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USM universities go to online learning, no in-person graduations

11.16.12- BALTIMORE, MD-Jay Perman- Newsmaker out of the office, University of Maryland, College Park, President Wallace Loh and University of Maryland Baltimore President Jay Perman have agreed to do a joint Maryland Newsmaker interview with The Daily Record (Maximilian Franz/The Daily Record)

USM Chancellor Jay Perman announced a number of steps taken by the system in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. (The Daily Record/File Photo)

The University System of Maryland, which includes most of the state’s public universities, will move all undergraduate learning online for the rest of the spring semester, Chancellor Jay Perman announced during a special Board of Regents meeting Thursday.

The universities will also not “hold traditional in-person graduation ceremonies” Perman announced.

Gov. Larry Hogan had earlier Thursday urged the system to go online for the rest of the spring.

Other universities in Maryland, including Morgan State University, McDaniel College and Johns Hopkins University, had already moved online for the rest of the semester.

Morgan has postponed its commencement and Hopkins will have a virtual commencement. Perman said some universities have been considering also doing virtual commencements.

Specifics about how universities implement distance learning, including final exams, will be left up to individual campuses, he said.

No decisions have been made yet for graduate and professional students. Perman said that those students have some more requirements, and decisions for the rest of the semester would require guidance from programs’ accrediting bodies.

Perman is also encouraging researchers to wind down research not in a “critical phase” or related to the coronavirus.

And he chided spring breakers who have been seen on the news in Florida ignoring social isolation and distancing guidelines.

“This is not a break. It’s not a respite from the semester,” he said.

Universities will develop schedules for students to retrieve their belongings from campuses.

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