The university canceled classes for the remainder of the week due to the spread of COVID-19 per an email from Interim Chancellor Susan Wente.
“In addition, beginning Monday, March 16 and through at least March 30, the university is suspending all in-person classes and is moving to online and other alternative learning options. Students will hear directly from their respective deans and/or faculty instructor regarding any specific instructions,” the email said.
The university will remain open with limited services and will continue to review the situation to determine when and if in-person classes will resume. Each instructor and course will make individualized decisions about classes going forward. Students with limited computer or internet access should let their dean’s office know. Also, commencement is still scheduled for May 8, but administration will continue to evaluate the decision as the situation evolves.
“We are making this decision today because several students returned to campus who have since reported being exposed to an individual who tested positive today for COVID-19. The individual who tested positive is being treated at home and did not return to campus,” the email said. This follows The Hustler’s report that junior Max Schulman tested positive for COVID-19 in New York today after visiting Barcelona, Spain over spring break with other Vanderbilt students.
The university is canceling all university-sponsored non-athletic events and gatherings through the end of the semester. Administration will pursue alternative methods for certain events including live-streaming, the email said.
University-sponsored international travel to any country is restricted March 10 through end of the semester. Vanderbilt will also restrict visitors to campus during this period. More details on this policy will be available March 11 on the university website, per the email.
Laura Nalron, Interim Associate Vice Chancellor for People & Business Services, and Eric Kopstain, Vice Chancellor for Administration, also sent an email to Vanderbilt staff. The email notified Vanderbilt staff that they are required to report for work for the rest of the week, and that their managers would be providing them information about their schedules for the following week.
Vanderbilt is among other universities to have suspended in-person classes. University of California Berkley, Columbia University, Princeton University, Seattle University and Stanford University are among the schools that have cancelled in-person classes for some duration of time due to the spread of the novel coronavirus.
Updated March 9 at 9:05 p.m. to include information about staff and other universities that have canceled in-person classes.