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Thursday February 2nd

Faculty Executive Committee members discuss plans for mass testing in spring

Screenshot from the Faculty Executive Committee meeting on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.
Buy Photos Screenshot from the Faculty Executive Committee meeting on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020.

Following the announcement of the revised spring calendar, UNC’s Faculty Executive Committee met with Provost Bob Blouin via Zoom Monday to discuss plans for the spring semester. After Blouin left the call, members discussed reviving a committee focused on caregiving that would help faculty and staff during this time. 

Blouin talks about spring plans

  • Blouin said no student, faculty member or graduate student would have to come back to campus in the spring if they did not wish to do so. 
  • Many decisions about the spring are still up in the air because of the constantly changing nature of COVID-19.
    • “What we've been talking about is the partial reopening of the campus in the spring that would go beyond slightly what we're doing right now,” Blouin said. “That might involve adding some students to dorm living, to go beyond the current thousand students who are willing to a potentially higher number.”
    • This might come with the reintroduction of mask-to-mask, in-person learning, Blouin said.
  • “We are committed to moving toward a mandatory reentry testing, and also a mandatory surveillance testing,” Blouin said.
    • He said the University is looking to establish the capacity to do its own rapid testing. The capacity the University is looking to have is 7,000 tests per day. 
    • Blouin said he envisioned testing would be mandatory twice a week for students. There would also be a protocol for faculty and staff, he said.

Caregiving Advisory Committee 

  • Meg Zomorodi, assistant provost for interprofessional education and practice and a professor in the UNC School of Nursing, talked about the need for support of caregivers during this time of remote learning and working.
    • She said there once was a Childcare Advisory Committee, but it appears to be inactive. She said she, along with a group of others, wants to reestablish this committee and expand it to include caregiving as a whole.
    • “We pulled together a mix of staff, HR faculty, a little bit of graduate student involvement to really look at what is needed on this campus,” Zomorodi said. 

Who is on the committee?

  • The Faculty Executive Committee consists of 14 members of UNC’s faculty.

What’s next?

  • The FEC will hold its next meeting on Nov. 16 at 3 p.m.

Read more about what the Faculty Executive Committee discussed at its latest meeting here.

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