Dear faculty responsible for summer courses and/or programs,
As the COVID-19 situation continues to evolve, we are very proud of the faculty and staff who have demonstrated tremendous resilience andcommitment to continuing to provide our students the outstanding educational experiences you have previously provided in person. As we look forward, we know there is tremendous uncertainty and anxiety about the trajectory of this disease and, consequently, its impact on your programs and plans for the summer.
We believe it is important to continue Tufts’ wide range of summer coursesand programs—from pre-college offerings to clinical and executive education to civic engagement experiences—in a remote mode to every extent possible. At this challenging time, it is more important than ever to provide rewarding summer experiences to our students, particularly as many opportunities previously available, such as on-site internships or clinical rotations, may have been suspended, and students from all corners of the United States and the world have been feeling isolated at this time of great uncertainty and vulnerability.
The following guidance concerning summer off-campus (including international) and on-campus courses and programs has been developed in consultation with all our deans and with many people who teach summercourses and/or lead summer programs. We are trying to meet the needs of the courses and programs the best we can under the circumstances, andwe appreciate your patience and flexibility throughout the planning process. We hope the guidance in this communication will provide a helpful framework for planning the various courses and programs under these constantly changing conditions, while reducing the uncertainty students, prospective students, faculty, and staff are currently facing regarding their summer plans.
Summer international and domestic off-campus programs
Due to the recent extension of the prohibition of university-sponsored, connected, or funded international or domestic travel by students until August 20, all educational programs (including summer study and summerstudent research) that plan to send students to international destinations or domestic locations within the United States should plan for suspension, postponement and/or transition to alternative modes of delivery. Exceptions may be allowed for summer internships and clinical experiences based on national, state, and local guidance and a careful assessment of the situation.
We anticipate that there will be possibilities to implement many of the research and internship opportunities in an alternative format. Where possible, we strongly encourage programs to develop these alternative approaches to enable students to engage in summer off-campus study, research, internship, and other experiences. The travel restrictions will be reviewed at regular intervals (May 1, June 1, July 1, August 1), based on international, national, state and local guidance, to determine whether a revision is warranted.
Summer on-campus programs At this time, it is anticipated that summer residential or in person coursesand programs will not be able to take place on any of the Tufts campuses. However, we will continue to closely monitor the situation and inform the community if this changes for the latter part of the summer.
With this information in mind, we strongly encourage faculty and staff leading, managing, or teaching on-campus summer programs to develop alternative virtual or online plans for their on-site courses and programs, while recognizing this may not always be possible. With the exception of programs and courses in which students must participate to fulfill their requirements or as a condition of acceptance (e.g., Laidlaw, BEST, BLAST, PSP), students should be given the choice of whether or not to accept or pursue the alternative options offered. Exceptions may be allowed forclinical rotations, clinical externships, and pre-clinical exercises in the health sciences, and academic programs whose academic year begins in the summer, based on national, state, and local guidance as well as a careful assessment of the situation.
Timeline In order to facilitate planning by faculty and staff as well as students in these programs, we ask that decisions about whether to transition summercourses and programs to remote format or other alternatives be made according to the following timeline:
For courses and programs scheduled to take place or start during May and June, we ask that decisions either to cancel the program or offer alternative experiences be communicated to students/participants by April 10 or earlier to allow for notice at least 30 days before the start of the program.
For courses and programs scheduled to take place during July andAugust, including those starting in the last week of June, we ask that decisions either to cancel the program or offer alternative experiences be communicated to students/participants by May 15 or earlier to allow for notice at least 30 days before the start of the program. Faculty teaching summer courses will be receiving further information from their deans concerning opportunities for converting their coursesto a virtual format.
With respect to clinical rotations, clinical externships, pre-clinical exercises in the health sciences, and summer internships, decisions whether to allow in person delivery of the program will be made on a case-by-case basis approximately one month prior to the start of the program, based on national, state, and local guidance as well as a careful assessment of the situation. Faculty involved in such programswill be receiving further information from their deans.
Pre-orientation programs scheduled to take place immediately before the start of the fall semester (such as BEST, BLAST, Bridge), as well as degree programs that begin their academic year during the summer, are encouraged to develop plans to shift to an online, remote or other format, in the event that these programs are not able to begin in person as planned. Faculty and staff responsible for such programswill be receiving communications from their deans.
Many faculty who have converted their courses to a virtual format for the remainder of the spring semester or who are currently working virtually are already familiar with the tools needed for remote teaching and working. As you explore different alternatives for continuing your programs, please know that Tufts Technology Services has a wealth of guidance, tools andresources on working, teaching and learning, available at https://it.tufts.edu/. TTS can also be contacted by email at email@example.com for support or consultation as alternatives are considered. We also encourage you to contact your academic dean, Vice Provost Kevin Dunn (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Associate Provost andSenior International Officer Diana Chigas (email@example.com) should you have any questions.
I am aware that this fast-evolving situation has demanded that everyone work very hard and make tremendous changes to courses, programs, andmodes of operating in a very short time period. I greatly appreciate the dedication, effort, and creativity with which everyone has tackled the challenges we face. I recognize that this has entailed personal sacrifices, and I am most appreciative of the efforts you are all undertaking to adapt your courses and programs so that we continue to serve our students in the best possible way. THANK YOU!