President Jim Clements sent the following message to campus on March 12.
As we prepare for academic spring break next week, I want to inform the Clemson community of an important decision that has been made to help keep our students, faculty, staff and our community safe in the wake of the novel coronavirus 2019.
In response to the spread of COVID-19, we have made the decision to move all classes at Clemson to online instruction following spring break until at least March 30. This includes all undergraduate, graduate and Bridge courses held on the main campus and at University facilities across the state.
Please note that while classes will not take place in person, Clemson will remain open and operational. We remain committed to ensuring that our students can complete the semester as scheduled.
We encourage students who can do so to remain at home or away from campus as we seek to reduce the density of the campus population. Students do have the option to remain on campus during spring break or to return to campus following spring break.
While we expect that some operational modifications may become necessary, student services, including housing, dining and health care, will remain available for those on campus.
This decision was not made lightly and is consistent with the actions being taken by many other universities across the country. By moving temporarily to an online structure, the campus community can engage in social distancing and reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, while also ensuring our students’ academic progress is not interrupted.
I know how much we all value the Clemson experience including the sense of community that we have and the physical connection with our campus, but we must think about the health and well-being of the entire Clemson family.
As we have been doing for the past several weeks, Clemson leadership and emergency personnel will continue to closely monitor this rapidly changing situation every day. If it becomes necessary to continue online instruction beyond March 30, we will provide enough advance notice to allow students to remain at home beyond that date if they choose.
Employees from across the University have been working diligently to prepare for this possibility, and we have a solid plan in place. The safety of our community and academic continuity for our students remain our top priorities.
We continue to evaluate Clemson events, conferences and other gatherings scheduled to occur in the near future. Further information will be communicated as decisions are made.
For those of you traveling next week please be safe, consider the impact of your decisions and remain aware of the changing nature of this situation. You should be mindful of your own health, but also the impact you can have on others if you become infected by COVID-19, especially the most vulnerable members of our society. Uphold the best traditions and expectations of Clemson.
Those visiting international destinations or taking cruises – especially to an area with a high risk of infection – may need to self-isolate for two weeks upon return and will be expected to check in with our Health Services staff before returning to campus.
I know that this decision, while prudent, is likely to result in questions. We are dedicated to providing ongoing, accurate information and will share necessary information with specific groups as this situation changes and further details become available.
We also will continue to provide regular communication updates via emails, our website and the University’s social media channels.
Thanks for your patience and understanding as we continue to work hard to keep our University community safe during a very challenging, and rapidly changing, period.
President Jim Clements
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