Rice University will move to online instruction for first two weeks of semester due to rise in COVID-19 cases

Rice University cancels classes this week out of an abundance of caution

HOUSTON – Rice University announced that it will move to virtual learning for the first two weeks of the semester due to the rise in COVID-19 and the delta variant.

Instruction will begin online from Aug. 23 to Sept. 3 to help provide additional time for the university to test and assess the prevalence of COVID-19 in the community and to implement any risk mitigation actions.

After two weeks of virtual learning, the university said it will have reassessed its instruction and other mitigation policies. The school said it intends to return in full in-person instruction this semester.

Professors will be able to choose to teach in either synchronous or asynchronous mode, according to a release. They may come to campus and utilize their office or classroom if they wish to better facilitate remote instruction. Instructors will also be able to host in-person office hours, keeping in mind the requirement of masking indoors, according to the release.

Instructors will need to update their syllabi to reflect how their courses will begin in the fall.

The university stated that courses, such as graduate research -- that can be conducted with masking and appropriate physical distancing -- will remain in person.

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