Updated summary of FAS COVID-19 policies and protocols, as of May 8, 2020

[Summary: This memo offers an update on COVID-19-related messages which have been sent over the last weeks by the FAS Dean’s office and related offices and summarizes current polices (as of May 8, 2020).]

To: FAS Faculty (Ladder and Instructional), FAS Staff (Chairs’ Assistants, Lead Administrators, Ops Managers, and Department Staff)
CC: FAS Steering, FAS Dean’s Office

Dear FAS Faculty and Staff,

Three weeks have passed since I last wrote with a summary of FAS-related COVID-19 policies and protocols. These were not idle days for memo-writing. Since April 15, you have received messages regarding the following topics, among others:

During those three weeks, classes, which had been shifted to remote modalities thanks to your considerable effort, have come to an end. Scores of you participated in listening sessions with members of the FAS Steering committee, voicing your experiences and concerns about the academic year ahead. Planning for the 2020-2021 academic year has begun in force. We will be announcing the next steps of FAS planning by mid-week next week. With these developments, our policies and protocols have continued to evolve. Below, you will find updated information on the topics originally outlined in the message circulated on April 15, 2020.

Academic Continuity, Teaching, and Grading
The presidential committees on contingency planning will develop campus-wide recommendations for the 2020-2021 academic year. FAS Leaders who are among the committee members hosted a series of listening sessions to gather faculty feedback. A set of FAS-specific committees will soon be appointed. The Graduate School of Arts and Sciences has issued guidance regarding funding extensions for PhD students and has opened applications for Graduate School Alumni Fellowships.

FAS Department chairs and lead administrators have received guidance from the Provost and FAS Dean for Spring 2020 regarding AY21 budgets. The budget office has issued recommendations on reductions.

Building and Facility Access for Faculty and Staff
With rare exceptions, on-campus building access is still not allowed, though we are hopeful that we can begin the process of opening some access over the next weeks and months. FAS staff are continuing to work remotely, per guidance from the Vice President for Human Resources and Administration. All members of the Yale community are asked to wear face coverings when in public. The FAS has adopted a standard operating procedure for reporting COVID-19 diagnoses for faculty and staff who are still working on campus.

Promotion, Tenure, and Hiring
With rare exceptions, faculty and staff hiring has been paused university-wide until at least June 30, 2021. Tenure-track faculty have been granted a 1-year tenure clock extension; details of FAS implementation have been sent to all affected faculty. For any ongoing departmental personnel decisions, remote voting policies are in place for the Spring 2020 semester. The FAS Dean’s Office will issue reappointment letters to instructional faculty.

Research Continuity
For the Spring 2020 semester, in-person, on-campus research is on pause, with the exception of that deemed critical. In-person, human subject research is also on pause for the Spring 2020 semester. The presidential committees on contingency planning will develop recommendations for the 2020-2021 academic year. FAS Leaders who are among the committee members hosted a series of listening sessions to gather faculty feedback. Over the next weeks and months, we look forward to beginning the process of re-opening libraries and laboratories.

Travel and Gatherings
University-sponsored travel is prohibited. Events, meetings, and other gatherings originally planned for Spring 2020 are to be postponed, hosted remotely, or canceled. Policies for Summer and Fall are still under development.

All COVID-19-related update messages and memos sent to the FAS community continue to be indexed on our COVID-19 Update page.

Beyond FAS-specific updates, you may find University-wide guidance here; updates from Yale College pertaining to undergraduate students and instruction here; and updates from the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences pertaining to graduate students here. Links to resources and protocols from other Yale offices are also gathered on the FAS webpage.

Stay safe and well,


Tamar Szabó Gendler
Dean, Faculty of Arts and Sciences
Vincent J. Scully Professor of Philosophy
Professor of Psychology and Cognitive Science