The majority of classes at Rutgers University will be taught remotely, with a limited number of in-person classes, school officials announced on Monday.
Each university chancellor will be providing more details later on Monday about what the decision means for the students they serve.
“This decision was not made easily or hastily,” Rutgers President Jonathan Holloway said in an email to the Rutgers community on Monday morning. “We have had extensive consultation with our public health experts, faculty, deans, provosts, and chancellors over the past several months. We have wanted very fervently to be able to resume some version of a normal semester. But given the continued increase in COVID-19 cases across the country, the near-term outlook for the public health crisis in our state, and the uncertainty about the course of the pandemic, we had to make a different decision. Because of the ongoing requirements for social distancing and guided by our paramount priority of safeguarding the people of our university community, we determined that most courses this fall will have to rely on remote methods of instruction—delivered both in real-time and asynchronously.”
Holloway said that Rutgers faculty members are busy preparing for remote undergraduate instruction and building on lessons learned from the spring semester. “The university has made, and will continue to make, investments in instructional technology and training to further enhance the student experience,” he said.
While the majority of our courses will be delivered remotely, a limited number of courses that benefit from direct access to campus facilities will happen in-person, with appropriate health-related precautions. Examples include select courses in the arts, laboratory or fieldwork, and clinical instruction.
Essential student services, including academic, health, and wellness counseling, as well as libraries, will continue to be available to all students. Increased capacity for remote service will be complemented by in-person interactions, Holloway said.
On-campus housing across Rutgers will be “extremely limited,” Holloway said. The suspension of campus events will remain in place for the fall to limit opportunities for the virus to spread.
Decisions regarding the athletic season will be guided by state requirements and policies developed by the campuses’ respective athletic conferences.
Holloway said the university has not made any decisions regarding winter session or the spring semester. “We will make those determinations later this year, informed by ongoing analysis of the public health crisis, guidelines from the state and federal governments, and monitoring of our own progress in navigating this unprecedented moment in Rutgers’ history,” he said.
“As your new president, I would like nothing more than to declare that it’s safe to resume the normal course of operations across all of Rutgers for every member of our community,” Holloway said. “I can assure you that we will do all we can to move toward that goal, knowing how vital our in-person interactions are to the vibrancy of a university.”