All Study Abroad and International Student Travel Suspended for Remainder of
Spring Semester and Summer Season
Morgan State University (MSU) President David Wilson announced the suspension of all Study Abroad and international student travel for the remainder of the spring semester and the summer today, in response to growing concern and uncertainty surrounding the spread of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This decision was made to reduce MSU students’ risk of infection and was shared with the university’s administrative team and unit heads during an emergency meeting held to review Morgan’s Pandemic Disease Preparation Plan in advance of any coronavirus disease incident on campus.
This was the second such meeting called by President Wilson within the past seven days, as the national and global discussion regarding the threat of coronavirus disease has elevated. During Morgan’s last emergency preparedness meeting, a moratorium on all university-sponsored student travel to China, Italy, Japan, South Korea and Iran was announced.
“The safety of our students is the most important thing, above all else. At present, the risk of contracting COVID-19 during international travel is not fully known, so we have taken the most prudent action possible,” said President Wilson. “We understand that this decision will be disappointing, especially given the university’s continuous support of global scholarship and discovery, but it was one that had to be made in light of the circumstances.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released an Interim Guidance for Administrators of US Institutions of Higher Education (IHE) to Plan, Prepare, and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019. Morgan’s Pandemic Disease Preparation Plan, which was updated to address the coronavirus, is focused on several key areas, including planning and coordination; continuity of student learning and operations; infection control policies and procedures; and communications. The university’s plan would be executed in compliance with mandated governmental orders.
Components of the plan include:
Contingency for Faculty
- Implementation of remote instruction
- Usage of existing online software and technology
- Teleconferencing engagement
- Access to online databases and periodicals
Contingency for Students
- Revision of class and examination schedules
- Activation of remote learning
- Investment in residence hall care and preparation
- Closure of campus facilities and cancellation of events (sporting or other) and other large gatherings
- Provisions for meals as well as medications and other care
- Enacting of quarantine protocols and social distancing measures
Contingency for Staff
- Liberal leave or special administrative leave protocols
- Teleworking, work-from-home protocols
- Flexible or staggered work hours
The director of the university’s Health Center serves as a liaison with the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and with the Baltimore City Health Department. The university is also staying informed about the evolving situation through regular visits to the CDC’s website. At the onset of domestic concern regarding the spread of the coronavirus, Morgan initiated a university-wide education initiative to help clarify the risks, provide information, share helpful tips and best practices, and alert the university community to new developments through a dedicated webpage. The university uses a variety of channels to communicate with its stakeholders, including email, social media, digital signage, websites, a parent portal, and mobile app push notifications.
Morgan State University, founded in 1867, is a Carnegie-classified doctoral research institution offering more than 126 academic programs leading to degrees from the baccalaureate to the doctorate. As Maryland’s Preeminent Public Urban Research University, 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