Dear Members of the Brown Community,
In light of continuing health risks associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is implementing an updated set of policies for the summer pertaining to on-campus programming, University-sponsored international travel (both inbound and outbound), and domestic University-sponsored travel. The health of the community continues to be Brown’s highest priority as we continue to monitor the impact of the pandemic, and we appreciate the efforts of the entire community in following the updated policies and guidance to help safeguard the health of all who live and work at Brown.
Suspension of on-campus summer 2020 programs at Brown through July 1
As outlined in recent communications from the University, we have made the difficult decision to cancel all on-campus summer programs for the first part of the summer. The suspension of summer programs includes all residential undergraduate Summer Session courses, as well as in-person Sports Camps and residential Pre-College programs and courses scheduled between June 14 and July 11, 2020.
In addition, all other in-person summer programming and campus events that would have been hosted at Brown have been suspended through July 1. This policy decision is based on close consultation with health experts at Brown, the Rhode Island Department of Health, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and is in line with the state’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Individuals who have already registered and paid for cancelled programs scheduled to take place on or before July 1 at Brown will receive a communication regarding processing of refunds.
Decisions regarding camps and programs after July 1 and the residential Pre-College programs and courses scheduled between July 12 and August 7 will be made on or before May 16.
Limiting international and domestic visitors to the Brown campus
In line with the decision to suspend on-campus programming through July 1, no new requests or applications for visitors — coming from within or outside of the United States — will be processed until July 1. In addition, campus tours and listening sessions that are organized through the Office of College Admission will be suspended through July 10.
Brown-sponsored summer international travel prohibited
All University-sponsored international travel is prohibited through July 1. This restriction is in effect for anyone engaging in Brown-sponsored travel, including all students, faculty and staff. This includes all for-credit and non-credit travel such as summer study abroad (including Brown and non-Brown programs), internships/fellowships, research, business travel such as conferences and meetings, and any other activities that involve University-administered funds. These travel restrictions apply also to externally-supported travel arising from or associated with employment at Brown. Decisions regarding fall semester study abroad programs with start dates prior to August 15 will be made on or before May 15.
The University’s International Travel Risk Assessment Committee (ITRAC) continues to meet regularly and is closely monitoring the global impact of COVID-19 on both international and domestic travel. Both the CDC and the U.S. Department of State maintain their strictest travel advisory levels for travel globally, which exceeds the threshold for permitted travel based on Brown’s travel policy. When the risk levels for global travel are lowered, the University will use discretion to determine whether essential travel affiliated with Brown will be permitted, which will include review and approval by the traveler’s relevant dean or senior administrator. Essential travel includes mission-critical academic travel, travel funded through external sources (i.e., gifts or sponsored projects), or travel to conduct essential University business.
It is possible that the July 1 date could be amended as the University receives more information about travel restrictions and relevant nationwide health and safety conditions. If guidance from the CDC changes to allow for safe travel before July 1 and worldwide travel restrictions are subsequently relaxed, the University will reassess this travel policy.
With the tightening of travel restrictions with little to no notice, and worldwide reductions in available commercial flights, the University continues to strongly discourage personal international travel as well.
Other important summer information (domestic travel and student visas)
At this time, the University is asking all members of the community to avoid non-essential sponsored domestic travel until July 1. COVID-19 is present in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and other U.S. jurisdictions, and the pandemic may evolve in different ways and at different times in various parts of the United States. The CDC notes that crowded travel settings, like airports, may increase chances of getting COVID-19 if there are other travelers with coronavirus infection. The CDC website contains a list of things you should consider when deciding whether it is safe for you to travel.
If your domestic travel is deemed essential by your dean or the provost, please be mindful that per executive order in Rhode Island, anyone returning to the state after (1) international travel, (2) domestic air travel or (3) by any means of transportation for a non-work related purpose must immediately self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival in the state.
It’s also important to note that routine U.S. consular services worldwide remain suspended, which will make obtaining a visa challenging for international students and scholars. When making travel plans, returning students should consider delays in any necessary visa renewals. The Office of International Students and Scholar Services (OISSS) continues to process visa documents for newly admitted students to ensure that students will have the documents they need to schedule their visa appointments. OISSS is monitoring this situation and is in contact with admitted students to provide applicable information and to address specific questions and concerns. The University will provide further guidance on these matters in early summer.
Thank you for your attention to these measures to help protect the health and well-being of the Brown community during this time. We all must remain committed to taking the necessary care and exercising ongoing vigilance to keep all members of our community safe.
Richard M. Locke, Provost
Barbara Chernow, Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration