Contingency Planning

Boston University Plans for Possible Delay of Fall Semester

Boston University is planning for the possibility that the fall term might have to be delayed and instead reopened in January 2021, reports the Boston Herald.

“The Recovery Plan recognizes that if, in the unlikely event that public health officials deem it unsafe to open in the fall of 2020, then the University’s contingency plan envisions the need to consider a later in-person return, perhaps in January 2021,” a university news article reads.

University President Robert A. Brown announced the university’s COVID-19 Recovery Plan to figure out ways BU can return to in-person, on-campus operations. The plan tasks five working groups to determine “what actions are needed to bring academic, research, and residential programs back to campus for the fall semester in ways that are guided by the best public health practices.”

The working groups are centered on remote and online learning, graduate affairs, undergraduate programs, research, and student residential life. The committee’s task is to determine what needs to be done to return to in-person teaching and research to the university and does not replace the regular management groups.

The plan also recognizes that international students face “unique burdens” such as travel restrictions and interruptions to obtaining visas. BU will offer remote courses over the summer and provide minimal housing and dining options.

“For reasons of public health, the economy, or any number of other factors, this is not going to be as simple as flipping a switch and getting back to business as usual,” Brown said in the university article. “This is going to take time, and it will take time to plan. Starting that planning now is the right thing to do, and it is a necessity.”

About the Author

Yvonne Marquez is senior editor of Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].