Dickinson State University officials announced Thursday the suspension of all in-person classes through the spring break amid concerns surrounding the coronavirus.

According to a statement sent to The Press, faculty will determine how best to use technology to help students to continue their coursework and that university staff are currently developing and implementing alternative course delivery methods for students during the period of March 23 through Monday, April 13.

“This is an unusual time as we face unprecedented circumstances. We are taking these measures to ensure the safety of our campus and community,” said Interim President Steve Easton in a press release. “At this time, the best way to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is by limiting contact through large gatherings of people. We appreciate your patience and understanding and thank you for your cooperation.”

Non-residential students are encouraged to plan ahead if they leave campus for spring break, and take what they will need.

To help limit the coronavirus risk on campus, Dickinson State University is encouraging non-residential students to remain away from campus.

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The campus will remain open and student services including tutoring, advising, disability services, housing and dining will remain available. Housing related questions can be directed to the Office of Housing and Dining by calling 701-483-2091 or by emailing dsu.housinganddining@dickinsonstate.edu

Further, the university confirmed that they would not host any public events on campus beginning Monday, March 16, through Monday, April 13. Decisions regarding DSU athletic competitions will be determined based on the direction of the conference, region, and national organizations.

Earlier this week, the University shared their proactive approach to the global coronavirus outbreak. DSU’s first priority is the safety and good health of its students, faculty and staff. DSU will continue to fulfill our mission by ensuring that students are able to meet their educational requirements and faculty are able to continue their research and scholarship.

“The safety of our students, as well as our staff, faculty, and the greater DSU community in southwestern North Dakota, is our top priority in these unusual circumstances,” said Interim President Steve Easton. “Providing top quality education to our students is also crucial. In all our decisions, we are going to do the best we can for our students.”

Dickinson State University plans to return to face-to-face instruction Tuesday, April 14.

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