COVID-19 Update: Remote learning to continue through end of semester

Dear Purdue Community,

To do all we can to maintain the health and safety of our Purdue students, staff, and faculty, and to support the public health response of our community to the COVID-19 crisis, we will be moving to remote learning for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester, including the final exam period. We had wanted to preserve the slim hope of a return to in-person instruction, but evolving circumstances and scientific guidance make it clear that no such resumption would be responsible.

We realize the challenges of this move to remote learning and did not come to this decision lightly. The CDC has now issued guidance that “for the next 8 weeks, organizers … cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 or more people.” Institutions of higher education are currently exempt from this CDC guidance, but that could change quickly. Our students making travel plans — especially our international and non-resident students — need to know now the learning plan for the remainder of the semester. Travel guidance is changing almost daily, and travel that is possible today may not be tomorrow.  

Our own faculty experts in public health and virology are strongly supportive of this move. And, our faculty and staff will now be better able to plan the remainder of the semester with this decision made.

Students living in our residence halls will receive detailed instructions from University Residences tomorrow (Tuesday, March 17). It is important to note that our residence halls will remain open to any student who needs housing. That said, with the remainder of the semester now to be delivered remotely and all student activities cancelled until the semester’s end, we strongly recommend that all students in the residence halls who can move home – or to a different location – do so. This does not apply to students who are living in family or graduate housing.

While it seemed prudent to wait for additional information on the COVID-19 outbreak before making this decision, for all the reasons outlined above it is now time to move to remote learning and continue our semester in that fashion. Classes will reconvene remotely on March 23.  

To our faculty and staff, as indicated in earlier communications, our campus remains open and we will be allowing telecommuting/remote work on a temporary basis for all positions where such work is possible, whenever such work is possible, as determined by unit leaders. 

In summary:

  • We will be moving to remote instruction for the remainder of the Spring 2020 semester.
  • Our residence halls will remain open for those students who must remain on campus, but any student who can move home/to a different location should do so.
  • Our campus remains open, with telecommuting/remote work permitted wherever possible.

You have our deepest thanks for all you will do to help us continue our semester – from wherever you are.  Boilermakers are exceptional people and we are so proud of how you have responded to this crisis to this point and all we know you will do to see us through it.

Sincerely, Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr.

Jay T. Akridge
Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Diversity