Auburn University extends remote instruction through end of spring semester, postpones commencement


Special to the Opelika Observer
Auburn University will extend its remote operation of instruction through the end of the spring semester, and the university’s spring commencement is now postponed.
The decisions involving the academic calendar were made Friday following the ongoing consultation of campus leaders as well as state and federal authorities involving COVID-19 concerns.
“By reducing the number of individuals on campus, Auburn continues to promote as much social distancing as possible to help slow the spread of the virus,” said Auburn President Jay Gogue.
Auburn is crafting a plan to provide prorated refunds for on-campus housing and dining plans, and those students who need to retrieve belongings from campus residence halls will be contacted by University Housing. No students should return to campus until they are instructed to do so. Final decisions regarding summer classes, programs and events have not yet been determined but will be made soon.
Spring graduates will receive additional information in the coming days about alternate commencement plans, and degrees will be conferred to students who meet graduation eligibility and will be mailed as usual.
“This was a very difficult decision made with careful thought and input from faculty, staff, and, most importantly, our students,” Gogue said about the postponement of commencement.  “Graduation is one of the most important events in the lives of our students, and I look forward to celebrating their accomplishments at a future date.”
Amid these latest adjustments, Auburn continues to conduct full university operations, with the major exceptions of remote instruction, on-campus student housing, on-campus dining, Auburn University Libraries and the Recreation and Wellness Center. Faculty and staff able to work remotely have been asked to do so to do their part in helping slow the spread of COVID-19.  Auburn continues to urge faculty, staff and students to practice social distancing, to not congregate and to adopt good hygiene practices.
Auburn encourages those seeking more information about the university’s response to coronavirus to visit and to sign up there for ongoing email updates. The site includes FAQs, latest university messaging and tips on how all in the Auburn Family can continue the fight against coronavirus.
“The response of our campus community this week has been remarkable,” Gogue said. “Our students and faculty are embracing new approaches to teaching and learning while our staff is adjusting to a new form of work-life. One of the most extraordinary characteristics of the Auburn Family is our solidarity in times of crisis and need.”


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