Tech Returning to Normal in Fall, In Person Commencement, & More
Wednesday on KFYO Mornings with Dave King and Matt Martin, The President of Texas Tech University Dr. Lawrence Shovanec joined Dave and Matt to talk about Tech's current COVID-19 numbers, how the governor's recent announcement has and will change Tech's policies, higher education funding, their attendance numbers, Tech athletics, the veterinary school, and more.
The discussion started with the state of COVID-19 at Texas Tech and what safety policies they are looking at going forward. Schovanec said that, according to Texas Tech's COVID-19 dashboard, they only have 1 student and 1 staff member with COVID-19 at the moment. Schovanec compares this to the state they were in last Fall where Tech was reporting hundreds of new cases, and says that they are in a good spot now. He went on to say that he is currently working on a memo that he hopes to get out this week that will announce their plan to get back to normal operations by this Fall. Dr. Schovanec is trying to get the announcement out quickly so that people can make decisions on where they will go to school next semester.
Another topic that was discussed was Tech's procedure since the Governor's announcement on the reopening of Texas, and what Tech plans to do next. The President said that they first had a meeting with the Chancellor about all the components in their system. The Chancellor then released a memo that recommended that they retain their protocols in the classroom and in person gatherings for the rest of the semester. This sentiment was echoed by the Student Government Association, who also recommended that they maintained their current policies. Dr. Schovanec said that some may wonder why Tech plan's on doing more than the Governor requires for now, but he explained that he has heard concern from several parties, especially those who are currently unable to get vaccinated, and he feels like this will be the safe thing to do until the Fall when they get back to normal. He went on to say that even before this announcement, Tech was already moving towards more open policies as far as student activity is concerned, and starting next Fall that will only continue.
Dr. Schovanec was also asked about Tech recruitment and attendance. He explained that Tech is currently about 4.5% above their registration for orientation compared to last year, even if it does not mean that all of those people will show up, but Tech still feels good about those numbers at the moment. He went on to say that, despite the COVID-19 pandemic, those positive numbers do encourage them, and they do still plan to continue to grow. "There's a lot of momentum for Tech right now," Schovanec said.
Finally, The President talked about their announcement that they will have in person commencement at the Jones AT&T Stadium on the 14th and 15th. Tech will hold 2 ceremonies, each being about 4 hours long, where they will have 4,500 students graduating. Additionally, prior to this event, they have invited everyone back who was not able to have an in person commencement to come and do so. He explained that there are about 9,000 students, although he doesn't expect everyone will come. Schovanec thinks this will be great for Lubbock and a good opportunity to give those students and parents what they deserve.
Watch the full interview with Dr. Schovanec in the video above.