Northeastern suspends non-essential travel, moves to virtual meetings

Photo by Adam Glanzman/Northeastern University

In keeping with guidance from public health officials tracking the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeastern University will move to virtual meetings and gatherings, and suspend all university-sponsored travel—both international and within the United States—that is deemed non-essential. 

Some travel that is considered necessary may be approved by one of Northeastern’s six senior vice presidents, with consultation from the university’s global safety and security assessment committee.

“We continue to be guided by the recommendations of public health authorities,” said Michael Armini, senior vice president for external affairs and co-chair of Northeastern’s COVID-19 task force. “We are balancing the need to safeguard our community, while continuing to fulfill our teaching and research mission.”

Faculty and staff with travel-related questions are advised to consult their supervisor, while students are asked to email WeCare.

Northeastern will reprogram Summer I Dialogue of Civilizations trips. In some cases, the locations will be changed, while in other cases they’ll be offered in virtual formats. Some programs may be canceled altogether, in which case the students will be refunded all associated fees. The university’s Global Experience office will reach out to students to discuss options available to them. The university will announce its decision about Summer II Dialogue experiences in the coming weeks.

Following guidance from health officials to limit large gatherings during the spread of the highly contagious disease, only gatherings that are deemed essential by the senior vice chancellor for student affairs will be permitted to occur on Northeastern’s campuses as scheduled. Approved events will be limited to 50 percent of available seating capacity, while all other events will either be moved to virtual format or rescheduled.

Armini said the university has developed an extensive set of contingency plans to prepare for remote instruction.

“As conditions change, we’re prepared to move quickly, including a move to online instruction if needed,” he said. “The university has been preparing for that contingency for several weeks and we’re ready to go.”

University updates to faculty, staff, and students will be issued via email and posted on the dedicated COVID-19 website.

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