Boston University is planning for the possibility that the start of the fall term might need to be delayed until January 2021, “in which case summer 2021 academics would replace those now planned for fall 2020.” BU acknowledged the possibility in announcing the development of a universitywide COVID-19 Recovery Plan and the formation of five working groups focused on questions of remote and online working, graduate and professional programs, undergraduate programs, research, and student residential life.
In an article on its website, BU said the goal of the recovery plan is to define "what a residential research university will look like in the early days of the post-pandemic world....Ultimately, the plan seeks answers to such questions as what classes might look like if gatherings are restricted to a limited number of people and how Dining Services could operate without risk of transmitting the coronavirus."
“The recovery plan is an organizational approach to achieving our goals,” said Jean Morrison, BU’s provost and chief academic officer. “It allows us to task certain individuals with developing specific recommendations. It is designed to expedite decision-making and allow us to put a plan for the fall in place fairly quickly, so we have time to implement that plan in a thoughtful manner. By launching this effort now, we get out ahead of some of the issues for what is the best-case scenario, meaning we are able to come back to in-person classes and activities in the fall."
In its announcement, BU also said its recovery plan "accepts the possibility that international students are likely to face unique burdens, such as travel restrictions and interruptions in the processing of visas, and it suggests that some popular master’s programs may have to be offered remotely."