3/30/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Here is the update for March 30, 2020.

With fewer urgent or “breaking news” COVID-19-related items recently, we are transitioning this email to a Monday-Wednesday-Friday publishing schedule; we will send an unscheduled Update if/as needed. We continue to communicate valuable information, coronavirus and otherwise, via the Daily Mammoth.

Process for Investigation, Communication of Potential COVID-19 Symptoms

March 29, 2020

Dear Amherst Students, Faculty, Staff, and Families,

I’m writing to keep you apprised of our ongoing effort to be aware of and track any member of our community who may be experiencing any symptoms that could be related to COVID-19. At this time, we have not been advised of any presumptive or confirmed cases in our College  community. (A “presumptive” case is one that has been tested and confirmed by the state. A “confirmed” case is one  that has been tested and confirmed by the CDC.) We remain in close consultation with the Amherst Department of Public Health and share information with them about reports and investigations.

3/27/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Here is the update for March 27, 2020

As this first week of the transition to remote work and learning comes to a close, the College would like to express a huge debt of gratitude to every Amherst staff and faculty member—and especially those whose work necessitates them being on campus—for helping to ease the way into our “new normal” with contributions both large and small. We encourage every member of our community to continue to safeguard their physical and mental well-being, and to take a break from work this weekend if possible. A Mammoth thank you to all!

Change to the College's Grading Policy for Spring 2020 Only: Extension of the FGO to All Classes

March 26, 2020

Dear Students, Faculty, and Staff,

I write to announce a change in the college’s grading policy that will be in place for the spring 2020 semester only.  Earlier today, the Amherst faculty voted by an overwhelming majority to effect the following for the spring 2020 semester:

All classes during the spring 2020 semester will be treated as though the flexible grading option (FGO) had been elected. You may read about the current FGO policy online. The FGO enables students to decide whether or not to keep a grade they earned in a course after the grade is posted, or in the case of any passing grade, to elect to receive a (“P”).

3/26/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Here is the update for March 26, 2020.

Senior Honors Recommendations, Thesis Grades and Prize Nominations: Deadline Change

The deadline for senior honors recommendations, thesis grades and prize nominations has been extended: all are due to the Registrar’s Office by May 15 (instead of May 5). Please note, however, that deadlines for student theses are set by the department. Thesis advisors should be in touch with their thesis students about departmental deadlines.

3/25/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Here is the update for March 25, 2020.

COVID-19 Student Support Fund

This past week, Amherst provided students with financial stipends, logistical and technological support and pro-rata room and board reimbursement as the community transitioned to remote learning. But donors chipped in too: to date, more than $130,000 has been raised for a special COVID-19 Student ‌Support‌ ‌Fund! The biggest gift so far? $100,000 from the Association of Amherst Students. A Mammoth thank you to those who have already contributed to the cause.

Remote Work Resources

March 25, 2020

Dear Supervisors and Department Chairs,

After transitioning to a remote work model last week, workload demands may be difficult to predict and plan for at times, requiring creative solutions to ensure the College’s business continuity. In response, we have created a number of tools to support supervisors, department chairs and staff, including:

General Update on Amherst's Financial Situation

March 23, 2020

Dear Amherst Faculty and Staff:                                                                                               

While each one of us is focused primarily on protecting the health and safety of everyone in our community and continuing the educational mission of the College, I know that many of you are also beginning to wonder about what the economic impact of COVID-19 might be for our financial situation. I write to you today to provide some early insights.

3/24/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Here is the update for March 24, 2020.

ICYMI: Update on Amherst’s Financial Situation

Yesterday, Chief Financial Officer Kevin Weinman sent an all-campus email to the community providing some early insights on how the coronavirus pandemic might impact the College’s financial situation. He discussed the global economic slowdown, Amherst’s financial strengths and uncertainties about the future. 

Message About Commencement and Reunion

March 23, 2020

To Students, Families, Faculty, Staff, and Alumni,

Earlier today I sent this note to our seniors. It will come as no surprise to many of you that we have postponed Commencement until a time when we can safely have the Class of ’20 on campus for an in-person ceremony. We are soliciting ideas from our seniors for how to celebrate their class and time here at Amherst.

3/23/20: COVID-19 Daily Update

March 23, 2020

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Here is the update for March 23, 2020.

Stay-at-Home Advisory from the Governor

This morning, Governor Charlie Baker issued a stay-at-home advisory, effective tomorrow, March 24, starting at noon, until Tuesday, April 7, at noon. The order reads, in part: “Residents are advised to stay home and avoid unnecessary travel and other unnecessary activities during this two-week time period. Residents over 70 years of age or with underlying health conditions, who are considered at high risk when exposed to COVID-19, should limit social interactions with other people as much as possible.” Given that Amherst falls into a category of businesses that provide what the state considers “COVID-19 Essential Services,” employees deemed essential by the College should still report to work. (Those who have questions about whether or not they are in that category should speak with their supervisors.) Those who can work remotely should stay at home. We encourage all to continue to follow COVID-19 social distancing practices, and thank our staff who work to keep our campus safe every day. 

Update - Temporary Premium Pay Policy

March 23, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

This message is an update about the temporary premium pay policy for certain non-exempt staff announced in my email of March 18, 2020.  The new effective date of the policy is Tuesday, March 17, 2020, the first day the College moved to a remote work model.   The previous start date was March 22, 2020.  Please contact your supervisor with any questions.

3/17/20: Daily COVID-19 Update

Dear Faculty and Staff,

Here is the update for March 17, 2020.

Higher-Risk Individuals

It is worth repeating that our utmost priority is the health and safety of every member of our community, particularly those in higher-risk age groups and those at increased risk because of underlying chronic medical conditions. If you are unsure as to whether or not you are considered to be at high risk for COVID-19, consult the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website and/or your medical provider. Please contact Human Resources at hr@amherst.edu if you need additional support.

3/19/20: Daily COVID-19 Update

Dear Faculty and Staff, 

Here is the update for March 19, 2020.

Today, we are sharing some positive news during these difficult times: at exactly 18:21 military time today, the College will be sending out admission decisions for applicants to the class of 2024. 

Temporary Premium Pay Policy

March 18, 2020

Dear Colleagues:

Thank you for your continued dedication to keeping the College running and your understanding of all of the changes we are navigating as we work our way through the repercussions of the spread of COVID-19. I hope you are paying close attention to your health and that of your loved ones and those around you.