March 16 Student Memo

Student information about studio closings, move out timelines, online classes, grading, and more.




Dear MICA students, faculty and staff,

I want to share an additional update with you. I hope everyone has read President Hoi’s important communication from yesterday afternoon. The purpose of this email is to provide important supporting details for the undergraduate community.  Interim Vice Provost Stacey Salazar has been in touch with her Graduate Directors about similar details for the Graduate community, and will continue to send updates.

Graduating Seniors and Graduate students are no longer allowed fabrication time in studios as there is an escalating public health concern here in Maryland.

These pandemic circumstances demand extraordinary measures. Few of us have experienced disruptions of this nature. Your health is our top priority.

The following apply, effective immediately:


  • There is no longer access to shops for making work. Any studio extension time has been cancelled for public health reasons. The primary activity now is packing and staying safe. 

  • If you cannot move your belongings, we are adopting a “store it in place” philosophy. We understand this is an extremely stressful situation for everyone.

  • All undergraduate students (including Spring Class of 2020 seniors) who want their belongings in the next several weeks, must clear their belongings out of studios and shops by March 21st by 4pm. If students have traveled outside a 50-mile range from MICA, they should not return to campus, as the pandemic situation is rapidly evolving and when they return, their studio and/or building may no longer be accessible.

  • Building hours for move out activities are 8am to 11pm generally. Please do not prop doors open or otherwise compromise the security of our facilities.

  • Students who are able to pack but cannot remove their belongings by March 21st: please box/wrap/label belongings with your name and ID number. Leave items in studios for pick up at a future time, and ideally contact your Department Chair.

  • Students who are already off campus: a friend may assist with packing and labeling, but this activity is not required.

  • Students who cannot come in to pack, or who have special packing needs, or who need to leave belongings: please contact your Department Chair to practice "store it in place."

  • Graduating Seniors who are Film and Video majors/concentrators have access to the Film Centre through Tuesday, March 17th until 7pm solely to get any of their belongings. These open hours are also for staff and faculty to get any remaining items needed out of the building which will then be officially closed as of Wednesday 3/18 until further notice.

  • Scheduled campus systematic disinfecting begins this week and continues into next week. 


  • If students need assistance with guest access to help move items due to a disability, please contact the LRC at

  • Friends who help friends with move-out are encouraged to practice social distancing and wash hands frequently.

  • Parents who plan to pick up their students are encouraged to practice social distancing by minimizing their time in buildings and to help load belongings outdoors.


  • Students may not remove MICA-owned tools or equipment, checked out or not, from campus. 


  • After March 28th, students will continue to work with their faculty online and remotely.

  • Know that your faculty and staff are busy investigating alternative online and print publication spaces to exhibit and celebrate your thesis work.


  • Please check your MICA email regularly, ideally several times a day.

  • Faculty are working to adapt syllabi to “Keep on Teaching” and will be in touch with their students by Monday, March 30, 2020, when remote and online instruction begins.

  • In-person class sessions are discontinued until further notice.

  • There will be no group/class field trips for the remainder of the Spring 2020 term.

  • Faculty are being asked to take attendance in Canvas. Attendance and records of engagement must be maintained so that students with Federal Financial Aid and those on F1 visas are not placed in jeopardy of losing their status.

  • Faculty are asked to check in with students virtually at a specific time weekly, ideally during the scheduled class time. Faculty will assign tasks that demonstrate students’ ongoing engagement with course material, and tasks that align with the course learning goals. Note that Canvas has the ability to show who is accessing information and when.


  • Final course grades, by default, will be Pass/Fail. All faculty will be modifying syllabi to include clear expectations for what adapted work will meet the course learning outcomes and what is required to achieve a passing grade. A passing grade is equivalent to a D and above.

  • Students may request a letter grade instead of pass/fail and must email their individual faculty to make this request.

  • Faculty have been requested to submit midterm grades as usual.


  • There will be no “in person” visitors to programs or classes.

  • Video conferencing is the only way to join the campus community or a class for the remainder of the term. As much as possible, faculty have been encouraged to record any presentation for availability to students unable to join a synchronous video conference session through Zoom or another application. Faculty have also been made aware that there are variations in individual students’ access to the internet and variable bandwidth capabilities.

  • There will be no lectures open to the public until further notice. All other campus exhibitions and associated events will be cancelled or moved online.

  • Will we have ArtWalk? The situation is rapidly changing. We don’t know at this time. We should prepare to document and share senior work in alternative ways (online, portfolio, etc.).

  • Commencement and other institution-wide events will be determined at a later date by MICA leadership.


  • MICA is committed to maintaining work study and graduate student employment though specific job tasks may change. Details will be forthcoming. We don’t have a clear answer for right now but we are working on it.

All of these measures are to protect the safety of the MICA community.

Thank you for your kindness, resilience, and creativity in this uncertain time. We are in this together; the Undergraduate Studies team is here for you. 

All my best, 

Tiffany Holmes, PhD
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Studies