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USM Chancellor releases statement regarding plan for returning to campus

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Posted at 8:12 PM, Apr 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-27 20:12:33-04

The University System of Maryland Chancellor Jay A. Perman has released a statement regarding the plan for returning to campus, among other topics pertaining to COVID-19.

The Chancellor began the letter stating that the system is working closely with the state and health care partners on an effective and compassionate response to the pandemic.

He states in terms of the return to campus that all USM universities have committed to online instruction for at least the first summer session.

"A couple of universities will soon make decisions about the possibility of offering a limited number of small, in-person experiential learning and laboratory courses over the second summer session—but, of course, only if our conditions and guidance permit it," he explained.

He said that they're now turning their attention to the fall semester.

"I imagine most of you saw a story in the Washington Post last week, in which I was quoted saying that I’m “reasonably optimistic” that we’ll be able to resume in-person instruction sometime this fall," he wrote. "That’s not a guarantee, of course. There are no guarantees when our situation is still so fluid and uncertain. Nor does my statement mean that if students do return to campus on a certain date, our operations will go back to normal. I’d venture that we won’t experience “normal” for some time to come. As Gov. Hogan has maintained—even as he makes plans to slowly reopen the state—this isn’t a switch we can simply flip."

At this time, they're going to begin planning as though students will be able to return to campus in the fall.

"All that said, I have made clear to our university leaders that I want to start planning as though students will be able to return to campus in the fall—maybe September or October," he continued. "And yet I know that, in that one broad statement—“students will return”—is a staggering number of considerations, implications, and contingencies."

Perman explained that he's convening a group to draw up the conditions they’ll need to meet before students can come back to campus.

For a look at the entire letter, click here.