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The Cornell MBA program moves online for at least a week after a recent spike in cases.

March 26, 2021

Johnson MBA Program to Move Online as COVID-19 Cases Climb

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The SC Johnson Graduate School of Management MBA program will move online for at least one week, as Cornell has reported 63 cases over the past three days — most of which were among MBA students. 

The announcement comes just one week after the University moved to a yellow alert. The University pinned much of the recent spike on Cornell MBA students who attended crowded St. Patrick’s Day parties, President Martha Pollack and Provost Michael Kotlikoff wrote in a Friday morning email.

“Our COVID response officials attribute this outbreak to at least two St. Patrick’s Day social gatherings where large numbers of MBA students did not adhere to the critical masking and social-distancing measures that are required by the Behavioral Compact,” the email read.

All MBA students are expected to stay in their homes except for food and testing, cooperate with contact tracing, get tested every other day and follow quarantine requirements, Pollack wrote. 

Pollack warned that disciplinary measures for these violations of the behavioral compact could include expulsion from the University.

In previous statements, Pollack attributed the rise in COVID-19 cases to student athletes, Greek organizations and North Campus residents. This marks the first time that graduate students have been blamed for a spike in cases.

According to Cornell’s COVID-19 Tracking Dashboard, there are 85 new positive cases between March 18 and March 24. Only 24 percent of the University’s quarantine capacity remains available.

Following the move to yellow alert, Pollack expressed concern over the increasing number of students missing required surveillance tests and Daily Check assessments. In Friday’s statement, Pollack again urged students to follow COVID guidelines.

“We all know what needs to be done; the behavioral expectations that are in place continue to be essential to protect us all, but particularly the most vulnerable in our community,” Pollack wrote. “We must all do our part to continue following them.”