Faculty FAQ

Answers to these questions will be updated as more information becomes available. Check Daily Messages for news of significant updates and changes. We will note when details are not yet known or when decisions are still being made. If you have a question that’s not answered on these pages, please submit it for consideration via our comment form.

Select a topic area below to view answers to frequently asked questions, and use keywords or terms in the search bar to narrow your search. To ensure that you can find what you need, FAQs are organized by audience and by general topics. As a result, you will see the same question and answer multiple times throughout the site.

Academics

  • The academic calendar for dates of instruction in the fall remains as posted, with classes beginning on Thursday, Sept. 10, and ending on Friday, Dec. 11. We’ll offer a combination of in-person and remote instruction until Thanksgiving, after which all instruction will be held remotely, as will exams. Students may request to remain on campus during Thanksgiving Break and through the final exam period. All other students will be expected to leave campus at Thanksgiving Break and complete the rest of their semester from elsewhere. Winter Study is canceled for 2021. We’ll share the start date and calendar for the spring semester sometime in October 2020.

  • For the 2020-2021 academic year only, the faculty have reduced the minimum number of required courses per semester from four to three. The faculty also lowered the number of credits required for graduation, so that you would only need to take three credits per semester throughout this year in order to graduate on time. You can opt to take more than the minimum number of courses if you wish.

    Another adaptation, for the 2020-2021 academic year only, is that students can take as many pass-fail courses as they wish (provided the courses are designated as pass-fail eligible), and those courses will not count toward their total allowance of three pass-fail courses over the duration of their time at Williams. In addition, students can extend their decision about whether to withdraw from a course or designate a course as pass-fail until the last day of classes. Finally, for the 2020-2021 academic year, courses designated as pass-fail can be used to fulfill college requirements, including the divisional requirement, Writing Skills (W), Quantitative/Formal Reasoning (Q), and Difference, Power and Equity (DPE).

  • WCMA be open to Williams students, faculty, and staff, for class use and by appointment for individuals and small groups. The museum is not open to the public at this time, and drop-in visits are not possible. Please visit the WCMA website for more details about the fall semester.

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Campus Life

  • Yes, students need to make an appointment. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206 to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care.

    Student Health and Wellness Services will be relying heavily on telemedicine for the fall semester. If a provider deems that the student needs to be seen face to face and that it is safe to do so, they will schedule an appointment for the student. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.

    Many appointments are available the same day or next day.

    Please see the Integrative Wellbeing Services website for more information on accessible services.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Driscoll, Whitmans, Lee Snack Bar, ’82 Grill, Grab-n-Go, and the Eco Cafe will be open to students for takeout only. All other dining halls will be closed. Faculty and staff will not have access to open dining halls; only assistant coaches will be permitted in addition to students. Please visit the Dining Services website for specific questions about dining on campus.

    Updated 7/9/2020
  • Yes! Students now have the option of meeting with their career advisor in person (from a social distance) or remotely, per their preference. Students can either make an appointment online, email us at [email protected] or contact a staff member directly. We encourage you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed. See the ’68 Center for Career Exploration website for more information about programs and activities.

  • If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 (or 9-911 if calling from a campus phone).

    If you are experiencing an urgent psychological crisis, call Integrative Well-Being Services at 413-597-2353 and select option 2 to speak to the on-call clinician.

    You can also call Campus Safety at 413-597-4444 to be connected with crisis services.

  • The calendar for the fall will remain the same, including Mountain Day, Homecoming and Family Days. Please stay tuned for more information about what the programming for these events will look like as we get closer to the dates.

  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. Copies will be sent to all faculty, staff and students later this summer. The college will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • WCMA be open to Williams students, faculty, and staff, for class use and by appointment for individuals and small groups. The museum is not open to the public at this time, and drop-in visits are not possible. Please visit the WCMA website for more details about the fall semester.

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Dining

  • Driscoll, Whitmans, Lee Snack Bar, ’82 Grill, Grab-n-Go, and the Eco Cafe will be open to students for takeout only. All other dining halls will be closed. Faculty and staff will not have access to open dining halls; only assistant coaches will be permitted in addition to students. Please visit the Dining Services website for specific questions about dining on campus.

    Updated 7/9/2020
  • No. The Faculty House and catering operation will be closed.

Enrollment

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020

First Year Students

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Health

  • Covid-19 testing will be required for all students. There will also be testing for faculty and staff. Tests will be administered upon arrival and then weekly throughout the rest of the in-person term. We’ve arranged with the Eli and Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard to provide testing via a minimally invasive, self-administered nasal swab, and conducted under observation by a trained professional. All testing will be free.

  • Yes, students need to make an appointment. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206 to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care.

    Student Health and Wellness Services will be relying heavily on telemedicine for the fall semester. If a provider deems that the student needs to be seen face to face and that it is safe to do so, they will schedule an appointment for the student. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.

    Many appointments are available the same day or next day.

    Please see the Integrative Wellbeing Services website for more information on accessible services.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Faculty and staff members who are sick or experiencing Covid-like symptoms should not report to campus. Students already on campus should remain in their dorm rooms until they can be evaluated and treated or cleared by Student Health and Wellness Services via telemedicine.

  • At this time, we are not planning regular temperature checks for all employees. It may be required in some departments, like the Health Center. Check with your department’s supervisor for more information.

  • We recognize that there are vast differences in the types of personal trips employees may have planned. If a personal trip involves a trip via an airplane or requires staying overnight away from home, please work directly with your manager or supervisor on your return to work protocol. Some employees may be able to quarantine at home and continue working. However, if a trip, based on the state guidelines, is deemed to require time for quarantine, employees may be expected to take this time as vacation or personal time.

    Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

  • Subject to limited medical or religious exemptions, staff and faculty will be expected to receive a seasonal flu shot and be vaccinated against Covid-19 when that vaccine is available.

  • If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911 (or 9-911 if calling from a campus phone).

    If you are experiencing an urgent psychological crisis, call Integrative Well-Being Services at 413-597-2353 and select option 2 to speak to the on-call clinician.

    You can also call Campus Safety at 413-597-4444 to be connected with crisis services.

  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. Copies will be sent to all faculty, staff and students later this summer. The college will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • Masks will be required per Massachusetts state law, both indoors and outdoors, when social distancing cannot be maintained. Everyone will be required to wear a mask or face covering in public indoor spaces on campus, including classrooms, dining halls and the library, as well as other indoor spaces. The college will distribute three reusable face coverings to all students, faculty and staff working on campus and will have spare disposable masks available in high-traffic areas.

Human Resources

  • Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. The College will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • Business travel (including professional development) is currently prohibited through the end of 2020. However, as information evolves, our policies will be updated to reflect state guidelines and CDC recommendations and will be communicated accordingly.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, gathering spaces and places of shared touchpoints will be closed, and any reopenings assessed over time. All kitchenettes in administrative and academic buildings will be shut down and appliances (e.g. coffee machines, refrigerators, etc.) either removed or disabled. Individual departmental work plans will address these spaces in detail, and some exceptions will be granted based on departmental developed protocols or necessary accommodations. Please consult your manager or supervisor on your individual departmental work plan.

    Updated 7/9/2020
  • At this time, the REC center will remain closed based on state guidelines. Please contact the Controller’s Office for information about community REC pass refunds or memberships.

Remote Working

  • Staff will be asked to complete an accommodation request form on the Human Resources website. Human Resources will work with staff and their supervisors to establish flexible work schedules and possible leave scenarios. We will do our best to accommodate each situation. All faculty members have the option to teach their courses remotely and may shift from in-person to remote instruction during the semester, if needed.

  • Consistent with the telecommuting policy, the college is not responsible for expenses associated with working at home, such as heat, electricity, internet service provider subscription, phone, etc.

Student Resources

  • Yes, students need to make an appointment. For the safety of all students and staff, the Health Center requires students to call the Health Center at 413-597-2206 to be pre-screened by a Registered Nurse (RN) for the appropriate care.

    Student Health and Wellness Services will be relying heavily on telemedicine for the fall semester. If a provider deems that the student needs to be seen face to face and that it is safe to do so, they will schedule an appointment for the student. Students requiring more significant care will be transported to a local urgent care or emergency room.

    Many appointments are available the same day or next day.

    Please see the Integrative Wellbeing Services website for more information on accessible services.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • Yes! Students now have the option of meeting with their career advisor in person (from a social distance) or remotely, per their preference. Students can either make an appointment online, email us at [email protected] or contact a staff member directly. We encourage you to subscribe to our monthly newsletter to stay informed. See the ’68 Center for Career Exploration website for more information about programs and activities.

  • WCMA be open to Williams students, faculty, and staff, for class use and by appointment for individuals and small groups. The museum is not open to the public at this time, and drop-in visits are not possible. Please visit the WCMA website for more details about the fall semester.

  • Yes, although access will be restricted to current faculty, students and staff. Hours may be modified. And users will be expected to follow campus social-distancing and hygiene guidelines. Visit Williams Libraries for updated hours.

    Updated 7/1/2020
  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020

Travel

  • Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.
  • Business travel (including professional development) is currently prohibited through the end of 2020. However, as information evolves, our policies will be updated to reflect state guidelines and CDC recommendations and will be communicated accordingly.

  • We recognize that there are vast differences in the types of personal trips employees may have planned. If a personal trip involves a trip via an airplane or requires staying overnight away from home, please work directly with your manager or supervisor on your return to work protocol. Some employees may be able to quarantine at home and continue working. However, if a trip, based on the state guidelines, is deemed to require time for quarantine, employees may be expected to take this time as vacation or personal time.

    Most people arriving in Massachusetts—including Massachusetts residents returning home—are instructed to self-quarantine for 14 days, per state guidelines. Starting July 1, 2020, also per state guidelines, travelers to Massachusetts from the states of Rhode Island, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York and New Jersey are exempt from this directive and need not self-quarantine for 14 days. Workers designated by the federal government as essential critical infrastructure workers are exempt from the directive to self-quarantine for 14 days if traveling to Massachusetts for work purposes. No one should travel to Massachusetts if they are displaying symptoms of Covid-19.

Work Environment

  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. The College will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • Facial coverings will be required when individuals cannot properly social distance. In some cases, physical changes to office spaces may be required to accommodate social distancing. Departments are also encouraged to be as creative as possible in creating a flexible work schedule or on/off weeks to accommodate social distancing.

  • Out of an abundance of caution, gathering spaces and places of shared touchpoints will be closed, and any reopenings assessed over time. All kitchenettes in administrative and academic buildings will be shut down and appliances (e.g. coffee machines, refrigerators, etc.) either removed or disabled. Individual departmental work plans will address these spaces in detail, and some exceptions will be granted based on departmental developed protocols or necessary accommodations. Please consult your manager or supervisor on your individual departmental work plan.

    Updated 7/9/2020
  • No. The Faculty House and catering operation will be closed.

  • Consistent with the telecommuting policy, the college is not responsible for expenses associated with working at home, such as heat, electricity, internet service provider subscription, phone, etc.

  • All faculty, staff and students will be expected to sign a commitment that affirms their understanding of procedures and policies, as well as their commitment to the Williams community. Copies will be sent to all faculty, staff and students later this summer. The college will undertake an educational campaign to ensure expectations are clear and well-communicated.

  • We anticipate that when the semester begins all library services—both online and in-person—will be available to faculty, students and staff, although some will be modified to meet social-distancing and hygiene standards. Visit Williams Libraries for updated information.

    Updated 7/6/2020