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OU extends suspension of in-person instruction through end of spring semester

ATHENS — Ohio University announced on Friday that it is extending the suspension of in-person instruction through the end of the spring semester due to concerns about the coronavirus.

OU President M. Duane Nellis announced the move via an email to students and faculty.

“We have all watched with concern as the COVID-19 pandemic has now made a significant impact to our own state and nation,” Nellis wrote. “We are charting new territory as we respond to the rapidly evolving public health crisis and our highest priority must be the health and safety of our students, faculty, staff and communities.”

Earlier this week, OU had made the decision to suspend in-person classes at all locations, including those in Lawrence County, through March 30.

Nellis said he did not believe a return to campus on that date was advisable.

“In consultation with academic leadership, I have made the decision today to move to remote and online instruction through the end of spring semester for all our campuses and locations,” he wrote. “Classes will resume online following our extended spring break on Monday, March 23. Our collective goal is to continue to provide the highest quality educational experience possible under extraordinary circumstances.”

He said students in residence halls will be getting notification on plans for moving out for the semester.

“The only constant of this global health crisis has been unpredictability and I am grateful to all of you for your responsiveness, your flexibility and your patience,” Nellis wrote. “So many members of our community have been working tirelessly to prepare and respond to this pandemic, including all of our faculty who are working actively to shift the modality of courses usually delivered face-to-face. I am humbled by your extraordinary effort and ongoing dedication to the well-being of our communities and to our critical missions of teaching and research as we face this evolving, new reality.”