(last updated on September 2, 2020)

For the most up-to-date information on operational changes to the entire university, please visit JMU's Stop the Spread website.


On September 1st, President Alger announced a temporary transition to online learning that will occur no later than Monday, September 7th. During this period of remote learning, JMU leadership will be in close contact with public health officials and will update the JMU community by September 25th regarding a potential return to in-person instruction on October 5th. The Office of Research and Scholarship (R&S) is working closely with JMU’s colleges to administer Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) for continuing field-based and on-campus research activities. Please direct any questions about your research, scholarship, and creative activities to your college dean. Student researchers should contact and discuss the impact of these developments with their research advisors. R&S will work with JMU’s Institutional Review Board for all research involving human subjects.

During this period of remote work, we encourage continued scholarly activity, as faculty are able and in close consult with academic unit heads. Student researchers should contact and discuss the impact of these developments with their research advisors. Expectations and adaptations for course required research and laboratories during the remote learning period will be communicated to students by the college deans, academic unit heads, and course faculty.

The ORS offices will remain accessible electronically to encourage and support your scholarly activities. Should any questions, concerns, or challenges related to your research arise, please contact the office by e-mail at research@jmu.edu.

Please note this additional announcement from University Leadership:

James Madison University officials have adjusted operations at home and abroad in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Our primary goal is to protect the health and safety of our faculty and staff, students and the greater Harrisonburg community. We have moved classes online through the summer semester, encouraged telecommuting for employees when possible, moved Summer Springboard Orientation online, and rescheduled commencement to August 7-8 (if safe to gather at that time).

Based on what we know today, JMU is planning to resume its on-campus, residential operations in the fall of 2020. Our planning efforts are underway to ensure that upon students’ return to JMU, the university is prepared to be as proactive as possible in protecting our community’s health. A task force, including leadership from the University Health Center as well as representation from across all divisions, is working to address questions about what living, learning, and dining arrangements on campus may look like should public health guidance necessitate ongoing social distancing or other measures. We are of course evaluating all available information and contingencies and will continue to communicate with colleagues across the state and nation as we prepare for the next academic year.

Thank you for your flexibility and patience during this unprecedented and evolving situation.

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