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 students coming back to school amid the COVID-19 pandemic, face-to-face classes, graduation, getting faculty and staff vaccinated, the Texas Legislative session, and more.

Dr. Schovanec started the discussion by talking about the planned return of Texas Tech students on January 20th and how COVID has and will affect the University.

He recommended that students get tested for the novel coronavirus and receive a negative result before returning to school, though that's not something the school has mandated. Starting Thursday, January 14th, the school will have free campus testing provided by the Texas Department of Emergency Management, just as they did last fall.

Texas Tech has already tested nearly 30,000 students from August to the end of 2020 and had slightly less than 3,200 positive tests. It's certainly more than Dr. Schovanec would have liked to have had, but he still feels it's within an acceptable limit of safety for face-to-face classes. The school also plans to have both virtual and in-person commencement ceremonies this spring, just as they did in December.

Still on the topic of COVID-19, Dr. Schovanec was asked if faculty and staff will work with the city to get vaccinations, or if Texas Tech is working with the state of Texas to get people vaccinated. He said that the answer is both.

This week, Texas Tech received vaccinations that they can give out to faculty and staff who qualify for them. Dr. Schovanec warned that there's a limited number that they can distribute, and encouraged his staff to sign up quickly. He added that some staff have been upset that Texas Tech has not been able to do more, but confirmed that they're trying to get them out to people as soon as possible.

Finally, the president shifted the topic to the Texas Legislative session that began yesterday.

Dr. Schovanec explained that Texas Tech's primary focus will be to receive the non-formula funding for their veterinary school that they had previously requested. The funding would be $22-23 million dollars. Dr. Schovanec said that Texas Tech needs that funding until the revenue from their own enrollment is able to kick in.

As far as the progress of the veterinary school itself, Dr. Schovanec said that it's progressing wonderfully. He explained that the building is nearing completion, saying "It is all going very very well." He expressed that there's some concern about getting the money with cuts going on in Texas, but said that they've spoken with their representatives, made their case, and are confident that they will receive the funding.

Watch the full interview with Dr. Schovanec in the video above.

KFYO Mornings with Dave King & Matt Martin airs weekday mornings live, from 6:00 AM to 8:30 AM on News/Talk 95.1 FM and 790 AM KFYO, online at KFYO.com, & on the free KFYO app.

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