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University announces plans for spring semester, proposes delaying spring break until April

These updates were communicated in an email sent to faculty on Thursday.
Image by Hailee Schievelbein

Executive Vice President and Provost Rachel Croson announced a series of recommendations for spring semester, including delaying spring break until April and instructor autonomy over course modality, in an email to faculty Thursday.

In her email, Croson explained that the University will likely continue to require six feet of social distancing in all classrooms during the spring semester, plus the use of face masks. These proposals will be discussed in more detail at the Oct. 8 and 9 Board of Regents meeting.

“Although it may seem premature to turn our attention to spring semester, registration is approaching, and we will need to have our schedules ready soon.” reads the email.

In the email, Croson explained that instructors must consult with department chairs and heads to update the class scheduling system with modality preferences by Oct. 2. These decisions will be subject to the capacity of each classroom; health guidelines will likely limit classroom capacities.

The email also discussed the possibility of delaying spring break until April. The proposal suggests two new dates from the break: April 5-9 or April 12-16.

“As with Thanksgiving this fall, we have concerns with students traveling away from campus over spring break and then returning to campus,” reads the email.

These changes will give the University the flexibility to consider public health recommendations and the possibility of transitioning to completely online instruction for the final weeks of the semester.

These changes are all being considered by the Faculty Senate, Senate Committee on Educational Policy and the Faculty Consultative Committee.

Professional programs would retain automony over their own calendars, the email said. The proposal will be up for a vote in front of the Senate on Oct. 5, before discussion at the Board of Regents meeting several days later.

This is a breaking news report. More information may be added as it becomes available.

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