Reversing course, Stanford University on Thursday announced that it would not bring students back to its physical campus this fall and would provide virtually all of its instruction remotely.

Stanford had originally planned to bring freshman, sophomore and new transfer undergraduate students to campus in the fall, followed by juniors and seniors in the spring, and to deliver a meaningful proportion of its instruction in person and in a hybrid format. Now only a limited number of students with “special circumstances” will be on campus.

The university’s announcement, which cited worsening public health conditions in northern California involving COVID-19, came two days after its athletics conference, the Pac-12, postponed sports competition this fall. The Pac-12 and the Big Ten Conference stand alone so far among the Power Five conferences to punt on the fall.

Stanford joins numerous other major universities in going fully online, but it is the first institution that plays in a Power Five conference to do so.

Inside Higher Ed