Officials from the University of South Carolina announced Thursday that they will be extend remote learning through the end of the Summer II semester (Aug 1) for the Columbia and Palmetto College campuses. The decision was made in the interest of maintaining the health and safety of students, faculty, and staff.
UofSC's decision is based on projections that while the coronavirus may peak in the spring, it likely will remain a public health risk at least through early summer, making large gatherings inadvisable even as the virus begins to subside, officials noted.
In a message to the university community on Thursday, President Bob Caslen said the decision was made in consultation with experts at the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control, the university’s Student Health Center and UofSC’s Arnold School of Public Health.
“I’m sure you share both my disappointment in this unavoidable decision and my confidence that it is necessary,” Caslen wrote. “Even as we know we’re doing what’s right to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe, the thought of continuing online instruction through the summer is difficult. And yet, when I consider your determined attitude, uncompromised work ethic and continued commitment to academic excellence, I know that our summer sessions will adhere to the standards you expect and our accreditors demand.”
With some exceptions, the university anticipates all courses typically offered during the summer will be available through a remote learning option. In addition, many new online classes that have not previously been available will be offered.
UofSC summer updates:
No in-person, experiential learning on campus or in-person labs will occur. When possible, faculty and experiential learning supervisors should continue to provide remote learning opportunities for students.
When it is determined by state health officials that it is safe to do so, University Housing will release a schedule for students with belongings in residence halls to retrieve them.
UofSC is also exploring options for those students who are unable to travel back to Columbia (when it is safe) to retrieve their belongings.
Commencement plans for the class of 2020 are still tentative for August 7 and 8 in Columbia.
Faculty and staff are to continue following current policies regarding working remotely and abide by all state and local stay at home ordinances. They will be updated as more information becomes available.
Information will continue to be updated on the university's coronavirus website.