Messages to the Community

July 17, 2020

Dear Members of the Hobart and William Smith College Community,

With the fall semester fast approaching, we are in the final stages of preparation for fall reopening. Given the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have modified the structure of the semester and aspects of campus life to ensure that classes can proceed safely and effectively. We are thankful to the members of our community who provided feedback on our draft plan. While the core structure of the plan remains the same, many of your suggestions are reflected in the final plan and your requests for clarification make up the bulk of the frequently asked questions. With this plan, we remain committed to providing a safe environment for our students, faculty and staff that also allows us to deliver what we firmly believe is the most effective path for higher education – the residential living and learning environment.

Because this is a fluid situation, we will continue to adapt our opening plan as conditions suggest and invite feedback throughout the semester to the email address. We invite you to explore the plan and our FAQs on our Fall 2020 Opening web page, which we will continue to update as necessary.

As you will see on the web page and associated documents, we have assessed campus buildings and planned for physical distancing; integrated in-person, hybrid and remote modes of instruction; worked with local healthcare providers to institute screening and testing; and prepared for contingencies regarding all aspects of campus life. Each person’s situation is different, and we have created a model for learning, teaching and working that affords the greatest amount of flexibility for personal choice in deciding how to participate. As always, the Colleges will work with each student, faculty member and staff member on a one-on-one basis to accommodate any special circumstances as they arise.

The Office of Academic and Faculty Affairs is working with each faculty member to determine the teaching mode of every course offered this fall and the appropriate room assignments. Later today, we expect to post in PeopleSoft an updated course schedule, including room assignments, enrollment limits and modes of instruction for each course. We anticipate that about 55% of courses will be in-person, 25% will be hybrid and 20% will be fully remote. Unlike in the spring, when the pandemic forced us to shift quickly to a remote learning model, should a class be fully remote this fall, it will involve direct student engagement with faculty during its regularly scheduled time slot. The drop-add period for returning students will begin on Monday, July 20 and remain open until the end of the first week of classes, August 28.

As we reopen campus, the health and safety of all faculty, staff and students will be defined by the resolve and discipline of each one of us. Opening for residential education will require cooperation and accountability from all members of our community. Simply stated, the success and safety of our collective HWS community is dependent on the individual dedication of each member of our community. We must expect this from one another.

We look forward to seeing you this fall, which, because of the challenges we will face together, may well be the most enriching and meaningful semester of our students’ academic career as we learn and grow together in the face yet another historic moment in the 198-year history of Hobart and William Smith.


Joyce P. Jacobsen

Mary Coffey
Provost and Dean of Faculty

Robert Flowers
Vice President for Campus Life

Messages to the Community

Fall 2020 Opening Plan and Website by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - July 17, 2020

Update on Fall Reopening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen, Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - June 24, 2020

HWS Return to Campus Update for Employees Sonya Williams - June 11, 2020

Fall 2020 Study Abroad by Mary Coffey and Thomas D’Agostino - June 5, 2020

Planning Underway for our Fall Opening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 28, 2020

Forward, Together by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - May 12, 2020

Using the CARES Act to Stay on Track for Graduation by John Young - May 12, 2020

Updates from Campus by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

An Update to Parents and Family Members of Admitted Students by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - April 27, 2020

Greetings from Human Resources by Sonya Williams - April 15, 2020

Grading for Spring 2020 Semester by Mary Coffey - March 30, 2020

Timeliness and Timelessness of an HWS Education by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 27, 2020

Introducing the HWS Student Emergency Fund by Julie Bazan ’93 and Rick Solomon ’75, P’10 - March 24, 2020

Staff Telework Resources by Sonya Williams - March 24, 2020

Message Regarding Commencement by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 20, 2020

Postponed: HWS Reunion by Bob O’Connor P’22 - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing by Robb Flowers - March 19, 2020

Updates Regarding On-Campus Housing and Services by Robb Flowers - March 17, 2020

A Massive Natural Experiment by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 16, 2020

With Gratitude by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 13, 2020

COVID-19 Update: Face-to-Face Instruction Canceled by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 13, 2020

Follow-Up Note on Colleges’ Response to Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 11, 2020

From the Dean of Spiritual Engagement by The Reverend Nita C. Johnson Byrd - March 12, 2020

Coronavirus Information and Contingency Planning by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - March 10, 2020

An Update on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - March 5, 2020

Information on the Coronavirus by Mary Coffey and Robb Flowers - February 28, 2020


General questions and comments should be directed to:

Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Geneva, NY 14456
(315) 781-3000

Questions regarding health issues should be directed to:

Hubbs Health Center
119 St. Clair Street
Geneva, NY 14456
Phone: 315-781-3600
Appt. Phone: 315-781-4530
Fax: 315-781-3802