Faculty Senate discusses COVID-19 response and classroom ventilation – The Daily Evergreen

Professor cites shortage of rapid tests as problem

With the number of cases rising across Whitman County, faculty senators expressed concern about the university’s handling of COVID-19 during their Thursday meeting.

Whitman County has more than 1,500 cases per 100,000 — more than any Whitman County has ever had, said faculty senate chairman Doug Call.

Senator Von Walden, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, said he tested the amount of carbon dioxide in his two classrooms and found a concentration above 1,400 parts per million.

“If you’re in a room with no ventilation, people are going to get COVID,” Walden said.

Hotel business management professor Dogan Gursoy said the problem is being tested; teachers can’t afford to wait 24 hours for test results.

However, Call said the university does not have the money to buy rapid tests for faculty and staff.

Anthropology professor Jeannette-Marie Mageo has expressed concern about how some students are choosing not to wear their nose and mouth masks in the library, recreation center and hallways.

“Given that we are on the cusp of a tsunami of COVID, this is of deep concern to our faculty,” she said.

Sen. Eric Roalson said senators are waiting to hear how the university used federal COVID-19 stimulus money despite repeatedly promising a response.

Action Items

The Senate unanimously approved a proposal to drop or revise the master’s plan previously required for the doctorate. in nutrition and exercise physiology.

The Senate also approved a revision to the faculty handbook, which allows professors to submit a one-page letter to the provost if they are applying for promotion against their dean’s recommendation.

The Senate approved the creation of a new Psychology course: Embodied and Embedded Cognition and revised the Seminar on Quality Indicators for Special Education Research to count up to 10 hours if repeated by compared to the previous maximum credit of three hours.

Discussion posts

The senators discussed authorizing the doctorate in computer science and criminal justice and criminology. programs to revise or abandon their master plan.

The Senate also discussed adding Rule 26 to the University Regulations. Rule 26 is the minimum number of credits required for full-time undergraduate, graduate and professional students, according to the agenda.

To be considered a full-time student, undergraduate students must take at least 12 credits per semester, graduate students at least 10 credits per semester, and professional students at least 5 to 10 credits depending on the program, depending on the diary. If approved, this rule would be listed in the Academic Regulations rather than just the WSU Catalog.

Voters’ concerns

Kiwamu Tanaka, associate professor of plant pathology, shared a concern about agricultural employee compensation. Tanaka said that due to a Washington State Labor and Industries rule, the WSU Department of Agriculture cannot afford to pay so many workers due to a higher benefit. required.

An example of this is the pathology program, which typically hires between 20 and 24 seasonal workers and pays a total of $120,000. Under current salary requirements, the program can only afford to hire about 14 workers for a total of $200,000, he said.

Tanaka said the agricultural program could shrink because of this rule.

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