January 19, 2022
Provost Richard M. Locke
Tags Undergraduates Grad and Medical Students Faculty and Staff

To the Brown Community: Clarifying Approaches to Instruction in the First Week of Class


Dear Members of the Brown Community,

I hope that all is well and that you had a nice weekend. This message is a follow-up to my communication on Friday, Jan. 14, in which I offered guidance on instruction for the upcoming spring semester.

First, I would like to reiterate that we believe in-person instruction is safe given our nearly universal campus vaccination rates, booster mandate, indoor masking requirements, and continuing testing program. I welcome you to watch this video from Dean of the School of Public Health Ashish Jha for additional context on the safety of classroom instruction.

Over the last few days, I have heard feedback from instructors about managing classroom density during the first week of the semester, when many students make use of the shopping period and attendance is unpredictable. To provide additional flexibility, we are expanding the options for instructors to manage the heavy classroom density that can present challenges at the beginning of shopping period.

In addition to the strategies outlined in my prior communication — including recording the first lecture or restricting in-person attendance to students already officially registered for the course — instructors may also choose to teach their class sessions remotely for the first week of the spring semester, Wednesday, Jan. 26, through Tuesday, Feb. 1. While we believe that most instructors will choose to offer instruction in-person (or in the original online or hybrid mode listed in Courses@Brown), instructors who choose one of the alternative approaches for the first week of shopping period should do the following in advance of the first class:

Instructors are encouraged to contact Sheridan_Center@brown.edu for support for remote instruction and my office at provost@brown.edu with additional questions.

We look forward to a successful start of the spring semester.


Richard M. Locke