Stanford University which is located in the heart of Silicon Valley in Palo Alto, California has reportedly announced that it will be cancelling all in-person classes for the final two weeks of the winter quarter. The move was done in order to combat the spread of the fast-spreading coronavirus and to ease the panic among students and parents. The university has also cancelled its in-person Admit Weekend event for prospective undergraduates.
According to reports, Provost Persis Drell announced the cancellation of classes in a letter sent out to the campus community on March 6. The letter stated that to the extent that it is feasible, all classes will be moved to an online format and replace the in-person instruction format.
The letter also stated that final exams will take place in a take-home format. Drell added in the letter that the University will still remain open even though classes will not be meeting. Drell in the letter also expressed profound disappointment at having to cancel the popular Admit Weekend event but also stated that the move was necessary and prudent given the current situation with the virus spreading fast and rapidly changing travel conditions.
Drell claimed that she and the staff were working hard to develop replacement programming and was very excited by the possibilities for an innovative and compelling virtual experience for the students.
Drell also announced that the Office of Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid had decided to call off-campus tours and information sessions until at least April 15 but the visitor centre of the University will remain open allowing visitors to take self-guided tours of the campus.
The decision to move classes to an online-format follows its decision to limit public attendance to on-campus sporting events. The attendance has been limited until April 15. Two undergraduate students from the University are in isolation after possible exposure to the virus.