University Moves Toward Return to Face-to-Face Instruction, Increased Residential Hall Occupancy and In-Person Commencements, Among Other Traditional Activities
BALTIMORE — In a follow-up to Morgan State University President David K. Wilson’s annual, university-wide Spring Town Hall meeting, planning continues for a full reopening of the campus and a return of traditional University activities. The reopening is slated to begin moderately with in-person commencement exercises this May and is expected to progress to face-to-face instruction for Summer Session II in early July. Barring any setbacks, namely an upswing in COVID-19 cases or reinstatement of COVID-related restrictions by Baltimore City or State of Maryland leaders, Morgan will restore campus life in time for the 2021 fall semester.
“Make no mistake about it, Morgan is open for business, and our business is student success, which is why it is imperative that we bring our entire Morgan community back to campus,” said President Wilson. “Student interest in returning to their beloved Morgan has been extremely high, and we’ve been too long without their consistent presence at the university. This summer marks the beginning of a return to our traditions, a return to our normalcy and a resocialization, culminating this fall with vibrant university life befitting a National Treasure.”
This past February, President Wilson officially announced the university’s plans to chart a path to a fully reopened campus, providing key details of this effort, then expounded upon those details during his town hall meeting held in March. Wilson also announced the formation of a Resocialization and Re-acculturation Team that would work collectively and collaboratively to plan a smooth campus reentry process for the entire university community while reintroducing students to the rites and traditions that are the hallmarks of the “Morgan Experience.”
For the past two semesters, only a small number of students have resided in on-campus or off-campus housing: the vast majority of students participated in remote instruction because of concerns surrounding COVID-19 and government-mandated restrictions related to the pandemic. With the protective protocols that Morgan has had in place since the summer of 2020, increased testing on campus and the introduction of vaccinations to slow community spread, the university is confident it can fully reopen for the fall 2021 semester and comfortably bring the majority of its community back to campus, thus normalizing operations. Applications for fall housing are now open, and students are encouraged to apply.
A recent survey of Morgan faculty members revealed that a number of professors have requested to return to campus to participate in the more traditional academic setting favoring in-person instruction with safety protocols enforced. The University will also maintain the option for students to participate in classroom instruction remotely to accommodate any unique and/or extenuating circumstances some students may have in relation to the underlying pandemic.
In keeping with its commitment to maintaining the health and safety of the campus community, University officials are monitoring the varied reopening strategies that are currently being implemented across the national landscape of higher education. From the continuance of routine testing to vaccination requirements, Morgan is investigating all allowable options and best practices that are within the University’s control.
Morgan has also announced its plans to hold two in-person commencements in May: one for students who graduated during the spring, summer or fall of 2020 and were not able to participate in an in-person commencement because of COVID restrictions, and a second for students graduating in spring 2021. The events, which will be held on Friday, May 14 and Saturday, May 15, respectively, will be conducted in accordance with all current COVID protocols and will be subject to existing safety guidelines. More details will be made available as they become finalized.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified high research (R2) institution offering more than 126 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University and the only university to have its entire campus designated as a National Treasure by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Morgan serves a multiethnic and multiracial student body and seeks to ensure that the doors of higher education are opened as wide as possible to as many as possible. For more information about Morgan State University, visit www.morgan.edu.
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Larry Jones or Dell Jackson, University PR