Dean’s Update on COVID-19

March 3, 2020

Dear Questrom Community,

BU’s spring break begins at the end of this week, providing us a welcomed opportunity to step away from the rush of the semester and refresh before finishing out the academic year. There is no doubt, however, that this year’s break is complicated by the Novel Coronavirus Disease 19 (COVID-19) outbreak. This email outlines actions Questrom and the University are taking at this time, with specific recommendations as we head into spring break.


As you head off for possible travel, it is important that you stay informed about global manifestations of the disease and protocols relating to the spread of the virus and plan accordingly:

  • So that we can help our community stay up-to-date with information that may affect your travel or engagement with the University, WE ASK THAT ALL STUDENTS, FACULTY, AND STAFF REGISTER YOUR TRAVEL PLANS WITH QUESTROM, even if you’re just returning home.
  • For those traveling domestically or internationally, the U.S. Department of State and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) provide information about travel concerns around the world, including areas in which they recommend you self-isolate upon return from travel. Please stay up to date with news about the virus in areas where you are planning to travel, including traveling back home or taking a quick day trip. If flying, check for updates from your airline on a regular basis.
  • Practice preventative measures, such as: frequent hand-washing, maintaining safe distances from those who may be coughing and/or sneezing, and practicing good respiratory health by coughing or sneezing into your elbow or a tissue.


At the time of this email there have been only two confirmed case of COVID-19 in Massachusetts and 102 (6 deaths) in the broader U.S. While these numbers are not as severe as other places in the world, infected areas are emerging rapidly as the virus can spread quickly among clusters of people. Our leadership teams are working diligently to develop a response plan in the rare case of disruption to in-person classroom instruction or other on-campus activities. Preparatory measures include the use of classroom technologies such as Echo capture and live streaming, as well as virtual visits for various recruitment activities. Questrom is committed to making available and accessible to our students, faculty, and staff all technologies required to hold classes or deliver services while off-campus. As with previous situations such as the SARS outbreak, our best defense is good preparation. We will be prepared to respond appropriately if and when it is necessary, and will keep you informed.


We also know that many of you have concerns about how the outbreak will impact your summer travel and work plans. Please know that BU and Questrom are working hard to develop and implement plans to accommodate more of our students choosing to stay in Boston. Some of the measures currently under review include increased residence hall and dining services availability, enhanced summer work opportunities around campus, and increased summer course offerings. As these options and others are explored the University will announce any decisions made and communicate the options available.


For the many BU community members with family and loved ones facing this health crisis in all parts of the world, we know this is a very challenging time. Our hearts as a community are with you, as is our support through a variety of campus resources, including the Office of the Dean of Students, Student Health Services, and Occupational Health. We hope you will reach out to our faculty and staff if you have particular needs or questions that arise.

For ongoing updates related to the COVID-19 outbreak, the University has created a BU COVID-19 site providing virus-related information, updates on evolving policies, practices and decisions at the University, and answers to frequently asked questions. Make sure to regularly check this site as well as those offered by the CDC and the World Health Organization.

For those traveling over spring break, we hope that you will follow the advice above and travel safely. For those remaining in Boston, our offices are open for business during the break. Do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Wishing everyone our best,


Allen Questrom Professor & Dean
Questrom School of Business

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