Northern Vermont University releases plans for abbreviated fall semester

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Northern Vermont University says it will launch its fall semester on August 18, a week earlier than expected. It's part of a plan to minimize student time on campus -- and potential COVID-19 exposure -- while still allowing the financially strapped school to operate.

The university says it plans to move into an "accelerated push" throughout the semester so students can return home by Thanksgiving. From there, students will take exams remotely.

Fall orientation, move-in and convocation will be staggered between Aug. 14-17. The semester will begin on Aug. 18, and the online semester will begin on Aug. 31. Classes will be held on Labor Day and there will be no October break.

Students will have to move out of the residence halls by Nov. 20 and won't be allowed to come back until Jan. 19 for the start of the spring semester.

One of two reports to the Legislature this week on the economic health of the VSC system concluded that with enrollment declines and COVID-19 restrictions, the system is running upward of a $36 million deficit. Lawmakers requested the reports after former chancellor Jeb Spaulding this spring proposed a controversial plan to close three campuses because of financial troubles.