Incoming Salisbury University chief diversity officer Joan Williams explains her plans for the upcoming academic year.
Salisbury Daily Times
Salisbury University has finalized its spring semester schedule, most notably shrinking the spring break period.
Rather than the traditional week-long span, spring break will run just two days, March 15 and 16 due to the ongoing COVID-19 threat.
“Although a normal, full-week Spring Break would give everyone a much-needed break, there are serious health concerns associated with campus community members leaving Salisbury, visiting areas where the risk of contracting COVID-19 is higher and potentially bringing it back to campus,” SU president Charles Wight said in an email to students and faculty.
Wight also announced the starting date for the spring semester will be Monday, Jan. 25. The semester is slated to end May 7 with commencement to be held May 14 and 15.
Modalities for spring courses will be similar to the fall, with roughly 55% taught as face-to-face or hybrid sections and 45% as online (asynchronous) or remote (synchronous) sections, according to Wight.
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All campus operations and dates are subject to change should precautions related to the pandemic necessitate revisions.
“As we prepare for the new semester, this also is a time to look back on how far we’ve come since last March, when the transition to online classes was necessary to help limit the spread of COVID-19,” Wight said.
Frequent testing will still be required for those who visit SU’s campus. Students, faculty and staff must have a negative COVID-19 test on file every 30 days. Policies regarding face masks, social distancing and visitor registration will also continue.
Salisbury has nearly eliminated COVID-19 on its campus, currently sitting with a 0.3% positivity rate over the last seven days. Since Sept. 27, more than 5,200 students and faculty have been tested.
Wight called the campus one of the safest places in Salisbury given the low case count. Early in the semester, SU topped a 6% positivity rate, but has taken steps that created a steady decline.
“Thanks to all students, faculty and staff for your incredible efforts that have allowed many of us to return to campus this semester, and for working with us as we continue learning to navigate these unprecedented times,” Wight said.
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