Access to Academic Department Space for Graduate Students in Natural Sciences and Engineering

December 1, 2020

Dear Graduate Students in Natural Sciences and Engineering,

Earlier today, Dean of the Faculty Sanj Kulkarni, Dean for Research Pablo Debenedetti, and I sent a memo to faculty outlining additional resumption plans for the spring term for faculty, research staff, and graduate students.  As you will see from the memo, we are prioritizing the return to campus of graduate students (as well as post-docs) whose living conditions are an impediment to their work.  While researchers in experimental groups have been able to access their research labs since late June, graduate students doing theoretical and computational work have been required to work remotely since March.  Because most graduate students have less space in their residences than faculty have, we want to make sure your needs are met first.

If working remotely is a major impediment to their academic progress, theoretical/computational graduate students should discuss their situation with their adviser/PI. Individual advisers/PIs will be responsible for formulating plans that will allow researchers' return to their departmental offices under conditions that satisfy strict health and safety protocols.

The Graduate School is committed to ensuring that graduate students are in safe environments and free of undue pressure in their research and other academic activities.  We continue to offer an intake process to review exceptional requests for accommodations for any students who feel they need continued flexibility around in-person activities, and such flexibility has not already been arranged with the adviser and the department.  Graduate students who should be considered for this accommodation review can submit their accommodation requests through the online COVID-19 accommodation request form

If you find you have questions related to the resumption of your on-campus activities, if any, that cannot be answered by your adviser and/or DGS, please feel free to contact the Graduate School at any time.

Sincerely,

Cole M. Crittenden
Deputy Dean and Acting Dean of the Graduate School