By Madison Pena
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy announced on Wednesday, Aug. 12, that New Jersey colleges and universities can reopen for in-person instruction in the fall despite the state remaining in Stage 2 of the reopening plan. The College, however, will continue with its revised plan to remain online-only for the fall, according to President Kathryn Foster in a statement during a virtual Town Hall meeting held on Aug. 5.
“I want the students and families to know we are not going to pivot again this fall,” Foster said. “We will not be making another pivot. We think stability through the fall semester is very important right now and there’s been disruption enough, so that will stay.”
Foster announced on Aug. 3 the revised plans for the upcoming fall semester, which include remote-only instruction and a reduced capacity of on-campus living to accommodate only those who are housing insecure or have other extenuating circumstances.
The College is not the only New Jersey institution of higher education to backtrack its plans for in-person instruction in the fall. Princeton University, which initially planned to invite about half of the undergraduate student body back to campus for the fall, announced on Aug. 7 that all courses will now be online-only. Rutgers University has planned since July 6 to have most courses online-only, with a limited number of in-person classes available.
Other universities in New Jersey, like Montclair State, continue to move forward with plans to offer in-person instruction for the fall while also offering a remote-only option as well.
“As colleges and universities restart operations this fall, students will have a wider array of instructional options including in-person, remote, and hybrid learning,” said Interim Secretary of Higher Education Diana Gonzalez, according to the press release announcing Gov. Murphy’s decision. “Regardless of the mode of instruction, our priority is to offer students the best college experience while prioritizing health and safety for all.”