UMD should prepare to extend spring break by two weeks and hold classes online, system says

(File Photo/The Diamondback)

The chancellor of the University System of Maryland recommended Tuesday afternoon that state universities “prepare for students to remain off campus—for at least two weeks—following the end of spring break,” as coronavirus continues to spread in Maryland and across the United States.

Universities in the system — including the University of Maryland, College Park — should be prepared for remote instruction, chancellor Jay Perman wrote in the statement. Perman acknowledged that university presidents might need to cancel classes this week to plan for the post-spring break recommendation, according to the statement.

“Preparation for campus departures and online instruction will vary among universities, and each USM president therefore has discretion to ensure that faculty and staff have adequate time to set these plans in motion,” Perman wrote.

This university has not announced whether it plans to extend spring break or cancel classes. Another system school, Towson University, announced Tuesday it would cancel classes for the week — starting on Wednesday.

Perman wrote that the recommendation includes keeping the campus open before, during and after spring break. He added that guidance regarding services for students who must remain on the campus during spring break, the return of students who were studying abroad, leave policies for faculty and staff and large gatherings such as graduation ceremonies and athletic events will be out in the coming days.

There have been eight cases of coronavirus confirmed in Maryland. Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announced at a press conference Tuesday that there were three cases of coronavirus in the county.

The university has already shut down study abroad programs in China, South Korea and Italy in response to the global outbreak, which originated in China, and has canceled all study abroad programs planned for spring break and the summer.

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