Updated 09/18/2020

As we are still working remotely, meetings should be conducted via video chat or phonecall. There should be no in-person seminars, workshops, conferences, classes, events, interviews, or trainings, indoors or outdoors.

Please see Dean Gay's note to the faculty, below, dated 17 September 2020.

Dear colleagues,

Some faculty have asked whether it is possible to arrange face-to-face meetings with students. I am writing to clarify the current FAS guidance on this topic, which has been set in partnership with HUHS. It supports the overriding goal of putting the health and safety of our community first as we move forward with the work of our teaching mission this fall.

In making the decision to pursue fully remote teaching, we set the default expectation that interactions with students should be remote. While it is understandable to imagine face-to-face meetings may support mentoring and advising, another consideration is the importance of not putting pressure on students who are not comfortable having in-person interactions but may be reluctant to say so. Students or members of their families may have health risks they are not comfortable sharing. Whether or not it is intended, an invitation to meet may make students feel they are being asked to choose between their or their family’s health and their academic progress.

We would ask that you please continue to interact with your students virtually. While Harvard’s required public health practices are largely focused on campus-based activities, I would encourage you to follow the spirit of our approach and to do everything you can to reduce transmission of the virus, on campus and in the greater Boston community. That includes practicing masking, distancing, handwashing, and avoiding gatherings.

Claudine Gay
Edgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences