Liberty University in Virginia welcomes back students

University President Jerry Falwell Jr. joins us to explain his decision to have students come back to campus during the coronavirus outbreak.
6:53 | 03/25/20

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Transcript for Liberty University in Virginia welcomes back students
Many colleges and universities closed for the remainder of the semester because of the corona virus liberty university in Lynchburg Virginia is welcoming students back who would like to return to campus while classes. I still conducted online Liberty University president Jerry Falwell junior joins us now. For more on his school's response to the pandemic Gerri thanks so much for being here. New beer. Now this week an estate and you said that you wanted to quote get them back as soon as we can't referring to students who want to come back to live on campus and you said that that could be anywhere from a few hundred to 5000 students living in dorms so why are ignoring the public health guidelines by welcoming students faculty and staff back to campus. In the middle of a pandemic. Well we have about 151500. Residents students about a 100000 online students around the world round the country. And we. Had about one to 2000 come back to live in the dome arms. But we converted Oliver academics to online delivery. We have experience restarted restarted perfecting their program in 1985. So we're uniquely positioned to serve. Dexter the community and that way that. Mark where most universities or not there's sort of stumbling around trying to create some sort of online program from scratch. But we have something come Microsoft teams TC EA MS a software. Students can actually. There's certain looking at their computers talks all the other students in the class term teachers are teaching from Hong. And the department the dorms the few that did come back. Just a fraction of how many reason they have here it's more like an apartment complex now with other restaurants on campus do and take out long ways so we. We emphasize safety first we. Our claims services. Every every hour they're test often we are and Kris please. Please sought protection on campus rift. We've we've taken other measures that make it. 100% say first students but we have so we're about 750 international students. Who have no alternative that didn't go back to their countries. And we have a lot of students are really had no nowhere else to go. But their dorm rooms and so we didn't wanna tell them Aaronson the problem off on somebody else. Of course the problem off on somebody else are we. Said yes you can come back but here's the rules social distancing every chair has us every other chair as a sign that says. Don't sit next to the person this that that might be next it sets to leave a space constraints we have every third computer. Working in the computer labs arrest don't work. So they can't. Be close to its other and so it was taken all the other precautionary measures and we. All the students love it the the Armonk program because of our decades of experience is. Is performing beautifully and my staff is just to be congratulated. They spent at least 3200 man hours and last week. Converting over. And we think this is a wave of the future we think in the follow of colonel virus is still an issue a lot of universities are gonna have to follow our lead and chai believes have refused to many haven't. Term very song line and we we think that the future. Is on line and we think it's they're going to be pandemic like this in the future. Limited to just do his second sir I just one trying to make a distinction be in your messaging here are you saying. You are welcome to come back if need be if necessity warrants that or are you saying. Paying were back open for business welcome back. Only about 1000. To 2000 of the 151500. Came back and some other hazards are gone back come to study. On lines so when are where the number will shake out but it was just an accommodation for students. And we we really believe. Using it to if you have nowhere else to go thing comeback is that right 'cause I think that's a little bit different from. They were opened for business welcome back to class teachers are here business as usual. Now as now businesses is are we have. We have teachers working from home during the climb the lectures from Hong on this special software. And we have. We have only essential staff on campus that are. Cleaning staff period compares. And security. And we. And we're trying to put as many people. And the back offices and home to work as wells. It's. It's it's a different world and it's by these things can happen to future and I really thank them up online education is a way to keep education say if when something like this happen. Some dish trying to understand is on the web site it says a faculty and staff should report to work as normal. Although classes are being conducted online so one professor wrote an op Ed in the Washington Post yesterday saying that. It's time for the Liberty University board to stop you and shut the camp is down before it's too late what's your response to that. That professor had no facts she had no idea all the changes remand. And she read deputies before we are really is the new policies. And how the new procedures and served answers is a little bears now but we. We we are letting all the fact of their teaching online from their hounds. It's their choice if they say they feel like there are risks they don't have to come into the office and council was students and so we're taking their word for it. And so resistant hernia side editorial but we we're operating like every other dollars and state of Virginia abide by all the governor's orders to the letter of the law. And every college in Virginia has some students on campus international students and others who had no choice. We're not doing anything different than any of those colleges. And we are like a sailor were like an apartment complex. An online university. The university is not the apartment complex anymore it's its. Separate. It's just running at times I hate to interrupt GeMS are than just wanna get last question into you last week on Todd starring his radio show you said that the media is standing up the corona virus to destroy the American economy. And hurt president trump. Do you still filled at the virus is hurting the economy more than it is people. You know I think it's a very serious situation and I think we ought to say. I think the president's doing a wonderful job of managing it like a CEO's like you would expect to see are to do it. And I think it's something we odds takes seriously. But it's not being heights like the Swine Flu H1N1 was when President Obama was president and many more died. It's it's an interest in parallels there but that's what I was referring to him. Okay Jerry Falwell junior thank you so much for timing coming on we appreciate.

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

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