Campus Status March 30

(March 30, 2020)

Dear Cadets, Faculty and Staff,

I write today to provide you with an update on the Academy’s evolving response as the Covid19 pandemic worsens.

In consideration of Governor Baker’s extension of K-12 school closings until 4 May and President Trump’s advice for the nation to do the same, Massachusetts Maritime Academy will remain in its current “period of restricted access to campus” mode until at least 4 May 2020.

It is important to note that Massachusetts Maritime Academy remains exempt from the Governor’s stay at home directive in three distinct areas; first, for work that supports online learning, second, for work that supports residential students who are not able to return home, and, third, for ongoing construction projects.

As such, we will continue to limit access to campus for employees, except those who are necessary to support these areas of operation, and for the general public. Employees needed to support this effort will be so instructed by their Division Vice President and will include, but are not limited to, faculty & academic staff actively in support of online learning, public safety officers, IT staff, maintainers, HVAC technicians and wastewater plant staff. It is important to note that these faculty and staff have worked tirelessly to deliver our world-class academic program to our well-deserving cadets. I thank them for their incredible effort.

I am asking our cadets to be vigilant in regard to their studies. Pay attention to the online delivery of your coursework, be an active participant and stay on top of all assignments.

The senior leadership team has been working closely with MARAD and the USCG/NMC to seek accommodations related to sea time, USCG testing and other STCW requirements. NMC has issued guidance in support of our requests in several areas and we continue to seek relief in other areas. The Academy’s Office of Mariner Credentialing is pushing hard to find creative ways to accomplish all that we need to do while maintaining the integrity of our program.

I have directed Student Accounts to issue refunds of prorated room & board charges to our students for the period of mid-March until 4 May. That process should be completed by midApril. We will continue to focus on our four priorities of keeping our entire community safe, limiting the possible spread of the virus, ensuring that our senior cadets can complete their studies, and minimizing the academic impact on our underclass students. As each day passes, I am even more appreciative of the incredible support and willingness of the entire academy community to find creative ways to accomplish our goals. Please be safe and continue to follow CDC guidelines and, please, whenever possible, just stay home. I will update the community again not later than the week of 27 April.

My kindest regards,
RADM Francis X. McDonald President