Dr. Schovanec Talks Virtual Graduation, Veterinary School, & More
Wednesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, The President of Texas Tech University Dr. Lawrence Schovanec joined Dave and Matt to talk about the COVID-19 cases on campus, how they plan to handle future classes and graduation, upcoming Tech athletics, the veterinary school, and more.
Dr. Schovanec started the discussion by talking about the COVID-19 cases they've had, both with students and staff. He explained that everyday they look at their current situation as it relates to positive cases, but that despite the increase in cases in the city of Lubbock, that at Tech, they've been, "more or less holding course." Yesterday, Tech had 7 new cases, bringing the total number of active cases to 189, but with Tech's over 40,000 students, and 5,500 employees, Schovanec believes that it is still very manageable, and compared to their previous 600 cases, they have gotten things much more under control. Schovanec went on to say that students have been doing good at wearing their masks on campus, so he feels that it's, "so far so good."
Another question that was asked was about how Tech plans to handle upcoming finals and graduation. When asked about finals, Schovanec explained that they will all be handled online. Then, when it comes to graduation, Schovanec announced that they will be offering in person graduation, in addition to virtual. They plan on having 7-8 graduation ceremonies in the United Supermarkets Arena, with no speakers or faculty present, however, 4-5 family members will be allowed. Student's names will be called, then photos of them will be taken with the President, and photoshopped so it looks like they are standing together. Schovanec explained that Tech has been slow to make this announcement because they have been looking at their other options, but in the end, this was what they could do to offer a proper graduation.
Schovanec was also asked about his opinion on the value of virtual learning. The President said that his opinion of it is mixed, but that he believes that if you took a poll with students, that many would find it substandard. Schovanec explained that 15-20% of their classes were offered online before the pandemic, but it has been a much different experience compared to now. He is aware that students miss the opportunity to be there in person with their teachers and classmates, and believes that face-to-face is a better learning experience overall.
Finally, Dr. Schovanec was asked about the Veterinary school, and if there is any update on it. Schovanec said that things are, "moving forward very very well." He explained that about a month ago, he was given a letter of assurance that they can start enrolling students, and that was their last big hurdle in this. Schovanec explained that they will have about 100 students per class, and that they've hired about 25 faculty and staff members so far. Overall, he says they are making wonderful progress.
Watch the full interview with Dr. Schovanec in the video above.