The college is making every effort to support students in their educational journey while maintaining financial commitments in a challenging environment. As the semester abruptly shifted to remote learning, the college pivoted and allowed students to work remotely, where the need still existed.
Remote work is not typically permitted, due to interstate tax laws and other liabilities. However, under guidance from Jamie Art, the college’s general counsel, we continued to treat students as if they were on campus, since they were still enrolled as full-time students.
Unfortunately, this ends in the summer when students are not actively enrolled in classes. This is an important distinction and informs how we can structure paid summer offerings.
We cannot “employ” students to perform work remotely during the summer. But we can provide taxable stipends to students to have meaningful experiences regardless of where they are located. These experiences must primarily benefit the student and their educational experience, not the college. When the governor lifts the essential staff-only order, we may consider the possibility of employing students who are already approved to be on campus or who live locally. In the meantime, we cannot approve hourly summer student positions remotely.
Fortunately, students will still have access to a number of summer opportunities. A group of colleagues from the ‘68 Center for Career Exploration, the Center for Learning in Action, the Fellowships Office, and the Center for Environmental Science, along with the Director of Financial Aid, worked on a collaborative model for summer internships and academic research projects. These summer funding opportunities have been aggregated on the career center’s website.
In early March, the Class of 1957 Summer Research Program fellowships were finalized in Divisions I and II. Megan Konieczny will continue to work with those of you who have been awarded a fellowship. Stipend amounts for students may be prorated based on the project and more information about this will soon follow.
We know faculty in the sciences have already begun to engage students in opportunities for the summer. Tiku Majumder will be working with faculty colleagues on a tiered model of stipend offerings. Also, the Math SMALL Undergraduate Research Project will continue its program in a remote format.
If there are other academically focused experiences that you are considering in your department please contact Janine Burt, Student Employment Manager, to determine how we might be able to structure the opportunity. Many of you are used to hiring students through the PeopleSoft module; this will not be available for this summer. Students will be hired through a web-based Student Summer Experience Authorization Form. For more information on the process, pay dates, and remotely I-9 forms visit the Summer Student Experience page on the HR website.
As Fred and Denise stated in their May 8th email, “a return, whenever it happens, will have to be gradual and phased.” This will also be the approach to student work on campus this summer. We will only consider employment opportunities that serve critical needs, and where social distancing and safe practices can be implemented.
Denise K. Buell, Dean of the Faculty and Cluett Professor of Religion
Danielle Gonzalez, Director of Human Resources
Fred Puddester, Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer