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Statements from President Crow

Statement from ASU President Michael M. Crow on the transition from in-person classes to online instruction

March 11, 2020

Dear ASU community:

As you know from previous communications, university leadership has been closely following events and public health recommendations surrounding the outbreak and spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The university has been busy planning and preparing for the possibility of transitioning to an online teaching and learning environment to help manage the potential spread of COVID-19.  

Although there are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at ASU at this time, we know that many members of the ASU community have been traveling this week during spring break to parts of the country and world where there may be community spread of COVID-19. As a precaution, we have made the decision to transition in-person classes to online instruction.

Effective Monday, March 16, the following changes will occur:

  • All in-person classes wherever possible will transition to online instruction. Classes will continue in this mode for two weeks, at which time the university will assess where things stand with COVID-19. Additional information will follow shortly with specific instruction for faculty and students on how to transition to online instruction.
  • The university remains open. University housing, computer labs, food service, health clinics, counseling services, research labs and all other aspects of the university remain open.
  • All public events will continue unless otherwise announced.  

We are taking these steps out of an abundance of caution. Public health officials have not yet made this a requirement for public institutions and continue to indicate that the risk to the general public remains low. Nevertheless, given all that we know and what we can anticipate based on information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, we believe this is the most prudent course of action at the current time.

ASU’s COVID-19 webpage will continue to be our primary source of information and updates related to university operations. We will communicate changes across as many channels as possible, and we have teams of individuals across the university ready to assist faculty and students with the transition to online instruction.  

The spread of COVID-19 may necessitate changes in the way we interact, but it does not change what we do. ASU will continue to operate and will continue to deliver the highest-quality education possible to the students we serve, and ASU employees will continue to perform their duties.

This is a new challenge not only for our community at ASU, but for the broader community in metropolitan Phoenix, Arizona, and the country. We will continue to closely monitor the COVID-19 situation with local, state and federal public health officials.

In the meantime, please carry on with your work and your studies. Do so with care for yourself and for those around you and continue to adhere to the preventative measures as recommended by public health officials, but do not retreat from your commitment to your education and to the important work you do every day. And again, additional information will follow shortly with specific instruction for faculty and students about this transition.