President Turner released an emailed statement on Tuesday afternoon announcing that SMU has no plans to cancel in-person classes at this time. This decision comes as other universities across the country have responded to coronavirus concerns by canceling in-person classes and transitioning to online learning. President Turner’s statement also noted that there were no reported cases of COVID-19 in Dallas County, but just moments after the email was sent out, two reports in Dallas County were confirmed.
SMU announced last week “that the University has no role in monitoring or regulating the personal travel of our students, faculty or staff,” in regard to Spring Break travel.
President Turner’s statement from Tuesday says the university has “contingency plans in place” if online schooling becomes necessary, but said that possibility is “not imminent.” The university also states there are no plans to close residence halls during or after the break.
Student concerns about the impact spring break travel may have on the spread of COVID-19 have prompted a petition to temporarily hold classes online after the break. The petition currently has more that 2,000 signatures.
SMU students and faculty: Should the university cancel in-person classes and transition to online schooling? Tell us what you think and why.
— The Daily Campus (@thedailycampus) March 11, 2020
Multiple schools in the area have canceled classes as of Wednesday morning, following reports of more cases in DFW.
“I’d like to reassure you that SMU is working at every level to protect both the health and academic progress of our campus community,” President Turner said in the email.