November 30, 2020

Dear Colleagues,

I hope that everyone had a safe and relaxing Thanksgiving break.

Since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, we have relied on four guiding principles to inform our decision-making: protect public health, advance MIT’s teaching and research mission, enable our students to stay on track to graduate, and remain flexible and dynamic in our approach.

Chancellor Barnhart pointed to these principles when she confirmed MIT’s plans to welcome first-years, sophomores, and juniors to campus for the spring semester. This development – another cautious step toward a return to normal – gives us reason to hope amid an unrelenting virus and an uncertain winter. In addition, there is another cause for optimism: news of successful vaccine trials that suggest light at the end of the tunnel.

Against these contrasting backdrops, I would like to give staff members a sense of what to expect next semester. We need to continue to limit campus density to be able to proceed with our vision of safely accommodating those who will continue to work and study on-site, as well as the increased number of undergraduates on campus in the spring. This means that, in many cases, if you are able to fulfill your work responsibilities from home, you will continue to do so throughout the spring semester. However, because the upcoming term will differ in some ways from the fall, certain staff now working remotely might need to be on campus during the spring. If you will be needed to work on-site, your supervisor will be in touch with you directly at a later time.

Those of us working from home miss the camaraderie of seeing colleagues in person, but I hope that you take comfort and pride in knowing that our community is doing a terrific job in both remote work and remote learning. The exceptional contributions of staff and faculty make this possible. Thank you for your continued dedication to the Institute’s mission and community.

Sincerely,

Ramona Allen
Vice President for Human Resources