Provost and Senior Vice President Patrick Phillips was interviewed by The Oregonian about the University of Oregon’s response to reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19.
In the Q&A, he discusses the shift to remote instruction, limiting travel and canceling large events.
Phillips emphasized that the UO is not closed. “We’re committed to the health and welfare of our students, faculty and staff. We also recognize our role within society to do our part.”
He was asked how remote classes would help when some students still live together in the residence halls.
“It is not a panacea. It is true there could be localized bouts of infections, say, within a dorm, but what happens when you have classrooms is that you’re shaking that snow globe of 20,000 students every day,” Phillips said. “And that’s just a very different kind of control situation than when you have things more localized.”
Phillips was also asked how the UO community is holding up.
“Just fine. We have a community that’s dedicated to the success of what we’re doing,” Phillips said.
‘The biggest challenges are still to come. We can acknowledge that. But we’re positioning ourselves to address those. It’s also important that we don’t panic and take a systematic approach.”