Marshall to suspend in-person classes March 16-20

Temporarily transitioning to ‘distance instruction’

Staff Report

HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — On Wednesday afternoon, Marshall University announced plans to suspend in-person classes next week and temporarily transition to distance instruction to help protect the university community from COVID-19 and mitigate the spread of the virus in the larger community.

In making the announcement to students, faculty and staff, President Jerome A. Gilbert, said, “After careful consideration of the implications of the possible spread of COVID-19 and its impact on our students and their families, I have decided to alter the university calendar.

“Our task force of senior leadership and subject matter experts are conferring around the clock, focused on our university’s preparations and response. We have been monitoring developments closely and providing regular updates as the rapidly changing situation evolves. We have no greater responsibility than the safety and security of our university community and the community at large.”

Gilbert said the university will institute the following measures:

Marshall will suspend in-person classes next week—March 16-20—to allow faculty to prepare for altered course delivery following Spring Break.

The week of suspended classes will be followed by the scheduled Spring Break March 23-27.

Beginning Monday, March 30, all class instruction will be delivered non-face-to-face. These distance methods will vary from class to class, and may include online, e-mail or other means.

Students will receive information from their instructors about how to access instruction remotely.

Faculty will use March 16-20 to prepare their classes for remote delivery. Later this week, all faculty will receive information from the Office of Academic Affairs about next steps.

Regular, online-only classes are not suspended and will continue as scheduled March 16-20.

It is anticipated the university will return to normal academic operations on April 13, or when university officials determine it is safe to resume in-person instruction.

While completing classes virtually, students may choose to remain home after Spring Break or return to campus, where appropriate social distancing and enhanced preventative public health and hygiene measures will be actively encouraged. Students who decide to stay at home should be sure to take textbooks, course materials, laptops, tablets and critical personal items with them when they leave.

For students who elect to remain on campus, residence halls will be open and food service options will be available.

The university will remain open and operational. Employees are expected to report to work, practicing social distancing and preventative hygiene measures.

Classroom experiences such as laboratory and performance classes are being evaluated and the university will provide specific guidance in the coming days.

Health sciences students who are involved in clinical rotations and clinical work will receive further direction from health sciences leadership and deans. Information about labs, testing and other items will be provided.

All university-sponsored international travel continues to be suspended until further notice. If you are traveling internationally for either business or personal reasons, please complete the online International Travel Registration Form so we can monitor our travel footprint. University-sponsored domestic travel is being evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

Additional information about COVID-19 and the university’s response is available at An e-mail address, [email protected], has been set up for Marshall students or employees who have questions about general university procedures related to the virus or these changes to the university calendar.

For health-related concerns, Marshall students should contact Student Health Services at 304-691-1100.

Marshall Health has set up a dedicated phone line at 304-696-2900 for the general public, particularly for patients who think they may have been exposed to the virus. The line is staffed by healthcare professionals from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Information provided by Marshall University.
Temporarily transitioning to ‘distance instruction’

Staff Report