March 15 Campus Memo

The College’s updated plans around the spring semester, including canceling the intensive making period, the closing of residence halls, and more.




Dear MICA Community Members,

My campus memos this past week shared that a key principle of MICA’s navigation through the COVID-19 global pandemic is a “Plan for Escalation” readiness. To protect the health, safety, and wellness of our community members, MICA must adapt agilely and act responsibly in response to rapidly evolving factors. 

A number of notable events have taken place since the issuance of my March 11 and March 12 campus memos. A National State of Emergency was declared. The first COVID-19 case in Baltimore City was confirmed. A MICA community member was tested for COVID-19 (test result yet unknown). Johns Hopkins University has escalated their physical operational closure and announced the closing down of all classroom and lab activity outside of COVID-19 research.

In light of these and other new developments, MICA leadership has made the decision to expedite our shift to remote and alternate work modes on both the educational and operational fronts. The specific actions are as follows:

  • The previous announced plan of an intensive making period (from March 16th to March 27th) to support 2020 graduating students is cancelled. Academic leadership and faculty will work with students to ensure course and degree completion in remote and alternate modes for both undergraduate and graduate programs. The last day for access to graduate studios will be March 21st. 

  • Effective March 21st, the residence halls will close. All students inclusive of F-1 international students are encouraged to depart as soon as possible. A follow-up message from Residence Life to residents will be issued this afternoon providing details and instructions for those with exceptional needs to seek support.

  • MICA's Student Health Center staff will provide remote support for those students with ongoing health care needs. Students are requested to contact Student Health at (410) 225-4118 or where clinical staff will be available to address any concerns including, but not limited to, medication management, supportive health care, and any acute issues needing medical attention.   

  • Effectively immediately, staff who can readily telework and otherwise work remotely should plan with their supervisors to shift into that mode. Vice Presidents and supervisors will put in place alternate work plans by March 21st for staff members who cannot readily do so. The goal is to have as many staff members as possible work off-campus as quickly as possible. The guidelines and advice in the March 12th campus memo—such as further planning for teleworking, leave time, and continuity of pay—otherwise remain valid. 

  • For staff whose jobs require them to be physically present on campus, MICA will determine as soon as possible the specific crew of required attendance personnel. The College is committed to implement measures to ensure their health, safety, and wellness while providing essential services on campus.

Further and tailored communications will be forthcoming to specific constituencies. 

For staff, MICA is taking two immediate steps to support your needs to attend to work/home life adjustments that are inevitably intense at the moment:

  • Tomorrow (Monday March 16th) will be a paid, off-campus, work/life adjustment day for general staff. It is a telework day for those who can telework, with accommodation to attend to home/personal needs. It is a day of leave for those who cannot telework, but anyone who can take some remote work home should strive to do so while attending to home/personal needs. The standard required attendance personnel will report to campus work as usual, but supervisors should accommodate hardship requests.

  • The Staff Virtual Town Hall will take place on Tuesday, March 17th from 2 to 3 p.m. instead of Monday so that everyone can participate with full attention. Please watch for a new invitation in your mailbox Monday by noon.

We are in an extraordinary and unprecedented time for higher education, striving to do the right thing with each other and for each other. Thank you once again for your understanding, flexibility, and partnership.

Samuel Hoi