UMass Dartmouth postpones commencement ceremonies due to coronavirus

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DARTMOUTH, Mass. (WPRI) — While no cases of COVID-19 have been reported at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth to date, school officials on Monday announced additional steps being taken to keep students and staff members healthy.

In a notice to the campus community, Chancellor Robert E. Johnson, Ph.D., said starting March 23, all courses will be delivered online for the rest of the semester.

“This is not how anyone envisioned our academic year ending, but we must remain committed to fulfilling our mission as normally and safely as possible,” Johnson wrote.

In addition, all events have been canceled through May 31, including the commencement ceremonies for undergraduates on May 9 and law and graduate students on May 11.

“We are exploring all options to ensure that we send our graduating students off with the recognition they deserve for all their hard work,” the chancellor added.

The April 1 deadline to file for graduation will still apply.

For the remainder of the semester, residence halls will not admit students without written approval, according to Johnson. Residents are asked to log into the Housing Portal and schedule a move-out appointment. Student ID cards will only work during that two-hour window.

Johnson said room and meal plan accounts will be adjusted, taking financial aid guidelines into account, but that process is still being worked through and additional information is forthcoming.

“I know this is not easy, but we must put the safety of our community over normality,” Johnston said. “These extraordinary times require all of us to act in extraordinary ways to make sure that the education of the next generation continues.”

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