Ensuring academic continuity this semester

January 18, 2023
Lily L. Tsai, Chair of the Faculty, 2021–2023 | Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education |

To: All Instructors + Faculty
cc: Grad Admins, UG Admins, Grad Officers, UG Officers, AOs

Dear Colleagues,

As we transition from IAP to the spring semester, we wanted to take this opportunity to remind you about the importance of ensuring academic continuity and to provide you with useful information and resources.

In the coming weeks, some students, instructors, and staff may get sick due to respiratory illnesses such as Covid-19, flu, and RSV, and/or may need to care for others who are ill. (We encourage you to read this insightful 3Q with MIT Medical Director Dr. Cecilia Stuopis for additional context.)

With that in mind, our goals are twofold …

  • Lowering barriers for students
    Students should feel comfortable staying home if they become ill or need to be absent for other reasons. They should be aware of the support available to help them manage their care, as well as the ways they can keep up with their coursework.

  • Providing flexibility and resources for instructors
    The same policies and processes we highlighted in the fall will remain for temporary switches to Zoom teaching due to instructors or a significant number of students needing to be out.

    Instructors have discretion to change up to 25% of their subject's contact hours. Please inform your department chair of any changes you adopt.

    TLL has also compiled helpful guidance about academic continuity, and you can email covidclasshelp@mit.edu if you have more specific questions.

Thanks, as always, for your dedication to fulfilling our academic mission. Please do not hesitate to reach out to either of us at any time.


Lily and Ian

Lily L. Tsai, Chair of the Faculty and Ford Professor of Political Science

Ian A. Waitz, Vice Chancellor for Undergraduate and Graduate Education and Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics