Students and teachers at Wisconsin colleges and universities are grappling with the uncertainty of coronavirus-related closures. Schools across the state have suspended in-person classes, study abroad programs, and athletics.
WUWM will post updates below about how Milwaukee-area higher education institutions are responding to the coronavirus crisis.
April 2, 10:43 a.m.: Coronavirus outbreak could affect UW's fall semester
University of Wisconsin President Ray Cross cautioned Thursday that the coronavirus outbreak that has already led to the suspension of all in-person spring classes could also force changes to the fall semester, which is scheduled to begin in August.
Cross, in addressing the university’s Board of Regents, said UW was working on various scenarios based on rapidly changing conditions. The flagship UW-Madison campus announced Thursday that it was moving all in-person summer classes scheduled to start in May to online only, another sign that leaders don’t expect a return to normalcy for months. Cross said plans for the fall will be made in coming weeks based on an array of assumptions “which continue to change and will continue to change over the next 60 days.”
- Associated Press
April 2, 10:36 a.m.: UW-Madison's summer classes will be online-only
UW-Madison is suspending in-person classes and ramping up online offerings for the upcoming Summer Term. The school had already shifted all learning online for the remainder of the spring semester.
March 31, 10:17 a.m.: UW-Madison expects $100 million loss due to crisis
The University of Wisconsin-Madison expects to lose $100 million because of the coronavirus pandemic, that's if social distancing is over by June. The loss includes reimbursing students for room and board after the campus closed because of COVID-19.
Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the University Committee Monday additional expenses include hiring professional cleaners and buying software licenses and programs to move thousands of courses online. The Wisconsin State Journal reports the loss is about 3.2% of UW-Madison’s $3 billion budget. System spokesman Mark Pitsch said he doesn't have an estimate for the financial losses at its 26 campuses.
- Associated Press
March 30, 1:15 p.m.: UWM will grant tenure clock extensions due to crisis
UWM Provost Johannes Britz announced in an email to employees Monday that tenure-track faculty who request an extension of the tenure clock will be granted one, due to the pandemic's disruption to regular research, teaching and scholarship.
March 30, 1 p.m.: Marquette, UWM to offer students flexible grading options
The coronavirus pandemic forced colleges to move classes online, and now some are offering students grading flexibility because of the unexpected change. Marquette University is giving students the option of receiving pass/not pass grades for their spring semester courses, as opposed to traditional letter grades.
UWM is also implementing an emergency policy to allow undergraduate students to switch their course grades to credit/no credit. Letter grades will be given in May, and students will have until July 3 to switch grades to credit/no credit if they wish.
March 27, 2 p.m.: UWM will freeze hiring, take other cost-saving measures as it braces for financial hit
UWM Chancellor Mark Mone told employees in an email Friday that the university will freeze hiring and pay raises due to an expected revenue loss amid the coronavirus crisis. Like other Wisconsin schools, UWM shuttered most of its campus, including student residence halls, to protect the community from the virus. The university will provide prorated housing and dining refunds for students who have vacated dorms. In addition to that lost revenue, Mone says the university also expects to spend more on paid leave for employees who cannot work because of the health crisis.
March 23, 3:31 p.m.: Marquette goes online for rest of semester, commencement ceremony postponed
Marquette University announced Monday that remote learning would continue until the end of the semester and May commencement ceremonies would not take place. The school may hold a commencement event for its spring 2020 graduates in August.
March 23, 10:55 a.m.: UW-Madison postpones commencement ceremonies
University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank told the school community Monday that May commencement events would be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Blank said the school is working on a virtual commencement celebration and will hold an in-person event when the public health crisis has subsided.
March 23, 10:40 a.m.: Carthage College will finish semester online
Carthage, a private college in Kenosha, announced Sunday that all classes will be taught remotely through the rest of the academic year. The May commencement ceremony has been canceled, and the school says it hopes to celebrate 2020 graduates with an in-person event later in the year.
March 20, 5:30 p.m.: MATC suspends in-person classes until further notice
MATC will use online or other alternative class delivery until further notice, the school announced Friday evening. Classes will start in an alternative delivery mode as instructors are able to make the transition, but no later than April 13. Students in classes that cannot easily transition to remote learning will get more information from instructors about the next steps.
March 20, 4:20 p.m.: UWM cancels spring graduation events
UWM Chancellor Mark Mone told students and staff in an email Friday that graduation and commencement ceremonies planned for May will not happen.
"These decisions are consistent with Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers’ executive order barring mass gatherings," Mone wrote. "We know how profoundly disappointing this is for those graduating, as well as families, supporters and friends."
March 20, 11 a.m.: UW schools to reimburse students for room and board
Many UW campuses, including Madison and Milwaukee, are canceling in-person classes for the rest of the semester and asking students to permanently vacate residence halls. The UW System says schools will offer prorated housing and dining refunds to students moving out of dorms.
Meanwhile, UWM is making assistance available for students who are struggling amid the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis. UWM's food pantry is open and students can apply for emergency grants to pay for online education materials, childcare, temporary housing, or to make up for sudden loss of income.
March 19, 2 p.m.: Some private colleges decide to stay online for rest of the semester
Cardinal Stritch, Carroll, Concordia, Wisconsin Lutheran College and Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design announced decisions to stick with remote class delivery for the rest of the semester. The schools originally had tentative plans to resume in-person classes after a few weeks. Now, they're adjusting to distance learning for a longer period.
Carroll University has also decided to hold a virtual commencement ceremony. Wisconsin Lutheran College postponed its commencement ceremony to Aug. 29.
Wisconsin public universities, including UW-Milwaukee and UW-Madison will also keep learning online-only for the rest of the semester.
March 18, 4 p.m.: UWM calls off in-person classes for rest of semester
UW-Milwaukee Chancellor Mark Mone announced that the suspension of in-person classes will continue through the end of the semester. Mone said Gov. Tony Evers' order to limit gatherings to 10 people maximum prompted the decision.
Previously, UWM planned to resume regular instruction on April 13. The university extended its spring break by an extra week to give professors time to plan for remote course delivery. Now, distance learning will continue through the end of the school year.
A UWM employee has tested positive for COVID-19, the university said on Tuesday.
UW-Madison announced Tuesday that it would suspend in-person instruction through the remainder of the semester.
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