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U of M will continue online classes into the summer

All instruction was initially moved online March 11 to help slow the spread of COVID-19.

The University of Minnesota will continue its suspension of in-person instruction through the summer.

According to an email from university President Joan Gabel to the campus community Monday, summer classes on all five of the system’s campuses will be through alternative instruction, or online.

In an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, the university first announced classes would move online March 11

The decision comes as undergraduate and graduate students are preparing to register for summer courses.

“While we manage through the immediate concerns and challenges presented by COVID-19, my leadership team and I are also considering plans for the intermediate and long-term future,” Gabel said in the email.

With ongoing concerns about COVID-19, the university was already considering moving many classes online before the decision. The university’s Crookston campus had already made the move to switch all instruction online.

Gabel said individual campuses will communicate with students about specifics for the summer.

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The decision to extend alternative instruction comes as Gov. Tim Walz is expected to make a decision by midweek about extending his stay at home order, which initially went into effect on March 28. Walz said he is weighing options to lift some restrictions for businesses while still slowing the virus’s spread.

As the University of Minnesota continues to adapt to changes during the pandemic, concerns have been raised about refunds for students who were encouraged to move out of university housing.

After students were initially only offered a partial refund of their unused room and board costs, the board of regents voted Friday to refund students 100% of these costs for March 28 through the end of the year. Students will also be refunded for unused parking, transportation and recreation fees.

The Board of Regents will meet again Tuesday to consider a start date for these refunds, according to Gabel's email. 

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