Purdue University President Mitch Daniels and Provost Jay Akridge announced significant new restrictions Tuesday in response to the escalating threat of coronavirus, including moving all courses online before classes resume after spring break.
“We recognize that these actions will raise many questions about specific situations,” Daniels and Ackridge wrote.
According to the statement, the pause in classroom instruction will last “as long as in-person instruction seems inadvisable,” possibly through the end of the spring semester.
The school will not be requiring students who live on campus to return to their residence halls after spring break in order to attend online classes.
The university is also cancelling school events featuring “external visitors” from March 16 to May 2, and recommends postponing or cancelling events with 50 or more people attending. The letter also says a decision will be made later about holding commencement exercises at the end of the school year.
In addition, Purdue plans to suspend all university-related domestic and international airline travel from March 16 through May 2. The letter strongly discourages non-essential travel by other modes of transportation.
Summer study abroad programs will all be cancelled, though the letter states some university reimbursement will be available.
“We recognize that these actions will be disruptive and create challenges for many of you, as well as have financial implications for the University, but the health and safety of our community is our focus at this extraordinary time,” Daniels and Ackridge wrote.
The letter stresses that campus will remain open, and “normal campus operations” will continue.
Purdue joins a growing number of universities implementing similar policies, including Indiana University, which also released a list of guidelines Tuesday.