Provost: All Spring Term Classes to Be Conducted Remotely

News subtitle

The provost’s message included other changes in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

An aerial view of the Dartmouth campus
Snow covers campus at the beginning of winter term. (Photo by Eli Burakian ’00)

All undergraduate and graduate spring term classes will be conducted remotely for the entire 10-week term, Dartmouth announced today in an email from Provost Joseph Helble that included a number of other changes on campus.

This past Friday, Helble and President Philip J. Hanlon ’77 announced that classes would be moved online for the first half of the term, until May 1. But fast-moving developments related to the COVID-19 pandemic led to the decision, the provost wrote.

“This was a difficult decision that we know will be frustrating and upsetting for many of our students,” the email said. “Across the country, our peer institutions have joined us in moving to protect our communities from the COVID-19 pandemic.

”We understand the importance of the on-campus experience to our students, faculty, and staff, and had hoped to preserve some of the personal interaction that defines a term at Dartmouth. However, the rapid spread of COVID-19 and the local and national events that have occurred over the past two days have led us to conclude that we must take additional measures to protect and support our campus and the local community.“

Also announced today:

  • All research will be done remotely beginning March 23, with access to laboratories limited to those with special exceptions.
  • Geisel School of Medicine has suspended clinical rotations, clerkships, and electives, following recommendations from the Association of American Medical Colleges.
  • All events on campus for 10 or more people are canceled, postponed, or will be conducted virtually. A decision on commencement and reunions, which are held in mid-June, will be announced before April 10. Commencement, held outdoors on the Green, is typically attended by more than 10,000 people.
  • Alumni Gymnasium—including Zimmerman Fitness Center, West Gym, and Karl Michael Pool—Berry Sports Center, and Boss Tennis Center will close tomorrow. FLIP classes—fitness and recreational classes offered by the Athletic Department—are canceled beginning today.
  • The Dartmouth Library system will close tomorrow, but library staff will continue to support faculty and students remotely throughout spring term.
  • The Collis Center for Student Involvement and Robinson Hall—which house student activities and clubs, a food court, and social spaces—have been closed.
  • Helble and President Hanlon will hold a live virtual town hall meeting tomorrow at 3 p.m. to talk about Dartmouth’s response to the coronavirus and take questions from the audience. Questions may be submitted in advance at The town hall can be viewed on YouTube.

Helble encouraged undergraduates still on campus or living in off-campus housing to return home, if possible. He said Dartmouth would remain open, with faculty and staff—including union employees—paid as usual, and graduate students continuing to receive stipends.

The provost thanked community members for working together for the well-being of all during the pandemic.

”Please continue to take care of one another and reach out to those who are feeling vulnerable. It is critical that we maintain an environment that is built on respect and free from discrimination and harassment and that we continue to treat one another, and all members of our community, with sensitivity and understanding,“ he wrote.

For the latest information on Dartmouth’s response to the pandemic, visit the COVID-19 website.

Susan J. Boutwell can be reached at

Susan J. Boutwell