Rutgers, Princeton announced plans for fall 2020 semester

NEW BRUNSWICK, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Rutgers and Princeton universities have announced plans for this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Rutgers said the majority of its classes will be taught online.

The limited number of in-person classes will be those that benefit from on-campus facilities, President Jonathan Halloway said in a statement issued Monday morning

He said the decision was made "due to the uncertainty regarding the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, the increase in cases in other areas of the country and in consultation with public health experts and university leaders."

"We have wanted very fervently to be able to resume some version of a normal semester," Holloway said, adding "because of the ongoing requirements for social distancing and guided by our paramount priority of safeguarding the people of our university community, we determined that most courses this fall will have to rely on remote methods of instruction - delivered both in real time and asynchronously."

Halloway said the chancellors at the campuses in New Brunswick, Camden and Newark, along with Rutgers Biomedical and Health Sciences, will provide details for their respective campuses.

Rutgers also announced the following:

-On-campus housing across Rutgers will be extremely limited because of the need for social distancing and since most courses will be delivered remotely. Each chancellor will communicate how limited on-campus housing will be prioritized on each campus.

-Essential student services, including academic, health and wellness counseling, will continue to be available to students remotely and complemented by in-person interactions as public health guidelines allow. Information technology infrastructure, libraries and other vital resources for students also will be available.

-Decisions regarding the upcoming athletic season will continue to be guided by state requirements and policies developed by the campuses' respective athletic conferences.

-The suspension of campus events will remain in place this fall to limit opportunities for the virus to spread.

-No decision has been made for the winter session and spring semester.

Holloway said university officials will "continue to work toward a time when it is safe to resume normal operations across all of Rutgers."

"I can assure you that we will do all we can to move toward that goal, knowing how vital our in-person interactions are to the vibrancy of a university," he said. "And in the meantime, we will strive to ensure the highest quality academic experience for all our students, who remain at the center of our mission."

Officials from Princeton University have announced that students will be allowed to return to campus this coming academic year, but only for one semester.

The plan is to allow freshmen and juniors on campus for the fall semester, sophomores and seniors in the spring.

The plan is designed to minimize the campus population as much as possible as the COVID-19 pandemic lingers.

Princeton officials also say they will test every student for the virus when they arrive, and testing will continue on a regular basis throughout the year.
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