June 24, 2020

Dear HWS faculty and staff:

I write to update you with information regarding the ongoing planning process for fall reopening. New York State released its reopening guidelines for higher education on Saturday, June 20. Colleges and universities are part of phase four reopening, which may start as early as Friday, June 26 for our Finger Lakes Region. These are important milestones in our planning process, which has been proceeding unabated for months, as I and the other members of senior staff meet daily; confer constantly with many of you, student representatives, our peers in higher education and with New York State and local public officials; and continue to read, discuss and learn all we can about how higher education can be responsibly conducted during the continuing pandemic. Implementation task forces have been working on safety and health plans for our residences, offices, classrooms, dining, athletics and public spaces; testing, tracking, isolation, tracing and quarantine protocols; and, through the Provost’s office, teaching and teaching space use plans.

We continue to be on schedule to resume classes on August 24, as earlier announced. By the middle of next week, we will release our draft reopening plan for comment and questions, and you will get a notice from me of its availability for your review. We will also then announce the times in the following week of a set of zoom meetings, one each for faculty, staff, students and parents, for you to make comments and ask questions. We will also have an email address set up for you to make comments and ask questions at any time. After a period of review and revision, I will submit and attest for our reopening plan to New York State.

I do not take lightly the enormity of the current situation. Every day we learn more about the pandemic, some things encouraging, some things discouraging. Every day new problems and considerations arise and we work on understanding them and addressing them. Our phase two reopening of a number of administrative functions on campus has helped us work out some fall-relevant protocols and we look forward to reopening some on-campus admissions activities, limited library functions, limited student summer research, and the campus bookstore within the next few weeks.

Even in the midst of this evolving situation, the senior staff and I are also working on numerous other matters this summer, and I look forward to updating you on those in the weeks and months to come. We cannot allow the pandemic to derail us from our longer run arc to strengthen the Colleges’ academic, financial and reputational foundations. We have much work ahead of us but also much promise. When we all return in the fall, I look forward to engaging with you on a number of strategic fronts regarding how we can collaborate to continue to advance the Colleges.


Joyce P. Jacobsen

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Main Page
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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