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JMU to continue with online learning for remainder of semester, postponing graduation

Level of operational change ‘unprecedented’ in JMU’s history, leaders say

Credit: Heather Butterworth

HARRISONBURG, Va.UPDATE

JMU leaders announced on Wednesday that online instruction has been extended through the remainder of the spring semester.

All events are canceled on campus through May 15, regardless of size.

Spring commencement ceremonies have been postponed. University leaders say degrees will be conferred on time in May and diplomas will be mailed this summer, in accordance with the standard university process.

All on-campus residents will need to move out by March 29 or apply to stay. The university will offer refunds for housing and unused dining plans.

ORIGINAL STORY

Another local university is adjusting operations during the new coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

James Madison University (JMU) has canceled all in-person classes the week of March 16. Starting on March 23, university officials say most classes will be held online until at least April 5.

There were no COVID-19 cases in the JMU community as of Wednesday when university officials made the announcement. University leaders said they’ve been working closely with the Virginia Department of Health and other public health officials.

The university will stay open to provide student services, including those provided by the University Health Center and Counseling Center.

University officials say there will be another update by at least March 27 regarding the plan of action after April 5.

“The level of operational change outlined below is unprecedented in our history. We are deeply thankful to our faculty and staff who continue to work tirelessly during these challenging times to support our students and make the changes necessary to protect our community’s well-being,” said JMU President Jonathan Alger in a news release.

In recent weeks, university officials say they have called on students to return from JMU study abroad programs. They say they’ve also “strengthened” contingency plans.

To read more about JMU’s detailed plan for continuing campus operations, including events, student employment, and opening dining and residence halls, click here.


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