Maryland State universities preparing for remote instruction

Posted at 10:33 PM, Mar 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 06:44:33-04

BALTIMORE — On Tuesday the University System of Maryland brought its board of regents in on a call to prepare for Spring Break and beyond with the Coronavirus.

USM has 12 universities-- Bowie State, Coppin State, Frostburg State, Salisbury, Towson, University of Baltimore and the University of Maryland Campuses.

“I strongly urge universities to prepare for students to remain off campus for at least two weeks following the end of Spring Break,” USM Chancellor Dr. Jay Perman said.

Advising the presidents to cancel classes for one or more days this week to prepare for the "likely" scenario that classes go completely online.

Ellen Herbst the USM Vice Chancellor for Administration and Finance said they are working with staff to make sure they have the technology and capabilities to sustain an extended remote curriculum.

“Should we need to have some, or all of our employees work from outside of their normal offices that we are able to continue our mission and our operations on a daily basis,” said Herbst.

Chris Groots is a freshman at Towson University who got an email that said he and other students living on campus have less than 24 hours to clear out.

“We’re supposed to be out by 12 and I don’t have a ride available until like 3 o’clock so I don’t know what I’m going to do,” said Groots.

Stanislav Mitchell is going to head out as soon as he can find someone to give him a ride back to Rockville, but he says some of his friends live much further without a plan.

“I have a friend who like lives in Atlanta so I don’t know what he’s going to be doing because he has to leave tomorrow,” said Mitchell. “I don’t know it’s a difficult situation, but they’ve got to do what they got to do to keep people safe.”

On top of the immediate issue of getting home, these students are concerned about what they will get for their tuition when they return from Spring Break.

“I’m taking like a letter press class where I have to be in an arts studio doing hands on work,” Groots said. “I can’t do that stuff online so I’m just wondering how that’s going to affect my grade.”

The board talked about how to handle upcoming large gatherings like sporting events and graduations, and how to handle the over 800 students who have been studying abroad.

The conference call ended in a closed session where they consulted with lawyers on legal issues associated with Corona.