COLUMBIA, S.C. — The University of South Carolina will continue to have no students on campus through the summer semester, both for the Columbia and Palmetto College campuses.
The school announced the update late Thursday afternoon, saying they were doing that in the interest of the safety and health of students, faculty, and staff. That would mean no class through August 1.
The school said projections have the coronavirus peaking in the spring, but remaining a public health risk through early summer. They said that means large gatherings wouldn't be advisable while the virus is subsiding.
USC President Bob Caslen said he made the decision in consultation with experts at DHEC, the school's health center, and USC's Arnold School of Public Health.
“I’m sure you share both my disappointment in this unavoidable decision and my confidence that it is necessary,” Caslen wrote in a statement. “Even as we know we’re doing what’s right to keep ourselves and others healthy and safe, the thought of continuing online instruction through the summer is difficult. And yet, when I consider your determined attitude, uncompromised work ethic and continued commitment to academic excellence, I know that our summer sessions will adhere to the standards you expect and our accreditors demand.”
The school said with some exceptions, the university anticipates all courses typically offered during the summer will be available through a remote learning option. In addition, many new online classes that have not previously been available will be offered.
Here are the other updates for summer:
- No in-person, experiential learning on campus or in-person labs will occur through the summer 2020 months. When possible, faculty and experiential learning supervisors should continue to provide remote learning opportunities for students.
- When it is determined by state health officials that it is safe to do so, University Housing will release a schedule for students with belongings in residence halls to retrieve them.
- We are also exploring options for those students who are unable to travel back to Columbia (when it is safe) to retrieve their belongings.
- Commencement plans for the class of 2020 are still tentative for August 7 and 8 in Columbia.
- Faculty and staff should continue to follow our current policies regarding working remotely and abide by all state and local stay at home ordinances. They will be updated as more information becomes available.