No Classes March 16-20; Remote Learning Begins on March 23
March 12, 2020
Dear Bentley Community,
University leadership continues to closely track the impact of COVID-19 on a daily basis. Though we do not currently have any known cases of COVID-19 on our campus, in order to help mitigate risk to our entire community, Bentley has decided there will be no classes next week as the university and students prepare to move to remote, online classes beginning Monday, March 23. Remote classes will continue until at least Friday, April 3. Further guidance will be shared as this situation develops in the weeks ahead. Until further notice, students must remain off-campus. Limited accommodations will be made for students who cannot return home due to extenuating circumstances. An email from the Residential Center will follow shortly with information related to needs for immediate dormitory access. More detailed information about dormitory access will follow tomorrow (Friday, March 13). A new FAQ for students is available here.
At this time, the university will remain open for faculty and staff with an emphasis on meaningful preparation for online teaching and business continuity planning in the week ahead. Please direct any questions to your manager, department chair, deans or vice president.
In addition, the university is announcing the following policies to reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposure to our community:
Suspension of university-related domestic travel outside of New England
The university is suspending all non-essential university-related domestic travel for faculty and staff outside of New England through April 30. Any and all university-related off-campus meetings and/or travel within New England (including Massachusetts) will require the approval of your vice president. We strongly discourage attending conferences or other large gatherings.
Extended suspension of international university-related travel
On March 5, the university suspended all international university-related travel for faculty and staff through the end of March. We are now extending that suspension to April 30. Non-essential international personal travel is highly discouraged.
Continuation of off-campus self-quarantine policy
The university continues to require that all students, faculty and staff returning from a Level 2 or 3 travel advisory country must self-quarantine off campus for 14 days following the trip, even if symptom-free.
Gatherings of 50 or more
Until April 30, any event with an audience greater than 50 people will require approval by your vice president. This also applies to external organizations hosting meetings on the Bentley campus.
Preparation for remote teaching and working
At this time, the university remains open for faculty and staff. Faculty must spend the week ahead preparing for remote teaching, which begins on March 23. Staff should continue to report to work as normal. A list of Frequently Asked Questions for faculty and staff can be found here. Please consult with your manager, department chair, deans or vice president if you have additional questions.
Commencement decision by April 23
We recognize that Commencement is a milestone event for our entire community, bringing thousands of guests from around the world to Bentley. We will announce a decision about this year’s Commencement by April 23, after considering the latest updates and with the careful consideration of all members of our community, particularly the Class of 2020 and their families.
We will continue to communicate via email and social media with the Bentley community and post all updates at bentley.edu/coronavirus. We have also set up a phone line dedicated to answering your coronavirus-related questions and concerns, which you can reach at (781) 891-2012. If you don’t reach someone immediately, your voicemail will be returned as soon as possible.
We recognize that this is an uncertain, stressful time for students, families and all members of our community. Please know that the university does not take these decisions lightly. This is an unprecedented situation for higher education and our country, and we are striving to balance the valuable time our students spend on our campus with the need to protect the health and safety of students and all members of our community.
Thank you for your understanding and your support.
The Bentley University Cabinet
Donna Maria Blancero