Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

California State University cancels most in-person classes for fall semester

May 14, 2020
The 23-campus system—the nation's largest—will offer classes primarily online.

California State University, the nation’s largest university system,  says it is canceling most in-person classes in the fall and will offer instruction primarily online.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the decision is meant to protect students amid the continuing uncertainty about coronavirus and its potential spread in the fall.

Cal State Chancellor Timothy White says the vast majority of classes across the 23-campus university system will be taught online.

There will be some limited exceptions—a small number of classes where in-person instruction is “indispensable and can be justified” — such as clinical nursing courses, biology labs or merchant marine training.

In those cases, sufficient resources and protocols will have to be in place to ensure the health and safety of students and teachers.

Availability of on-campus housing will be reduced, and student athletes shouldn’t expect to resume regular sports before faculty and students return to campuses, White says.

White says an online fall term is necessary because additional waves of Covid-19 outbreaks are forecast for later this year, possibly coupled with a difficult flu season.

He says it would be “irresponsible” to wait until August to make a decision, only to “scramble and not be prepared to provide a robust learning and support environment.”

The Cal State system is projecting losses of $337 million for the spring term alone as a result of the pandemic, including loss of revenue from student housing, parking and campus bookstores, as well as unanticipated costs related to cleaning, overtime and the shift to distance education.

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