I am no medical expert, but I do have a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration, so I am coming from a place of mastery on the subject of Higher Education when I speak on the following.
In an interview Sunday evening with Richmond.com, President Jerry Falwell Jr. stated that up to 5,000+ students and faculty will be back on campus next week, disregarding all medical and government requests/demands.
All students are welcomed to move back in the dorms in their return from spring break. While faculty “without valid health exemption” are required to hold office hours for students.
The spring break that had 5,000+ students go out into society for a week all over the country and bring back Coronavirus to Lynchburg, VA. Places like the beaches of Florida:
The direct quote from President Falwell states, “I think we have a responsibility to our students — who paid to be here, who want to be here, who love it here — to give them the ability to be with their friends, to continue their studies, enjoy the room and board they’ve already paid for and to not interrupt their college life.”
At the time of this being written, the State of Virginia has 290 cases, 45 hospitalizations, and 7 deaths from the Coronavirus. You can see the live feed update here.
The majority of Higher Education institutions across North America have shut down and moved to remote learning. Only students that have no home to return to have remained on certain campuses across the country.
President Falwell has a plan in place to quarantine any students that test positive for the Coronavirus while on campus, he is just going to stuff them in an old hotel owned by the University.
The cherry on top is this quote from President Falwell, “I think we, in a way, are protecting the students by having them on campus together,” he said. “Ninety-nine percent of them are not at the age to be at risk and they don’t have conditions that put them at risk.”
President Falwell is showing no regard for the health and safety of the student body, faculty and staff, and the local Lynchburg community. He is putting faculty and staff in danger forcing Professors and Instructors to hold office hours for students IN PERSON! The pure idiocy in thinking that 5,000+ students and faculty returning to the city of Lynchburg will not cause an outbreak for the community and threaten the lives of many is INSANE!
President Falwell should not hold a leadership position in Higher Education! He needs to immediately reconsider this decision.
Liberty University could be in jeopardy to lose their accreditation if they go through with opening of campus on Monday, March 30, 2020.
The link to the Executive Leadership is here.
I encourage you to write an email to President Jerry Falwell Jr. encouraging him to follow suit with the rest of Higher Education Institutions across the country and moving to remote online learning, firstname.lastname@example.org.