Tuesday, September 22, 2020

MSU suspends university-sponsored travel indefinitely, exploring hybrid on-campus instruction

May 14, 2020
<p>The Spartan Statue photographed on May 15, 2019</p>

The Spartan Statue photographed on May 15, 2019

Photo by Matt Zubik | The State News

Michigan State University suspended all university-sponsored travel indefinitely and is exploring alternative on campus instruction scenarios.  

According to an email from President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., the COVID-19 Reopening Campus Task Force is analyzing options ranging from "from fully normal operations to continued remote operations" for the fall 2020 semester.

Options in discussion

Intermediate options include the possibility of large classes turned into hybrid courses with smaller classroom instruction throughout the week augmented by online lectures.

Additionally, Stanley said the semester could be adjusted to conclude by Thanksgiving to reduce trips home that could increase risk of transmission.

“Importantly, options will embrace the specific and unique college, professional and unit requirements with prioritization of sustaining mission across the university,” Stanley said.

Executive Vice President for Health Sciences Norman Beauchamp and University Physician David Weismantel are the chairs of the task force.

University-sponsored travel suspended

MSU-sponsored travel was originally suspended until May 15 but has now been suspended indefinitely. 

Waivers are required for domestic business essential travel with no waivers available for international travel. The waivers can only be granted by submitting a form that can only be approved by the provost, a vice president or the president. The form specifies that all non-essential travel will be denied and asks those applying to say why their travel is essential.

MSU’s coronavirus website advises those with travel planned through June 30 to cancel their reservations and their approved requests to travel.

The university is continuing to follow updates from the U.S. State Department, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, regarding travel, and MSU’s recommendations may change. 

The websites recommend those considering travel to contact the Office of International Health and Safety and the MSU Travel Clinic. International students or scholars with questions on reentry to the United States can contact the Office of International Students and Scholars.

Those who are abroad on MSU-sponsored international travel can contact International SOS at 215-942-8478.

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