Return to campus and space planning

June 29, 2021

Dear SPH Staff,

We were all excited to read the President’s announcement about returning to more normal operations on August 16th. We, too, look forward to more normal operations and are excited to see an active and busy building again. We also recognize that we have developed new ways to work that can be more flexible than in the past, and we will be capitalizing on the work of the Future of Hybrid/Remote committee and plans announced by the Provost.

As you have heard us communicate, our space needs have exceeded our current space availability. We are in the middle of conducting a space programming assessment for 155 South Main (Packet Building) and are reimagining 121 South Main with ARO Consulting and University facilities. Many of you have participated heavily in information gathering sessions, and we are grateful for your input. We expect a report and proposals for School leadership to consider in August. If all goes well, we expect to seek approval to move the project forward at the October Corporation meeting.

We anticipate a period of transition as we finalize the timing of the overall expansion project. The School of Public Health will be progressive in our approach and will actively promote hybrid and remote working arrangements.

The principles we will be following during this period will be: Promote flexible work arrangements to maximize efficient work, individual flexibility, and space use. Invest in technology as needed to facilitate an effective work environment. Minimize infrastructure investments until a full space vision and capital planning process are approved. Support an inclusive environment where meetings and other gatherings use Zoom and other related options whenever possible to accommodate people in remote or hybrid scenarios. Communicate regularly and solicit feedback to adapt as needed. The SPH space committee has been meeting with floor representatives (center administrators) to determine space availability and ways to maximize existing space. We are working to provide space for all faculty who require space consistently for teaching and research purposes. Whenever possible, faculty will also share office space. We expect that many staff will share space either by sharing office space on alternating hybrid days and by using other shared spaces.

We know you may have questions about your particular situation. We expect to have answers for every faculty and staff member on their remote/hybrid eligibility designation, and appropriate space assignments by Friday, 7/23 if not before. You can start returning gradually as we ramp up to August 16th.

Unfortunately, there continues to be a parking shortage for the School, and we are working with the Transportation & Brown Card Services office to determine potential short and long-term solutions. If you currently have a parking assignment or are on a parking waitlist, we encourage you to visit the [email protected] site and ensure your vehicle and contact information is up to date. If you joined our team while we were working remotely and wish to have parking, we encourage you to visit the [email protected] site to register for parking and place yourself on a waitlist. If you currently have a parking assignment and no longer need parking, please complete the Parking Cancellation Form and return the form and your parking permit to the Transportation Office, Box 1885 or visit the office in Page Robinson Hall, 69 Brown Street, 5th Floor. Ensuring we have the most up to date and accurate parking information is imperative as we assess our overall parking needs. Parking charges are scheduled to resume September 1st, and parking enforcement begins in mid-July. Full parking charges will be assessed regardless of an approved hybrid schedule. Please keep in mind there are alternative transportation options, including the Brown shuttle program and the RIPTA UPASS program -- free with the swipe of your Brown ID.


Ashish K. Jha, MD, MPH
Dean, School of Public Health

Sara Walsh
Executive Dean of Finance and Administration