Rutgers University suspends commencement and all in-class instruction for the rest of the semester

Rutgers University has suspended its commencement ceremony this spring as well as canceling all in-class instruction for the remainder of the semester.

Robert Barchi, president of Rutgers, informed students, faculty and staff members of the decision in a letter on Tuesday.

“Like all of you, I have been closely monitoring the public health crisis created by COVID-19. This weekend, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued new guidance recommending that for the next eight weeks events of more than 50 people be canceled or postponed. Directives urging that even smaller gatherings be canceled or postponed have flowed from both the White House and the State House,” reads the letter.

“With this guidance in mind, and with a heavy heart, today I am announcing that Rutgers University is suspending all in-person instruction, with the exception of clinical instruction, for the remainder of the spring semester,” Barchi wrote. “All events scheduled at the University through the month of May are suspended. This will include some of our most wonderful celebrations, including Rutgers Day and commencements at all campuses. A final determination on whether or not commencements can be rescheduled to a later date will be made in the coming weeks. Canceling or postponing commencements will have no effect on our ability to confer degrees on our graduates.”

Residential students will receive a notification over the coming days with guidance about the next steps and timing for moving out of residence halls on their respective campuses, Barchi wrote. Students who received a waiver to continue residing on campus will be permitted to stay.

“These are the right actions to take for the health of our community. But I know I speak for all faculty and staff when I say how deeply we will miss the vibrancy that students bring to our campuses each spring, and how incomplete this year will feel without our commencement ceremonies,” Barchi wrote. “To our seniors, I offer our community’s heartfelt appreciation for all you have contributed and my sincere regret that the global situation has required this unfortunate decision.”