shift to remote learning does not mean that campus is closed. Students living on campus can proceed with their anticipated move-out plans, and campus services such as dining, BRAC and Horn Library will remain operational. We ask that off campus students (including Graduate students) remain off campus.

Shifting to Remote Instruction Community Messages

Dear Babson Community:

Working to safeguard the wellbeing of our community and maintaining academic continuity and excellence remain our top priorities as COVID-19 cases increase in Massachusetts and around the country.

While our community’s compliance with safety protocols remains high and our seven-day average positivity rate remains under 1%, we have experienced an uptick in cases this week and see some concerning trends among the metrics we evaluate daily – including indicators that project an increase in cases in Massachusetts over the coming weeks. We also are particularly focused on helping students make a safe transition home and helping employees stay safe and well as we approach the Thanksgiving holiday.

Those factors -- coupled with the guidance of EHE, our external health consultants -- have informed our decision to conclude in-person instruction today and shift classes 100% online as of Friday, November 13. This includes both Undergraduate and Graduate classes across all three of Babson’s campuses -- Wellesley, Boston and Miami.

Since the onset of this crisis, our COVID-19 response and planning efforts have been informed by outside public health experts and continuously refined based on the data and information available to us. This remains a dynamic public health situation, and we have made an informed and responsible management decision intended to mitigate risk to our community.

Importantly, this shift to remote learning does not mean that campus is closed. Students living on campus can proceed with their previously scheduled move-out plans, and campus services such as dining, BRAC and Horn Library will remain operational with appropriate modifications in place. We do ask, however, that employees who are not student-facing transition to off-campus remote work, and that students who commute to Babson (including Graduate students) remain off campus with the exception of completing testing.

Back in August, we kicked off our semester with a week of 100% online learning. It was a key component of our strategy for safely transitioning to campus and our in-person experience. Now, grounded in the successful outcome of that decision, plus nearly three months of data and lived experience, this same tactic will help us facilitate a safe transition off campus.

As an added safety measure, we are also increasing testing availability and implementing additional testing protocols. We strongly recommend that students returning home for Thanksgiving get tested within 72 hours of planned departure from campus and we are allowing students to test twice during a seven day period to facilitate this service. We also will increase testing frequency for all on campus students and staff next week. Detailed information for Undergraduates, Graduate students, faculty and staff will be shared momentarily in follow up communications.

We must remain vigilant about ongoing testing, symptoms monitoring, physical distancing, face covering, and hand washing. We must also be mindful of Governor Baker’s stay-at-home advisory, and we expect our community to continue to adhere to revised gathering limits and additional executive orders.

Our community has done an extraordinary job of maintaining health and safety protocols and supporting each other through this semester. When we look back on this time, we will remember the entrepreneurial spirit that led us through the intensity of these moments. We will be proud of the way we came together as One Babson. Please stay safe and continue to support each other.

My best,

Steve

Dear Students: 

As President Spinelli just announced, today is our last day of in-person instruction. Beginning tomorrow, all classes will be virtual. Over the next two weeks, our focus is keeping the Babson community healthy and well so that you can safely return to your families for the Thanksgiving break and complete the remainder of the semester. 

The highest risk behaviors contributing to the recent uptick remain gathering without masks in small spaces beyond capacity limits. Compliance with the mitigation strategies Babson has in place is our best defense against a positive test result and close contact quarantine - please remain diligent. 

In addition to remote classes, we are enhancing our testing protocols and making several operational shifts designed to mitigate risk.

Carefully review the appropriate section below for information regarding the final weeks of the semester. 

Residential Students: 

  • We have seen a small uptick in the number of cases within the first year area. As such, we are prioritizing increased testing for all residential first year students and are requiring that they be tested within the next 24-48 hours. If you tested today, you should schedule a second test for Saturday.  Please click here to schedule a test.
  • Beginning next week, all residential students will be tested twice a week<, at least three days apart. Please click here to schedule tests.
  • We strongly encourage students to get tested within 72 hours of your planned departure from campus, and to quarantine in place or at home until you receive the results. 
  • Testing Center hours have been extended to accommodate additional testing. The Testing Center will be open tomorrow and Saturday from 10am to 5:30 pm, and Monday through Friday next week.
  • Dining will continue with normal operations. We do, however, encourage you to keep your mask on unless eating. 
  • BRAC and Horn Library will remain open with current restrictions in place. 
  • In-person events, activities and programs will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis and moved to a virtual format when appropriate. Events will be limited to residential students only. 
  • All residential/housing policies remain in effect. As a reminder, only students assigned to a private bedroom are permitted in that space.
  • If your departure plans have changed, please navigate to Self-Service on the Hub to update your departure date. To modify your departure plans navigate back to the application> and select Revisit/Update This Application. From there you will be able to update and resubmit your departure plans. 
  • All health and safety protocols remain in place, including masks, physical distancing, gathering limits, and symptom reporting.  

Off Campus Students: 

  • As of tomorrow, November 13, off campus students are not permitted on campus with the exception of testing appointments. If you are a student employee please work directly with your manager to review the process for continuing work on campus. 
  • Any student seeking an exception to come to campus should contact HealthUpdate2020@babson.edu.
  • We strongly encourage students to get tested within 72 hours prior to any holiday break travel, and to quarantine in place or at home until you receive the results. 
  • The Testing Center will be open tomorrow and Saturday from 10am to 5:30 pm, and Monday through Friday next week.

You’ve worked hard all semester, and we have come so far together. Let’s stay diligent, stay safe, and finish strong. We look forward to another successful semester together beginning in January. 

Sincerely,

Dean Capozzi

Dear Graduate Students: 

We are writing to follow up on President Spinelli’s message announcing the shift to online instruction. This transition, which includes all Graduate operations, classes and final exams -- begins tomorrow, Friday, November 13 and remains in place through the end of the semester. Graduate classes in Boston and Miami will also shift online and students in these locations will hear directly from the staff on specific space restrictions.

The well-being of our community remains our top priority, and we are here to support you in this transition. Our faculty and staff will continue to work remotely and be available to you as the semester wraps up. For academic and personal advising students should contact: 

  • Graduate Academic Services at 781-239-4474 or gradacademicservices@babson.edu  for general questions or to schedule an appointment with an advisor visit advising.babson.edu   

It is important that campus visitors are limited in the days ahead as we work to depopulate the campus. As such, as we make this shift to online instruction graduate students are expected to remain off campus.

The flexibility and resilience you have demonstrated throughout the semester is more important than ever as we adapt to this next reality. We are confident that our community will connect and engage successfully in a fully virtual environment, and that your Babson academic experience will continue, uninterrupted, as we work to keep ourselves and others safe and well. 

We are committed to your success and invite you to reach out with any questions. 

Sincerely,

Sebastian Fixsson, Associate Dean of Academic Programs and Innovation 
Beth Bristol, Associate Dean Graduate Administration 

gradassocdean@babson.edu 
781-239-4378



Dear Colleagues:

As we conclude our fall semester we would like to extend our gratitude to each of you for all of your efforts and support to make this a successful experience for our students and our community.

For our on-campus partners, you have played a critical role in maintaining the safety and wellbeing of our campus.  Your attention to, and compliance with our protocols of symptom monitoring, training and testing have been key components of our overall success.

As we approach the end of the semester and continue to prioritize the wellbeing of our community, we will initiate similar practices as we utilized when we returned in the fall. As President Spinelli just announced we are shifting to remote instruction beginning tomorrow, November 13.  Therefore, only those employees who are unable to perform their role remotely are approved to be on campus.

Student interacting employees have the option to test twice during the week of November 16th. We encourage you to schedule your tests as soon as possible to help inform the staffing configuration needs.

 The testing site hours for next week are as follows:

  • Monday, November 16th from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, November 17th and Wednesday, November 18th from 6:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, November 19th and Friday, November 20th from 9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Faculty may choose to teach from their classrooms through November 20. After that date, access to classrooms, offices and all campus spaces will be restricted and urgent needs must be coordinated through Public Safety at publicsafety@babson.edu.

If you plan to use your classroom and/or you need to request a conference room, we ask that you contact the IT Service Center (support@babson.edu).  This way, we will know which rooms are being utilized, and we can ensure the technology and/or technicians are available to support you.  We recognize that this quick transition to fully online might impact your plans and we hope that the ability to use a space with which you are already familiar will help.  

Please note that your driver will still be available, but she/he will be required to drive your session remotely.  We ask that you coordinate directly with your driver to ensure that you are both on the same page and you have the proper plan. If you don’t currently use a driver, and you would like assistance, please include that information in your email to support@babson.edu and we will do our best to accommodate you. 

As always, we encourage you to review the online material on the Faculty Portal, most notably: The Be Ready for Anything page which covers online assessments, Webex, Canvas discussion boards, and creating video-based content.  

Lastly, we know that this year has brought new challenges and disruptions to our already complex lives.  As many of us begin to leave campus, we ask that you do all that you can to take some time away from your work and try to practice self-care.

With appreciation,

Donna
Ken