WEST LAFAYETTE — Purdue University has become the latest institution of higher education to move classes to online delivery in the wake of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus outbreak.
In a letter from President Mitch Daniels and Provost Jay Akridge, the university announced that all faculty and staff member teaching this semester should move their courses online or to alternative delivery before March 23 and be prepared to continue as long as in-person instruction seems inadvisable. The university said that could potentially be the case through the end of the semester.
Daniels and Akridge said in the letter that while there have been no confirmed cases on campus, there are confirmed cases in Indiana.
"We continue to make decisions in our precaution-containment-continuity framework, with our overarching focus on health and safety — especially for those in high risk categories," the letter said. "Ensuring health and safety now means taking actions that aim to limit exposure of Purdue community members to the virus, imposing social distancing where appropriate, and generally elevating preventive hygiene practices across campus."
The campus will remain open, the letter said.
The university is asking faculty and staff members who are teaching to be flexible with attendance policies to accommodate students who are not feeling well.
In addition to moving classes online, students in clinical programs will be contacted by their department. Students in areas with limited internet access are asked to call the Office of the Dean of Students at 765-494-1747 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Students living in residence halls have the option to return to campus or not following spring break.
The university has suspended all university-sponsored domestic and international air travel March 16 through May 2.
In addition, all university-sponsored events, including those hosted by registered student organizations, involving external visitors are canceled March 16 through May 2. As part of the policy, all gatherings of 50 or emore attendees should be postponed or canceled.