Coronavirus affecting higher education institutions in North Dakota, Minnesota


COVID-19 (Coronavirus) has affected several local higher education institutions across North Dakota and Minnesota.

North Dakota

In a news release Thursday, the North Dakota University System’s State Board of Higher Education Chairman Nick Hacker said, “It is important for our presidents to have the flexibility to find their best way forward while keeping the health and well-being of their students, staff and faculty as a priority.”

In addition, Mark Hagerott, NDUS Chancellor, said, “Some campuses have already used their flexibility to transition certain courses to be online-only, although we respect that this may not be the preferred option for smaller campuses, with small courses requiring a more hands-on approach to learning.”

Here’s a look at how our local colleges and universities are dealing with the Coronavirus:

  • Lake Region State College: Classes at Lake Region State College (LRSC) in Devils Lake will resume after spring break (March 23rd) as currently scheduled and in their original format; Classes at their Grand Forks Air Force Base location will resume with the start of Term IV after spring break (March 23rd); UND Collaborative Enrollees will be accommodated by faculty and provided a way to participate remotely until UND resumes face to face delivery; The Minot class of the Peace Officer Training Program will continue as scheduled; The Devils Lake, Grand Forks, and Mayville students in the Dakota Nursing Program will participate as required by the LRSC Nursing Director; As some Dakota Nursing Program campuses are suspending face to face classes, methods of instruction, testing, clinicals, labs, and simulation will be coordinated through the Director of the Dakota Nursing Program; LRSC Launch! classes on the campus of UND will suspend face to face classes and utilize technology to deliver coursework until UND resumes face to face operations; The Lake Region State College campus will remain open and faculty and staff should report to campus as scheduled; No changes have been made to Dining Services or Residence Halls.  
  • Valley City State University: Following spring break, Valley City State University (VCSU) will change the way academic instruction is delivered for two weeks. From Monday, March 23, through Friday, April 3, 2020, classes will not be held on campus — VCSU will move to online delivery, and faculty will determine how to meet their students’ needs through technology. Other off-campus learning experiences — internships, practicums, clinicals and the like — are dependent on the decision-making of external providers. Students are advised to contact instructors with specific questions. Residence halls are closed for spring break (with some individual exceptions); that closure will continue until Sunday, April 5. Those students who have traveled for spring break are encouraged to not return until the residence halls reopen. Students on housing and dining contracts will receive additional communication regarding returning to the halls prior to the April 5 reopening.
  • Mayville State University: All on-campus classes will be moved online, effective March 14 through April 5, 2020. Mayville State will remain open and operational during this time; however, some offices and services may be provided remotely. On-campus classes will resume Monday, April 6, 2020, pending further assessment.
  • North Dakota State University: From March 23rd through April 3rd all coursework at NDSU will be delivered remotely. Students leaving for spring break should plan not to return to campus for an additional two weeks.
  • North Dakota State College of Science: The North Dakota State College of Science has announced that it will facilitate academic classes through distance delivery methods from March 23 through April 3. These are the two weeks following the College’s scheduled spring break of March 16-20. All classes scheduled to be held face-to-face at the Wahpeton campus and the NDSCS-Fargo location will be held through distance teaching and learning during this time.
  • University of North Dakota: UND will shift classes to remote instruction for two weeks following spring break.


Minnesota State Colleges and University Chancellor Devinder Malhotra says, in a letter to students in the system on Thursday, that the 32 Minnesota State colleges and universities that are currently on Spring Break will suspend classes March 16-22, with classes resuming March 23. The five Minnesota State colleges that have Spring Break scheduled the week of March 16-20 will suspend classes March 23-29, with classes resuming March 30. While there will be no classes during each campuses’ extra week, administrators, faculty, and staff will spend that week exploring alternative modes of delivery and adjust campus learning spaces to ensure the safety of our communities. All campuses, including residence halls, dining facilities, and student support services will remain open and appropriately staffed, including student workers.