In the wake of new scientific data on the requirements of testing frequency, increased positive COVID-19 cases locally, and on the advisement of internal and external healthcare professionals, Morgan State University (MSU) has altered its reopening plans, moving to remote-only instruction for the 2020 fall semester. The change in Morgan’s plans for the fall follows the release of a new, evidence-based study from Yale University indicating that college students would need to be tested every two to three days for their institutions to safely reopen, in addition to a concerning uptick in positive cases in Baltimore City over the past month. Today, the University’s Board of Regents convened a special meeting to evaluate the feasibility of reopening in light of the inherent challenges of managing the health and safety of the campus community and the financial impact of altering the current direction, before ultimately deciding to support the University leadership’s appeal for all instruction to be conducted remotely.
With the change in direction for the fall semester, Morgan will not offer face-to-face instruction and instead will deliver all courses exclusively via a remote modality. To achieve recommended physical distancing on campus, the University will significantly reduce campus density and prompt the vast majority of students to study from home. The campus will remain open with limited operations, and some campus housing will be made available to select students of predetermined priority groups and/or those facing extenuating circumstances.
“For the past several months, we’ve worked urgently and tirelessly to produce a comprehensive plan that would allow us to reopen our campus safely for the fall semester, so it is a great disappointment that we must now abandon that plan to pursue a more prudent path forward,” said Morgan President David K. Wilson. “This decision was not made lightly, as we understand what this may mean for the financial well-being of our institution, however, we have an obligation to the safety and best interest of our students, faculty and staff, as well as the greater community beyond our campus borders. Throughout this process, we have kept our university community informed, providing transparency in our deliberations and decision making. The nature of the current situation is ever-evolving, sometimes on a daily basis, and we must be prepared to adapt to new information in real time.”