Remote learning

Can I come to campus if I live nearby?

All HKS classes will be online only for the remainder of the school term. Students should do their course work and participate in classes from their homes or another suitable remote location. HKS campus buildings are closed except for visits that are absolutely necessary. To determine whether a visit is necessary, please consult with Debbie Isaacson (for students) or Suzanne Cooper (for faculty).

How will you handle differences in times zones?

If you know you will be in a time zone that will make the regular class time difficult for you to attend, we advise you to let the faculty and teaching staff know as soon as possible. This will help them to make alterations to the teaching plan that will best accommodate the geographic spread of the students. If class meetings are scheduled at a time that you cannot attend, write directly to the faculty and teaching staff to ask about expectations for attendance and alternative options. Faculty have been asked to consider other ways for students who are in sharply different time zones to show class participation, for instance through written work or other means to demonstrate their learning.

Are faculty still offering office hours?

As always, faculty determine when to hold office hours. Faculty have been asked to hold office hours online and even to add virtual office hours if possible so that they can maintain communication with students in the absence of drop-ins, hallway and cafe encounters, etc. In most cases office hours will be held by Zoom, as with class sessions.

For more information and tips, visit the Harvard University remote learning site.

Remote work

Will the campus buildings be open during our remote work-only period? 

HKS campus buildings are closed except for visits that are absolutely necessary. To determine whether a visit is necessary, staff should consult with Beth Banks and faculty should consult with Suzanne Cooper.

How long will I be expected to work remotely?

HKS faculty, staff and students are asked to work remotely from March 16 through at least March 27. Whether we return to work on campus in the following week will depend on developments between now and then.  

If I cannot do my job remotely, will I still be paid?

 Harvard University has issued guidance on pay continuity. Since the effects of the virus cannot be fully foreseen, this and other policies will be revisited on a periodic basis.

I am a union employee. How will I be affected by remote work?

You should talk with your manager to determine if the functions in your job may be performed remotely. If some or all of the functions of your job cannot be performed remotely, Harvard is committed to sustaining pay continuity (see above).  

Can I take computer equipment home with me?

Email your manager the components you intend to bring home. With approval, you can bring your docking station, monitor, keyboard, mouse, webcam, and power adapter.

Can I bring home my desktop computer?

You can bring home a desktop only if you need a special function such as high end publishing or video editing that cannot be done on a standard laptop. Your request must be approved by the manager who is responsible for tracking desktops that leave campus and by HKS IT to ensure the computer has been encrypted. Please email requests to and include the user's name as well as the name of the computer.

Can staff and faculty travel for Harvard business?

All University-related international travel is prohibited until at least April 30. Review Harvard Global Support Services’ (GSS) international travel guidance for more information. All University-related non-essential domestic air travel is prohibited until at least April 30. If you think you have essential domestic air travel to conduct, contact Beth Banks (for staff and fellows) or Suzanne Cooper (for faculty) for approval in advance. Visit the Harvard University travel guidance page

 For more information and tips, visit the Harvard University remote work site.

HKS buildings and facilities

Will the building remain accessible?

HKS buildings are closed.
At this time, admittance is by special authorization only.

If you have any questions please reach out to: 

  • Debbie Issacson for Students
  • Beth Banks for Staff and Fellows
  • Suzanne Cooper for Faculty

Will security remain onsite?

Yes, there will be Security presence on the Quad. HKS Security can be reached at 617-495-1330.  For off the Quad buildings, Security presence will continue as normal but if assistance is needed at off quad building please call HKS Security.

Will the mailroom remain operational?

Basic mail will be sorted on Tuesdays and Thursdays only.  

Sorting and mail delivery for USPS, UPS and FedEx mail to 124 Mt Auburn, 114 Mt Auburn, and 1 Brattle will also take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays.   Note: Only authorized employees can pick up mail from their respective areas.  These employees must have prior written approvals from their managers.

Note: Packages sent to the school should be absolutely necessary and work related.  Do not send your personal mail and packages to the mailroom.  No packages and mail will be resent to home addresses. 

For any questions concerning mail services, please contact the Campus Planning & Operations helpdesk at 617-495-1306 or email  

What about Office Supplies deliveries?

Ordering of all office supplies including other materials (furniture etc.) are suspended at this time, until further notice.  So, we do not anticipate any vendor deliveries during this time period.

Will custodial staff remain onsite?

HKS will have a small staff onsite once or twice a week to conduct essential cleaning in all buildings.

Staying healthy

What should I do if I suspect that I have been infected with the COV19 virus, or if I came in contact with someone who has tested positive?

Please refer to this guidance:

The rapidly changing nature of this public health emergency raises questions and anxieties, here are some things you can do:

  • If you may have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, contact your primary care provider and also let HUHS know ( so we can advise you. Please do not go to a medical office or emergency room without calling first.
  • If you think you may have had an exposure but no symptoms, please review and follow HUHS’ guidance to determine whether you should self-isolate.
  • Even if HUHS is not your healthcare provider: Please notify us via email if you are tested for COVID-19 (, so we can continue to assess the impact on our community.
  • It is essential that we all practice and promote good, basic hygiene: wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds; avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth; cough/sneeze into the crook of your elbow; avoid close contact with those who are sick; stay home when you are sick; and take any other precautions required by your job.
  • Take steps to reduce risk at meetings and events: hold phone or video meetings and keep a six-foot distance if meeting in person.
  • Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. Review information and resources to manage fear and anxiety.
  • For students with the Student Health Insurance Plan, we have implemented temporary benefit changes in response to COVID-19. Please review our FAQs.
Staying informed

Visit the Harvard coronavirus website and KNet for information on travel restrictions, gatherings, hygiene, and more. You can also visit Harvard's Frequently Asked Questions page