Photo by Kayiu Wong
Pepperdine announced Wednesday morning that the university will cancel in-person classes in favor of online courses for the remainder of the semester due to the spread of COVID-19. The email from President Jim Gash requested that residential students move out of their on-campus housing by 3 p.m., on March 15.
The email also stated that the University “is canceling or postponing non-essential Pepperdine events with expected attendance of 100 or more through the end of March.” The email did not provide any details about the effects on Pepperdine Athletics, but did state the University hopes to hold commencement ceremonies as previously scheduled.
While Pepperdine is asking students to move off campus within the next week, it is restricting the travel of its employees until March 31.
The University will try to resume normal operations after the conclusion of the spring semester, but the email gave no new information about the potential cancellation of summer abroad programs.
The announcement follows the precedent set by other California universities, including UCLA, UC Berkeley, USC, UC San Diego and Stanford, of moving to online classes. UC San Diego is the only one of these schools to cancel in-person classes through the end of the academic year.
The decision to alter class meetings and cancel or suspend events differs from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s coronavirus guidance for universities. The CDC called for institutions of higher education to prepare their communities for potential outbreaks, but only called for schools to suspend classes and postpone or cancel events if a case was identified in the community.
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