Michigan State University suspends all face-to-face classes

Uh-oh. Given that move, I’m expecting dictates from on high at my university any day now.

Also Ohio.

Oh. And Minnesota.

“While the Duluth, Rochester and Twin Cities campuses are on Spring Break this week, and in anticipation of the Crookston and Morris campus breaks next week, we encourage our faculty to begin preparing to move classroom instruction online, especially for courses where this can be implemented immediately,” University of Minnesota-Twin Cities President Joan Gabel wrote in a letter to students, faculty, and staff Tuesday.

“Encourage” is different from “ordering”. I’m going to talk to my students in class about this today.

Add my alma mater, the University of Washington, to the list. Although I see that the Seattle Mariners are still dithering about their sporting events. Will it wipe out all the sportsball fans who go into crowded stadiums next?


  1. Kevin Karplus says

    Most of the University of California campuses have gone to online-only lectures and discussion sections, but are still allowing in-person lab, PE, dance, and performing-arts courses. If you can do staggered lab times and can get the students to swap down surfaces before and after each lab session, you are well ahead of the game. (Those precautions make your labs much less likely to cause transmission than most other daily activities.)

  2. killyosaur says

    A friend of mine who is a professor at a Texas University was also recently told his courses now need to be online (at least for a week or so)…

  3. whheydt says

    In addition to school closings/going on-line only already mentioned…
    The (Catholic) Archdiocese of San Francisco has closed all 90 of its schools. Stanford University has gone on-line only, likewise at least two colleges in Santa Clara County. (SCC has also banned all public gatherings of more than 1000 people. The county includes the Great America amusement park and Levi Stadium.)

  4. joeeggen says

    Similar situation on the East Coast. The University of Maryland has extended spring break to the end of the month, and will be going to full-online instruction to at least April 10. Makes sense, since there are already 19 confirmed cases in the North VA, DC, and MD metro area, in which UMD is located. Lots of federal agencies are planning for similar moves (i.e. 100% telework, if possible) should the situation dictate.

  5. David Richardson says

    We haven’t shut any university in Sweden down … yet. But SUNET (the Swedish University Network) is stress-testing our Zoom desktop video conferencing system in case universities do get shut down. Sweden being Sweden, every university teacher has a Zoom room of their own, licensed and run by SUNET nationally.

  6. wzrd1 says

    @PZ, what is the school protocol for when the campus is snowed in? That sounds like something one can adapt for a short time (damned if I know how one can perform any hands on labs remotely).