BOWIE, MD – Bowie State University announced Tuesday it is canceling its Thursday and Friday classes in an effort to prepare for remote instruction amid the worldwide coronavirus outbreak. The announcement says:
Coronavirus Update – Classes Cancelled
Bowie State University continues to monitor developments of the coronavirus (COVID-19) across the state and the nation as we stay focused on protecting the health and safety of our students faculty and staff. While there are no reported cases on our campus, eight people in Maryland have been confirmed, all resulting from travel. We have been actively working to develop protocols in response to the outbreak that incorporate the guidance of public health officials in ways that best meet the needs of our campus community. As this is a rapidly evolving situation, we will continue to provide updates as needed on the university’s Coronavirus Updates webpage.
We have the following new information to share today:
In response to guidance from the University System of Maryland, Bowie State University will cancel classes on Thursday, March 12 and Friday, March 13 to aggressively prepare for remote teaching of all classes. Students should not plan to return to campus after spring break until Monday, April 6.
As students leave for spring break, please take all essential belongings, including medications and other materials, in case it should become necessary to restrict access to campus for an extended time.
Preparation for Remote Teaching and Telework
Deans for each college have organized Blackboard training sessions for all faculty who currently do not teach any classes online. In-person sessions will be scheduled Thursday and Friday for each department. Online and open sessions will also be available to assure that everyone can get the necessary training to be able to continue delivery of instruction for all students.
The university will remain open after spring break, and all administrative and academic offices will be preparing for telework and options for remote delivery of operational services, if needed. Unit supervisors will provide guidance for network access and other remote resources. Staff should plan to take essential work tools home each evening in the event of a change in campus status.
On March 6, the university suspended all university international travel until further notice. We are now updating that to include all non-essential university-related domestic travel greater than 75 miles from campus. Please contact your supervisor if you have questions.
In light of the fast evolving coronavirus situation, we also strongly recommend that students, faculty and staff refrain from any personal, non-essential travel to help prevent the spread of the disease.
In accordance with guidance from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and Maryland Department of Health, we are moving to implement social distancing practices and limit large gatherings on campus. Effective immediately, BSU is suspending all university-sponsored events until further notice and encouraging the use of remote technology for meetings.
As this situation continues to evolve, we urge everyone to take care and support each other during this stressful period. It is important for faculty and staff to keep supervisors apprised of any travel and any changes in your health status relating to the COVID-19 symptoms. Please stay tuned to email, the university website and social media channels for updates.