UW goes virtual campus, online classes only for remainder of semester

WYOMING — The University of Wyoming will move to online course delivery for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester in response to concerns about the novel coronavirus COVID-19.

Acting President Neil Theobald and the UW administration have announced a plan that will allow students to continue progress toward their degrees and the university to continue operations, with many employees working remotely. The UW Board of Trustees was updated on the plan today.

“This response plan seeks to allow the university to best address the larger public health needs of the university community, Albany County and the state of Wyoming,” Theobald says. “We are invested in keeping our campus community members as healthy as possible.”

Last week, UW extended its spring break by one week, with all courses canceled, regardless of delivery method, through March 27. Under the plan approved today, when classes resume Monday, March 30, all undergraduate and graduate courses will be delivered online through the end of the semester.

Faculty members will email students enrolled in their courses as soon as possible to share plans for course continuation and access to WyoCourses, the platform used for online instruction.

An online survey will be administered for students to assess their limitations with, and accessibility to, technology. UW will contact any student upon request who identifies needs for accessibility tools so that students’ learning needs are met. Student support services will remain open and available.

“Our campus resources are mobilizing to continue providing support remotely,” Theobald says. “Students continue to progress toward graduation.”

At this point, UW’s spring commencement ceremonies are scheduled to take place as scheduled in May.

Students currently in the residence halls should make immediate plans to leave, if possible. UW Residence Life will communicate with students to coordinate gathering of belongings.

“Students who live in the residence halls should not return to campus after spring break,” Theobald says. “Residence halls will remain open for select students who have no alternate housing option.”

Dining facilities will remain open at a reduced capacity to accommodate those students who need to remain on campus.

While all university events — including athletics competitions and practices, and all other organized gatherings — have been suspended until further notice, UW employees will continue to work.

To reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, the university is encouraging employees to work remotely, where appropriate and in consultation with their supervisors.

There still have been no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at UW or in the Laramie community. UW’s Student Health Service will be open to treat students who do remain on campus; those experiencing fever, cough and shortness of breath are directed to call before visiting the clinic. Faculty and staff members who experience these symptoms should call their health care providers.

The UW Family Medicine Residency Centers, in Cheyenne and Casper, and the university’s Albany Community Health Clinic will remain open to serve the public.

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