NBC News Covers MSU COVID-19 Plan

Aug 13, 2020

Michigan State University President Samuel Stanley Jr. says the school is prepared to go fully remote if there’s an outbreak on campus. MSU was featured in a Thursday night NBC News special about how the Coronavirus will impact learning in America.


The program, called “Coronavirus and the Classroom,” devoted a segment to how MSU is planning for the return of students as the first day of classes on September 2nd approaches.

NBC observed a “war room” where plans are discussed, including quarantining or isolating students if there’s an outbreak.

President Samuel Stanley, an expert in infectious diseases, says he’s prepared to “pull the plug” on in-person teaching should conditions warrant saying "absolutely. If we feel as though every modality we’ve put in place are not adequate in keeping students, faculty or staff are safe, then yes, absolutely, we would go to fully remote.”

Denise Maybank, vice president and associate provost for student affairs at MSU, says the key word in higher education this year is “pivot.” “We have to be ready to pivot," Maybank explains, "because we don’t know enough about this virus, we don’t know enough about the potential impact.”

About 11,000 students are expected to be living in on-campus dorms, down from the usual 15,000. Most courses will be online.

Provost Teresa Woodruff says about 35-percent of classes are expected to be in person this fall, and 15-percent will be a hybrid of classroom and online instruction.