Northland College is ending face-to-face instruction and students will be required to leave the campus by Friday, March 20.
In a letter to students and staff, Northland President Karl I. Solibakke announced the move, following consultation with the Northland Board of Trustees and health care experts.
“We must play our part to keep our community healthy, to limit the transmission of the virus and to avoid overwhelming the public health resources of our community,” Solibakke said in the letter.
He said staff would be given until the week of March 16 to transition to online instruction, with the new e-classes to begin March 23 and continue through the end of the semester April 17. Solibakke said it was hoped that in-person classes could be resumed for the May term, but that the college would make that decision by April 3 as risks to community health are assessed.
In the meantime, all students would be required to complete their work online.
All athletic competition and practices were cancelled for the spring season and all on-campus events will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.
Solibakke said international students or others whose circumstances prevented them from traveling home or to another safe off-campus location could contact Northland’s residential life department to make arrangements to remain on campus. Students who remain on campus will be required to take their classes online.
He also said that ensuring the college’s seniors graduate in May remained a top priority, with academic affairs and the registrar’s office considering each student’s remaining requirements for graduation.
The letter indicated it would be work as usual for college employees, with campus safety, custodial and food service functioning, and that business-related travel was subject to approval by campus leadership.
“I promise that all of us at Northland will do our utmost to bring you back to campus as soon as it is safe to resume our face-to-face interactions,” Solibakke said. “I know that neither you nor your families and friends expected this global emergency, and I promise that we will keep you up-to-date as the situation evolves.”