August 12, 2021

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you are having a wonderful summer and enjoying some much-needed downtime before another unprecedented school year. Orientation for new students begins in less than two weeks, on August 26. Please read the message below carefully to ensure you are prepared for our return to campus. 

Remote Work Agreements

Per Brandeis policy, staff and researchers who wish to work remotely or utilize an alternative work schedule (for any portion of the workweek) must submit the appropriate HR forms. These agreements must be completed in collaboration with one’s supervisor, who should submit them to Ron Etlinger by September 6. 


Schedule a Trial Run Prior to Orientation (Aug 26)

If you have not yet done so, please set aside time in the coming week or so for a ‘trial run’ visit to campus. You may need to invest a little time to set up the Campus Passport on your phone, arrange an on-campus COVID test, reconfigure your workstation or test out dual-mode classroom equipment. I urge you not to wait until the last minute, as this will reduce any unnecessary stress for yourself or support staff, particularly our colleagues in MTS. 


Resources and reminders:

Note these important dates:
  • Heller Hybrid Teaching Workshops by MTS & Brandeis Library (register here)
    • August 18 from 2-3pm
    • August 25 from 11-12pm
  • August 23-25: Heller New Student Orientation
  • August 23 at 9:30am: All Heller Welcome Event, Zinner Forum
  • August 26: First Day of Classes
  • September 1, 1:00-1:45 PM: Welcome Back Coffee with the Dean, Zinner Forum
  • September 2, 12:30-1:30 PM: Welcome and Re-orientation Zoom meeting for faculty, researchers and staff, register on Zoom.  
  • September 6: Labor Day, no classes, staff holiday
  • September 7: Rosh Hashanah, no classes, staff holiday
  • September 8: Rosh Hashanah, no classes

Who to Contact with Questions:

In Closing

In addition to extending a warm welcome and enthusiasm for a safe and supportive return to Heller, I ask you to show patience, grace, and understanding to one another as we navigate an unusual few weeks or months. This will be a big transition for all--especially for the students and newer hires who may never have been to Heller.

Given the extreme transmissibility of the Delta variant and rising case rates of COVID-19 nationally, I urge you to exercise continued vigilance as we negotiate a careful return to in-person learning. We must all exercise the same integrity and commitment to mission and mutual safety that we have demonstrated throughout the pandemic.