Suffolk prepares for unusual fall semester


Courtesy of Suffolk University

Suffolk University will open again in the fall, President Marisa Kelly said in an email to the Suffolk community Thursday. But how, and where, classes take place is still up in the air. 

The academic year will start on time as planned, and Kelly said she hopes classes can be held in person at both the Boston and Madrid campuses. If they are, Kelly said the university will most likely need to utilize in person and online learning to allow for social distancing. 

“We are engaged in careful planning so that we are ready for a wide range of possibilities, and final decisions will be made in light of guidelines set by government and public health officials,” Kelly said in the email. 

Administrators and faculty are still planning for how classes will be held, as it is too soon to know the state of public health guidelines for the fall. 

“We are preparing for a number of scenarios, always with the health and safety of our students and employees as our highest priority,” Kelly said. 

According to Kelly, the school is working to address issues around course scheduling, international programs, campus life and residence halls.

The university has established a health subcommittee to develop guidelines that limit the risk of COVID-19 transmission on campus, as well as recommendations for social distancing and wearing masks.

The guidelines will include protections for medically vulnerable populations, and testing and tracing for COVID-19 will be part of the operational plan Suffolk implements for the fall semester, according to the email.

Kelly said a COVID-19 task force at the university has been working on health and safety recommendations since early March. 

International students should expect a message from Vice President of International Affairs Sebastián Royo regarding their travel concerns. 

Suffolk’s Madrid Campus is scheduled to open on August 25, as planned.

In Massachusetts, Governor Charlie Baker has extended the stay-at-home advisory until May 18, a two-week extension from when the advisory was previously set to expire on May 4.