Tuck School of Business students will be required to take their classes online for the first two weeks of spring term, according to an email sent to campus by College provost Joseph Helble earlier this evening. Dartmouth will make an announcement by Monday as to whether it will take similar action for undergraduate classes.
“These are unprecedented times for our school,” wrote Tuck dean Matthew Slaughter in a statement to the Tuck community.
Beginning on March 23, all Tuck MBA classes — about 40 in total — will operate online via Zoom, with no option to attend in person. Whether and when in-class attendance will be allowed will be considered over the following weeks.
“We acknowledge how important personal interactions are to our immersive learning experience at Tuck,” read Slaughter’s statement. “[But] the health risks of convening in our typical classroom settings are too uncertain at this time.”
Tuck students may return to live in the Upper Valley if they choose — including those who live in Dartmouth residence halls — or they can choose to live elsewhere while taking online classes, according to Slaughter’s statement.
Helble’s email said that the administration will make a decision regarding whether undergraduate classes will be moved online by March 16, “if not sooner.”
Following the email from Helble, Dean of the College Kathryn Lively sent out another email to undergraduates addressing student concerns regarding spring term and interim housing.
In response to questions about how much to pack to take home for spring break, Lively wrote, “The answer is take what you can with you. Circumstances may change.”
According to Lively’s email, students who have already applied for interim housing will hear from the “interim care team” by mid-day tomorrow.
She also wrote that if students have not yet applied for interim housing but need financial assistance, students should apply online before 7 a.m. on Thursday morning, and can expect a response by Thursday afternoon. The care team will be using the interim housing form as the way to flag the students who need assistance, according to the email.
Tuck’s decision comes after five cases of the virus have been confirmed in the state. The first person in the state to test positive for the novel coronavirus was a Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center employee. Despite being directed by health officials to self-isolate, the employee attended an invite-only Tuck School of Business event at The Engine Room in White River Junction on Feb. 28. Another attendee subsequently tested positive.
The fifth and newest case is an individual from Rockingham County who was exposed to another person who tested positive in Massachusetts, according to the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services. No cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed on Dartmouth’s campus.
All decisions surrounding the College’s response to the virus are made through the COVID-19 task force, which comprises senior College leadership and is co-chaired by Geisel School of Medicine provost Lisa Adams and vice president of campus services Joshua Keniston.