George Washington University will conduct most classes virtually next semester, officials announced Friday.

Many universities have been hoping to make a quick return to normal since the novel coronavirus upended classes this past spring. But as the pandemic continues to rage, GWU officials said classes will remain online through the end of the school year.

“Managing this pandemic has called on us all to do our part to keep the community healthy and safe, and to support one another through these difficult decisions,” officials said in an email to the university community.

University leaders considered the spread of the virus, the school’s ability to house students safely and feedback from the community as they weighed the possibility of reopening the campus, according to the announcement.

Based on current conditions, the school said it is also unlikely commencement will be held in person in May.

GWU President Thomas J. ­LeBlanc told the Faculty Senate on Friday the spring semester “will look a lot like it looks right now,” according to the GW Hatchet, the student newspaper. Most classes are being taught remotely; exceptions have been made for a handful of courses that require research or in-person instruction.

The campus has reported 56 positive virus cases since August, the school’s testing dashboard shows. About 500 students are living on campus instead of the usual population of between 6,500 and 6,800 students, Maralee Csellar, a campus spokeswoman, said. Next semester, the university may expand housing, but it will depend on additional health and safety assessments, Csellar said.

As has been the case at most universities, GWU’s transition to remote learning altered its finances. The school reported a $180 million budget shortfall this semester. In response, it unveiled aggressive cuts, including plans to lay off staff, cut salaries and freeze retirement contributions.

Officials do not expect new cuts because of Friday’s announcement. And tuition discounts offered to most undergraduate students this fall will remain, the school said.

But the measures previously announced — which officials said are being taken to protect the financial health of the school — have inflamed tensions between faculty, staff and the administration that had been growing before the public health crisis. Among the sticky issues: LeBlanc’s plans to shrink the student population, accusations of racism and the hire of a marketing executive with ties to a sexual assault scandal involving young female athletes.

Hundreds of students and employees are urging the president to resign. More than a thousand students, staff, faculty and alumni have pledged to stop donating until LeBlanc is replaced, said Gaurav Gawankar, chief of staff to the student government president.

LeBlanc at a recent Board of Trustees meeting acknowledged the tension and said he would continue engaging the community, the student newspaper reported.

An initial version of this story said the university’s estimated budget shortfall for the year was $220 million. It is now $180 million. The story also said there have been 29 coronavirus cases on campus in recent months. There have been 56 since August.