Morgan State University President David K. Wilson announced plans to prepare the university for operations in the fall amid the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
As public health and elected officials evaluate conditions, Wilson unveiled three potential planning models to guide operations in the fall.
Under Wilson’s direction, the university has formed a cost containment plan to ensure Morgan’s continued financial health, including a hiring freeze through the remainder of FY ’20 and instituted a freeze on all spending unrelated to COVID-19.
He has also outlined three strategic planning models. Model One was built around a continuation of the current circumstances and current operation protocol; Model Two involves delaying the start of the next academic year until later in the fall and implementing significant social distancing protocols; and Model Three is centered on reopening the campus without restrictions and with a return to normal operations.
All models have some version of online/remote instruction/learning continuing through 2020–21, and all three have major financial implications for Morgan. The university expects to make a decision on the fall within the next three months.
Other initiatives planned are:
- Movement of all summer sessionsto a remote instruction format.
- Movement of all orientation programs and open houses to a virtual environment. (In support of this effort, Morgan recently launched a new virtual tour tool.)
- The appointment of a special Online/Remote Instruction Committee to explore the further integration and perfection of remote learning/instruction as a possible modality in the future.
- An evaluation of the University’s tuition and fee structure for the 2020-2021 academic year.
- The call for an innovative rethinking of the University’s Academic Calendar.
- An expansion of community-based research with a focus on closing the racial and equity gaps made more evident by COVID-19.
For the past week, Wilson has been personally meeting virtually with the various university units to deliver the message about coming changes, while assuaging concerns and engaging in an open dialogue. These “micro townhalls” will continue this week and the next until all units have been engaged.