A message from Dean Matthew J. Slaughter
March 11, 2020
Dear members of the Tuck community,
On behalf of all the deans and other leaders of the Tuck School, I write today to update you on the steps we are taking for the upcoming Tuck spring term in light of the historic challenges that COVID-19 is presenting.
As with all major decisions that impact our school, I do so guided by two priorities: our community’s health and well-being, and the integrity of our academic mission and values.
Let me start with plans for the MBA program.
Tuck will commence the spring term as regularly scheduled, but with all MBA core and elective courses delivered live, online through the Zoom interactive platform. For at least the first two weeks of the spring term, there will be no option to attend class sessions in person. The decision as to if and when to allow in-class attendance will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.
We acknowledge how important personal interactions are to our immersive learning experience at Tuck. We realize that the move to online learning is a change that will require substantial co-creation among faculty, students, and staff alike. But the health risks of convening in our typical classroom settings are too uncertain at this time. Delivering our classes online will allow our MBA candidates to continue their course of study while also helping protect everyone’s health.
In recent days, Deans Joe Hall and Brian Tomlin have been consulting with Tuck faculty and staff who have experience delivering interactive, online learning using Zoom through the Master of Health Care Delivery Science program, our collaboration with the Geisel School of Medicine. In the days ahead, Deans Hall and Tomlin will be working with spring-term faculty to prepare for delivering quality MBA learning through Zoom. They will share updates as plans come together.
During spring break, many students have traveled beyond the Upper Valley – as have many faculty and staff. Any member of our Tuck community who is returning from travel will be expected to be aware of and, as warranted, to follow Dartmouth policies regarding self-monitoring and/or self-quarantining. These policies can be found here. Students, please expect to hear more from me or Dean Sally Jaeger about what travel information we will be seeking from you.
Subject to following these Dartmouth travel policies, at this time any member of our Tuck community is welcome to return to the Upper Valley. This includes students living in our residence halls. For our MBA students, we recognize that during your two years of enrollment, for almost all of you the Upper Valley is your primary home. That said, your primary home is part of a community that is grappling with a world-wide public-health crisis. As the spring term progresses, there may be changes to Dartmouth policies and/or public-health guidance that the Tuck community will have to heed.
We also recognize that some MBA students may prefer not to return to the Upper Valley. We honor and will support that choice. Any MBA student who chooses to reside outside the Upper Valley for part or all of the spring term will still be able to pursue a full course of study through our online course delivery.
Let me now turn to our co-curricular and extra-curricular programming.
Tuck Career Services stands ready to continue close collaboration with any and all MBA students – knowing that at least some of this collaboration may be through technology rather than in person. And, Byrne Dining has remained open and we expect will remain open, albeit with shifting offerings and processes to help safeguard everyone’s health.
Beyond Career Services and Byrne, decisions about many other programming events will need to follow Dartmouth guidance, such as that shared yesterday evening by Provost Joe Helble. Co-curricular and extra-curricular events of more than 100 people need to be canceled, postponed, or made virtual; events of fewer than 100 people should practice social distancing. The Deans’ Office has been examining the intended spring calendar against new and evolving guidance. In the time ahead, decisions about specific events and activities will be communicated by me or by other Deans’ Office colleagues.
Let me now turn to our School’s offerings outside the MBA program.
In the spring term, we are scheduled to run a wide variety of non-MBA, non-degree programs for executives and undergraduates – as well as continue the distance learning in MHCDS. Whether and how we run each of these programs remains to be determined based on several considerations that include our community’s health, the preferences of our clients, students, and faculty in these programs, and also the needs of our MBA program. Deans Kevin Lane Keller and Punam Keller have started and will continue conversations with the relevant stakeholders for these programs. In the time ahead, please expect decisions about specific programs to be communicated by me or by other Deans’ Office colleagues.
To everyone, I want to acknowledge in advance the many contributions you will be making in the time ahead. To students, we understand the coming weeks will not be easy; we look forward to working together in new ways to deliver your education. To faculty colleagues, please know that we will continue to do all that we can to support your research and teaching endeavors. To staff colleagues, please be assured that we will do all that we can to help you continue to do your best work in this different environment.
Given the scope of the changes and plans I have outlined above, we understand that there will be many questions. We aim to provide timely and informative updates in the coming days, but please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the Deans’ Office with your questions, concerns, or ideas.
These are unprecedented times for our school. But I am confident that we can collectively marshal the wisdom and energy necessary to allow us to achieve our academic mission while also doing all that we can to preserve the health and well-being of our community.
Matthew J. Slaughter
Dean of the Tuck School of Business
Dartmouth has formed a high-level task force to plan for and manage possible disruptions related to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, monitor federal and state recommendations, implement guidance, and communicate with our community.