WPI Plans for Fall Opening Latest Information

Following are communications sent to the WPI community (grouped by audience and ordered chronologically, beginning with the most recent) with information and resources regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

Students & Families

8/6/20: Important Change to Pre-Arrival Checklist for all RI Residents

This message was sent to all students who are Rhode Island residents. On August 4, Massachusetts Governor Baker announced that Rhode Island has been added to the list of higher risk states that fall within the Massachusetts travel orderOutlined below is a change to your arrival procedures. Please read this message and the checklist linked below carefully. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/29/20: Pre-Arrival Testing and Travel Requirements

On July 24, Massachusetts Governor Baker announced a travel order that outlines steps that travelers—including students—must take if coming to Massachusetts from outside select states. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/23/20: Expectations for Our Fall Semester

As the July 26th deadline for completing the Fall Intentions Form approaches, I want to provide more information about our plans for your return to campus and classes. Our faculty and staff have been carefully working and planning for your arrival, and we are excited to welcome you back. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/22/20: Fall Courses and Their Formats

We continue to find ourselves in the midst of challenging times, and we sincerely hope troubles have been few for you, your families, and your friends.In preparation fo r the fall, we’ve been working to adapt our curriculum to respond to the challenges presented by this pandemic. While the health and safety of this community remains our top priority, we’re also committed to providing you with the best possible education through the highest-quality teaching and the most flexible modes of delivery. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/17/20: Fall Athletics at WPI

I know that sports and physical activity play a critical role in your lives, and I love to see you seize opportunities for health and wellness, competitive outlets, teamwork, and lifelong bonds. However, given the challenges of operating the campus safely in the fall, we have reached the following very difficult decisions: There will be no athletic competitions this fall; we don’t yet know the status of winter or spring sports activities, only that there will not be any athletic competitions prior to Jan. 1, 2021. Our physical education and recreation offerings will be different during A- and B- Terms; students will learn through individual programs that are focused on personal fitness. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/1/20: WPI Plans for Fall Opening

I am so looking forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful campus. And as of today, that’s where we are headed. Following the unanimous recommendation of our Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT), supported by the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that WPI is moving forward to bring our community back to campus for the new academic yearREAD FULL MESSAGE

6/3/20: Planning, expectations, and engagement re: fall on campus

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Of all the difficult weeks of the past few months, this past one has been incredibly challenging to navigate.I hope that my message on Monday made it clear that WPI will work ever harder for social justice, that we believe Black Lives Matter, and that in the midst of the ongoing health and economic crisis, we remain a community that stands together.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

4/27/20: Message from President Leshin: Active Planning for Return to Campus

Sharing a message we sent this evening to accepted students and their parents. It’s a question on many of your minds: “Will WPI be open for classes in the fall?” The answer is that there is nothing we want more, and the university is actively working toward that as our baseline plan. The fall is one of the most special times of year at WPI, and we are doing all we can to make it possible for students, faculty and staff to be on campus to experience it. READ FULL MESSAGE

4/16/20: Follow Up on Commencement for Class of 2020 Graduates and Families

We hope you and your family are managing well in these challenging times. We are writing to follow up on the March 31 letter that announced the university’s decision to postpone Commencement 2020 ceremonies, given the COVID-19 pandemic. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

3/31/20: Update on Commencement for Class of 2020 Graduates and Families

We write to you at a time of unprecedented challenge for each and every person in the WPI community, as we work together to manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our campus and our world.  Thank you for your flexibility, ingenuity, and creativity in adapting to the changes taking place all around you. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/26/20: WPI Emergency Assistance Fund Established

First, I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe, and that you are adjusting to our new normal at WPI and in our homes. As we all know, the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to drive major changes in the way we conduct our work and lives. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/25/20: COVID-19 Cases Update

I am writing to inform you that the first two cases of COVID-19 within our community were confirmed last evening and today. These cases are unrelated to each other. I can report that these two members of the WPI community are recovering in self-isolation in their respective homes. It’s been more than 15 days since either person was on campus, so any danger to others in our community is extremely low. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/19/20: Gordon Library will move fully online beginning Friday, March 20 at 4 pm

All Gordon Library services will move fully online beginning this Friday at 4pm. All of our staff will be available online and working to support you and our students in whatever way we can.​ We will continue to provide services including online library instruction, support for obtaining and linking to digital course materials, interlibrary borrowing of digital materials, virtual research consultations for you and your students, and more.​ READ FULL MESSAGE 

3/18/20: Updates on Campus Operations and D-Term: Message from President Leshin & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team

This has been a challenging few weeks - both around the world and here at WPI.  We know that students miss their friends and being in the dynamic learning environment on campus. It is also clear that, despite these unprecedented circumstances, faculty and staff are working incredibly hard to be able to deliver WPI’s education to our students, and to keep our campus operating.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/16/20:  Gordon Library Service Updates, March 16-24 

Due to COVID-19-related changes in D-Term schedules and library staffing: From March 16-20 we will be open 9am to 4pm. The Gordon Library building will be closed beginning at 4 pm March 20, but most services will be continued online. Future changes to library hours and operations will be announced on the Library’s home page and on the Library hours page as the situation evolves. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

3/15/20: Updates on Campus Operations/Remote Working: Message from President Leshin & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team

This message is intended to give you the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and to give you a sense of some of what we are planning for in the days and weeks ahead. The situation is fast-moving, and the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT) is working continually to ensure that we take appropriate action as COVID-19 cases across the Commonwealth increase.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/13/20: Update on Course Delivery Changes and University Operations: Message from President Leshin & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team

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.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/11/20: Important COVID-19 Update: D-Term Delayed; Classes Online; Travel Cancelled

Our Coronavirus Emergency Response Team has been working around the clock to ensure that WPI responds thoughtfully and appropriately to this rapidly evolving situation. There are currently no confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at WPI. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/6/20: Additional Info About the Suspension of University-Sponsored International Travel, Including D-Term Project Center Travel

I’m writing to follow up on Wednesday’s announcement about the cancellation of international travel during D-Term. I understand how devastating this news has been to many members of our community, especially students ...​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/4/20: Suspension of University-Sponsored International Travel, Including D-Term Project Centers

The university has been following the guidance of local, regional, and national authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. State Department, and the Massachusetts Governor’s office as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues worldwide.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

2/28/20: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Spring Break Travel

Given the global concerns regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and, specifically, concerns regarding impacts on both domestic and international travel, WPI wanted to provide the following updates.Spring Break Travel With spring break approaching, many of you may be planning to travel. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

Faculty

5/25/20: Research Reopening Update

WPI will mirror the framework issued by Governor Baker earlier this week regarding the phased reopening of businesses and other activities across the state. This will be a thoughtful, careful, incremental process, and labs will need to operate in new ways. We will need your support for developing and implementing reopening plans, specific to your lab and research group, in accordance to state public health guidelines so that you, your colleagues, and your students can be safe. The reopening process may even pause at times, depending on the virus and other factors. READ FULL MESSAGE.

4/17/20: Research Continuity Update from Bogdan Vernescu, Vice Provost of Research

I would like to thank you all for your contributions to the success of our research enterprise; many of our research metrics are up, and we are having a record year for our research funding—currently at $47.5M, with a few more awards under negotiation. Second, I would like to give a shout-out to the entire staff in the research support offices—Office of Sponsored Programs, Sponsored Programs Accounting, Office for Technology Transfer, Research Solutions Institute, and Research Computing—who are continuing to provide remotely their usual level of service. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/20/20: Research Updates from Bogdan Vernescu, Vice Provost of Research

Faculty should immediately begin preparing for on-campus research to be discontinued, if they have not already done so. Access to labs will be restricted to essential personnel for maintaining research critical assets, such as lab animals, cell/tissue cultures, and maintaining essential equipment and materials. The goal is to maintain the existing research related assets in order to ensure laboratory viability and to comply with federal research regulations.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/20/20: Remote Support Resources 

With D-Term going completely online and students having no physical access to our computer labs and computing resources, WPI IT has brought the following new resources online for faculty teaching from off-campus. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

Employees (Faculty & Staff)

8/5/20: Testing & Symptom Tracker Information

This message was sent to all employees. WPI’s carefully planned phased campus reopening is well underway. With the recent reopening of Pathway 2 offices, we now have approximately 1,000 people on campus on any given day. READ FULL MESSAGE

8/4/20: Changes to Mail Delivery

Beginning this fall, mail courier service will be replaced with a network of lockers installed around campus to provide contactless delivery and align this service with social distancing recommendations. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/27/20: Moving Forward, Building Confidence for New Academic Year

I write to;day—a little more than a month before classes are scheduled to begin and just after the deadline for our students to share their intentions for the new academic year—to affirm our plans to continue the thoughtful, deliberate, and safety-minded process of opening our campus. We move forward, even as it requires changes to nearly every aspect of our operations, fully committed to creating the most meaningful experience that we can for our students while respecting the need for serious safety protocols for us all. READ FULL MESSAGE.

7/23/20: Employee Access to Campus Buildings July 24-28, 2020

As you may be aware from President Leshin’s message on July 17, although our campus is starting to repopulate, several departments and offices will not be returning to campus for at least several more weeks, and in the case of the newly added Pathway 4 not until the beginning of B-Term (October 21). Given this extended period of remote work, we understand many employees may need access to their desks and offices to retrieve and replenish work supplies. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/21/20: Managing childcare and other family needs during COVID

This message by Wole Soboyejo, senior vice president and provost, and Michelle Jones-Johnson, vice president for Talent & Inclusion and chief diversity officer, was sent to all employees. Since the earliest days of this pandemic, our faculty, staff, and graduate students with children at home have been working hard to balance their family’s needs with WPI’s online classes, Zoom meetings, traditional working hours, research endeavors, and their personal career goals. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/17/20: Progress on Reopening Plans

I hope this note finds you safe and healthy, and that you are enjoying what you can of summer. In advance of our next Employee Town Hall (July 27), I wanted to share several updates to our plans announced July 1 . At present, more of you are back in your offices and labs working (as am I). Some of you never left, and the rest of you are likely feeling a mix of anticipation and apprehension about what the year ahead looks like for you, your families, your colleagues—and for our students. READ FULL MESSAGE

6/24/20: Action plans for racial justice work at WPI 

By now I hope you’ve had the opportunity to read the letter from our Board Chair Jack Mollen on our institutional commitment to actions to increase racial justice. I am writing to share my own support for his words and for this critical work we must do as a community. READ FULL MESSAGE

6/12/20: Returning to campus, academic calendar and more updates

This week I have had the privilege of engaging in four Town Hall discussions with our WPI community: returning students and parents, Class of 2024 students and parents, faculty and staff, and WPI alumni. In total, we engaged with about 2,500 people in the past two days! It’s been energizing to share our progress and hear lots of input and ideas that are critical to the complex and intensive work of planning to bring our community back to campus. READ FULL MESSAGE

6/3/20: Planning, Expectations, and Engagement re: Fall on Campus

The safety and health of our WPI family is top-of-mind in all of the considerable work under way to determine how and when we can be physically together as an on-campus community. Fall is a very special time at WPI—for first-year and continuing students and for our faculty and staff.  WPI loves tradition, and we have dearly missed so many of them since COVID-19 sent us to our homes—and, for the vast majority, that meant being far away from our home on the Hill. READ FULL MESSAGE

5/21/20: Update on Campus, Financial, and Fall Planning

It has been a remarkable two months that we have weathered together. I am so proud and grateful for every pivot you made, every innovation you tried, and every day that you faced with care and creativity to advance our mission and serve our students. READ FULL MESSAGE

4/22/20: Virtual Town Hall, April 29, 3 pm

Please join me for our third WPI community-wide virtual town hall and Q&A session on Wednesday, April 29 at 3 p.m. You can login in beginning at 2:45 p.m. READ FULL MESSAGE

4/8/20: Update on the Economic Impact of COVID-19

As we enter the third week of D-term, I want to sincerely thank each and every one of you for the work you are doing to uphold WPI’s mission, to support one another, and to help those communities beyond our own. Most importantly, I want to thank you for your commitment to ensuring that our students continue to advance their educational goals in this, the most challenging of moments. READ FULL MESSAGE

4/1/20: Be Well Together: Live Virtual Yoga and Meditation Sessions During D-term

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, WPI is launching a "Be Well Together" Initiative that aims to support faculty, students, and staff with wellness programs that bring the community together. READ FULL MESSAGE.

3/31/20: D-term Progress; Campus Operations Updates

Today marks the end of the first week of D-Term and the first week of remote working for most of us. I’m so proud of each you for doing your part to make this not only possible, but successful. And special thanks to those with designated emergency personnel status who are still working on the physical campus in these stressful times.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/30/20: Tell Us Your Stories: Connect with Marketing Communications

As the world grapples with the most disruptive health challenge of modern times, there is growing interest in how people—and organizations—are managing this new reality and helping others through it.  Stories are what connects us—as a community, and to the larger world. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/27/20: Supporting WPI Student's Well-Being 

As our students begin to re-engage classes remotely, hopefully it will provide some measure of normalcy and grounding in their daily routines. Nonetheless, these will be quite challenging times for all of us, many of us have already and will face significant losses. While our students as a whole are a young and resilient bunch, many and most are without the life experience of having lived through other times of crisis. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

3/27/20: Employee Operations Updates from Business Continuity CERT

We hope that this message finds you and your families healthy and adjusting to working from home as we all navigate these challenging times.  Although the campus has been very quiet since Wednesday, we are still making some adjustments to the operations occurring onsite for the emergency responders that continue to come to campus daily. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/23/20: Update to Facilities Team from Eric Beattie, Vice President for Campus Planning and Facilities Management

To all members of the Facilities’ Operations, Customer Service, Environmental Health & Safety, Design and Construction, and Events Team: In light of the Governor’s announcement today and the rapidly changing information regarding COVID-19, I wanted to take this opportunity to communicate Facilities’ role during this situation.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/23/20: WPI Employee Operational Updates

As you are aware from President Leshin’s message on Friday March 20th, WPI is moving to limited campus operations to further restrict physical access to campus. Only employees who have been notified that they have emergency designation for academic and business continuity will be permitted to be on campus effective at 5PM on Tuesday, March 24, 2020. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/22/20: WPI Community Working Together to Provide Supplies to Medical Facilities

When the world faces a challenge, the WPI community responds. This weekend, WPI faculty and staff launched an effort to collect supplies to help local medical organizations respond to the coronavirus crisis.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/20/20: Cooking with WPI

Community development and relationship building are critical to our culture at WPI. This is especially true during this difficult time. As we work together to reimagine our work amidst this public health crisis, it is important that we also take the time to foster community, especially for those experiencing social isolation. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/20/20: Update for Employees on Limited Campus Operations; No Cases of COVID-19 in Campus Community

Thank you for your support and focus during this time of crisis and as we navigate these difficult and unprecedented circumstances.  This message has two important updates: there are currently NO cases of COVID-19 among WPI faculty, staff and students, and the university will be moving to limited campus operations. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

3/18/20: Important Student Supervisor Information

As you are aware, students have been told not to return to campus for class or work until notified.  WPI recognizes this is a very difficult situation for students and we want to support them as much as possible during this time.  Students will be paid for all hours scheduled to work for the weeks of March 16 and March 23 regardless of whether the work is performed.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

Prospective Students

3/16/20: Office of Undergraduate Admissions to Offer Virtual Accepted Student Days

Due to the rapid growth and uncertainty surrounding COVID-19 (Coronavirus), WPI’s Coronavirus Emergency Response Team has been working around the clock to determine the safest ways to proceed when responding to this ever-evolving situation. It’s because of this that the difficult but necessary decision has been made to cancel Accepted Student Days and all campus visits through May 1. READ MORE

University Community (Messages for Students, Faculty, and Staff)

7/14/20: Statement on Rescinded ICE Policy Guidance

Today’s actions to rescind ICE policy guidance is a victory for all of higher education. This decision ends the uncertainty that would have forced international students and scholars to make drastic decisions about their future educational pursuits, thereby threatening their success. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/9/20: WPI to House First-Year Students at Hampton Inn at Gateway Park

WPI will house about 185 first-year students at the Worcester Hampton Inn during the 2020-2021 academic year as part of the university’s efforts to reduce density in residence halls during the COVID-19 global pandemic. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/9/20: A Message to Our International Students

The following note was sent to all international students: We are writing to you in response to the recent ICE policy guidance. As your deans, we want you to know that you are extremely valuable members of our WPI community. We are working to support your continued progress in your degree programs and your experience at WPI, and are in the process of developing plans to address the different scenarios that our international students face with the new ICE policy. READ FULL MESSAGE

7/1/20: WPI Plans for Fall Opening

I am so looking forward to welcoming you back to our beautiful campus. And as of today, that’s where we are headed. Following the unanimous recommendation of our Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT), supported by the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to announce that WPI is moving forward to bring our community back to campus for the new academic year. READ FULL MESSAGE

6/3/20: Planning, expectations, and engagement re: fall on campus

I hope this note finds you and your loved ones safe and healthy. Of all the difficult weeks of the past few months, this past one has been incredibly challenging to navigate.I hope that my message on Monday made it clear that WPI will work ever harder for social justice, that we believe Black Lives Matter, and that in the midst of the ongoing health and economic crisis, we remain a community that stands together.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

4/27/20: Message from President Leshin: Active Planning for Return to Campus

Sharing a message we sent this evening to accepted students and their parents. It’s a question on many of your minds: “Will WPI be open for classes in the fall?” The answer is that there is nothing we want more, and the university is actively working toward that as our baseline plan. The fall is one of the most special times of year at WPI, and we are doing all we can to make it possible for students, faculty and staff to be on campus to experience it. READ FULL MESSAGE

4/16/20: Follow Up on Commencement for Class of 2020 Graduates and Families

We hope you and your family are managing well in these challenging times. We are writing to follow up on the March 31 letter that announced the university’s decision to postpone Commencement 2020 ceremonies, given the COVID-19 pandemic. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

3/31/20: Update on Commencement for Class of 2020 Graduates and Families

We write to you at a time of unprecedented challenge for each and every person in the WPI community, as we work together to manage the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on our campus and our world.  Thank you for your flexibility, ingenuity, and creativity in adapting to the changes taking place all around you. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/26/20: WPI Emergency Assistance Fund Established

First, I hope this message finds you and your loved ones healthy and safe, and that you are adjusting to our new normal at WPI and in our homes. As we all know, the rapidly evolving coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to drive major changes in the way we conduct our work and lives. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/25/20: COVID-19 Cases Update

I am writing to inform you that the first two cases of COVID-19 within our community were confirmed last evening and today. These cases are unrelated to each other. I can report that these two members of the WPI community are recovering in self-isolation in their respective homes. It’s been more than 15 days since either person was on campus, so any danger to others in our community is extremely low. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/19/20: Gordon Library will move fully online beginning Friday, March 20 at 4 pm

All Gordon Library services will move fully online beginning this Friday at 4pm. All of our staff will be available online and working to support you and our students in whatever way we can.​ We will continue to provide services including online library instruction, support for obtaining and linking to digital course materials, interlibrary borrowing of digital materials, virtual research consultations for you and your students, and more.​ READ FULL MESSAGE 

3/18/20: Updates on Campus Operations and D-Term: Message from President Leshin & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team

This has been a challenging few weeks - both around the world and here at WPI.  We know that students miss their friends and being in the dynamic learning environment on campus. It is also clear that, despite these unprecedented circumstances, faculty and staff are working incredibly hard to be able to deliver WPI’s education to our students, and to keep our campus operating.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/16/20:  Gordon Library Service Updates, March 16-24 

Due to COVID-19-related changes in D-Term schedules and library staffing: From March 16-20 we will be open 9am to 4pm. The Gordon Library building will be closed beginning at 4 pm March 20, but most services will be continued online. Future changes to library hours and operations will be announced on the Library’s home page and on the Library hours page as the situation evolves. ​READ FULL MESSAGE

3/15/20: Updates on Campus Operations/Remote Working: Message from President Leshin & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team

This message is intended to give you the latest information on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation, and to give you a sense of some of what we are planning for in the days and weeks ahead. The situation is fast-moving, and the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team (CERT) is working continually to ensure that we take appropriate action as COVID-19 cases across the Commonwealth increase.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/13/20: Update on Course Delivery Changes and University Operations: Message from President Leshin & the Coronavirus Emergency Response Team

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.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/11/20: Important COVID-19 Update: D-Term Delayed; Classes Online; Travel Cancelled

Our Coronavirus Emergency Response Team has been working around the clock to ensure that WPI responds thoughtfully and appropriately to this rapidly evolving situation. There are currently no confirmed or presumptive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) at WPI. READ FULL MESSAGE

3/6/20: Additional Info About the Suspension of University-Sponsored International Travel, Including D-Term Project Center Travel

I’m writing to follow up on Wednesday’s announcement about the cancellation of international travel during D-Term. I understand how devastating this news has been to many members of our community, especially students ...​ READ FULL MESSAGE

3/4/20: Suspension of University-Sponsored International Travel, Including D-Term Project Centers

The university has been following the guidance of local, regional, and national authorities, including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the U.S. State Department, and the Massachusetts Governor’s office as the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak continues worldwide.​ READ FULL MESSAGE

2/28/20: Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update: Spring Break Travel

Given the global concerns regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) and, specifically, concerns regarding impacts on both domestic and international travel, WPI wanted to provide the following updates.Spring Break Travel With spring break approaching, many of you may be planning to travel. ​READ FULL MESSAGE