Policies & Protocols for Five Colleges, Incorporated, during the COVID-19 Outbreak (effective 10 March 2020, updated 28 October 2020)

The health and welfare of our entire Five College community is our paramount concern, and we will comply with all orders issued by the CDC and local public health authorities.

Our goal at Five Colleges, Incorporated (FCI) is to maintain our operations in as stable a fashion as possible in order to support the campuses in their shared functions during the outbreak.

To that end, FCI will follow the policies and protocols below until and unless instructed to do otherwise by the CDC, public health authorities, or our Board of Directors.

In addition, Five Colleges has developed a COVID-19 Control Plan as a guide for staff members returning to their offices. 

FCI Staff
FCI staff (those on the payroll of the Corporation rather than the campuses) will be expected to abide by FCI personnel policies, including remote working policies, travel guidelines, and travel reporting mechanisms.  In brief:

  • All FCI staff are working remotely (as of March 16th) and are expected to report to work (remotely) as scheduled until further notice.
  • Staff questions about these policies and their interpretation should be addressed to the Executive Director.

97 Spring Street
FCI will treat FCI headquarters (Five College Center) at 97 Spring Street as a functionally independent space from the Amherst campus, governed by FCI policies, unless instructed by Amherst College to alter our operations.  This building is officially closed except for approved access for a limited number of staff who are needed to process mail, invoices, and other essential activities.

Other FCI-occupied spaces (including 79 S. Pleasant Street on the Amherst College campus and the spaces occupied by FCI staff and programs on the other campuses) are closed and will remain so until the policies of the host campuses permit us to re-open.  FCI employees in these spaces are under FCI personnel policies, but we will attempt to align our expectations for these employees with the campuses on which they work.

See below for further information on the Center for World Languages.

Traveling can increase your risk of getting and transmitting COVID-19. These travel policies are in place for all FCI staff until further notice:

  • FCI-sponsored travel is not authorized (aside from required travel from an employee’s home to their work location, and between Five College campuses and/or FCI locations).
  • Personal travel outside of Massachusetts is discouraged.
  • FCI staff are expected to follow CDC travel guidelines.
  • FCI staff are expected to adhere to the Massachusetts Travel Order.
  • FCI staff are expected to exercise caution and good judgment regarding both international and domestic travel that have not been explicitly called out in federal or state guidelines.
  • FCI staff are encouraged to report all travel to the Executive Director, the Director of Operations, and their supervisor.
  • FCI staff are neither expected nor encouraged to register their travel with any of the campuses, as these registries are intended for campus employees.
  • FCI staff who are required to quarantine due to travel orders and cannot perform their duties during the mandated quarantine must use accrued paid time off to cover their absence.

FCI-sponsored events that are taking place in campus facilities will abide by that campus’ rules and restrictions regarding events (e.g., cancelling events or limiting attendance).  At present, all in-person events have been canceled and no future events are being scheduled.

We will continue to provide Zoom as an option for meeting attendees who are unable to attend in person, as per our usual procedures.

Center for World Languages Classes
We are currently offering remote versions of the language courses offered by the Center, and will continue to do so for the Fall 2020 semester, in order to accommodate the broadest possible range of students and instructors. Students and instructors with questions should contact the Center at fclang@fivecolleges.edu or 413-542-5264.