UW News

March 6, 2020

UW classes will no longer meet in person through end of quarter

UW News

The University of Washington announced today that starting Monday, March 9, classes will no longer meet in person. For the remainder of the quarter, instructors have been asked to conduct classes and/or exams remotely, as possible, until the quarter concludes on March 20. Final exams will not be conducted in person, but may be conducted online when feasible, and at the instructor’s discretion.

These actions are being taken in response to recommendations from public health agencies to avoid bringing large groups of people together in close proximity for events and gatherings. If events and gatherings are held, best practices such as social distancing are encouraged. In-person classes qualify as events, and the sizes of our classrooms do not generally allow for social distancing.

For more information about the novel coronavirus, visit www.uw.edu/coronavirus.

“The last week or so has been difficult as the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has gained a foothold in our region and country. Thank you for the calm, resilience and care that you have demonstrated toward each other, as well as toward our students, patients and communities, as we work together to minimize the impact of the virus on our state,” said UW President Ana Mari Cauce. “Our focus remains keeping this community healthy as we fulfill our important educational, research and service mission.”

In some cases, when the nature of a class is not suited for remote delivery, other options, including submitting grades based on work conducted to this point, may be used. Departments and faculty are being asked to put student health and success first in all decision making.

In addition, the University is working to mitigate the potential impacts to student success, including progress towards degree, course entry requirements and other effects. The Office of the University Registrar is ready to work with instructors and chairs in determining the most appropriate grading actions to take for their courses, and will offer guidance to that end.

“Our goal is to make sure that students’ academic work is fairly recognized and that any disruption does not present a disadvantage to their future academic progress, including admission to their preferred major in the months or years to come,” Cauce said.

UW campuses will remain open to serve all those who rely on services, including hospitals and clinics, dining services, residence halls, and recreation and athletics facilities. Husky athletics events will proceed as scheduled.

In addition to providing maximum flexibility for the University community to take health precautions and finish classes this quarter, this transition gives facilities crews additional time to deep clean classrooms, auditoriums, libraries, restrooms and other public spaces, as is their standard practice. The University plans to resume normal class operations when the spring quarter begins March 30, pending public health guidance.

UW leadership is working closely with public health officials to keep up to date on recent events regarding the virus, potential impacts to the UW, and in developing plans to mitigate those impacts. Further information about the virus and the UW’s response is available at uw.edu/coronavirus.

“Today it’s our turn to take on the challenge of keeping our community safe by listening to public health experts, resisting panic and doing all we can to protect the most vulnerable in our midst. Using common sense, following the best hygiene practices, remaining calm, and adhering to our values are our best strategies for keeping everyone safe and healthy,” Cauce said. “We are fortunate in this regard to be in a region that has outstanding medical services and public health infrastructure, and that is already taking steps to increase access to health care in the face of this outbreak.”

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  For more information, contact Victor Balta at balta@uw.edu.