From Susan Fournier, Allen Questrom Professor & Dean
Dear Questrom Students,
As we hit the mid-point of spring break, I wanted to provide you with an update regarding our preparedness regarding the COVID-19 virus and address some pressing questions we have received from students and parents about the Boston University and Questrom response.
WILL WE HAVE CLASSES ON CAMPUS NEXT WEEK?
By now you have seen a number of universities, including several here in Boston, announce that they will move all classes to online format for a specific period or for the remainder of the semester. Students at these schools have been asked to return to their homes. Whether this will happen at Boston University is the most frequently asked question today. As of right now, the University has not decided to take such action. We anticipate a University decision—one way or the other—in the near future. Until that time, we will not make any Questrom-specific decisions to migrate classes online; we plan to hold classes as usual starting Monday March 16.
WHAT IF I’M NERVOUS ABOUT RETURNING TO CAMPUS AND GOING TO CLASS?
We understand that this is a very stressful situation. We also recognize that some of you may have legitimate medical concerns about returning to campus and risking potential exposure to the virus. Once we know more from the University about the plan for the remainder of the term, we are prepared to publish our own guidance for concerned students should the University remain open for on-campus courses.
WHAT IF BU MOVES TO ONLINE INSTRUCTION, BUT I DON’T HAVE ACCESS TO A COMPUTER OR HIGH-SPEED INTERNET?
We are committed to ensuring that our students have access to the technology they need to continue their semester online. In the next 24 hours, you will receive access to a survey to assess your technological readiness to complete the semester virtually. Please be on the lookout for this and any and all updates that may come out the rest of this week.
IS QUESTROM PREPARED TO TEACH ONLINE?
We have assembled a Questrom COVID-19 Response Team to develop and implement policies, processes, and practices to maintain the continuity of your education and business operations in the face of a worsening virus situation. The team has been working around the clock to ensure that all faculty and staff have the necessary equipment and training to teach and work online, should the need arise. Last night, I provided the faculty and staff community with an update as to our preparedness to respond to whatever course of action we will need to take. Over the next several days, we will continue to train our faculty to adapt their content and teaching to the online environment.
WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION?
For more information on COVID-19 and BU’s response, please make sure to visit the official website. In addition, we have launched our own Questrom COVID-19 website that contains important information relevant to Questrom. Both of these sites are updated on a regular basis, so make sure to check back frequently.
While I know this update cannot answer the most pressing question you may have—what happens next and how can I plan—I wanted to make sure that we are transparent about communicating what we know and what we don’t know at this point. What I do know with absolute certainty is that your health and health of the community are our top concerns; the University has your best interests at heart. I also know that the Questrom team has been working tirelessly so that we are prepared for any situation that may come our way. These are difficult times, but we will get through this the best way we can.
Again, please make sure to read all of the latest updates that will arrive in email and that are available on our various websites.
Dean Susan Fournier