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Marshall University to suspend in-person classes

Charleston-Huntington WSAZ-TV logo Charleston-Huntington WSAZ-TV 3/12/2020 WSAZ News Staff
a person standing in front of a building: Marshall University announced plans Wednesday to temporarily transition to distance instruction to help protect the university community from COVID-19. © Provided by Charleston-Huntington WSAZ-TV Marshall University announced plans Wednesday to temporarily transition to distance instruction to help protect the university community from COVID-19.

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Marshall University announced plans Wednesday to temporarily transition to distance instruction to help protect the university community from COVID-19.

President Jerome A. Gilbert said, "After careful consideration of the implications of the possible spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our students and their families, I have decided to alter the university calendar. Our task force of senior leadership and subject matter experts are conferring around the clock, focused on our university's preparations and response. We have been monitoring developments closely and providing regular updates as the rapidly changing situation evolves. We have no greater responsibility than the safety and security of our university community and the community at large."

Marshall junior Danita Berry agrees the timing of this makes sense, considering how many students travel for spring break.

"A lot of people go to Miami, New York, D.C., the beaches," she said. "You're going to be exposed to a lot of people."

Gilbert said the university will institute the following measures:

  • Marshall will suspend in-person classes next week—March 16-20—to allow faculty to prepare for altered course delivery following Spring Break.
  • The week of suspended classes will be followed by the scheduled Spring Break March 23-27.
  • Beginning Monday, March 30, all class instruction will be delivered non-face-to-face. These distance methods will vary from class to class, and may include online, e-mail or other means.
  • Students will receive information from their instructors about how to access instruction remotely.
  • Faculty will use March 16-20 to prepare their classes for remote delivery. Later this week, all faculty will receive information from the Office of Academic Affairs about next steps.
  • Regular, online-only classes are not suspended and will continue as scheduled March 16-20.
  • It is anticipated the university will return to normal academic operations on April 13, or when university officials determine it is safe to resume in-person instruction.
  • While completing classes virtually, students may choose to remain home after Spring Break or return to campus, where appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures will be actively encouraged. Students who decide to stay at home should be sure to take textbooks, course materials, laptops, tablets and critical personal items with them when they leave.
  • For students who elect to remain on campus, residence halls will be open and food service options will be available.
  • The university will remain open and operational. Employees are expected to report to work, practicing social distancing and preventative hygiene measures.
  • Classroom experiences such as laboratory and performance classes are being evaluated and the university will provide specific guidance in the coming days.
  • Health sciences students who are involved in clinical rotations and clinical work will receive further direction from health sciences leadership and deans. Information about labs, testing and other items will be provided.
  • All university-sponsored international travel continues to be suspended until further notice. If you are traveling internationally for either business or personal reasons, please complete the online International Travel Registration Form so we can monitor our travel footprint. University-sponsored domestic travel is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Additional information about COVID-19 and the university's response is available at www.marshall.edu/coronavirus. An email address, COVID19@marshall.edu, has been set up for Marshall Students or employees who have questions.

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