March 24, 2020

Dear Staff,

Gov. Cuomo’s “New York State on Pause” Executive Order, which started Sunday night at 8 p.m., means that every business and non-profit in the state should be using telework procedures. Some businesses that provide essential services to the community – hospitals, grocery stores and pharmacies, among others – will remain open and functioning. Higher education, however, is not considered an essential business under the Governor’s mandate.

What does that mean for us at Hobart and William Smith?  Although higher education is not considered essential, some of the functions our staff provide are. They include ensuring the safety of the campus, supporting remote learning, supporting students who remain in campus housing, feeding students in campus housing, and preserving facilities and basic campus functions like our radio station and post office. If you provide one of these essential services to the Colleges, you are aware of this already and have been in touch with your supervisor about ways you can be safe while doing your jobs. If you have any questions, though, you can contact your supervisor or reach out to me anytime.

The vast majority of our staff, however, should be working remotely. Most of you have already been in contact with your supervisor about this and have transitioned into this new way of doing your jobs. We expect this is a short-term situation and that we will be back in our offices soon. As we wait for further guidance from authorities, I want to make sure that everyone has the tools necessary to be successful.

If you need to pick up work materials or supplies from your campus office, including a laptop or desktop computer, you can do so at any time as long as you alert your supervisor and return the equipment once remote working ends. Since there are very few people on campus, buildings are locked so you will need to bring your keys and lock up when you leave. While there, practice social distancing protocols and do not stay for long. Additional tips and information can be found on a webpage with resources for staff, including how to access the suite of web based services provided by the Colleges and how to obtain internet access if you don’t have it. We will continue to work with multiple offices across campus to revise frequently used forms to support a remote working arrangement so please be patient with us as we figure things out.

Many thanks for everything you are doing for the Colleges and our community during this challenging time. We will get through this


Sonya Williams
Vice President for Human Resources.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Page
COVID-19 Safety Training Employee Daily Wellness Assessment Application for CARES Act Funding July HEERF Student Aid Report HEERF Student Aid Report Stories about the Pandemic

Messages to the Community

Update on Fall Reopening by President Joyce P. Jacobsen - 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