Update about fall instruction
Dean Kevin R. Johnson has released updated information about the upcoming fall semester that will begin on Monday, Aug. 24. After much discussion with campus leadership, the School of Law was informed today that, consistent with protecting the health and safety of our community during the global pandemic, law classes will begin the Fall 2020 semester in a completely (100%) remote format.
Over the last few months, the faculty and administration have formulated a plan of hybrid instruction, with both remote and in-person options. Although we must begin instruction completely remote, the hope is that circumstances allow for changes later in the semester or year.
"We all had hoped for some in-person instruction this fall. Our incoming J.D. and LL.M. students, as well as our returning students, no doubt looked forward to meeting new classmates and seeing old friends," Johnson said. "But we will continue to keep our community connected with our top-notch faculty and help develop meaningful relationships with students and staff."
Over the summer, the faculty have been honing their remote teaching techniques through weekly training sessions. In addition, the Law Students Association and COVID-19 Student Advisory Committee have spent the summer planning for student life in the virtual world. That hard work will ensure that our student organizations will continue to offer innovative and engaging programming.
We are especially mindful of the needs of our LL.M. students, many of whom have come to King Hall from around the world. Associate Dean for International Programs Beth Greenwood will follow up with more information for our international students.
"Although School of Law classes will be offered remotely this fall, expect King Hall to exude its usual dynamism, with virtual events, workshops, presentations, and student organization gatherings. Our Racial Justice Speaker Series will also debut this semester," Johnson said. "We should all look forward to the return of the wonderful King Hall spirit to the building."
The School of Law is currently finalizing a plan that will allow for limited access to the building for studying and use of selected facilities, such as the computer lab and printers. The Mabie Law Library will be open for limited hours and provide limited in-person support at the circulation desk. Next week, we will provide information about how to utilize and access King Hall. If you come to the building, expect to see a limited number of staff in King Hall, including from Information Technology, faculty support, facility operations, and custodial services.
Finally Johnson thanked the community for its patience and consideration.
"None of this has been easy for our students, staff, and faculty," he said. "I have no doubt that our strong community will help us navigate these challenging times."