University of Miami announces plans for in-person, on-campus fall semester

The University of Miami will reopen its classrooms and residence halls to students for the Fall 2020 semester. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami
By News@TheU

The University of Miami will reopen its classrooms and residence halls to students for the Fall 2020 semester. Photo: Mike Montero/University of Miami

University of Miami announces plans for in-person, on-campus fall semester

By News@TheU
University of Miami President Julio Frenk released plans for on-campus classes, housing, and orientation—as well as a revised academic calendar—in a message to the University community.

The University of Miami will reopen its classrooms and residence halls to students for the Fall 2020 semester, President Julio Frenk announced Monday in a message to the University community. The University’s plan for an in-person, on-campus semester also includes a revised academic calendar.

“As we continue to navigate the coronavirus pandemic and its economic consequences, like so many families and businesses across the country and around the world, we are making plans to move forward,” Frenk wrote. “We will build the future of our University together, and that will require each one of us to act with intentionality.”

Classes will commence on campus on Monday, Aug. 17—one week earlier than originally planned—and on-campus instruction will conclude on Nov. 20—the Friday before Thanksgiving. There will be one additional day of online-only instruction on Monday, Nov. 23, and a reading day on Tuesday, Nov. 24. Final exams will be conducted exclusively online and will take place from Nov. 30 to Dec. 4.

The Labor Day holiday will be observed on Monday, Sept. 7, and an abbreviated fall break will occur from Friday, Oct. 16, to Sunday, Oct. 18.

“While most classes will occur in person, to allow for proper physical distancing and to meet the specific needs of faculty members whose preexisting health conditions may limit their on-campus activities, some classes may be offered in online or hybrid—a mix of online and in-person—formats,” Frenk wrote. “With this in mind, we are using our experiences from the spring semester and new programs to further build our expertise in online instruction to enhance any remote learning experience for our students.” 

The revised academic calendar enables students to travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday and not return to campus again until the spring semester, thereby limiting the frequency of travel and potential for virus transmission and spread. The spring semester calendar will be finalized in the next several weeks.

The University’s law and medical schools may follow a different academic calendar, which will be shared with their respective communities once finalized.

For students living in on-campus housing, move-in for first-year and transfer students will take place Aug. 9-11, with move-in for returning students occurring Aug. 13-16. All students will be assigned a designated move-in date and time.

Orientation, or ’Cane Kickoff, for first-year and transfer students will begin on Aug. 11.

The University intends to hold commencement ceremonies in December—both for December 2020 graduates as well as for May 2020 graduates—with additional details to be shared in the coming weeks.

Consistent with the decision to significantly reduce the number of events hosted on the University’s campuses, the Fall 2020 Family Weekend has been canceled.

As part of his message, Frenk introduced the “four pillars” that are guiding the University’s path toward an on-campus fall semester. “We are fortunate to have a world-class health system in UHealth and the very best minds in public health guiding our efforts,” he wrote. “For many weeks, seven multidisciplinary committees have been developing our plan.”

The four pillars include testing, tracing, and tracking; cleaning and disinfecting; protecting personal space; and vaccinating. Details regarding the four pillars can be found on the University’s dedicated COVID-19 site at coronavirus.miami.edu/our-four-pillars.

“Life on campus will not look the way it did when we left, but as we return, we will rely upon the spirit, the ideas, and the creativity that drew each of us to the U,” Frenk wrote. “I look forward to seeing you back on campus and to reengaging in person with the vibrant community we will continue to build—together.”

Visit hrl.studentaffairs.miami.edu/living-on-campus/move-in-move-out for information regarding move-in for first-year, transfer, and returning students.

Visit orientation.studentaffairs.miami.edu/cane-kickoff/students/cane-kickoff-fall-orientation  for updates regarding the ’Cane Kickoff fall orientation schedule.