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UD: Majority of fall semester classes will be delivered online

'I pledge to you that we will seize the earliest opportunity to fully return to campus as soon as conditions permit.' President Dennis Assanis said.

As COVID-19 continues to circulate, University of Delaware President Dennis Assanis announced Wednesday that the majority of fall classes will be delivered online.

Tuition will remain flat, he said.

The university had previously announced it expected fall classes to be a mix of online course for large groups, and  in-person classes for smaller ones or for groups that needed specific skills training.

But, Assanis pointed out, the number of cases nationwide is rising, and particularly among 18- to 34-year-olds.

“In context of these recent developments, and given our commitment to the health and safety of the UD community, we feel it is necessary to shift our plan until conditions improve,” Assanis said in the letter.

Exceptions may be made for strictly limited areas of study that require face-to-face instruction such as nursing practice and certain engineering labs, animal handling courses, phlebotomy practicum experiences and one-to-one music instruction, he said.

 On-campus research activities remain limited to those efforts that require access to our facilities, fields and partner sites, said.

The school announced last week that all fall sports were cancelled, but officials said they were hopeful that the teams could play in the spring.

UD’s earlier announcement about online classes and flat tuition has been a big topic of conversation among UD students this summer, some of whom decided not to move to the Newark campus this year.

“I pledge to you that we will seize the earliest opportunity to fully return to campus as soon as conditions permit in the 2020-21 academic year, but we must do this thoughtfully and responsibly,” Assanis said. “I am very optimistic that we will emerge stronger than ever by taking decisive measures now to ensure that UD will thrive for years to come. 

He also said:

— Classes will begin on Sept. 1 and the school will adhere to the original Monday/Wednesday/Friday and Tuesday/Thursday weekly class schedule; classes will be held at our regular daily scheduled times.

— Courses that academic departments have designated as requiring an in-person component will go fully online after the Thanksgiving break, with the last day for any class to meet in-person being Friday, Nov. 20. The Registrar’s Office and the academic departments are finalizing the list of courses that will meet in person.

— All employees, students and visitors will complete a daily electronic health-screening questionnaire to help  mitigate the spread of COVID-19. Any individual reporting symptoms or close contact with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be advised not to come to campus and to seek medical care and testing.

— Students who will be invited to reside in on-campus housing, living in the surrounding area or are visiting campus will be asked to wear face coverings outside personal living spaces, practice physical distancing, may not have guests in residence halls and will be required to perform daily self-monitoring and reporting.

— The library, Little Bob and student centers will be available for student use.

— On-campus housing will be limited primarily to students whose academic program requires on-campus, face-to-face instruction, are in field placements or clinical rotations or require housing due to hardship.

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