Dear Barnard Community,

It has been a difficult several weeks as we follow the progress of COVID-19 around the globe, in the United States and here in New York City. 

My leadership team and I have been working closely with Columbia University and the New York State and City Departments of Health with the shared priority of upholding the health and safety of our community. As such, we are following the directive of Columbia below in suspending classes on Monday and Tuesday and moving to remote classes through the end of the week before spring break. 

As President Bollinger’s message says (see below), we are taking this action because a member of the Columbia community has been isolated as a result of exposure to COVID-19. This individual has not been diagnosed with the virus at this point. Moreover, no Barnard student, faculty or staff member has been diagnosed with COVID-19. It is important to know that our actions are out of an abundance of caution. 

Like Columbia, Barnard’s campus is not shutting down. Libraries, Barnard Dining, Primary Care Health Service, the Furman Counseling Center, the Barnard Fitness Center and all other services remain open. However, in an effort to minimize close contact among groups of people, we are cancelling all events and gatherings at Barnard through the end of spring break. All Fitbear classes are also suspended through spring break. We are also suspending our in-person admissions tours and information sessions until further notice. 

For students, I know many of you have midterms this week. Faculty have been asked to suspend these exams or administer them in take-home format. Faculty will be in touch with class-specific information. Because there will be no in-person classes, students  do not need to remain on campus at this point; however, we understand that some will choose to remain on campus through spring break. The residence halls and other student services remain open. Barnard students planning to stay on campus during spring break should complete this Spring Break Staycation Form so we can ensure appropriate services are available during the break.

Faculty will hear directly from Provost Bell with more information about class continuation procedures through the week. Both Provost Bell and I thank the faculty in advance for all that they are doing to be flexible in offering their classes on-line and in accommodating students and their specific concerns and requirements.

Staff will hear shortly from Vice Presidents Di Benedetto and Geddis with guidance regarding any impact this could have on your roles and responsibilities. As always, your dedication to the Barnard community continues to impress me and I am thankful for all that you do.

Please see COVID-19 Guidance for the Barnard College Community for the most up-to-date COVID-19 Guidance for the Barnard Community. We ask that you check back often as this website is updated as information becomes available.

We all share the goal of upholding the health and safety of our community and we ask for your consideration and caring of each other during this difficult time.

With care,

President Sian Leah Beilock




Columbia University message

Dear fellow members of the Columbia community:

I am writing this evening to notify everyone that, because a member of our community has been quarantined as a result of exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we have decided to suspend classes on Monday and Tuesday. This suspension of activities will allow us to prepare to shift to remote classes for the remainder of the week. I want to emphasize that the individual who has been quarantined has not been diagnosed at this point with the virus. 

Please understand that the decision to suspend classes does not mean that the University is shutting down. All non-classroom activities, including research, will continue in accordance with the new travel and events restrictions announced recently. At this point, just to restate what is important to know, we do not have a confirmed case of the virus on campus. This action is intended to prevent the virus from spreading. 

This message will soon be followed by more specific information from deans and other University leaders, including plans for remote instruction beginning Wednesday and continuing until the start of Spring Break on Friday.

Let me say how much we appreciate the efforts of everyone who is helping us work our way through this challenging situation and your understanding and attention. As always, we are especially committed to providing updates as we have more information and recommendations. 


Lee C. Bollinger