Boise State, U of I announce cancellations and closures

Spring commencement ceremonies are off at the University of Idaho.

Boise State University hasn’t made a similar move — at least not yet. But Boise State has canceled or postponed events through early May, while urging students to move out of dorms.

Both universities announced the cancellations Thursday, in response to the coronavirus pandemic.

“The pace at which this situation has evolved has required us to be nimble,” Boise State President Marlene Tromp said in a news release. “As a public institution that serves the state of Idaho, our efforts are designed to care for the health and wellbeing of our campus and the larger community.”

“We know this is a huge disruption to the community,” U of I President C. Scott Green said in a news release. “Slowing the spread of this virus is vitally important and we need to do our collective part.”

Here’s what’s changing on the Boise State and U of I campuses:

Boise State University

Last week, Boise State announced it would shift classes online and encouraged students to stay home for the rest of the semester. Only a small fraction of students said they planned to stay on campus.

“The increased threat of transmission and the changing guidelines from federal and state public health experts, however, have made it impossible for the university to be able to safely serve students in dormitory-style housing — especially if students returning from spring break will need to self-isolate to prevent any chance of spreading the virus from other states,” Boise State said in its news release.

Boise State said it will make accommodations for students who cannot move.

Boise State announced several other changes Thursday:

  • All campus events will be postponed, canceled or moved online. Bronco Day, a student recruiting event, will be held online. Boise State has made no decision about commencement events, scheduled for May 9.
  • All campus facilities will be closed to the public, including the Student Union Building and the Albertsons Library, and requiring ID cards for access across campus.
  • On-campus operations will be scaled back, but the university will try to maintain “vital research operations.”
  • A temporary hiring freeze will go into effect.

University of Idaho

The U of I was already planning to move classes online Monday. The university now says all classes will take place remotely for the rest of the spring semester.

Other announcements from Thursday:

  • Commencement programs in Moscow, Boise, Coeur d’Alene and Idaho Falls are canceled.
  • Spring Parent and Family Weekend is canceled.
  • The Moscow campus in Moscow and statewide locations will remain open “with some modifications.” Campus residence halls will remain open for students who need them, and meal services will continue. The campus Student Recreation Center is closed.

 

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at [email protected]

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