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Executive Summary Reopening Plan

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At the request of the RI Department of Health (RIDOH) we have submitted Bryant University’s plans for fall semester reopening.  The executive summary we prepared for RIDOH is now posted here.  Our comprehensive plan is still evolving and will be modified to reflect new information and to adapt to changing circumstances.  The plan’s ultimate objective is to balance the University’s primary concern for the safety of all members of the campus community with Bryant’s mission of providing a vibrant and innovative on-campus learning and living environment for students.   We look forward to working with the Bryant community and representatives of the State of Rhode Island towards these objectives

FAQ: Graduate Programs Fall 2020 Return to Campus

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  • Will Graduate Programs return to face-to-face meetings in the Fall 2020 semester?

Yes, the plan is for graduate programs to resume face-to-face meetings beginning in the Fall of 2020. Please note that graduate programs will adhere to University, CDC and WHO guidelines for social distancing and sanitation.

  • When will classes begin?

Graduate programs will begin alongside undergraduate classes as of August 25. Classes will start on Aug 25, with an end date of Nov. 13, and include a Final examination period of Nov. 14-24.

  • Will classes be the same?

You will still have the same world-class faculty and outstanding peers. In terms of class format, we will have you in person as frequently as possible. Again, we are committed to adhering to relevant guidelines, including cleaning and social distancing. Based on current guidance, this means that classrooms will be disinfected regularly, and students will be spaced six feet apart. While classrooms have not yet been assigned, this may mean that some students will participate remotely on some days, while others participate in person, on a rotating basis.

  • What technology will be available?

We are committed to providing the highest quality educational experience for our graduate students. Each classroom will include remote lecture capacity including cameras and microphones in order for classes to be broadcast remotely. Slides will be shared and instructors will use document cameras as needed. Classes will be recorded as well.

  • What if I get sick?

Each day before coming to campus, you will be required to complete a short survey on banner. If you are not feeling well, we ask that you stay at home. If you are still able to participate in class, you are encouraged to do so remotely until you are well again. We will be prepared to accommodate you using technology listed above.

Extended illnesses (COVID-19 or otherwise) will be handled on a case-by-case basis per normal university guidelines. Accommodations may include an incomplete grade for the course.

  • What if other students are sick?

Every student will be required to complete a short survey on banner before coming to class. If students are ill, we ask that they stay home. If a student who is ill comes to class, faculty will request that the student leave campus and participate remotely until they are well again. If you notice a student who is obviously unwell, you are encouraged to notify your instructor.

  • I am an international student. What if I cannot get clearance to come to campus in time for classes?

We want you to know how much we need your participation in our programs. Your unique experiences and perspectives add significantly to discussions and the tenor of the class. If you are unable to get clearance to come to campus, you will be allowed to participate remotely until you receive clearance, using the technology outlined above. For specific concerns, please contact Kaoru Paganelli at (401) 232-6955 or by email at: kpaganel@bryant.edu.

  • Will the Global Immersion Experience be a part of the MBA program this year?

It is our strong hope that we will be able to travel as we have in the past. We have had several discussions with partners throughout the world who are ready to help facilitate the experience. However, we may need to modify or alter the format of the experience based on health concerns as we get closer to the date of the trip. We will continue to provide updates as we have them. As we make decisions, the safety of our students, faculty and staff remains our highest priority.

  • What is the grading policy?

While a P/F policy was in place for the Spring 2020 semester during our unexpected transition to remote learning, this policy has been discontinued. Graduate Programs will return to a traditional letter grade system for the fall semester.

  • Besides social distancing, are there other safety requirements?

Yes. Everyone entering the campus will be required to complete a “Health Tracker Questionnaire” that is available for download from Bryant website. In addition, students will be required to wear face masks while on campus (including while in class). Faculty may be required to stand behind plexiglass while lecturing.  Frequent handwashing will be encouraged, and hand sanitizer stations will be provided at several areas on campus.

FAQs: Bryant University Fall 2020 Reopening Plans

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Bryant is in the final stages of developing reopening plans that will be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) for its review, feedback, and comments. The top priority of our collective efforts in this planning is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for every member of our community.  In an announcement shared with the Bryant community, incoming University President Ross Gittell, Ph.D., who takes office July 1, outlined plans for students to return to Bryant’s Smithfield campus in August.

When will students return to campus?

August 4:    Some varsity athletes return to campus

August 5:    International students return to campus and begin mandatory quarantine

August 19:  First-year students arrive on campus

Aug 23-24:  Sophomores, juniors and seniors arrive on campus

When will fall classes begin and end?

August 25:  Classes start for all students

Nov 13:       Classes end

Nov 14-24:  Final examinations

Nov 24:       All finals complete, semester concludes, students depart campus

Dec 10:       Grades submission deadline

Why has Bryant modified its fall academic calendar?

The early arrival will allow students to finish their fall academic work and complete final examinations by November 24, before Thanksgiving break, a modification of the academic calendar designed to mitigate any potential spread due to a fall COVID-19 resurgence. Bryant’s revised academic calendar ensures that all fall semester requirements related to instructional hours are met, and personalized interaction with faculty and staff maintained, while addressing health and safety concerns.

Are face coverings required on campus?

Throughout Bryant’s summer reopening and fall semester, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to wear a facemask while on campus, in accordance with campus guidelines, and to adhere to strict physical distancing practices.

What is planned to ensure safety in Bryant classrooms?

All faculty and staff will be required to wear a facemask while on campus, including in the classrooms. To ensure appropriate physical distancing within Bryant classrooms, some class attendance will be split between alternating sessions. All classrooms, residence halls, and community spaces will be cleaned with appropriate disinfectant on a frequent basis. Our plans for heightened cleaning include using electrostatic sprayers to clean classrooms multiple times each day, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces on a four-six hour rotation.

Bryant has also made a significant investment in additional classroom technology, to ensure remote connectivity and further advance the University’s progressive teaching practices. All class sessions will be available on campus, via live streaming, and/or recorded for later viewing by lecture capture. 

How will Bryant coordinate testing for COVID-19?

Effective testing is essential to the safety of our community, and we are taking steps to ensure that timely, high quality, on-campus testing for COVID-19 can be conducted and overseen by our health services staff. This includes the acquisition of PCR testing equipment and expansion of our health services staffing. This will enable expeditious turn-around and accurate test results while avoiding potentially long waits as demand for testing in the community increases during any potential surge in COVID-19. The PCR testing equipment Bryant will deploy has been used successfully by major hospital systems (including Lifespan in RI) and other organizations domestically and internationally.

Bryant expects to begin testing when the equipment arrives in July. Detailed information on testing will be provided to the community and updated on a regular basis.   

What will Wintersession look like?

The period from Thanksgiving through January 25, 2021, between the fall and spring semesters, will allow students to take one or two courses specifically designed for effective, condensed, and remote delivery.  We plan to offer two sessions during this break: December 3-22 and January 3-22.  This will give students the opportunity to accelerate degree completion and even take an extra course or two to expand their learning and interests. 

Will the academic calendar for the spring 2021 semester be modified?

There are significant uncertainties associated with the coronavirus outbreak. We know that more information about the virus, its contagion and containment practices, and testing capabilities and protocols will be available over time. This makes contingency planning and organizational agility especially important. Bryant will continue to adhere to CDC guidelines and follow the guidance of government officials and health experts. Our reopening plans will be incremental.

Who created the plans for Bryant’s fall reopening?

Six Bryant committees, composed of more than 50 faculty and staff members, worked on the interdependent aspects of the University’s fall reopening. These committees include Health & Safety; Academic Programs & Technological Support; Student Life & Support; Athletics & Recreation; Facilities, Staff & Budgets; and Communications.

Will Bryant charge added fees for safety measures implemented to address the pandemic?

To achieve a successful and effective response to the global pandemic; by securing testing capacity, enhancing academic technology, and implementing facilities and operations redesign; will require Bryant to incur additional unplanned expenditures.  It is important to note that these unplanned but necessary expenditures will not be passed on as additional costs or fees for our students and their families.

Fall Reopening Plans from incoming President Gittell

I am excited to be on campus this week, another step in my transition toward assuming the presidency on July 1st.  My initial focus, during these first three weeks, will be on a healthy and safe fall re-opening of the campus, and continuance of Bryant’s strong educational programs and mission as we respond to the global pandemic.  These early days will also allow me the opportunity to get better acquainted with all of you, to listen and learn about Bryant, and to consider how we can make our community even stronger going forward.  

In response to the global pandemic, the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff is our top priority as we prepare for the start of the 2020-21 academic year.  I am writing to update you on:

  • Our fall reopening plans
  • A modified academic calendar for the fall semester
  • Campus protocols and testing for COVID-19
  • New Winter Session opportunities for our students 

Bryant has worked hard to earn a growing reputation for academic excellence, and I am eager to build on that excellence in the face of unprecedented circumstances.  As many of you know, President Machtley and I have worked together closely to ensure a strong transition of Bryant University leadership on July 1.  I would like to thank President Machtley once again for his assistance in this regard.

I know that my first year as president will present challenges and learning opportunities for all of us.  Bryant’s pristine campus, secured entrance, location and moderate size, and culture of concern for the community are key assets that will serve us well.  Yet, there are significant uncertainties associated with the coronavirus outbreak and its impact on higher education.  We know that more information about the virus, its contagion and containment practices, and testing capabilities and protocols will be available over time.  This makes contingency planning and organizational agility especially important.  Through the hard work and commitment of so many in our community, Bryant has demonstrated a strong ability to innovate and adapt to student, society, and market needs.  I am optimistic that, with all of us working together, we can address these challenges and ensure the continuing success of this outstanding institution.  

Teams Preparing Reopening Plans

We have spent considerable time over the past months consulting with healthcare experts and with six Bryant committees (comprised of over 50 Bryant faculty and staff) working on interdependent aspects of our fall reopening.  These committees include Health & Safety; Academic Programs & Technological Support; Student Life & Support; Athletics & Recreation; Facilities, Staff & Budgets; and Communications.  Each team member remains ever mindful of the importance of maintaining the most essential elements of the unique educational experience Bryant provides in terms of instruction, residential life, student success programs, inclusive excellence, and extra-curricular activities.  All these elements are critical to fulfilling our mission of educating, preparing, developing, and supporting students for personal and professional success.  In addition, committee work has given priority to sustaining the collegial employment experience for which the University has been recognized as a great place to work.  

We are in the final stages of developing plans that will be submitted to the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) for its review, feedback, and comments.  The top priority of our collective efforts in this planning is to ensure a safe and healthy environment for every member of our community.  Reopening the campus and bringing students back early, allowing for completion of the fall semester before Thanksgiving, will substantially advance this objective. 

In alignment with plans Governor Raimondo announced yesterday for the reopening of all schools in Rhode Island in August, and with the planning of our peer colleges and universities in the state, Bryant’s campus-based student residential experience and instruction will commence in August. This will allow all students to finish their fall academic work and complete final examinations before the Thanksgiving break.  Returning to campus after the break would pose a significant risk due to the associated travel and extensive personal contacts.  This plan will mitigate any potential spread due to a fall COVID-19 resurgence. 

Fall 2020 Schedule

Based on the current available understanding of COVID-19 and the associated government recommendations, the fall semester schedule is planned as follows:

August 4:       Some varsity athletes, staff and coaches return to campus

August 5:       International students return to campus and begin mandatory quarantine 

August 19:     First-year students arrive on campus

Aug 23-24:     Sophomores, juniors and seniors arrive on campus

August 25:     Classes start for all students (simultaneous in-person and interactive lecture capture, see more detail below)

Nov 13:          Classes end 

Nov 14-24:     Final examinations 

Nov 24:          All finals complete, semester concludes, students depart campus 

Dec 10:           Grades submission deadline

The advantages of a phased reopening for the fall semester include:

  1. Allowing students to arrive in a staggered manner, rather than during one weekend, will allow time for the students to adjust to changes on campus.
  2. Enabling first-year students to have an on-campus orientation and receive the special attention they deserve as incoming students.  It also will make socialization into a residential academic environment more manageable for our first-year students, especially since residential life will be more complex with the implementation of public health-related practices. 
  3. Ensuring all fall semester requirements related to instructional hours are met, and personalized interaction with faculty and staff maintained, while addressing health and safety concerns. 

COVID-19 Testing

Appropriate and effective testing is essential to the safety of our community and the effectiveness of our efforts as an institution of higher learning.  We are taking steps to ensure that timely, high quality, on-campus testing for COVID-19 can be conducted and overseen by our health services staff; this includes the acquisition of PCR testing equipment and expansion of our health services staffing.  This will enable expeditious turn-around and accurate test results while avoiding potentially long waits as demand for testing in the community increases during any potential surge in COVID-19.  The PCR testing equipment Bryant will deploy has been used successfully by major hospital systems (including Lifespan in RI) and other organizations domestically and internationally.  In Singapore and Hong Kong, this testing, along with social distancing and other health protection strategies, helped achieve comparatively low infection rates.  Bryant expects to begin testing when the equipment arrives in July.  We also are pursuing a partnership with a nearby testing facility to further enhance adequate and timely testing capacity.  Detailed information on testing will be provided to the community and updated on a regular basis.   

Our current plan is to test all symptomatic Bryant community members and conduct random testing of representative samples of the campus population.  In addition, beginning on June 15, to help ensure that infected individuals do not come onto campus, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors will use the Bryant Health Checker App, or its equivalent, to complete daily attestations regarding any COVID-19 related symptoms and body temperature.

Campus Protocols

Throughout our summer reopening and fall semester, all faculty, staff, students, and visitors will be required to adhere to strict physical distancing practices and to wear a facemask while on campus in accordance with campus guidelines.  All classrooms, residence halls, and community spaces will be cleaned with appropriate disinfectant on a frequent basis.  Our plans for heightened cleaning include using electrostatic sprayers to clean classrooms multiple times each day, cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces on a four to six hour rotation, and equipping  custodial services staff with machines that provide higher level disinfection of all bathroom surfaces.  Wherever possible, Plexiglass shields will be installed in high-traffic locations (e.g., at the post office, library, bursar’s office, etc.) to help prevent direct contact between individuals.  Out-of-class activities will be strictly regulated to ensure compliance with all health and safety requirements, including physical distancing.  These include varsity athletics, intramural sports, concerts, stage performances, and student engagement activities.  In the event of a positive case on campus, we will complete a case investigation, contact tracing, and provide appropriately staffed isolation and quarantine facilities.

Faculty, staff, and students with immune deficiencies are encouraged to remain off campus.  Faculty and staff, depending on their individual situation and role on campus, will be presented, when possible, with options for continuation of their work. 

All class sessions will be available on campus, via live streaming, and/or recorded for later viewing by lecture capture.  To ensure appropriate physical distancing within the classrooms, some class attendance will be split between alternating sessions.  The Deans and the faculty are working on the development of appropriate pedagogical practices to meet health and safety guidelines.  A significant investment in additional classroom technology will ensure remote connectivity and build on Bryant’s well-known progressive teaching practices.  The Provost and I will share additional information by early July, including information about support for faculty and students as they prepare for different modalities of course delivery and access in the fall semester.   

Winter Session Opportunities

The period from Thanksgiving through January 25, between the fall and spring semesters, will allow students to take one or two courses specifically designed for effective, condensed, and remote delivery.  We plan to offer two sessions during this break: December 3-22 and January 3-22.  This will give students the opportunity to accelerate degree completion and even take an extra course or two to expand their learning and interests.  

In Closing

The top priorities in our planning for the fall semester are to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff; to continue the high quality Bryant education and student life experience; to listen and learn on important issues including those related to inclusion and social justice; and to sustain our positive employment experience.  

To achieve a successful and effective response to the global pandemic; by securing testing capacity, enhancing academic technology, and implementing facilities and operations redesign; will require Bryant to incur additional unplanned expenditures.  It is important to note that these unplanned but necessary expenditures will not be passed on as additional costs or fees for our students and their families. 

As the summer progresses, we will give priority to communications.  By July 1st there will be a COVID-19 microsite serving as a centralized repository and information hub, an email hotline and eNewsletter established, and there will be interactive communication platforms and other vehicles for inclusion and social justice listening learning and engagement.  These platforms will enable timely communication and the sharing of important information and perspectives.

The contributions of our dedicated faculty and staff, and their commitment to students and to Bryant, remains extraordinary and will help all of us through this challenging time in American higher education and for our nation and for Bryant University.

Thank you all for your strong commitment and contributions to Bryant.  Please remain safe and healthy.  We are in this together and all stronger and better for that.  

Sincerely,

Ross Gittell, Ph.D.

Incoming President

Guidelines for Returning to Campus

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As President Machtley recently announced, beginning June 15, 2020, we will start the process for returning to normalcy including bringing employees back to campus.   Our first priority is the health and safety of every member of our community. As the state of Rhode Island progresses through the phases of Governor Raimondo’s Reopening Rhode Island plan, we will implement our return to campus in such a way as to adhere to all of these guidelines as well as the return to work guidelines from the CDC. 

Please review the following initial return to campus guidelines, which apply to all Bryant employees (faculty, staff and student employees) when working on campus effective June 15, 2020. These guidelines may change at any time as conditions and/or circumstances warrant to ensure the health and safety of our community.  Updates will be provided through a three-point communication model wherein email updates are also posted to the emergency.bryant.edu site, as a centralized repository and information hub, and shared on the University social media accounts.  Please be sure to check emergency.bryant.edu for the most up to date information about Bryant University’s response to this evolving transition. 

STAFFING AND WORK HOURS

  • Only staff who have been approved to return to campus by division heads or department heads as part of the phased re-opening will be allowed on campus; these individuals will be notified by their supervisors. All other staff, even some who have opted to come to campus during the broad remote work period, will be expected to work remotely until they are advised they may resume working on campus. Individuals who are not on the list of approved personnel to return to campus will not be allowed on campus.  This is necessary to ensure that we don’t exceed allowed limits.
  • During the summer months, faculty without symptoms after completing a daily attestation (see below) may come onto campus to address their on-campus needs, although this is generally discouraged and should be limited to special situations.   Faculty coming onto campus will need to adhere to all of the other protocols in place for staff employees.
  • Employees who have COVID-19 related personal circumstances (i.e., childcare needs, being in a high-risk category, residing with an individual in a high-risk category, etc.) which impacts their ability to return to campus during the initial re-entry phase should work with their managers, division heads, and HR on their work arrangements.  
  • There may be staggered start times to control volume of traffic entering campus and being on campus.  This may include a partial or complete remote work assignment (for example, three days on campus and two from your remote work location). Employees should contact their manager/supervisor to confirm start time and work schedule details.

HEALTH AND SAFETY 

Deep cleaning high touch surfaces will take place in advance of the gradual return of employees to campus. Offices will be disinfected using an electrostatic spray system to ensure a safe environment.  Prior to returning to campus, faculty and staff should take a moment to review the following links containing CDC guidelines: Hand WashingSocial DistancingSneezing and Coughing.   Here are general guidelines and policies that will be implemented effective June 15:

  • Faculty and staff will self-certify, on a daily basis, that they have no COVID-19 symptoms or risk factors using the Health Checker Bryant University app for this purpose. This app is available via the Bryant Mobile App (which will pre-populate name and email address) or by going to Banner Self Service online. Campus access will not be granted without proper completion of this step, which should be completed before employees leave their homes to travel to campus.
  • If an employee reports a temperature or other symptoms/risk factors, they should not come to campus but should stay home. Employees must work with their manager/supervisor and Human Resources to determine next steps. 
  • In compliance with the State mandate, face masks/coverings will be required in all public areas at all times including hallways, dining areas, meeting rooms, high traffic outside walkways where it is difficult to maintain safe distance, etc. 
  • The University will provide 3 face masks for each employee. Gloves will be available for employees with frequent customer contact. Masks will be sent to returning employees via interoffice mail.  When you first return to campus, please wear a mask or face covering of your own.

ON-CAMPUS WORKING CONSIDERATIONS 

Employees will be required to maintain social distancing while on campus which will result in new ways of conducting business:

  • Employees may be asked to sit at another workstation for a period of time if there is not a significant enough distance between spaces within an office. 
  • Employees should plan to take all essential work with them at the end of each workday and be prepared to work remotely should on campus work guidance change.
  • There will be new occupancy limits for shared spaces (meeting rooms, breakrooms, auditorium, dining spaces, library, AIC Forum, AIC breakout rooms) based on social distancing and max gathering limits set by the RIDOH and Bryant University. 
  • The University will require that on-campus in person meetings be minimized and instead be conducted via Zoom or other video conferencing technology (even if individuals are working on site).
  • There will be limited dining options available on campus during the initial phased re-opening; for example, there will be no breakfast service in Gulski, although coffee service will continue.  There will be lunch available. Please practice social distancing at the coffee service and during lunch.
  • Staggered break and lunch times may be instituted to ensure social distancing guidelines can be met in dining facilities.  All staff and faculty with a private office will be asked to eat lunch within their office to allow space for individuals who do not have private space. 
  • Modified traffic patterns may be instituted in buildings and hallways; building entry points may be limited. 
  • Employees will be provided access to cleaning materials and will be asked to wipe down their personal workspace at least once a day; shared equipment (i.e., copiers, scanners, etc.) must be cleaned after each use. Cleaning supplies also will be available next to public microwaves and refrigerators and should be utilized after each use.
  • Employees will be asked to empty their office trash and recycle bins into a collection point in the common areas of the building.  This will allow the custodial staff to focus on deep cleaning activities in high use areas of the campus. 
  • Individuals on campus will be required to keep record of their activity on campus including visited spaces and staff, faculty, and/or student interaction.  This can be a personal written record or kept utilizing a contact tracing application such as Crush Covid Rhode Island or others. 
  • Campus visitors, other than deliveries required for standard business operations, will be limited and will require prior authorization.  All visitors will be required to provide their response to the Bryant University daily attestation prior to being allowed on campus.  Employees should continue to use video conferencing, to the extent possible, with off campus constituents or vendors. 
  • Students should only come on campus when approved to do so.

Guidelines may change as necessitated by public health guidelines and the campus’s operational needs. Since we will be operating in ways that are new to all of us, please be respectful of others, especially those who may be checking for your daily clearance to be on campus, and have patience with yourself and others as we transition back to working on-campus.

RESOURCES

There are many excellent resources available on the topics of face mask usage, the importance of social distancing, and handwashing.   Here are links to some of these:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yc_yKQryMIQ – Face Masks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML3n1c0FHDI – Face Masks

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nlyxz2X97Do – Social Distancing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhR2Nym7Pbo – Social Distancing

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IisgnbMfKvI – Hand washing

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/videos.html –  Hand Washing link to multiple videos CDC

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZ9aIoUxDBg – Sneezing and Coughing

STAY SAFE, STAY HEALTHY

We are all looking forward to beginning to interact with each other in person on campus once again, but this needs to be done in such a way as to help ensure the health and safety of all community members.  Thank you for your patience, understanding and cooperation as we phase in our return to campus.

2020 Room and Board Refund Update

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As communicated in a prior email from President Machtley, Bryant University will be crediting your student account for room and board charges for those days that students were not able to return to campus after spring break, from March 15th until the end of the semester.   This credit will be applied to your student account in the upcoming week.

The housing and meal plan credit was calculated by using a daily rate for the appropriate type of housing and meal plan in which you were enrolled.  Students receiving institutional aid to cover room and board charges will be credited proportionally after adjusting for this aid.  Additionally, if students received a permit to stay on campus after spring break, charges will be adjusted for those additional days.     

If the adjustment results in a credit balance on the student account, the credit can remain on the account and be applied toward charges for next semester.  Alternately, a refund can be requested by following the instructions below:

  • Select Banner from the Quick Launch dropdown menu on the My Bryant Portal
  • Select BANNER SELF-SERVICE SSO
  • Log in using your My Bryant Portal login credentials
  • Select Student Services and Financial Aid
  • Select Refund Request Form
  • Complete form and click Submit Request

If you wish to be issued a refund, we recommend that a direct deposit refund request be submitted in order to expedite the refund process.  If applying for an electronic refund, please validate the bank account information on the Student Account Center under the refund tab.  If you are unsure how to do this, please watch this instructional video on how to apply for the refund:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=spXpWIYdcEw

If you are requesting a paper check, please allow additional time versus the direct deposit refund method. The Bursar’s Office will be processing refund requests as quickly as possible and we appreciate your patience during this busy time.  If you have specific questions, you can contact the Bursar’s Office at (401) 232-6030 or, by email, at bursar@bryant.edu.

Revised Grading Policy for Spring 2020 semester

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Bryant takes pride in our commitment to academic excellence.  Certainly, our faculty and students understand the University’s collective commitment to success.  However, we must acknowledge that the COVID-19 crisis has made this an extraordinary time for higher education.  We fully recognize and appreciate the diligence, hard work, and remarkable innovation and flexibility our faculty have shown in meeting the challenge of moving an entire semester of teaching online within an extremely short period of time. 

Yet we also recognize that there are countless ways in which the global pandemic has created disruptions for our students.  Many have had to deal with less than ideal conditions while attempting to complete the semester (impacts of parents diagnosed, family members in the same home working remotely, siblings, etc.); many have experienced disparate or sporadic issues with their bandwidth and connectivity to the internet; others have not been able to obtain the same “in person” experience when going to seek extra help (although all of these are online and being carried out effectively by academic affairs’ staff, for many the experience of personal touch they are accustomed to enjoying is no longer “there”); and for those students who have learning disabilities, this transition can potentially be very problematic.  To say the least, these issues, among others, have made the second half of our semester difficult.  As a result, we want to ensure all of you are aware that the Registrar will note, on every transcript, that this spring semester of 2020 was impacted by the COVID-19 virus. 

With our combined commitment to academic rigor, as well as a true cognizance of the circumstances in which our students are now operating, and with great input from faculty, department chairs and students, the Deans and I have recommended a pass-fail option for undergraduate students.  President Machtley has formally approved our recommendation of an alteration to the grading policy for the spring semester of 2020. Faculty will evaluate students normally, using letter grades. However, we will provide an option for a “pass-fail” grade for all courses taken this semester. The option for a student to select a pass/fail will only be permitted after grades have been posted for each individual course. “Pass” grades will not count for the calculation of a student’s GPA but will still count toward degree completion and toward all other requirements based on GPA, such as, Dean’s List, Presidents’ List, Scholarships, Study Abroad, etc. (essentially, a “do no harm” impact).  Students intending to change their letter grades to P/F grades are advised to consult with their advisor to ensure such an option does not inadvertently impact their opportunity to pursue certain graduate programs, or to be removed from academic probationary status, etc.  Students considering exercising P/F option in any course should consult their advisers well in advance of the deadlines below. As a reminder, we have moved the last date for withdrawal from a given class until May 1, 2020 if that proves necessary.

The following schedule(s) for choosing pass/fail option will be strictly adhered to by the Registrar.

Undergraduate Programs:

Class of 2020/Seniors:   May exercise P/F option by Thursday, May 14, 12pm.

Classes of 2021, 2022, and 2023:  May exercise P/F option by Wed. May 20, 8am.

Graduate Programs:

Physician Assistant Program

Per accreditation guidelines (ARC-PA), as with any medical postgraduate program, our Physician Assistant Program will continue to grade in their normal process. 

Graduate School (MACOM)

The Department of Communication will retain its normal grading procedures for graduate students as outlined in the Graduate Course Catalog; however, requests for accommodations should be directed to Dr. Kevin Pearce, Chair of the Department (kpearce@bryant.edu).

Graduate School (MBA/MPAC)

Many of our graduate students have experienced the same difficulties as our undergraduates as outlined above. However, some of our graduate students were disrupted in other ways as well, including loss of childcare or significant changes to their work schedules. Because of this, we expect that Faculty teaching graduate courses also evaluate students normally, using letter grades. As with undergraduates, we will provide an exception for a “pass-fail” option for students in need of such a remedy for justifiable reasons.  “Pass” grades will not count for the calculation of a student’s GPA but will still count toward degree completion and toward all other requirements based on GPA.

The implications for graduate students may be far-reaching and could include issues with employer reimbursement, certification exam eligibility, or eligibility for other graduate programs in the future. As with undergraduates, we advise that graduate students considering this option consult with their advisors, instructors and employers as appropriate well in advance of the deadline.

PMBA students, whose courses are typically online, may petition for the “pass/fail” option for the Spring term if they are able to demonstrate extraordinary difficulties stemming from the impact of COVID-19.

May Graduates of the MPAC Program: May exercise P/F option by Thursday, May 14, 12pm.

PMBA students: May exercise P/F option by Mon, May 25, 8am.

All other COB Graduate Students:  May exercise P/F option by Wed. May 20, 8am.

Information on residence hall move-out

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As stated in President Machtley’s recent email, we have developed procedures to allow you to safely retrieve the belongings you still have in your residence hall due to the University closing for the remainder of the semester.   We have developed procedures that will facilitate the move-out process while adhering to social distancing guidelines giving everyone maximum flexibility to accomplish move out.  The deadline to move-out is as follows:

Tuesday, May 12th – Residents of Townhouses, Providence, Jamestown, Cumberland, Lincoln and Newport
Saturday, May 30th – Bristol, Warren, Barrington, Charlestown, Richmond, Kilcup, Westerly, Hopkinton, Exeter, Coventry, Scituate, and Tiverton

To schedule an appointment to move-out:
Step 1 –Complete this application.  All requests must be received at least 48 hours in advance of the date you anticipate returning to campus.  Students will only be permitted to bring two guests to assist with the move-out.  Students who reside in a state where a “Shelter in Place” order is active will not be able to make an appointment to move-out until the order is lifted in their home state

Step 2 – Residential Life staff will review your request and confirm the date and time for your arrival and that you are not a health risk.  It is imperative that you arrive on the date and time for which you have been approved.  Only students with a confirmed move-out application will be allowed to return to campus.  This is necessary in order to adhere to social distancing guidelines and minimize the risk to our community.  When your application is approved, you will also receive a parking pass which must be printed and placed on your dashboard when you arrive to campus.  You will need your parking pass to enter campus.

Step 3 – Students who return to campus will only be allowed to go directly to their own room, pack up and depart.  Students will not be allowed to visit other students who may be on campus, other rooms or other facilities on campus. There will be no service of food on campus and you should be aware that all restaurants in RI have been ordered by the Governor to stop serving.  We recommend you bring your own food if you are traveling from a distance.  All items must be removed from your room, suite, or townhouse.  All students will participate in express check-out and will sign out via the door tag on their room door. 

Step 4 – Before leaving campus, you will need to return your key in the envelope provided on your door tag.  Please deposit the envelope with your key in the drop box at Entry Control as you leave campus.

We will have a supply of boxes, tape, and trash bags available in each residential area as well as laundry carts to assist with your move-out.

If you cannot return to campus to retrieve your personal belongings:

If you are abroad or for whatever reason cannot return to campus now or the move out date specified for your residence hall, please complete Request to Store/Pack Belongings Form by Friday, May 1st to make arrangements to pack up your belongings and put them in storage until you can retrieve them.  We are currently getting estimates for a summer storage charge, and we will let you know when we finalize the expense.

If you have an extenuating circumstance and need additional assistance moving out, please contact the Office of Residential Life at reslife@bryant.edu or 401-232-6140 for assistance. We thank you for your cooperation and understanding during this difficult time.

Admission in-person visits

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Bryant University’s Admission team enjoys welcoming visitors to our stunning campus and we believe there’s no better way to learn about Bryant than to experience it firsthand. For now, however, in-person visits and events have been postponed in order to protect the health of our visitors and community. We understand that you may be eager to discover more about our academic programs and vibrant student life, and are sorry for this necessary change of plans.

To help you learn more about what sets Bryant apart as an exceptional place to live and learn, we’ve created a variety of virtual events and extra web features, replicating much of the information of an in-person visit: https://explore.bryant.edu/portal/visitcampus

Until we are able to return to our previously scheduled programs and activities, we hope you will find this format helpful. 

Survey on Online Learning

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Bryant students: the University is assessing our transition to online teaching and learning. We want to know how your first week went, and how we can help you. Look for a brief survey in your email from Provost Glenn Sulmasy and VP of Student Affairs Inge-Lise Ameer asking for your feedback, and please take a few minutes to respond this weekend so that we can continue improving things as we go forward into next week.