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Spring Academic Calendar


December 8, 2020


Dear University community,
 
I write today to share plans for the spring semester. COVID-19 continues to impact every aspect of our personal, professional, and academic lives. Every day brings new information about the coronavirus: how it spreads, forthcoming vaccines, positivity rates, its impact on our mental health, and quarantine/isolation guidelines. And as of this writing, the number of cases within our state and our country continues to rise sharply as news reports offer hope that a vaccine is on the horizon.
 
It is within this context that we must make decisions about the spring academic calendar. Our goal is to provide the best possible academic and co-curricular experience for every member of our campus community, prioritizing health and safety. And as we have from the onset of this pandemic, our plans and decisions will be based on information and guidance from national, state, county and campus health officials. If there is a lesson that we have learned throughout this pandemic, it is this: We must remain nimble and flexible and expect change. If new information comes to light, we will not hesitate to adapt our plans accordingly.
 
Spring Academic Calendar
The spring semester will look and feel much like the fall semester, with a hybrid teaching and learning environment. We expect about 25 percent of courses to be conducted in person and the remaining 75 percent online. We will begin our spring semester as planned on January 25, 2021. As we did in the fall, the first two weeks of undergraduate instruction, with few exceptions, will be conducted entirely online. This allows us to conduct testing and initially limit movement amidst our de-densified campus. 
 
Spring Break -- March 14-21, 2021 -- will also proceed as planned. This was a most difficult decision. Giving students the opportunity to leave campus poses challenges in mitigating the spread of the virus. We also very acutely recognize the stress and strain 12 months of the pandemic will put upon our community. Maintaining our mental health is equally important as our physical health, and we are putting safety measures in place to allow for a mid-semester recess.  
 
The two weeks of instruction immediately following Spring Break -- March 22-April 2, 2021 -- will also be conducted online. This will allow the University to conduct large-scale campus-wide testing prior to the resumption of in-person classes.
 
The spring semester will end as scheduled on May 11, 2021. 
 
All of these plans should be considered provisional and will be subject to change depending on many factors, including national and state protocols, positivity rates on and around our campus, and our continued adherence to our 4 Maryland protocols.
 
Campus-wide COVID-19 Testing
As we did prior to the fall semester, all students, faculty and staff will be required to take a COVID-19 test -- and submit a negative result -- prior to returning to campus. Expectations for January testing for faculty and staff were communicated yesterday by Dr. Bodison. Further, students will be asked to sequester for the first two weeks of the semester and take another COVID-19 test before in-person instruction commences. These measures were implemented in the beginning of the fall semester and helped us begin the academic year with as few positive cases as possible.
 
The University Health Center will conduct a large-scale campus-wide testing event during the first week of the semester and thereafter increase the frequency of campus-wide testing throughout the spring semester. All students living on or near campus, and all faculty and staff coming to campus, will be required to take a COVID-19 test every two weeks. As a reminder, anyone who is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or has knowingly been exposed to a positive case of COVID-19 can be tested at the University Health Center at any time. 
 
A 9-day large-scale campus-wide testing event is scheduled for the two weeks immediately following Spring Break, beginning March 22, 2021. All students, faculty and staff coming to campus will be required to participate in this testing event.
 
It is also important to note that we will continue to provide on-campus quarantine and isolation space for students who test positive and/or were a close contact. We will continue to adhere to CDC guidelines for protocols related to these quarantine periods. The University Health Center will distribute additional information, including dates of testing and registration information, in the new year. 
 
Planning for a COVID-19 Vaccine
The University has formed a vaccine task force, led by the University Health Center’s Dr. Sacared Bodison and Dr. Spyridon Marinopoulos and composed of university administrators, students and county health officials, to prepare campus operations for the arrival, storage and distribution of a COVID-19 vaccine when it becomes available. It is important to note that this task force will not make decisions on who or when members of our community receive a vaccine; those decisions will be made by national and state health officials. The purpose of the task force is to operationalize those decisions on our campus.
 
Resident Life and Student Services
On-campus residence halls will once again operate at reduced density, and students will only be permitted to reside in single rooms. Returning students living in on-campus housing may move in by appointment between January 23 and February 8, 2021 (students moving in for the first time may arrive by appointment on January 21-22, 2021).
The University Health Center, Dining Services, Counseling Center, RecWell facilities including Eppley Recreation Center, Stamp Student Union and other campus offices will have a physical campus presence throughout the semester, commensurate with local health guidelines.
 
4 Maryland
The spring semester presents an opportunity to build on the tremendous resolve we all demonstrated throughout this semester to continue the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Wear your mask. Practice physical distancing. Wash your hands frequently. And stay home if you feel sick. These actions not only help keep you healthy, they help keep us all healthy. Let’s keep up our vigilant work -- for each other, 4 Maryland.
 
Sincerely,
 
Darryll J. Pines
Darryll J. Pines
President, University of Maryland
He/Him/His
 
Twitter: @President_Pines
Instagram: @President_Pines
 
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About

The University of Maryland, College Park is the state's flagship university and one of the nation's preeminent public research universities. A global leader in research, entrepreneurship and innovation, the university is home to more than 40,700 students, 14,000 faculty and staff, and nearly 400,000 alumni all dedicated to the pursuit of Fearless Ideas. Located just outside Washington, D.C., we discover and share new knowledge every day through our renowned research enterprise and programs in academics, the arts and athletics. And we are committed to social entrepreneurship as the nation’s first “Do Good” campus.

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Academics

Spanning 12 schools and colleges, Maryland offers more than 300 degree-granting programs, many of them ranked among the best in the country. Our faculty includes two Nobel laureates, three Pulitzer Prize winners, 58 members of the national academies and scores of Fulbright scholars. And our students, who include the highest achievers in the state and nation, enjoy experiences unique to our location just outside the nation’s capital, including internships, research, and leadership and service opportunities.

Research and Innovation

The University of Maryland is one of the world’s premier research institutions. With our strategic location and scores of partnerships with government and businesses, UMD conducts groundbreaking research on some of the biggest challenges facing our global community, including cybersecurity and terrorism, bioengineering, public health equity, food safety and climate change. We strive to discover new knowledge and put it to work through innovation and entrepreneurship, advancing economic development and transforming lives. 


The newly launched Innovation Gateway will guide you to the resources, programs, partners, and spaces you need to activate and scale your fearless ideas into innovations that launch new ventures, catalyze growth, and advance economic development.

Arts

At the University of Maryland, the arts, the humanities and the sciences intersect to address important societal issues and shed new light on the human experience. Our vibrant campus arts community collaborates with local and national cultural organizations such as the Phillips Collection, Kennedy Center and Folger Shakespeare Library. Student and faculty artists, designers, historians, writers and performers are exploring new media, presenting new perspectives, investigating new techniques and engaging new audiences.

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Athletics

Home of the Terrapins, the University of Maryland has one of the nation’s most recognizable and successful athletics programs. More than 550 student-athletes compete each year in 20 intercollegiate sports—12 for women and eight for men. Since 2005 alone, Maryland has won 19 national championships, including NCAA titles in women’s basketball, men’s soccer, men's lacrosse, women’s lacrosse, and field hockey. Since joining the Big Ten Conference in 2014, UMD has won a combined 32 regular season and tournament championships. Fear the Turtle!

Our Commitment to Student-Athletes

At the University of Maryland, our commitment to the safety and well-being of our students is paramount and resolute. For our student-athletes, that means both on and off the field.
The University of Maryland is committed to accountability, transparency, and fairness and is working to ensure our program upholds the values of our University.
Learn more about our commitment.

Student Life

The Terp experience extends beyond classrooms, labs and studios. It encompasses residence halls and dining halls, clubs and sports, fraternities and sororities, campus events and performances, and countless off-campus destinations. Maryland touts 800-plus student organizations, dozens of prestigious living and learning communities, and countless other ways to get involved. Students here can create a unique identity and grow as individuals, even as they’re part of a close-knit and diverse community. 

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News

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Coronavirus Updates:
We have worked diligently to develop and enhance plans for reopening our campus while prioritizing the health and safety of our community members. Hundreds of faculty, staff and students have collaborated in work-groups and teams to create and maintain a physically distant, yet academically and socially rich environment for the fall semester. Our plans continue to be coordinated with state and county health officials, with additional guidance provided by the University System of Maryland. Latest 4 Maryland Updates

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