Indiana University suspends classroom teaching for remainder of semester, closes dorms

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BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (WANE) — Indiana University has suspended transitional “face-to-face” classes for the remainder of the spring semester as it aims to keep students and staff safe amid the coronavirus outbreak.

In a letter to the IU community, President Michael McRobbie said the school would transition to virtual learning for the rest of the semester. McRobbie said there are no cases of coronavirus on any IU campus, but cases are “rapidly rising” in the U.S.

“The health and safety of the IU community are our foremost concerns as we make vital decisions for the operations of the university,” said McRobbie. “We continue to be advised by health experts, including those from county, state and federal agencies.”

Classes will resume – albeit virtually – on March 30. IU has extended its spring break by one week, from March 14-29, to “provide more travel flexibility for all students given the stress on domestic and international travel systems,” McRobbie said.

Residential housing and on-campus housing on IU campuses will also be closed. McRobbie said students would be moved out “to reduce large concentrations of students living in on-campus housing with many shared spaces and dining facilities.”

Other events at IU, including the popular Little 500 bicycle races, have been canceled. Plans for the university’s commencement ceremonies in May will be assessed in the coming weeks, McRobbie said.

“These are extraordinary times,” said McRobbie. “I know how very difficult and deeply disappointing these steps will be for many students, staff and faculty. We profoundly regret having to arrive at this place, as I know that it means further disruption for all of you and your families. We do so now to enable everyone to better plan for the remainder of March and April. We are taking these necessary actions to support the health and safety of the IU community and the communities around our campuses. These steps will enable both our public health goals and continuity of our research and education mission in these circumstances.”

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