California State University chancellor discusses decision to move fall classes online

Dr. Timothy P. White explains the decision to cancel in-person classes this fall and move almost exclusively to online learning.
3:53 | 05/14/20

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Transcript for California State University chancellor discusses decision to move fall classes online
For more we are joined by the chancellor of the country's largest four-year public university system California state university. It served nearly 500,000 undergraduates and Dr. White announced they will cancel classes this fall and move almost exclusively to online learning and joins us from Irvine, California. Thank you for joining us. You made a big decision when you announced that you were not going to open for the fall. It's going to be telelearning. How do you tell your nearly half a million students they can't come back to school this fall? Well, good morning, Michael. Yes, you know, we made our decision based on the health and safety and welfare of not only our students but faculty and staff and the communities in which our 23 campuses are located here in California. It is across a 800-smile swath of this great state and our decisions are in the best interest of our students because we wanted them to make progress to a degree in this covid-19 era which sadly will persist throughout the next academic year preparing essentially for the worst and hoping for the best and we'll probably end up somewhere between those two place. As we both know, there are some schools that are opening and do you feel like they are putting their students at risk? Well, I think, you know, the circumstances of the disease progression varies across not only the country but varies across the various regions of California. Obviously the L.A. Basin or San Diego or the San Francisco bay area is different than up in the north coast where humboldt state university is in arcata and that very ability exists across the country as well so imagine in final analysis in the fall that there will be variability across our 23 campuses. But we're planning because we want our students to have as many options as possible come fall, we thought it most prudent, wisest to plan for 1 ee% and then be able to pull back from that if the circumstances on a given campus prevail. And you have mentioned possible exceptions for nursing students and science labs. Will there be any other exceptions and how do you make sure those students are safe? Take a laboratory that might normally have 20 students in it. It may have 5 students distanced wearing personal protective gear and have sanitation in between everybody using instrumentation in the laboratory. Things of that nature so the cost of in-person delivery is going to go way up because of the considerations of health and safety but certain experiences, hands-on experience and architecture, aeronautical engineering, life in physical laboratory, science laboratories where we'll have to do that but we'll do it as I said by a much lesser differencety of students and with all the appropriate protective gear and not necessarily sanitation in between uses of the equipment and space. And there are some students who said taking online classes is not the college experience they want. As they're going to sit out this fall semester, do you have a message for them? I do. I say this is a time too lean in. Do not sit out. Nobody can take away the value of a college education. It will be different, but it'll be very good and our faculty are going to be training over the summer to create a very robust and enriched learning environment in ways people haven't seen before. Along with the necessary academic support and student support. So we're not closed. Our classes are not canceled. It's really about a change of venue, if you will, from the physical space to the virtual space as we work our way through the covid virus which we anticipate having other big waves into the fall or even spring term of 2021. We appreciate your time. Thank you for joining us. Nice to be with you. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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