Tuesday, the University of Wisconsin suspended all face-to-face instruction for the rest of the spring semester due to COVID-19 concerns.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank sent students, faculty and staff an email at 1:42 p.m. announcing alternative course delivery would continue until the end of the spring semester, including finals. Previously, UW suspended in-person instruction through April 10.
Blank’s email said Gov. Tony Evers’ moratorium on gatherings of more than 50 people and the White House’s recommendation not to gather in groups over 10 affected their decision, as well as other concerns about the spread of the virus.
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While the email said students in residence halls can stay if they cannot return home or take online classes from home, Blank recommended everyone continue their semester from their permanent residence.
“We advise those who have opted to travel away from Madison for Spring Break to carefully consider whether they need to return to Madison or can continue the semester from their permanent residence,” Blank said.
UW asked all employees able to telecommute to do so, and they intend to only keep those with essential jobs who cannot telecommute on campus, Blank’s email said.
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According to the email, these essential jobs include those in public safety, course delivery and student support, admissions, financial aid and enrollment for new and continuing students, some research and associated animal care, University Housing, communications as well as core administrative and facility services.
“I share the disappointment of students and employees who were anticipating Terrace chairs, sunny days on Bascom and all of the events that make spring special at UW-Madison,” Blank said. “This is not the semester that any of us wanted.”
More updates from UW and academic departments to come soon.