COVID-19 Information; 3/12/2020 @ 6:56 AM

Boston University Medical Campus
Office of the Associate Provost GMS

Dear GMS Faculty, Staff, and Students,

Today’s letters from President Brown is the university’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and how we will make adjustments in the interests of all our BU community members. The change to remote teaching will begin next Monday (March 16th) and I applaud all of you who planned ahead for this transition. Note that EdMedia is a continuing resource and GMS has staff who can assist with Zoom as well. Contacts are on the GMS web page and feel free to reach out to us for help.

There are some points in President Brown’s communications that are under discussion and many people are asking questions. I do not have all the answers now. Generally, keep academic activities to groups of 10 people or less. If it is not essential, either cancel or do it remotely. However, the campus is still “open” so faculty and staff are expected to come to work as usual.

Research Graduate Students and Postdoctoral Scholars: Research activities will continue normally. Research graduate students should report to their research laboratories for rotations or thesis research, but do so with common sense. Talk with your PI to see if you can shift hours so you avoid rush hour on public transportation, freeze down cells, back up your data, try not to schedule long-term experiments with animals. You should follow the decisions and recommendations of your research PI. PhD thesis defenses can go on as scheduled, but limit attendance to 10 or fewer people. Avoid inviting family and plan your (anticipated) celebration at an off campus site to accommodate well-wishers.

Clinical Graduate Students: We hope that the status of clinical rotations will be resolved tomorrow morning at a meeting of BU deans. There is universal understanding of the potential impact on accreditation and graduation requirements and we are doing everything possible on behalf of our students. This is evolving very rapidly and I will keep you updated as soon as possible.

I appreciate your concerns and forbearance as we work through these changes. We still have a few days until the changes come into effect and I am very optimistic that matters will be worked out in time. These are extraordinary times and we are extraordinarily resilient.

With best regards,

Deborah Stearns-Kurosawa, PhD
Associate Provost ad interim
Graduate Medical Sciences
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