Jordan D. Brown
Morgan State canceled all in-class lectures for the remainder of the week and following spring break, Morgan officials say all classes will divert to online due to the fast-growing coronavirus (COVID-19). This follows Towson’s decision to cease all in-class seminars for the rest of the week.
“We will also be canceling and or rescheduling a number of planned large crowd events on our campus, including our upcoming open house scheduled for April 3,” said Morgan State President David Wilson in a Tuesday night statement addressed to the university.
In addition to the cancellation of in-person classes, all on-campus events will also be canceled during the two-week period.
“I strongly urge every university to prepare for students to remain off-campus—for at least two weeks—following the end of spring break,” said Jay Perman, the University System of Maryland’s (USM) chancellor. “During those two weeks or longer, all USM universities should be prepared to deliver instruction remotely.”
According to Larry Jones, Morgan State’s assistant vice president of public relations and strategic communications, Wilson and his constituents met Tuesday morning to discuss the university’s game plan and a statement was made public later that evening.
“At present, there are no confirmed cases at Morgan State University nor reported incidents of faculty, students, or staff coming into contact with someone infected by the virus,” Wilson said. “But our campus is not immune to exposure.”
Although several Towson students are currently quarantined waiting to be tested for (COVID-19), according to the university, there are currently no confirmed cases. Beginning Wednesday, all Towson classes will be canceled and in the case of an extended hiatus, students were urged to remove all personal belongings from their residence halls as they prepare for spring break.
Morgan professors have begun to review alternative learning software including Google Hangout in the case of remote learning.
Morgan State’s Office for Academic Affairs sent an email addressed to its faculty on Friday addressing COVID-19 contingency plans including “exclusive use of Canvas for face to face and hybrid courses in the event of mandatory university closure.”
Similar to Morgan State, University of Maryland Baltimore County ceased all university-related international travel on Monday and officials are also advising professors to adjust their lesson plans for online use.
In a statement addressed to Morgan State’s faculty on Friday, the office for academic affairs notified professors that in the case of a campus-wide course, its staff should be prepared to transition to online lectures.
“Effective immediately, all facilities should augment current syllabi to include exclusive use of Canvas for face and hybrid courses in the event of all mandatory university closure,” the statement said.
Coppin State, one of the several USM institutions, has been meeting this week to solidify a plan for COVID-19. While the institution hasn’t released an official statement, Andrew Brezinski, the director for creative services, said the institution is prepared to update its students and faculty Tuesday afternoon.
Kwadwo Brobbey, a 19-year-old accounting major at Coppin, said his university has shutdown the cafeteria in response to the outbreak.
“We can’t sit down, but we can still get food to take out in carryout trays,” he said. ” They [have] been alerting us on safety travel precautions to take during spring break too.”
Morgan State officials said the situation will be reassessed after the two-week period to determine if further action is necessary.
This story has been updated.
—Oyin Adedoyin, Chloe Johnson and Aziah Siid contributed to this article.