Portland State announced Sunday that in-person courses would continue to be suspended for the summer term. The decision was announced to faculty members in a letter from Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Susan Jeffords. For students, the decision was included in the Virtual Viking newsletter released on April 12.
“We made the decision that summer term instruction will happen remotely after a great deal of deliberation, consulting with Oregon Health Authority and our best science advisers on the likely scenarios for the progression of the COVID-19 virus in the Portland area and across Oregon,” Jeffords stated. “Our priority has always been the safety and health of all of the members of the PSU community.”
The decision was made three weeks into spring term in order to give teachers time to prepare their courses for remote learning, and to ensure students can best prepare their schedule for the summer. More information will be provided for students once the summer course schedule is released on April 20.
“We also heard from students and faculty that having as much information as soon as possible is a priority,” Jeffords stated. “We wanted to make this announcement in a time frame that enabled students to plan effectively for how to spend summer term.”
The decision is the latest in the school’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. As of April 14, Oregon had 1,633 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 55 deaths, according to The New York Times. 420 of those cases are in Multnomah County.
The Pass/No Pass grading option for courses will also extend to next term. However, PSU has not yet decided how summer term’s student fees could be adjusted.
“As for fees for summer, we don’t have that information yet, but [we] will communicate it when we do,” stated Chris Broderick, associate vice president for university communications.
“No decision has been made about fall,” Jeffords stated, “We are waiting to learn more from OHA about a timeline and circumstances for resuming any face-to-face instruction, and we will be carefully considering our options.“