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Thursday, Feb. 22, 2024
The Observer

Notre Dame cancels in-person classes until April 13, suspends all study abroad programs

Notre Dame will suspend all in-person classes beginning March 23 through at least April 13, the University announced in a school-wide email Wednesday. All courses will be replaced with “virtual instruction and other alternative learning options,” the email said.

All University-sponsored international programs are also suspended at this time. Students and U.S.-based faculty will return home as soon as possible, the email said.

This decision follows the continued spread of COVID-19 throughout the U.S., and a string of colleges and universities going online in response, including Purdue and the University of Indiana. 

“Although there are currently no reported cases of the coronavirus at Notre Dame, the probability that it will spread to our region is high,” University President John Jenkins said in the email. “I have continued to monitor the quickly-evolving situation, and after a great deal of deliberation and consultation with experts, with all members of our community’s health and well-being in mind, I’ve decided that the University will take several steps to reduce the likelihood of transmission of the virus.”

Undergraduate residence halls will be open only to students approved to remain on campus, starting at noon Tuesday. The University will provide “essential services” to those who must remain on campus.

“As spring break concludes, students are strongly encouraged to stay or return home rather than return to campus,” Jenkins said.

Deans and faculty instructors will contact students regarding specific plans for their academic courses, the email said.

Provost Tom Burish will email faculty to address the issues surrounding the cancellation of in-person courses.

“Tom’s letter will include information about on-line course delivery methods and a website that will provide up-to-date information about various academic issues affected by our response to the coronavirus,” Jenkins said.

In these next weeks, the University will decide whether classes can resume after April 13.

“The official end of the semester remains May 8,” Jenkins said. “We will also continue to inform you regularly about other matters associated with our response to the coronavirus.”

Health and counseling services are open to all students and faculty, the email said.

“We recognize that the steps we are taking are unprecedented and will create inconveniences for all of us,” Jenkins said. “I ask for your patience and understanding as we move forward.”