(FOX 2) - Michigan State University President Samuel L. Stanley said in a letter Wednesday that the university intends to bring students back on campus in the fall.
MSU, like other universities, suspended nearly all in-person operations at MSU, including research and face-to-face instruction back in March when COVID-19 broke out in Michigan. But school officials have now made some big decisions about the Fall 2020 semester.
Classes will begin Wednesday, Sept. 2, as previously scheduled with both in-person and online components.
Dr. Stanley says all in-person instruction is planned to end on Wednesday, Nov. 25, with remaining instruction, study sessions and final examinations moving remotely for the remaining three weeks of the semester. Students will have the option of returning to their permanent residences for the Thanksgiving holiday and not returning to campus or remaining on campus until the semester ends.
This plan is designed to address epidemiologic models that suggest a potential resurgence in COVID-19 cases in December and give students the opportunity to return to their permanent residences before peak influenza season if they choose. Because of this new schedule, the university will forego the pilot fall break that had been scheduled for October.
Dr. Stanley says the use of some online and remote classes will still be in effect the fall semester while adding more hybrid classes and resuming some purely in-person options. Physical distancing and the wearing of face masks on campus will be essential components of this effort. Large gatherings will also likely be strictly limited and regulated.
"We recognize that some students may choose not to return to campus for health or other reasons, and we will endeavor to provide an enhanced selection of remote classes that allow them to begin or continue progress toward their Michigan State University degree. For our new and current international students who may have trouble getting to the campus, we also promise to provide remote classes that will allow them to start or continue the pursuit of their MSU degrees. More details on all of these topics will follow in future communications," the letter continues.
Central Michigan University has also announced plans to reopen the campus for the fall semester.