MBA program to go virtual after increase in COVID-19 cases

March 26, 2021

Dear Cornellians,

It has been one week since a concerning increase in COVID-19 infections among our student population led us to elevate the Ithaca campus alert level to Yellow. After an initial few days of lower case totals, we have once again seen a significant increase in student infections – 63 over the last three days, most of which are among our MBA graduate students. The analysis by 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.

In an effort to contain this outbreak, the Johnson School MBA program will move to an all-virtual modality for at least one week, effective immediately. In addition, all MBA students will be expected to stay in their residences (and leave only for food and testing), get tested every other day, and cooperate fully with contact tracing and isolation/quarantine directives. Moreover, we are working to facilitate surveillance testing for non-Cornellians who live in an off-campus residential complex where many of our MBA students also live.

As we noted in our message last week, we are taking all Behavioral Compact violations seriously. Students found to be in violation of the compact will face disciplinary measures which can result in sanctions up to and including dismissal from the university.

We understand, and appreciate, that our MBA students are cooperating with our public health teams as they work to stave off any further spread from this outbreak to others in our campus community.

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. We must all do our part to continue following them – for our own sakes and for the sake of our fellow Cornellians and of the greater community.


Martha E. Pollack

Michael I. Kotlikoff