Move to remote instruction is happening throughout the country


Pitt has joined dozens of other universities throughout the country that are shifting to online learning in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 threat.

The University of Washington and several others in Washington state, which has 366 confirmed cases of the disease, were the first to move to online learning last week. A report in Forbes magazine said that 135 schools had cancelled in-person classes as of March 10, including several in the Ivy League — Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Cornell and Princeton.

At most of the schools, campuses will remain open and services will be provided to students who are unable to return home.

A professor at Georgetown University, Bryan Alexander, has been compiling a spreadsheet about colleges and universities closing because of the virus, which can be accessed here

Here’s a look at what’s happening at schools in Pennsylvania and surrounding states (follow the links for official announcements from some of the larger schools):

Penn State: The state’s largest university will move to remote learning for all classes beginning March 16, through April 3, with a plan to resume in-person classes on April 6, at the earliest. 

West Virginia University: Spring break is scheduled March 14-22, after which classes will be suspended for another week. Beginning March 30, class instruction will be delivered remotely. No end date has been announced.

Carnegie Mellon University: Classes are cancelled through March 17 and remote, virtual or alternative teaching methods will begin on March 18. Members of the CMU community are being told to plan for remote teaching and learning to continue through the end of the semester. “We … are currently assessing the impact on staff and student employees, including potential arrangements for working remotely.”

Duquesne University: Classes have been canceled March 16-17 for faculty to prepare remote delivery of their courses. Remote instruction will run from March 18 until at least March 31. All employees are to report to work as usual.

Chatham University: Classes cancelled through March 16; switching to virtual learning for the remainder of the term effective starting March 17. All campus events larger than 20 people cancelled until April 17.

Robert Morris University: Classes cancelled March 12-13; online classes March 16 through April 27.

Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education: Several of the schools, including Indiana University of Pennsylvania are continuing to monitor the situation.

  • West Chester University: The largest school in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education has cancelled all in-person classes for the rest of the semester. It will move to online-only courses on March 30.

  • Edinboro University: Will extend spring break through March 22. Classes will be delivered online only March 23-April 4. In-face classes are expected to resume April 6.

  • Slippery Rock University: Spring break extended until March 29; online instruction will begin March 30 and continue until further notice.

Bucknell University: Moving to online learning from March 19 through the end of the semester.

Ohio State: Suspending in-person classes effective immediately through at least March 30.

Other Ohio colleges:

  • Ohio University: Students asked not to return from this week’s spring break; in-person classes suspended and online learning until at least March 30.

  • Kent State: Face-to-face classes were cancelled as of March 10; remote instruction begins, March 16-20; spring breaks, March 23-29; remote instructions, March 30-April 10; in-person classes resume April 13.

  • University of Akron: No classes this week or next; online instruction begins on March 30.

  • Case Western Reserve: The university is currently on spring break. All classes are canceled March 16-17. Remote education is planned March 18 through at least April 6.

Susan Jones is editor of the University Times. Reach her at or 412-648-4294.


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