Dear HKS Faculty and Staff:
As we prepare to fully welcome our degree program students back to campus this fall, we look forward to welcoming you back through a carefully staged reentry process for faculty and staff beginning in August. At this time, we estimate that roughly 50% of our staff will need to return in early August with remaining staff later in August or in September. Where possible, we intend to offer a ramp up period which will allow people to adjust to different routines. Faculty will return based on their teaching and other commitments. A number of our students and colleagues have already been on campus this spring. We are grateful to those who have already returned to campus to support the student experience and to keep HKS on track in ways that cannot be accomplished remotely. As we continue to see an increase in vaccine availability, improvements in the local public health situation, and State and local restrictions continue to ease, we are excited to begin rebuilding our campus presence and gradually join those who are already on campus.
We want to reiterate that the health and safety of our people is of utmost importance. Numerous precautions and upgrades have already been put in place throughout the HKS campus to safeguard our community. In addition, regular coronavirus testing will continue which will enable the University to monitor the status of the virus on campus. More information regarding a safe campus reopening can be found on the University’s coronavirus website.
Though safety protocols are in place and we are compliant with State and local guidelines, we recognize the transition back to the workplace will present its own set of challenges, and at this moment, many of our colleagues are facing continued uncertainties and questions. As exemplified by yesterday’s message from the President and Provost, the University is continually reviewing and updating policies and procedures in response to changing conditions and to help us prepare for the fall. More information will be shared in the coming weeks, and we anticipate that managers and staff will have conversations about specific individual and team plans for return, with a goal to have most fall transition plans in place by early summer. At the same time, we all need to recognize that health conditions and school needs cannot be predicted fully, so we will need to maintain the flexibility that everyone has shown over the past year.
The full reopening of our campus for the fall semester will be a transitional period of learning and discovery. In-person communities and collaboration are core aspects of how we achieve our mission, and it is critical for us to re-establish our on-campus presence and deliver services in person. At the same time, we want to leverage our learnings from the past year of remote work to try out new models of work where appropriate. The fall will be an opportunity to test how we can apply new models of flexible work while still fulfilling our mission with excellence. To guide us in this transition, we have developed HKS Guiding Principles and Approach for Return to Campus to help shape our development plans further.
Thank you for your continued commitment, dedication, and flexibility. It will be good to be together in-person again, and we look forward to seeing you on campus this fall.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Academic Dean for Teaching and Curriculum
Edith M. Stokey Senior Lecturer in Public Policy