If you’re an incoming or second-year MBA at UC-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business or UCLA’s Anderson School of Management, you should expect to come to campus when the new academic year begins in August and September. But exactly what you’ll find when you step on the grounds in Berkeley and Los Angeles has yet to be decided.
Nonetheless, University of California President Janet Napolitano said yesterday (May 20) that she anticipates that most, if not all, campuses will operate on a hybrid learning basis in the fall, with a mix of in-person classes and remote instruction. That would also be true for the business schools at UC-Irvine, UC-Davis, and UC-San Diego. Haas was expected to begin its MBA orientation for new students on Aug. 17, while first-years were expected to show up at Anderson on Sept. 24th for the first day of classes.
“Every campus will be open and offering instruction,” Napolitano said. “The question will be how much of that instruction is in-person versus how much is done remotely.”
EXPECT SCREENING, TESTING, CONTACT TRACING, FACE COVERINGS & SOCIAL DISTANCING
She added that the restart of on-campus classes and co-curricular activities must follow state and local public health department orders, as well as expert advice, including a series of guidelines which include the implementation of screening, testing, contact tracing and other appropriate COVID-19 practices to inform campus decisions and limit the spread of the disease. Additionally, campuses must adopt rules to encourage physical distancing and universal face coverings.
At UC-Berkeley, which has extended the cancellation or postponement of all campus-sponsored events through June and July including commencement, a total of 11 people are known to have tested positive for COVID-19, including two graduate students and seven undergrads who had returned from study abroad programs. At UCLA, 30 people in the campus community have been confirmed by medical professionals to have COVID-19 and have reported their diagnoses to the university.
The announcement by Napolitano reinforces a steady trend of other major schools, including Wharton and Columbia Business School, that have made plans to start the new academic year with a blend of face-to-face and virtual learning. CBS is examining classroom space for social distancing options as well as exploring spaces off-campus for potential face-to-face classes.
SOME SCHOOLS ARE PUSHING BACK START DATES FOR THE FALL
Earlier this week, both London Business School and Cambridge Judge Business School announced similar starts to the school year. LBS said it plans to open its campus to students on Sept. 7 with online classes for a brief period of time until moving to a hybrid model of teaching two weeks later on Sept. 21.
Some schools are pushing back the start dates of their fall terms to allow international students more time to overcome travel restrictions and gain student visas. INSEAD, in both France and Singapore, for example, has established an Oct. 5 start, more than a month later than its typical late August opening, after the French government announced it would permit on-site teaching from Sept. 1.
“We believe an October start date will provide plenty of time for arrival, quarantine, and settling in before commencing Launch Week in late September, wrote Urs Peyer, dean of degree programs, in an email. To accommodate the change, the school is reducing its core curriculum and extending the final period of the program into July so MBAs can take more electives then. INSEAD said it is waiting for word from the government in Singapore before resuming classes on its campus there.