WPI is taking measures in response to the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. Get the latest information.

Update on Course Delivery Changes and University Operations: Message from President Leshin & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team

DEPARTMENT(S): 
March 13, 2020

Dear WPI Community,

On Wednesday, I wrote to you about our response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), including the decision to make some changes to course delivery and university operations in the face of this rapidly changing crisis. These actions were not undertaken lightly, and are meant to prioritize the health and safety of our community. 

Today I write you with additional and detailed information and guidelines for our plans going forward. We will continue to update the WPI Coronavirus website with information and answers to questions as they become available.

There are currently no presumed or confirmed cases of Coronavirus at WPI.

The COVID-19 Emergency Response Team (CERT) has continued to work around the clock to monitor the global, national and local situation and to ensure that WPI continues to provide a thoughtful and thorough response to this changing situation. Prior guidance has not changed unless specifically detailed below. The latest information is as follows:

Key Information for Students

  1. D-term Courses and Resumption of Spring Semester
    • We are proceeding with previously announced plans to start D-term and re-start Spring Semester courses on March 25 with remote delivery for at least two weeks. A decision about the possibility of returning to campus to complete the academic year will be made by the end of March.
    • Degree Completion: We recognize that many seniors and graduating graduate students are concerned about degree completion. All Departments are committed to working closely with such students to ensure they have every opportunity to graduate on time. Seniors should expect outreach from their department as needed.
  1. Remote Access: As WPI moves to remote course delivery on March 25, we are planning several key changes to technology resources to make this transition as easy as possible.Expect a more detailed message from Information Technology about plans and resources.
  1. Financial Reimbursement:
  • We recognize that prorating housing and dining costs may be necessary. We will communicate more information as soon as possible. 
  • Help is available for students who are in a serious financial situation due to the current situation. Such students should contact the Dean of Students office.
  1. Student Employment: Undergraduate/Hourly Students
    • Students should not return to campus for work until notified to do so. 
    • All scheduled hours for the weeks of March 16thand 23rd will be paid regardless of whether work is performed. Any hours beyond these two weeks will be evaluated at a later date. 
    • In some cases, it may be possible to continue your position if the work you are doing can be performed remotely. Please work directly with your supervisor to determine whether to continue working remotely.
    • You must submit a timesheet by FridayMarch 20th in order to be paid. The next payroll deadline is Friday April 3rd.
    • In Workday, you should enter your time as you normally wouldand enter “COVID19” in the comment field for these hours.
  1. Research and Teaching Assistants
  • The Deans of Undergraduate and Graduate Studies will provide further guidance as soon as possible.

 

Key Information for Faculty & Staff

  1. WPI encourages remote working for those employees who can perform their job responsibilities remotely. More information about remote working will be provided by Monday March 16.
  2. As WPI moves to online instruction and remote working, Information Technology will share some key changes in technology for faculty and staff to leverage and make this transition as easy as possible. 
  3. Messages to the community regarding campus operations should be coordinated with the CERT by sending an email to coronavirusquestions@wpi.edu.

Campus Operations

The campus is open, however, some services are significantly limited at least through the end of March. Beginning early next week all buildings will require card access for entry.

  1. The Sports and Rec Center is closed effective today (March 13) at 7pm.
  2. Gordon Library: Mon-Fri 9am-4pm
  3. SNAP and Gateway Shuttle service is suspended starting Monday March 16.
  4. Morgan Dining Hall only for approved students with a residential meal plan:
    • Mon-Fri7am-9am Breakfast, 11am-1pm Lunch, 5pm-7pm Dinner 
    • Sat-Sun 11am-1pm Brunch, 5pm-7pm Dinner 
  1. Rubin Campus Center
    • Building Hours: Mon– Fri 8am-5pm
    • Food Court: Mon-Fri 11am-1pm
    • Dunkin: Mon-Thu 8am-5pm; Fri 8am-4pm
    • Campus Bookstore: Mon-Thu 9am-4pm; Fri 9am-3pm Students can have course materials/books shipped to them, instead of being picked up at the store.
    • Campus Mailroom is open. For specific information see the FAQs
  1. Health Services will be open regular hours, please call ahead
  2. SDCC will be delivering virtual services, please call ahead
  3. Foisie Innovation Studio
    • Building Hours: Mon-Fri 8am-5PM
    • Makerspace: Closed
    • Aunt Annie’s Pretzels/Planet Smoothie: Closed
  1. WPI Seaport Closed

Events

Current WPI Events guidelines are as follows:

  1. All events of 50 people or more are canceled through April.
  2. All athletic practices and competitions are canceled for the remainder of the Spring athletic season.
  3. In-person undergraduateAdmitted Student Days have been canceled and are being reimagined as virtual experiences.

We are carefully considering the issue of Commencement. This event is an important part of the WPI experience, and we will closely monitor state and federal guidelines in order to make the most thoughtful and prudent decision for our community. A decision will be made by the end of March.

The CERT will continue to work to ensure that WPI responds appropriately to this rapidly evolving crisis, and that the university addresses questions and concerns that have been raised by members of our community. Please continue to check the website for updates and direct any questions to coronavirusquestions@wpi.edu.

Thanks for your cooperation during this challenging time, and thanks for all you do for WPI.

President Leshin and

The Coronavirus Emergency Response Team