Clemson University Provost is currently asking its department heads and faculty to develop contingency plans to deliver courses online in the event the university closes campus later this semester in response to the coronavirus.
However, a university spokesman told The Clemson Insider Thursday afternoon Clemson is doing its due diligence in making sure there is an open line of communication between itself and its students as they get ready for spring break, which officially begins on March 16.
“At this time, the university continues to monitor the coronavirus disease and spread around the United States,” said Joe Galbraith, Clemson’s Associate VP for Strategic Communications, University Relations. “We have no plans to change the academic calendar. We will continue to monitor the situation.”
Galbraith said Clemson University is providing more information often on Clemson.edu, the university’s official website.
“We are making plans for a variety of scenarios, as we are tasked to do, but at this time there are no plans to change any bit of the academic calendar or how classes are distributed or conducted,” he said.
TCI has learned professors have told students going home for the weekend or leaving for spring break to take their academic materials with them in the event the campus closes.
On Thursday afternoon, Clemson sent out a notice to the campus regarding domestic travel, encouraging students to research where they are going, understand travel warnings and advisories. The university previously sent out an international travel notice earlier this week.
“Obviously, spring break is eight days away. The situation has changed a lot in the last eight days, so we will continue to update as spring break gets closer,” Galbraith said.
As for Clemson Athletics, in regard to the coronavirus, everything is currently on schedule. It is not canceling anything, but if the situation was to change and the campus decided it was going to close then the athletic department would have to make some adjustments into how it would hold events or host events.
Obviously, any decision could affect spring sports such as baseball and softball, as well as the Orange & White Spring Football Game, which is scheduled for April 4 at Memorial Stadium. Those are sports that require people to be in close quarters, so they may have to look at other options on whether they play the games without a crowd, whether they play the game and ask fans to take other precautions.
But to reiterate, Clemson has no plans to cancel anything at this time. An athletic department spokesman told TCI the athletic department is working with the university and will take its recommendations along with the CDC, the ACC or the NCAA if it should come to it.
“Clemson Athletics has been taking part and has been actively engaging with campus in the meetings that the campus has been having,” said Jeff Kallin, Associate Athletic Director for Strategic Communications at Clemson. “The athletic department has done a lot of listening and taking guidance from the university and the people that know the most about those kinds of things. We will try to take that information and apply it to our group as best as possible.”
As for student housing, should campus close, there are ongoing meetings where the university and the athletic department are discussing plans of action to make sure the students and the student-athletes are safe.
Clemson University has been conducting meetings for the last week in case they have to shut down the campus due to the coronavirus. The athletic department joined in those meetings earlier this week.
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