U of M president calls for in-person classes to resume in fall

A brown-haired woman speaks at a podium.
University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel delivers her inaugural address in 2019 at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis.
Evan Frost | MPR News 2019

University of Minnesota President Joan Gabel will recommend regents reopen the university to in-person instruction and reopen residence halls, dining facilities and other campus services for the fall semester, within public health guidelines.

The U, along with other state colleges and universities, suspended in-person classes in mid-March as Minnesota began shutting down public spaces amid fears of spreading COVID-19.

Regents are set to meet Thursday and Friday next week, where Gabel will make her recommendations, the U said Friday.

The plan includes a commitment to enhanced cleaning and sanitizing of U facilities as well “as a system of testing, isolation, contact tracing and quarantine that will be implemented on each campus.”

The U said each of its campuses around the state “will be able to adapt the plan for individual students, faculty and staff to accommodate local and personal health concerns or other challenges.”

Each campus would adjust its academic calendar to allow for in-person instruction to finish by Thanksgiving “or earlier if public health guidance indicates.”

Officials acknowledged that “public health conditions will likely evolve in the coming months and during the fall semester” but that adjustments can be made to the plan.

Your support matters.

You make MPR News possible. Individual donations are behind the clarity in coverage from our reporters across the state, stories that connect us, and conversations that provide perspectives. Help ensure MPR remains a resource that brings Minnesotans together.