"We have made the extraordinary decision to move to virtual, synchronous learning through the remainder of the semester," Cornwell wrote. "It means that students can complete their coursework remotely without interrupting pursuit of their education."
He noted professors should continue to teach their classes on the current schedule, but meeting online instead of in person. On-campus classes will end on Friday, and will move online after spring break, when classes resume on Monday, March 23. Students leaving campus for spring break were told to move out of their rooms and take their belongings home with them, and were told they could expect prorated refunds for housing and dining fees.
"Key to prevention and spread is reducing high-density social interaction—the very environment we create in our small classes and residential community," said Cornwell.
Cornwell also notified student athletes that the remainder of the spring sports schedules are also cancelled, including practices, travel and tournaments.
"Key to prevention and spread is reducing high-density social interaction – the very environment we create in our small classes and residential community," said Cornwell.
Saying he is "deeply saddened by this eventuality," Cornwell said he would miss the "daily social fabric of our campus community."
"Even last evening, as I walked across campus struggling with this decision, with students heading into Olin Library to study, passing the lacrosse team practicing on the field and students playing ultimate frisbee on Mills Lawn, I saw afresh the importance of our intimacy and social cohesion."
Students with questions are asked to reach out to their school's dean for more information.
"We will make every effort to ensure that seniors graduate on time and all students continue to make progress towards their degrees."
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