LSU President William Tate IV told the university’s board the school “won’t hesitate” to impose a COVID-19 inoculation mandate once the FDA approves a vaccine .
The school will also allow teachers and instructors with more than 100 students per class to distribute in-person and online instruction, he told the supervisory board on Friday. However, they can only opt for hybrid classes during âpeak infection periods,â according to an email sent to faculty ahead of the meeting.
Less than 5% of LSU class sections enroll more than 100 students, according to school data.
Professors have called on Tate to require students to be vaccinated, fearing the delta variant of the coronavirus will put them at risk.
While more than 600 colleges nationwide have mandated vaccines, only seven in Louisiana have. All seven are private.
Tate said he expects the state’s health department to add a coronavirus vaccine mandate soon, after federal regulators give final approval.
Jerry Ceppos is running out of options and time.
âWe know that the emergency status for the vaccine is going to be lifted very soon,â Tate said.
The Louisiana Department of Health, he continued, “would put him on the approval list, which would then end up with a warrant for vaccination at LSU.”
Tate’s comment came after desperate faculty members pleaded with officials to allow 50% class capacity, hybrid and distance options for the fall semester. While Friday’s meeting was held at 50% of capacity, the university is expected to return to campus at 100% of its class capacity in less than three weeks – against CDC guidelines which call for 6 feet. separation between people from different households.
LSU will not require its students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus to attend this fall, but those who do not will need to be tested monthly, on …
Psychology professor Jeanne Donaldson showed attendees of the board meeting a photo of her class in 2019. In the image, dozens of smiling students are sitting on desks less than two feet apart in Allen Hall’s cramped basement classroom.
Because she has between 50 and 99 students per class and LSU will only allow blended learning for classes over 100, Donaldson said she worries she will have to teach in the same room this fall.
“As you can see,” she said, “there is no place for social distancing in this classroom.”
Donaldson said that, like most of her colleagues, she would prefer to teach in person. But she said she felt responsible for keeping her 6 and 3 year old daughters free from infection.
She is not alone.
Rosemary Peters-Hill, a French teacher who also spoke at the meeting, has no more than 20 students in each of her classes. But she said her immune disorder and her 3-year-old son’s heart defect put her household at high risk for infection.
Peters-Hill, along with other professors, called for accommodations through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to teach at a distance.
âLet’s say my application is not approved,â she told the board. “What should I do then?” “