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A Note from the Provost to Students about Starting Online Classes

March 18, 2020

Donna Maria Blancero, PhD

Dear Students,

Over the last week, you have received several updates from the University’s Cabinet as we transition to remote classes for the duration of the Spring 2020 semester. As we stated in our message on Monday, all of our decisions have been grounded in your health, safety and wellbeing. Please know that my colleagues in Academic Affairs and I have been thinking about you, and all of us are working in unison to provide you with the high quality learning experience that Bentley promises to deliver. Remember that we care about you and are committed to your success.

I recognize that we have shared a great deal of information in a compressed window of time, and with that information follows an array of thoughts and emotions. Some of you may feel anxious as we shift to different modes of teaching; others may be apprehensive about engaging with peers and instructors in a virtual setting. My goal today is to review what you can expect over the next week as we launch online courses on Monday, March 23, with the hope that these details will help you prepare appropriately.

In concert with the leadership team in Academic Affairs, I have been coordinating efforts to ensure that our faculty are ready to offer all spring semester courses online. If they have not already, each of your instructors will contact you directly to check in and provide a general update for your course. As you can imagine, our faculty have been working tirelessly to redesign class outlines, group projects, and assessments. I am proud of the work of our faculty over the past week, and I have heard from many of them about how excited they are to engage with you in interactive and innovative ways.

Each of you received an email from our CIO yesterday, and that message contains important information about using Zoom for online classes. If you have not already, I encourage you to sign up for one of the Zoom testing sessions using this link. It is imperative that you test your camera, microphone, Wi-Fi connection, and other technological requirements before remote classes begin on Monday. Your efforts here are a crucial element of our transition.

I fully expect questions to arise moving forward, and I hope you do not hesitate to reach out when you need support. Please consider the following options:

  • For course-specific questions, please contact your faculty member directly.
  • For questions related to technology or using Zoom, please call the helpdesk at 781.891.3122.
  • For questions about general academic support, please email the Office of Academic Services at (for undergraduate students) or (for graduate students).
  • To review a broad array of frequently asked questions, please see these FAQs.

In difficult times, I lean on my values to help guide my decisions. For our community, our core values of Caring, Collaboration, and Learning have never been more important. This is a crucial period for Bentley, our country, and the global community; I am confident we will rise to the challenge of this moment.

Donna Maria Blancero, PhD