By Elizabeth Scalzo
The hybrid learning model will start Monday, Feb. 15, as scheduled, said President Christopher Capuano, in an interview this morning with The Equinox.
“No classes have been in-person up to this point, but the few hybrid courses will start as scheduled. However, in no instances will students be required to be in-person if they do not feel comfortable,” Capuano said.
The list of hybrid courses was released last fall. Most have a hands-on aspect, making in-person instruction ideal, as detailed in the initial email in November from campus executive Steve Nelson. At the time, The Equinox interviewed Nelson for additional information on the in-person plans.
Angelo Carfagna, the associate vice president for media and communication, said in a follow-up email today that “professors were given the same option as students regarding returning to class and can choose to continue fully virtual learning.”
Commuter students who plan to attend classes will also have access to campus spaces.
Capuano said, “The amount of space on campus will be limited, but there will be places in computer labs, the library and dining areas if commuters have to attend multiple in-person courses or have a virtual class right after an in-person class.
“However,” he said, “commuters are expected to go to class and go home when possible, and the same goes for residents for going to class and returning to their dorms.”
Capuano also said the university will eventually become a microsite for COVID-19 vaccinations.
“I meet with a board of other university presidents and health officials, and the hopes are that when there are more vaccines available, different universities can become microsites for vaccines for both faculty and staff and also students of the institution and neighboring institutions, as well.”
As for the campus restructuring, Capuano said, “The only positions being affected are the campus executives, deputy campus executives and the dean of students. We will be turning six positions into four. However, these individuals are being encouraged to apply for the new positions.”
Many positions will remain as they are, just with different titles. New positions may be filled with staffers who currently work at the university.
“This restructuring isn’t about getting rid of the people, it’s about giving the students a direct link to the president’s cabinet,” Capuano continues.
When The Equinox asked about students’ concerns regarding the jobs of people in the current offices that are being eliminated, Capuano said, “I understand the concerns of the students regarding the people in these offices, but this restructuring is to ensure the student voice is heard. There shouldn’t be things happening on one of the campuses that I don’t hear about until two or three weeks later,” he said.
“I have never said no to talking to a student and I wouldn’t because my life is about serving students,” Capuano said.
The full interview with Capuano will be posted tomorrow on The Equinox website at 12 p.m.