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Summer Operations Update

Dear Colleagues,

We can be proud of what we have accomplished during the past 15 months, but we should also recognize that the strains of pandemic life have left many of us exhausted. I plan to take some vacation this summer, and I hope you also will be able to find time to rest and recharge.

Although we have only just finished the spring semester, we have already begun to plan for the fall. As a first step, divisional vice presidents have been asked to coordinate back-to-campus schedules that meet the varying needs of each division and office for in-person work this summer and that ensure we are ready for the start of the fall semester. All offices should already have someone available to greet guests as needed and to answer telephones that cannot be forwarded. Soon we will communicate plans to re-open the library for visitors.

Some employees have asked whether they will be able to continue to work remotely. We recognize that work-from-home arrangements have been helpful to many faculty and staff, particularly those having to deal with child-care issues, home schooling, ill family members, and similar challenges. At the same time, much of our strength as a residential college stems from the close relationships and the supportive culture that form in an in-person learning community. Similarly, we believe our students are best served by in-person teaching and advising, and we therefore will not be offering remote instruction next year.

Each division will need to make decisions about flexible work arrangements based on the needs of the division, the requirements of the role, and the best interests of our employees and community. If you have questions about your own situation, I encourage staff to consult with their supervisor and faculty to consult with the dean of faculty’s office.

Current health and safety protocols for summer operations are detailed on the COVID-19 Information website, including updated Frequently Asked Questions, and are effective until August 16. Effective June 16, New York State lifted some safety mandates. However, at institutions of higher education (IHE) where not everyone is fully vaccinated, IHEs have the discretion to make safety decisions that will protect the campus community. At this time, anyone on Hamilton’s campus who is not fully vaccinated should continue to maintain six feet of distance from others and wear face coverings. If you are sick, please contact your supervisor and plan to stay home.

Some important summer milestones include:

  • Opportunity Program begins: Sunday, July 11
  • Orientation leaders begin: Thursday, Aug. 12
  • New Student Orientation: Tuesday Aug. 17, through Wednesday, Aug. 25
  • Fall classes begin: Thursday, Aug. 26

Before the campus gets too busy, I hope all faculty and staff can join me for a community picnic on Wednesday, July 28 (time and location forthcoming). It will be a pleasure to connect again in person, with music kindly provided by some of our colleagues. In the coming weeks, we will share more detailed information about plans for the fall.

Until then,

David



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