CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (WPRI) — Harvard University announced Monday all 2020-2021 academic year courses will be delivered online, and only up to 40% of their undergraduate students will come back to campus for the fall semester.
Only first-year students will be invited to campus in the fall and will receive instructions regarding the protocol for a phased arrival to campus.
Assuming the school maintains 40% density in the spring semester, they would bring back the seniors and first-year students would return home and learn remotely.
In a letter to faculty Monday, Harvard president Larry Bacow and deans Claudine Gay and Rakesh Khurana said the road ahead is uncharted and tentative: “Some of the attributes that we most value about our campus are exactly the things that make adaptation to pandemic conditions particularly challenging… Harvard was built for connection, not isolation.”
Harvard also hopes to invite back students who may not be able to learn successfully in their current home learning environment. Those who believe they will have remote learning challenges are asked to fill out this form by July 13.
Students — undergraduate and graduate — will all learn remotely, whether or not they live on campus. The fall semester will begin as planned on Sept. 2.
Students living on campus will stay in single bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Harvard is modifying the first-year dorms and a number of upper-class houses to support their public health goals. These include enhanced cleaning schedules, personal safety training and protective equipment for custodians security guards and House staff, improved air handling and filtration in shared spaces, hand sanitizer and wipe stations, and signage outlining our public health community guidelines.
No off-campus visitors will be allowed, including Harvard students not in residence on campus.
Students living on campus and residential staff will have to go through an initial health screening upon arrival, followed by testing for the virus every three days while in residence. The frequency of testing may increase or decrease depending on the likelihood of exposure. Harvard has established designated quarantine housing that can house up to 250 students.
All students will move out of their dorms by Nov. 22 and the reading and exam period will be done from home.
For students not eligible to live on campus for this academic year, they will be invited to come to campus to take two courses at the Harvard Summer School in the summer of 2021 under a special arrangement that waives tuition.
On Wednesday, a decision is expected on Ivy League fall sports. Harvard’s fall semester is scheduled to begin on Sept. 2.