“You can’t educate from the intensive care unit,” LSU professor tells board

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Addressing the LSU board of directors on Friday morning, Rosemary Peters-Hill, a French teacher at LSU since 2007, told assembled members that she was worried about her immunosuppressed son, Nathaniel, a kindergarten child. who, due to their age, is not eligible for a covid vaccine19.

“I can’t expose him to COVID because he can’t fight it”, the professor noted. “For almost 18 months, we lived with this fear that he would be infected and need a ventilator to avoid drowning in his own lungs.”

Peters-Hill said that if she returns to classrooms this fall and teaches in person, she will “put (Nathaniel) and her brother, my husband, my students and myself at this risk.”

To teach 20 students, most of them, statistically (speaking), are not vaccinated and have spent the day with larger groups of mostly unvaccinated comrades… the risk of exposure is increasing exponentially, ”she said.

Peters-Hill was one of many other LSU faculty members who spoke to the LSU board at a regular meeting, urging the board to give faculty the choice of opt for distance education if they wish. But they didn’t get a satisfactory answer – or, really, no answer at all.

Neither the board nor William Tate – who was attending his first board meeting as president of LSU – directly responded to comments from faculty members.

Parents send children to us and we owe it to them to keep them safe. We educate them, but you cannot educate them from the intensive care unit.

– Ravi Rau, professor of physics and astronomy at LSU

Meredith Feldman, professor of history, pointed out that the LSU website contained a statement that “LSU continues to follow all CDC and state safety guidelines, and will do everything possible to protect the health of our people. students, teachers and staff. ”

“” This, ladies and gentlemen, is a lie, “she said.

LSU’s distance education policy, effective Friday, allows faculty of teachers of 100 or more to opt for a hybrid in-person / virtual education model where 50% of students are in class every day “during periods of peak infection”.

According to a letter from Acting Executive Vice President and Rector Matt Lee to faculty and staff at LSU, LSU’s Health and Medical Care Advisory Committee has determined that “we are currently in a ‘peak infection period’.

When asked if LSU would consider expanding the enrollment option to all campus faculty members, Ernie Ballard, spokesperson for LSU, said the current distance education policy at the l ‘university “are the final plans for the fall semester right now”.

Ravi Rau, professor of physics and astronomy at LSU, told the board “you are supervisors, and to the students, faculty and staff you supervise – you owe a debt for their safety.”

“Parents send children to us and we owe it to them to keep them safe,” he said. “We educate them, but you can’t educate them from the intensive care unit, let alone in the ground.”

William Tate, during his first meeting of the supervisory board as president of LSU, said the university will require vaccines for all enrolled students once the vaccine obtains full FDA approval. The vaccines have now obtained authorization for emergency use.

LSU’s Board of Directors has already sent a request to the Louisiana Department of Health asking for permission to add the COVID-19 vaccine to their list of mandatory vaccinations once final approval is granted. The FDA could grant final approval for the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine by early September, according to a New York Times report.

As of Friday, 11,771 of LSU’s 34,290 students – or 34% – were vaccinated against COVID-19. About 16,000 of the total 39,000 students, faculty and staff are vaccinated, according to the LSU COVID-19 dashboard.

Bob Mann, a journalism professor and the university’s frequent social media critic, said in a phone call Friday afternoon that he believed the comments from LSU professors at the board meeting showed the board and Tate that “they don’t have the professors’ confidence – I guess that was very clear to them.”

Mann said other students he spoke to also said they “don’t believe the university has their health and well-being as a priority.”

As for the LSU community’s loss of confidence in those who run the university, Mann said: For the bills wipe out the bank.

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