Announcing the Working Group on Returning for Fall 2020

Dear members of the Williams Community,

As I wrote in a letter last week, I am in the process of establishing two working groups, one focused on identifying the operational requirements of opening and successfully returning for a residential fall semester, and the other focused on what would be required to pursue alternative scenarios if we are unable to hold a conventional fall term.

I am happy to report that the first of these working groups, on the possibility of a return, has been formed and will begin work immediately. I would like to express thanks to Professor of Philosophy Bojana Mladenovic and Vice President of Finance and Administration and Treasurer Fred Puddester for agreeing to serve as co-chairs. My gratitude also goes out to the group’s members, listed below, who are generously giving their time to this effort. The President’s Office will provide administrative support for their efforts.

Information on the second working group will be circulated once that group has been formed later next week.

In keeping with our regular practice, we have set up a web page where you can find a committee charge and membership, along with a form for submitting your feedback, questions, and suggestions. The group will also engage in community outreach throughout its process: please look for Daily Messages announcing those opportunities.

It is my hope that we will be able to open safely in the fall. To consider doing so, we must understand what measures we would need to take to protect all members of our own community, what measures we would need to take to protect the surrounding community, and how to support students, faculty, and staff with health risks or other constraints that would make it impossible for them to be on campus.

These are challenging questions, and I thank the working group in advance for the recommendations they will develop on them and so many related issues. As ever, I want to conclude by thanking all of you, too, for your ongoing efforts to maintain the Williams spirit throughout these difficult days.



Working group for opening the campus

Temesgen Araya, Director of Dining Services
Jamie Art ’93, General Counsel
Dave Boyer, Director of Campus Safety and Security
Rachel Bukanc, Senior Associate Dean of the College
Deb Flynn, Director of Medical Services
Jeongyoon Han, Class of 2021
Jackie Hidalgo, Associate Professor of Latino Studies and of Religion, and Chair of Religion
Dan Levering, Assistant Director for Custodial Services and Special Functions
Sulgi Lim ’06, Director of Admission
Lisa Melendy, Athletic Director
Mohammed Memfis, Class of 2021
Bojana Mladenovic, Professor of Philosophy (co-chair)
Lee Park, William R. Kenan, Jr. Professor of Chemistry
Fred Puddester, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer (co-chair)
April Ruiz, Associate Dean of the College
Doug Schiazza, Director, Office of Student Life
Matt Sheehy, Associate Vice President for Finance
Tammi Stuebe, Assistant Director of Human Resources
Bev Tyler, Associate Registrar
Abigail Wattley ’05, Managing Director, Investment Office
Clinton Williams, Director of Special Academic Programs
Rob White, Director of Family and Parent Programs