UNC-Chapel Hill Faculty Executive Committee emergency meeting
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Faculty Executive Committee called an emergency meeting for Wednesday, Aug. 5, 2020, days after students began to return to campus for the new school year.
sponsors to the letter that came out that we we learned of today about the from the Orange County Health Department and their concerns. And so, um, Kevin and I have talked. He's told me a little bit about how that unfolded. Um, but I think it probably would make sense for us to have some conversation as a group. And, um, then we could ask some specific questions as we see fit. So does that. Kevin, Do you want to sort of tell us and Bob your perspective on that letter and response to it? Absolutely. First, I just want to thank you for convening the group quickly and, uh, thanks for the opportunity to talk about this and I There's a campus message that's coming out any minute. If it hasn't, my guess is it'll probably come out in the middle of this meeting. But, um, and I've already shared a draft of that with, uh with me. But, you know, I just want to be clear that I mean, we have been working closely with Orange County Health Department for months. George Battle, or by chance for institutional take a rigorous management works, is on calls with Quintana's Stewart and, uh, and, um, um, Erica Pettigrew. Um, you know, not daily, but certainly on a regular basis. We, you know, every week, multiple times Bob, is that regular conversations? I don't let him jump in and share some of those, um and Ah, and we've made modifications to our plan and taken advice from them along the way. Erica was part of the town hall meeting to roughly two weeks ago, I guess, and I've had conversations with them as well. Bill Roper has been working closely with Mandy Colon and providing information back to us as the secretary of Department of Health and Human Services. Uh, he's been in close contact on a regular basis with Betsy Tilson, the state health director, and we've been talking with a lot of people who helped, uh, our not only our plan, but the plan that for the other system schools as we've been moving forward, and so I just want to be clear about that. But and Bill has also made you know, providing information back to us from the CDC is he's been on calls with them and the A p l U and other. So you know we're getting guidance from a lot of, uh, a lot of people, a lot of experts on this, including our own public health and infectious disease experts. And so that letter came in around 11 30 Wednesday night, and I got the letter and acted on it quickly. On Thursday morning, Bob had a meeting with Quintana and Erica scheduled for Thursday, and so I'll let him share more about that. And then we quickly convened a meeting of our of infectious disease folks and members of our implementation team and talked about, you know, where are we right now with our road map as it's been evolving by the day and numbers changing with respect to defense of fine campus, where are we with respect to how you know those are numbers, current numbers aligned with what they are suggesting we should be considering. And you know, at that point we had de identified our residents halls down to about 65% occupancy, and we had gotten our in person classes down to about 30% of of actual seats. Book students in seats still more than about 50 of slightly more than 50% of the actual courses in person. But when you take out those large lecture classes that are all going to be talked remotely, it takes the actual students in seats. Whatever you call that a credit our, I guess down to 30%. And, uh and that's actually being pushed closer to 25% now because some other faculty have shifted over the past week in that direction. And so I, uh, spoke on Friday with both Quintana Stewart as well as Erica Pettigrew about these, You know, these recent data on where we are talking about what we've been doing to some extent around transportation and parking and increasing parking availability for more students gonna I know the public transportation has been a concern, and, um, and I left both of those phone calls feeling like we were in a pretty good place. Moving forward. They still had concerns. There's no question, but who doesn't have concerns. I have concerns. Bob has concerns. We all have concerns. I mean, I've been at our cabinet meeting yesterday, I talked with our leadership team about the concerns that we, you know, continue to, you know, to try toe troubleshooting to try to do everything possible toe create a safe working and learning environment. So, um uh so I you know, the memo that's going out later talks about the sort of the quick response that we had to that letter, uh, came out essentially on Thursday. I mean, it was I don't know what time Bob open that it might have been Thursday morning. Asai did. But I think we acted quickly, got our team together and and move forward. And, uh and and then Monday comes around and we're still continuing to have implementation team meetings with making adjustments and and getting updates from housing in terms of students started to move in. I mean, way at that point, we already had students moving in, and we had students. That bait began moving in on the 27th 28th. And so, um and that's where we are. I will tell you that. And the other thing is around testing or testing capacity. When I last spoke with you, I mentioned to you my concern was around testing capacity on da Mini mentioned that in her letter, I know to the leaders this system leadership around the passing that we had that's been about 2.5 3 weeks ago. Now, when we've made a lot of progress on that over the past three weeks and a lot of that credit goes to the work Bob did, working with U. N C Healthcare and bringing them to the into a stronger partnership with campus health. And so are testing capacity is much better today than what it was three weeks ago. So all of that said, I think we're in a ah, a better place today than we were the last time we convened. And, um, you know, I'm sorry. I knew people were, you know, blindsided. Surprised by this letter. But this quite honestly, we we took care on Thursday and Friday, we honestly felt like we had addressed concerns and we were in and not in alignment with what they were considering. We're asking us to consider, but certainly, ah, much closer to with the war three weeks ago, Bob, I don't know if you want to jump in. Yeah, First of all. Hello, Everyone. Hope everyone's doing okay. Um, I guess for me, the letter came in late late Wednesday night, but before that letter, uh, before I had a chance to read that letter, though. I was, ah, meeting with the Chapel Hill Town Council. Ah, earlier that evening, I had a three hour conversation with them, tried to answer as many of the questions that they had on their mind, including letters from the community. I would say that the majority of the expressions you know during my town council meeting was, uh I would say less than supportive of the university's plan. You know, toe move forward. Um, but I think that they at least felt that we were, you know, being honest and transparent, you know, with the guards to the the answer to the to the many questions that they had. Some of the questions we had, I think appropriate and clear answers. Some are less clear in terms of what we can do. I didn't mention during that meeting the close working relationship that we have with the Orange County Public Health Department. How that has been very much a partnership in many respects. In fact, we, uh, uh, sent a letter to the temple. No, um, Or to the Orange County Public Health Department, Uh, from our, uh, occupational health on our student health directors to establish an even closer working relationship. And that relationship has been ironed out in a letter of understanding. And so So when I read the letter, particularly given the fact that I meet with Quintana and Erica, you know, at least once a week and sometimes for free, played by, I assume, um, I was a little bit surprised and a little bit uncertain as to what the language met. Particularly the terms recommendation, uh, to consider. And and so So when I was in. So it just happened by coincidence, you know that I had a meeting that morning at eight o'clock with Quintana and Erica. Sorry, I had the opportunity to sort of question them about the letter. And, um, you know that they were clear, You know that that they have concerns. A lot of their concern stemmed from, um uh, the history with athletics and ah, a little bit with the guards are fair amount about the Greek. And so we talked quite a bit about that. I also conveyed to them just as Kevin did the plans to further de identify the campus. At that time, it was our goal toe. How significant reduction in student presence within the dorm since that was one of their big concerns as well. Ah, and also further detail gasification of the classrooms. And so So I thought that that meeting went also very well. There was no indication that this was ah mandate. They also, um, understood. Based upon my conversations with them, um, you know how decisions would have to be made, You know, within the university system that the, uh the chance was would would would be working with the system office in terms of all adjustments to their plans, particularly if if those adjustments included either a. A change in the start or change was once we had a start to an early off ramp. And so then Kevin I huddled on on Thursday. Ah, and Justus. Kevin described it, you know, he was very thoughtful about, you know, wanting to circle back Teoh, Erica and Quintana on also circling back Teoh to the system office to get clarity on this matter as well. And so that was Thursday morning, and then Friday, um and then the weekend and so that was sort of the way that that played out when? When? Um, I talked. Oh, talk to Erica even today, you know, And one of the questions you know that has surfaced now is, uh, the sharing of that letter. And I guess from my perspective, because we felt what we were in a pretty good place. The letterhead had come to ours front, front to Kevin, actually, uh, from Orange County public Health. That that was their letter. And we were We're keeping that somewhere as an internal document for until we were a bit clearer in terms of what they were expecting of us. So that was I don't that's helpful. But that's sort of my involvement from the point of by meeting with the Chapel Town Council and in my interactions with with the Department of Orange County Department of Public Health. And the only thing last thing I'll add and happy to take your questions, thoughts, ideas moving forward. But I also had a conversation. Then, with both Bill Roper and Peter Hunt's on Friday, they were obviously in transition. So this was after my conversations with, um with with Quintana Stewart and Erica Pettigrew and and walk through that with them and, um you know, talked a little bit about you know, whether this is an alignment with sort of what we're hearing from Andy Cohen and others. And we were advised to stay the course with With were with where we are. And they were comfortable with the plan that we have put forward. So I just want to make that In addition, I don't know that I share that. I did Obviously had a Zion with everything on this consulting with the system office, and, uh and I'm also, um I want to be sure that you know that we didn't receive a mandate from Orange County Health Department. So no, nobody indicated this was a mandate from them. And we, as I said, have been working closely with them for several, uh, several months. Amy, I think you're muted. Are we? Had a good point now to entertain some questions from our committee members. I think Deb had a question. And then joy and then Sue. I see people would use that raise hand function. That would be great. Um, can you all hear me? I'm so Chancellor Gaskell, which and Provo's blowing. We really appreciate you meeting all of us and trying to lead us during this difficult and challenging time. On, as you mentioned, there is no solution that would make everybody happy. Are not. Everybody's on the same plane on we get that. But it seems like that there is a disconnect disconnect between what the U. N C. Chapel Hill leadership feels that it is safe. Now. I know in all your messages you very rightly say that you are concerned about the safety off the people you are concerned about the opening in a safe environment, but on, and that's great. And you seem to called a lot off health experts. But there seems to be a disconnect on the other side, where the the other side, like the Orange County Health Department, has experts who have assessed this, and they have advised the university to consider on. I know it's not a mandate. Eso It seems like there is a disconnect. And, as you know, the U. N C system has made a decision that it's going to decide on whether the universities will be closed or not. So, based on what you have received from the Orange County Health Department and since UNC Chapel Hill is located in Orange County. Would you do you feel inclined to reach out to the U. N C system leadership or the board of Governors, whichever is applicable on share with them? These community concerns? We are talking about community standards, but there are community concerns, which we seem, which we should reflect. So do you feel inclined to share with the U. N. C system leaders about what is going on here so that they can you can empower them to make a decision for our community? I have way have been very open in our conversations with the system office, as I indicated earlier. Dead. So we are sharing everything that we're receiving with with them and keeping them apprised of our efforts to de identify campus, which again, we've been very successful in doing that. And, uh so I feel as though we have done that. I've already talked with President Hans today about sort of where we are and sort of the with some updates on. We have done that, and this is a partnership with the system office and, ah, they're working with all 17 campuses right now in, uh, trying to be sure that we're opening in an environment where, uh, the campus community feels safe. And as I said there, we said all along that there there is there is risk in this there is some risk, but we have done so much to try to mitigate that risk. And as I've already indicated, the latest numbers suggest that we continue to move in that in the right direction. But so you don't feel in black to share the current developments with the U. N C system leaders at this time to show what I think he said that he did. I mean, did he is sharing them do that question? I want to say her a quick one. On social media, there have bean various concerns like we had a sorority house where the young women were shown without wearing no mask, and there were a bunch of them, almost 60 of them. So on. There seems to be a lot of reports here and there. Ah, lot of housekeepers are reportedly sake on. So I was just wondering that when would you think that it would be apt you would take action in terms often offer him first of all what? The situation today that way heard of is we have a team looking into that. And so again, anytime we receive information, we're gonna do everything we can. Teoh, Investigate it. Try to find out what we can do to help mitigate it. Stop. Prevent it from happening again. Uh, I met with the housekeeper I met with housekeepers on on Monday afternoon, and as I said at the faculty town hall meeting a few weeks ago that I would and that happened on Monday and I feel as if they are in a better place. And ah, so we're doing everything that we can again to address the concerns of the community. We're listening. We have attended multiple meetings a week with students and employees. I met with the employee forum this morning for about an hour and they had great questions and we have been walking through again all that that we're doing to try to de Dense. If I campus, we have to continue to Teoh, listen to the community, and I feel as if we've done that and Bob has been done a great job of out in the community. But within as you mentioned earlier with the town of Chapel Hill on Car Borough and another groups toward that end, is there anything like, um, go hotline or something like that? Where these so that, you know, reports can be shared when there are concerns where we could direct faculty or anybody else on campus to say, You know, we're seeing a large congregation of students without masks in this area or in that area so that either more reminders were maybe it's faculty or staff. It doesn't necessarily have to be just students, you know, you might see other groups of people that are not, um, you know, doing what they need to do to keep the community safe or meet those standards. Is there some sort of reporting procedure that we might know about or put into place it much like you put in the dashboard? Maybe there could be a portal for those sorts of there is. Eso is part of my Thursday communication to the campus. There is a, uh, a hard link, you know, for anybody who has comments or concerns and those air those all get red. And we also launched the Carolina Ready app. If not yesterday, maybe just today and Ah, And there is a waiting to, uh, the report things in there as well. All right. So that was unveiled today at the campus safety commission meeting where again we had an opportunity to, But when Bob spoke there today and did a great job opportunities to hear the concerns from the community. Eric, I think you were there as well. Joy, your next. I think so. If you could Just clarifying the interno article today, Um, the statement was made clear and I'm not sure that is clear. Is it was made in the article that the board of governors have told the chances that they're expecting them to comply with with mandates or orders. I think orders or recommendations from their local public hill officials. And so I think we need some clarity there except for me today pointing this out. We've heard all summer that this will be public health driven, right? And then we say that our public, our local public health book, said we think we need to go virtual for five weeks and we have concerns about transportation, other things still there. But we did you know, we didn't know about that. Parents didn't know that the the Orange County people that were suggesting that students not movin. Um, so I guess there's just a little bit of a disconnect it if did the board of governors till the chancers that they want you to comply with recommendations or was that just that Miss printed in the newspaper? I have not seen it yet, but Joe current has informed me that that has been clarified. That has been corrected. I guess in that article, I have not seen it yet. But, uh, no, we have not been told that by the Board of Governors cause is that, you know, we've heard that is a collaborative right from the very beginning, with the system with the Board of Governors Board, a trustee spokes here on campus, all of the different health entity. So that was a new wrinkle that I read. That article today was that they were expecting chancellors to comply with local public health. So you can see what we were concerned that if you've gotten a letter last Wednesday and our campus did not take action based on that public health document, you can see why there was concerned. Now I hope that people recognize the quick response that we did have to that letter that we've received with, um, you know, meetings on Thursday and Friday to get to a better understanding of where we were. And I think that we did clarify a lot for Orange County health Department on those, uh, those communications on Thursday and Friday. I don't want to speak for them, though. I don't I'm not going to suggest that they think we're everything's fine. I think they, uh I'm just gonna stop it with that. Yeah, I just think it would be good if we got We heard this from you and from Bob and not from the newspaper. So just is just going forward kind of conversation is I think it's probably clear to all of you today administration that the MPC members were taken aback, But this was a pretty significant public health pronouncement that we had not heard from any health organization, so it would have been helpful, Like if we heard this on Friday, Right? We've identified to 60% with cut this. We're moving in the direction of what the public health people are saying? I think that might have been helpful. Yeah, and we're in the process. Is you know, of updating our dashboard and providing additional information is changing by the day. And so that's gonna be the place that I think I hope people were turned to. We think that dashboards gonna make a big difference in terms of reassuring people. What? We have any given time on our campus in terms of capacity, you know, with campus health and testing as well as with regard to whose How many students were living here. And it is helpful because it's been helpful for me for our students to tell their parents that they can go to that as well. So they're getting real time information. Great. Thanks, Jordan, to Did you have a question? Um, actually, uh, to the 1st 1 though, is the most important one. And that is, if everything was going so well in our collaborations and discussions and meetings with Orange County, Um, why did they feel they had to write this letter? It's just a simple question. It doesn't sound like what we're hearing about the collaboration in the partnership. It sounds very different than that It sounds like they're concerned and there's a reason they wrote it, and I'm not. I'm only speaking for myself. I'm not fury from you, an understanding of why they wrote it and what we're doing about that at this point and just to tack on to the end of the I think again, I don't speak for all of us. You know, We've been talking a lot about the ethics in this, with the background of all this and, um, are one of our look vigorous has talked about the importance of trust is the foundation for how we get through this. And I think this is important as anything out for us to talk about today. So do I. When I reached out to Erica and had a grew and Quintana Stewart on Friday, I asked what looked you know their intentions were with the letter that that we had had regular meetings and that I would have expected that we would have been provided with some sort of, you know, they would've forecasted that Hey, this is coming. And that did not happen. And I'm not going to be criticized them for that. They had they sent that letter for a reason, obviously. And I don't know what that reason is, other than the fact that I do feel a Ziff we clarified, Ah, a lot in those conversations that we had a t end of the week and, um and so I can't answer. The question is to what? They're why they wrote it. They sent the letter. I don't know if you end conversations with them than I have. Yeah, so So I think I mentioned I was surprised, you know, by the letter, and and I was not surprised by the fact that they had concerns, you know, because we've talked openly, you know, in our meetings, know about concerns, and they've identified areas, and we've responded to many of them, not all of them. But we certainly have. Um, But I was surprised by the letter, and, um, I was surprised that we didn't have a heads up. Know that the letter that the letter might be coming or that if they worst an issue, you know, that was a major concern. That perhaps that we would have talked through that before they actually shared that. You know, with us in writing uh, so yeah, I to you. No, I don't I don't understand. Necessarily with their motivation, Waas. You know, in sending the letter. Other than perhaps so, uh, you know, share share with us what they were thinking, you know, and that they felt sincerely that this was the right course, you know, for the university to take. So the question is, did they feel that they were not being heard or that all the meeting Swan assuaging the concerns they had any s began for me A bigger concern that it was a surprise. And what are we missing about our neighbors and our community and where obligations are to know? Yeah, I know. It's impossible. The answer. It's just necessary. Yes. Oh, so I can only speak for myself. I have really enjoyed our conversations. They have all been positive, collaborative and kill Eagle. Um and so, um, I I have nothing, um, negative to say about, um, about the health department. In fact, I would just say I I think that the relationship that we have had, um is very much a model relationship. But when I when I talked to my dean, my prose colleagues from um, you know, the SEC and around the country, I think we have very, very fortunate to have Ah, very strong working, constructive relationship. And so, and even in our conversations, you know, since we received the letter, it's it's been the same. Nothing really, you know, has changed is that there's not a hostel relationship in any way between between us, I will say, um, because I was in the Chapel Hill, all right. Town council waiting for for quite a while. Um, I don't know if any of you happen to be on that call, you know, but it was a fairly lengthy meeting on, but certainly was not without three articulation of numerous concerns on DSM. Fairly tough questions, you know, for me. And and so I do know that there is an emotion, you know that is present, you know, across our community, I think we all feel it on DSO. I don't know whether or not that's a factor in any of this, you know, But all right, all right. All right. Um, I was just curious is whether there was a coincidence between my my Chapel Hill town town hall meeting on and at 11. 30 week e get a Ah, a letter, you know, from from the health department. So I don't know if there's any connection to that. I don't think so, you know, But, um uh, So if I could just add, uh, you know, I started and ended my phone conversations with both Erica and Quintana on Friday by saying how much I valued. We valued this partnership this critical partnership that we have with, uh, Orange County Health Department. And I think to answer your question, they gave me no indication during those phone calls that they felt we weren't listening to them, uh, and that they felt they were at the table providing input. I checked in with George Battle, who's our vice chancellor for student integrity and risk management, Uh, and who has had a lot of communication with them, and he said I had no reason to believe that. Um, you know that they didn't feel they voice is being heard. Let's go on to some other questions. Barbara. Thank you. Thanks to you, Kevin. Into Bopper. Joining us this late afternoon. I can imagine your days are very full. Um, I I also think you have a good sense by now of how truly blindsided we. Also today, when we saw that that letter so, you know, trying to think about, you know, how would you respond for me? Some of what was in that letter was sort of raising a new ongoing concerns. And some of it was just moved. Uh, and and so I just one thing, um, I've been wondering is whether more of what the kinds of issues raised in that letter could be reflected in the dashboard. Ah, and for example, you know the transportation issue that is a concern to them. We've been hearing about that for a while. You know? What? What are we doing on on that front? And another example would be a cooperation with public health. Authorities are students out of the community, and that's not on the campus. But it's it's our students. I just wonder if there isn't more that we can incorporate, um, to, you know, have an understanding of off ramps. Because I I was very affected by a letter and have, uh, you know, already thought to make changes and what I personally will do based based on that letter I realized they were recommendations and not orders, but But still, I thought that was a powerful message, one that we should hear, one that I first actually would have much preferred to hear directly from the two of you, then sort of some other way a week later. But I wonder so my question is about the dashboard and whether this is an opportunity to on. I know it's an ongoing process, but, um, you know, opportunity to develop some additional metrics on the issues that were being raised. Their eso Thank you, Barb, that that's ah, good point and way are thinking long and hard about what should be added to the dashboard. And certainly we've had conversations about transportation as as a potential area. I will say that that I have shared with the number of groups on and including in the road map there is a section on the transportation and we have been working. I meet weekly uh, with the town managers on. We have talked extensively about the Chapel Hill bus service, the Transit Authority, and we also have been working on improving or expanding the parking capacity even though we can't create new parking spaces through some, uh, technology efficiencies. You know, we can increase the capacity that would provide some additional opportunities for people t bring bars to campus if they feel uncomfortable riding the bus system. But we do know that the capacity of the buses are going to be reduced because of physical distancing we've made. We have made that point clear. I have published that in many places. Now, uh, also mass wearing is going to be required on the buses and then also the the buses. The bus routes are going to be increased in order to adjust for the lower population on the buses. S O. I know that because 60% of the workforce, under normal conditions, you know, come to campus the breast transit system. And so we wanted t begin to do some estimates as to whether or not you know, these adjustments would be satisfactory. You know, there was always the conservative that someone to go on to a bus did not have a mask on or at risk to that particular individual. But I think we've been pretty least would try to be pretty transparent about about that. We don't control the bus system. But we we do, um, have strategically placed park and rides way Do consider you significantly financially to the best system. So the town has been very responsive to I think, our requests to add more mines. Uh, we're more, uh uh uh More routes in order to adjust for the that. The shortcoming on each of buses. If I could just follow up, I I appreciate those efforts. I truly do. I just wonder if there's some way to track how successful that's being are are the people who work here ableto get to work, You know, you're doing all you can to facilitate. And I guess I'm looking at the metric as some measure of of outcome. How are we doing? And so that that's where I was going with that statue, right, So on, actually, on yesterday, you know, at our and a roadmap meeting, we spoke exactly about that about And how would we monitor or something like that? Uh, how would we get the data? And then how could we represent at data? So it's a good suggestion, but the only thing I'll add, Barbara's I understand the concern about where you're getting where, how quickly we can get information out. But we have worked really, really hard to message Aziz much as we can in a timely manner. I mean, I've been putting a campus message out that the people are getting tired of watching the videos, but, uh, I talked last week about D identifying at that time, the numbers weren't is you know where they are right now. Which is there even better today than they were then, in terms of the number of vacant rooms will have in residents holes to try to spread the density. And some of the work we're doing with putting tents up and so campus looks feels very different than what we would otherwise see just five days before the start of a semester. And I feel as if we have messaged me, Bob, sending a message out every Thursday. I've been sending something out, usually on a Tuesday or a Wednesday, and there's one that's in your in box here, assuming no granted, it's, uh, in many ways responded to this letter, but also talking about much of what we're we're discussing here and the reason we send the mind, No doubt on Thursdays, which we try. Teoh bet a lot of the changes to the roadmap, brother. Extensively. And we want to make sure that we get as much betting as we possibly can before that changes actually implemented. And then at the time it changes implemented or where we think clarification is needed, we send out that it's some work simultaneously so that the community would not be surprised by any changes in the roadmap and that we also could be directive and provide them a link toe where such changes might be taking place. Okay, let's go to a barber. Did you have a follow up or No, Uh, no, I I do, but I don't want to take more than my share of the Okay, we'll circle back. Um, let's see. Best. Yeah. Okay. Um, so I think I first want toe Say that. You know, I heard the town, the town council, needing that was a long haul. Um, for you, Bob. And you know, Kevin, I've heard you many times. You know everyone with all these opinions, everybody has a single all right, which which is, you know, that the safety of the well being of our university Staying ableto, you know, realize our mission. So we're all in this together, and I wanted to kind of reflect back on, sues comments about trust, And I have kind of a big picture question that, you know, in some ways has a little bit confused me and maybe created, um some of the concerns. So we have this new word in our vocabulary now, the dense If I, um and you know, the NPR piece that played on Sunday afternoon sometime, um, introduce you and see as one of the institutions where students were given the choice as to whether they wanted to stay home and continue their education remotely, or whether they wanted to come on campus and so forth. Um And then the rest of it really focused on, you know, the letter to open letter to the students, etcetera. But on this deed intensifying, I don't know. And so I'm wondering if there was a specific target, a percentage that you wish to achieve with regard to the percent of students living on campus. You know, a concern is if we have now, whatever it is, you know, 30 35%. Um, occupancy. You know, whatever it might turn out to be, you know, for the dorms. I mean, that doesn't necessarily mean that there's any difference in the number of students who are in the Chapel Hill community. If, for example, the students who canceled their contracts without penalty simply decided to take an apartment, you know, often Franklin Street, um, in with which case there is no difference to the community. Really? Because the concern isn't how we're managing internally within our facilities, within our classrooms, within our labs. That concern is what happens, you know, on Franklin C. Franklin Street, so to speak. So I just would like to hear more about what your goals are in terms of the percent of the usual number of students that we have in our community both on and off campus, and the percent reduction in that that you would wish to attain and that that's just something that really hasn't been clear in that house have been clear to me that that was a major part of our strategy to medicate wrist. I'm assuming now that that has been a major part of the strategy to mitigate risk. But I don't know that I've ever heard or seen that articulated as such. So I'm concerned that students may not actually realize that that's the case. So they have a choice. One thing to have a choice. It's another thing to be explicitly encouraged to stay home. I don't know whether you had or didn't have really the authority toe frame it that way relative to board of governors. So I'm just curious about these things. And I ask, and I push because I really do believe that it is trusting communication. That is, I need it so that we really can work together with your leadership and get through this in the best way that we can. I appreciate that Beth Way sent a once we noticed that there were a number of students voluntarily canceling their housing, and there was a deadline by what you could do that we realize there probably are others that want to do this. We want to give them more time to be able to do that. And so we sent a memo out a message out to all those students who had housing contracts. I don't know exactly what date that was, but it's been at least, uh, it's probably been 2.5 3 weeks ago, Three weeks about three weeks ago. And, um, essentially saying this putting in that letter, some of the concerns that we have, that the numbers across North Carolina where had not declined a number of positive cases in the way that we were expecting them to and that there were options, were you that you could opt out of your housing without penalty. And so with that, we saw a number of people every day 100 150 a day that we're opting out and cancelling their contracts. And And we recently even extended that to originally it was gonna be August the second, and we've extended it to August the seventh, which is No, I didn't know that. So, um, I think, um, yes, and and so we've been very clear about this, that this was an option that might be better for certain students and their families, and so that that's been I think, Bobby, right? It's been about three weeks ago that we communicated that so I know that students were given this option. But what I you know, you see, you know the three W's. You know, we don't know what those are, but as far as like, really, you know, clear statement that staying home, whether you're you know, students or faculty, you know, is a way to medicate rest. But particularly for students to not come to the community, you do. Do we know whether the students who have canceled contracts are staying wherever their hometown might be, or if there living elsewhere in Chapel Hill, cause it's, I mean, it really is the community spread that I'm most concerned about. I'm not concerned about our facilities because we've done a wonderful job, a community I'm worried about. And so I just had a hubs on a call with this, with our facilities and operations, finance and operations team an hour and 1/2 ago. And this is one of the topics we discussed Gordon Mark Line, who worked closely with the town in terms of properties and uh uh and what not, but he he said, Yes. There are some students who have cancelled who are very likely running apartments now in town, but there are the number of apartments available for the student to have cancelled their contracts so we don't know what that number is, but, uh, but I'm not I don't believe that we're pushing the risk that the volume of people up into that direction up into town, uh, again, some of them, Yes, we'll do that. But there's no where they don't have the capacity up there for those that of fainting. And many of them have canceled because, you know, the majority of their classes are now talked virtually. And so there's gonna shift in that. So, you know, they may have had two or three of their five classes were gonna be taught in person, and now there's been a shift to more remote. And so they've opted to cancel their housing contract, which I think that's the best option for them. There were a lot of things going on in the third week of July 1 of them was registration, registration, the registrar's office. There was a sort of a blackout between the very beginning of try and the towards the end of the third week of July. And then I think it's around July 22nd 23rd. Uh, and that was changing. We also we're still hunting for spaces you know, for classroom spaces. And as you know, a as some of you may may know, that you may be in a classroom that is a little bit further than you would normally have expected it. Because of the physical distancing requirement, there are fewer classrooms that can accommodate the classes that way would normally want to have. And so as we d dense if I the classrooms that added another challenge for the registrar's office and those people who were managing the facilities with the course, of course, is that need to be time? And so a lot of that was not going to get posted, um, so that the students could see whether or not they were going to be truly taking a remote course or taking a residential course for those students that were drawn to come into campus with the promise of two or maybe three or Mawr residential classes, which was why they wanted to come. When those were not realized. They opted out, and so that I think with a big push for them to make the personal choice, you know that that it wasn't worth it for them, you know, to come to campus when they were going to be taking all of their classes remotely, or all but one of the classes remotely. So that was the driver. And that didn't happen until after the 23rd. And then we want to make sure, um, given the compression between the 23rd and the 10th of August, we wanted to give them as much time as they felt that they would need in order, make an informed decision. I have to say they're not gonna be quite that I do really much preferred the student choice approach to this rather than what some universities have done, which is to sort of identify and and actually which the Orange County Health Department suggested, which is toe have select groups of students. I'm able to come onto campus and others not. There's some real equity issues, you know, with that. And I certainly heard concerns even today from the chair of my department's diversity and inclusion committee. Um, that that is a new approach that is unintentionally often perceived as targeting. So I do prefer the student choice, as we've done at UNC. Um, I just again, as a matter of trust, I think the more clear we can be about maybe goals related to this and so forth, the better off we'll be. Yeah, there are a lot of other factors, you know, that go into the choice. You know what one of them is cost, you know, And student housing. I believe I haven't been in the market, but, you know, I think, for the most part, is significantly lower, you know, then, uh, then in the marketplace. And so I think that there is a lot of motivation for students to stay in student housing. And I think philosophically, you know, um, we have valued residential living and community living residential campus living. In fact, historically, UNC has been amongst the leaders nationally in the percentage of students who opt to stay on campus and to stay in the dorms Aziz many of the years as possible. So not only do we have a first year expectation, historically, but a large percentage of our second and third year students choose to opt in to stay in dorm. And so we have a high percentage of our students who who do have historically occupied our dorms. Okay, we have a couple more questions. Let's go to Eric. You're mute is well, I actually remembered to a Knute before speaking, which is a major step in the right direction for May Um uh, one second everyone who was Thank you for giving us time on such short notice. I have a very short factual question, and then a slightly longer one. The factual one just is about the dashboard and transparency. Um, when the dashboard first appeared, um, it was reporting daily case amounts, and then it appears that it has just today switch to a weekly tally, and I'm I'm wondering if it would be if I would, I would prefer. And I think many people on campus would prefer, um, more frequent updates than once a week. So if it's is it possible to turn that back to a daily update rather than a weekly update? Yeah, So I'm really glad that you asked that question. I have talked about that quite a bit, and I think it was the preference of most of us to have ah, daily report, but But we were informed, you know, that way. Sort of operate. You know, under the rule of five, you know with respects to confidentiality eso that you don't in some way either directly or indirectly reveal you know who those five people might be on DSO Because we've been very sensitive to protecting the anonymity of people who who do have a positive Kobe 19 tests, whether they be students or faculty and because our numbers are very low, that they could reveal unknowingly the identity of the people who were turning positive. So it was really under the advice of, ah, of, ah council and and our health care people. You know, that suggested that we revert to a ah weekly representation rather on a daily. Is that something that could be adjusted more frequently so that if numbers of cases are go up and we have days in which there are more than five people or more than five cases that appear, that we could have a daily update on that day rather than having to wait until the end of that certainly were considering way. We're trying to be consistent in the way that way we're doing it. And so we were going to be keeping us a seven. I think a seven day tally, no and then have a cumulative number in the table rather than in the bar graph. Um, but now that we're going to weekly, weigh probably will keep a a several, maybe several months. The purpose was to really show a trend. And I guess when you're only looking at two very wide, uh, bars, you know, it's not really telling you too much it, But in 3456 weeks, it will. It will be, I think, illustrative of what we're intending, and that is to show our community friends, you know, average trends that are taking place on a weekly basis. I understand your point and that that was our original intent. But that was the rationale for for changing it from a from an daily to a weekly. Okay, so the slightly longer question has to do helping me. Honey, I think the campus understand how the university is thinking about what way apartment. I mean, it's true that that letter did use the word recommend. Um, it also is the case that after the wood recommended proceeded to lay out reasons for the recommendation. Those reasons would allow the University of the Five week, five weeks start of online exclusively would allow the university Health department and UNC Healthcare more time to monitor the spread of the virus. Prepare for any unanticipated campus impact DeLay for classroom instruction would give us additional time to see how seasonal influenza make present because all overlapping symptoms with Kobe and it would also allow the possibility of hair from possible surge capacity of both covered 19 and influenza. So I guess my question is, when that comes to the university, um, is it the case that that our team talked to medical experts who determined that those were mistaken? Isn't mistaken. To think that the five week period would allow the university and others more time to monitor the spread? It was. Is that mistaken advice? Um, and I guess then what? What what follows from that is, is the is the net of all of this that the Health Department has now come to understand that if they want us to do something, they have to order us to do. Those are the questions. America. I'll just say that we have spent months now looking at multi many options for how to proceed and, um, you know, in late May way put a roadmap in place that looked at you know how to best provide that the flexibility, the options, the choice in it with the health and safety of our campus community being the at that top priority. And, uh, I believe that we stayed true to that. We've had the Orange County Health Department, as I mentioned at the start of this call of the working relationship with Bill Roper, the system office, with Mandy Cohen and Betsy Tilson and others helping to provide information for us on A on a regular basis. And so we've looked at a lot of different options and were, as I said again, the beginning of this meeting, Uh, we believe, based on the guidance of our public safety, public health and infectious disease experts who weighed in on this last week is we We've I received this feel that we still have a road map that can, uh can bring people back safely in this environment for those who have chosen to do so and so we're going to continue toe monitor this justus they suggest of, you know, and we have talked that there may be modifications to this plan. I talk about that in the campus email that'll be coming out if it hasn't come out already that we alone have talked about what those options might be for off ramps. And so this is an additional piece of information that we've received. And again, we're continuing toe. Um, you know, convene the experts here to help us make these decisions. So but Kevin, does that mean that someone or some group of people in our team, um affirmatively disagreed with the advice that we received from the Orange County health of harming others? Is that are they saying that the concern about a possible, um overlap of symptoms with seasonal influenza is not is not a valid concern that it's that it's not a sufficiently valid concern toe to warrant a change in directions? That's what I'm just trying to understand. Like what? What happens with these things that come from the Orange County Health Department when they, when they come inside our house, well, it sounds like there was a discussion about it and there was a discussion with a lot of people, and they were having a zai understand it. The system said. Stay the course. And so you know there is a There's a that's what's happening. Um, that's not necessarily we might not all be, um, completely fine with that, but that sounds like that's what's happening and that, um, people thought that in light of some of the things that had been done that could that could move forward. Or at least that was the directive of what's to Dio. So I don't know that there's a great I mean, you know, that's ah, well, I would just add, Eric, you know that you know that there are a lot of opinions, you know what to do and what the rash now for doing it. And there is sometimes unanimity around the experts. And sometimes there is less than unity around the experts and something a specific, you know, as the the try Teoh say the impact of flu season, for example, on it that that might sound like a very reasonable thing to do. But no, all the data on flu way don't even start getting our flu shots until September. Um, you know, and so the flu, we would not really be able to gain a whole lot of experience now by a five week extension? No, if that was our major. Oh, also, um, what would the ultimate impact be most of our students that already signed leases? Uh, most of our students were already in the process of moving into campus, and so it would have been extraordinarily disruptive. You know, uh uh, and difficult to expect that they would have been much movement of our students out of the Chapel Hill Orange County area. And so the return on if this if that would have come to us, maybe a month ago or even three weeks ago, that might have been an easier thing to for us to consider executing. But just imagine, um, how many letters that would go out to parents and to students, you know, at the very last minute, you know, as students are unpacking their cars, you know, moving into, uh, yeah, it residence. And so it I guess the question was, were the recommendations that they wanted us to consider, you know, were they Ah, nature. That was, at least in our collective opinion, you know, going to make that big difference in improving the situation for our campus. Thank you okay? And I hate Jennifer has had a re end up for a long time. Do thank you, Mimi, for getting this all together and thank you all for coming. Um, I have two questions. Slash concerns. The one I think piggybacks off what a lot of folks have said already about Just looked perceived impact of not following these recommendations in terms of community trust. Um, you know, the way that the community sees the university, Um, I would did not listen to the full community meetings from Chapel Hill on car, bro. But I heard from my neighbors about the concerns that were raised that they shared many of those concerns. And I live in Chatham eso the reaches far, um, and so I think that, you know, there's there's a lot to be said for, um you know, I think we all take recommendations there. You seriously right now, especially those of us who were very concerned from about health. Excuse me for my child in background. Um, but I So I'm just a little concerned about because I think, Bob, you make a great point that this came on the heels of that meeting. Um where a lot of concerns were raised. And, um, I just think it's important toe that our response needs to consider the community as well. Especially like folks said with the dashboard. It's so focused on what's happening on campus and we're seeing now, you know, with these cell phone pictures and social media, the rial impact is is out there in the community, and you know, people are afraid to go to the grocery store, and that's kind of tragic, like we don't want to be the people who make our community afraid to go to the grocery store. Um, and so I just I don't know how toe make that into a question, except for how are we going to help use those concerns? And I think another group that has a lot of concerns on and hearing these recommendations or faculty, um, faculty, who would like to themselves see these recommendations as more of a mandate? And so I'm just wondering if I mean, if there's something to be, you know, some concession, I guess for faculty who you know, were scheduled to teach face to face hybrid. And now one say, you know, I'd like to take a little bit of time and make sure that people do follow these instructions that there isn't a huge surge. Um, and, you know, they kind of echoing the concerns of the community and of the health department that we saw inner in the letter. I think this is an interesting idea, you know? Does it modify behavior? Does it change behavior to, um, you know, to on the front end Say what we're seeing so far Justus people are moving in is that we're not convinced that people have really bought into these community standards, and therefore we're going to start online and hopefully move Teoh, Um, a more in person situation if we can see change. Um, but, you know, I don't know the the video that was sent to me of the the young women involved in what appeared to the sorority rush when I don't These are questions that I really you know, charters can be pulled. Alumni can be pulled in to really tackle those situations. And, you know, there needs to be very, very clear guidance, and I don't I don't know where that comes in. I mean, you know, I know people have said, Well, we've I remember Jonathan Saul's saying that he had been speaking with the panel in a council in the Inter Fraternity Council or whatever. We never really what exactly were they directed to dio? I mean, were they directed to delay Rush until spring? You know what? What is the what have they agreed would be different? And I know that anecdote. I'm sorry, I just I think that's an important. I think that would be important for both ness, maybe for faculty to know, but maybe for our community to know. I think this is the directive that that young people in whatever group have have been given, and this is what we are expecting of them on and off campus. And I know we've talked about the sort of individual level behaviors about mask wearing. But what are clubs that are involved in recruitment? What are one of the very specific directions that have been given to them? Um, whether those air Greek organizations or whether they're not, But you know, as I understand that there's a big anti Greek movement on a number of campuses right now because of the concerns around health and safety. Yes, and I didn't want it. I didn't want to single out the Greek life either. Incident. Just because I think. And I know. And, you know, multiple anecdotes are not data, but, you know, I'm hearing consistently from my colleagues that they're seeing. No, they go to campus to pick up a book, and they only see 1/3 of the people wearing camp on masks. And and of the biggest culprits are the parents there to pick up to drop off. Their students are not wearing masks, and you know that they don't. They're not part. They're not signing those community standards, right? So there's just a lot of moving parts that we're all seeing now that are kind of freaking people out a little bit. Bob, you were going to say something. Well, I was just gonna say that, uh, arts to Greek, right? Jonathan Saul's has worked very closely with the federation, Um, and and in collaboration with the Health department, we have insisted that all of the fraternities and sororities were to submit a plan. Um, and and I we've talked about this before, but the university is limited in what it can do you know what the guards to Greek life name it because these facilities are privately owned and independent. And so they are more the purview of the town of Chapel Hill and and the policing of Chapel Hill than they are of the university. But the health department does have a stake in this as well. Similar toe the state that they have with the university. They do have some authorities on those authorities do can carry a big stick. Ah, and so the fact that that the fraternities and sororities are to submit their plans not necessarily to us, but to the health department for their review on approval. And so I just want to share that with you. You know that that that is one thing that has been developed here in 28 of the 30 Greek organizations have submitted their plans. I just learned this this afternoon, and the remaining two have been given till the end of the week to submit them to Orange County Health Department or risk being shut down by the Orange County Health Department. So again, and I believe we announced that I think I announced this requirement at the faculty town hall meeting last Friday, Two Fridays ago. Um, I apologize, but I must be on a call at 5 30 and I've been ableto bump it to 5 40 But it's an important call that I have to get on to that. Um, so I apologize. But I do appreciate the time together, and, uh uh, we can reconvene again soon if you like, but, uh, this is valuable input. I've been taking notes, and, uh um Well, continue to try to move forward in a positive way. I know that this is not easy. We said this 5.5 months ago that this wasn't gonna be easy, but I value your input. So you Thanks for making the time, Chancellor. We appreciate it. Thanks. Thanks. Um, it looks like Beth has a question. Bob, if you have Time, t stay on for a bit or what's your schedule? You're We're trying. We're really not trying to torture you about party. Okay? Yeah. So this is a specific one. Um, And you actually talked about this some months ago, So I heard today, um, runs school, public health. That there three or four groups working on APS that would allow way to actually monitor and some way quantify compliance with community standards, which has been one of my kind of free floating questions because you've put forward, you know, a number of times that compliance with the standards would be part of the stud of metrics. You know, that would be considered. So could you just speak with us a moment about those activities? So the one that I am most familiar with, and one that that I have invested into is a project by one of your colleagues, Stephen King. Um, and and it has two features to it actually was featured on CBS, um, last night as a research project, but one that we are wanting to pilot at least in a couple of schools to see whether or not it would be well received. Um, And so it And and actually, I'm glad that you ask that question, because I I was wanting to come ah to you on Monday during part of my time. In fact, I've asked even to join me so he could actually demonstrate this project to you, Uh, and see whether or not you could, um, I support it. but it goes something like that. So there two components to it. One is a way fearing app, you know, and basically it gives students the opportunity toe to download their schedule. It then is programmed to their building that they would have that class in on that Because the scheduling now is a little bit odd because of the 30 minutes rather than 15 minutes separation, it would. It would basically give you the fastest directions to that space. It would tell you which door to go into in which room door you would enter into in order to maintain the one way directional flow. So So it's kind of like the way one is treated when they go into an airport and you're sort of directed to your seat, you know, from the kiosks in in the airport, the other is a an app that that actually had looks like a, uh uh, a TV display with the camera on it, very similar to what we know what we're all accustomed t using now on zoom. And it has the ability through a I know, to track whether or not you have a mask on or not and It also has the ability to detect whether or not you're six feet apart or not from the person who are around you now, because of you know, our sensitivity to personal identity and surveillance. We wanted to make sure that we understood this technology very well and that we appropriately communicated this technology goto our campus community before it was tested. So that was one of the reasons why we wanted to talk to you and perhaps the student groups. But there is no other than a yes. No. Yes. No, There is no other storage of information, so it doesn't store a video, so it takes images 300 images per second. And then as soon as and image, a new image comes on. It replaces the previous image. So there is no storage of that image. And so it's 1/30 of a second, um, in existence, and then it disappears. And so So this is a research project that Stephen King has been working on. We've helped him sort of pilot it to scale it up, to see whether or not it would have some utility. Um, we would like Teoh if we could get this scaled up. We would like to include this on our dashboard in terms of a compliance metric so that we could share with the community. Um, you know the random. It's not an absolute number, but it would be a random sample percentage of compliance based upon those people who came in close proximity to this to this device. And so that's the one that I'm most familiar with. I know that there are a couple of student based APs that have been worked on that are really mawr to help through. I think some four form of, uh, social networking Teoh suggest that where there is high density of people on that you could take an alternate route to avoid that density. Other than that, I don't have a lot of first hand knowledge of of the rigorous nous of those acts. But that's why I understand. Thank you. Can I just share? One suggestion Bob is with the housing folks is if you can rally the Ira's tonight. They are there just from a couple of parents who have kids that have been moving in. Um, they need better direction when they're in and entering the buildings about that there are one way stairways, right? Which ones are entrance? Which was your ex? Their signs there, but asked, People come into the building. There's not a lot of direction going on about. Please put your mask on. And could we have some vests available at the different dorm? So if a parent doesn't have a mask, they could hand the one. I just feel like we're we need a model, that behavior from the minute that hit the campus. And so we're not helping them see directions and know what to dio. Um, I just thought it be a good way to start. Yeah, so I was so that they're We have people at all that there will be people at most most of our buildings who will assist in the directions that that was. They think maybe they might have gotten caught up in the social thing of welcoming people and run rock and kind of forgot they needed to do the utilitarian part. Yeah, and mask are supposed to be there for anyone who doesn't has a need for them. I'll double check on that. So thank you. Drink any other questions or I just wanted to know how you're communicating, that there's an extension to August 7th for cancelling the dorm contracts. All right, see that? That's run out of Allen Allen's office. And, uh, I can tell you because I have a son that Mr Rich Burdens do. And they just got an email through, though, Okay, without email to them. Okay, I know that initially we were thinking maybe, maybe just a quiet extension, you know, just kind of, Ah, passive extension. But I'm glad that there's something actually has gone out. Well, I think with all of this hitting the news and people hearing the public health departments recommendations, I think there may be some parents that would like to know that that they could change their mind with this new information minister. All a part of informed consent during information from us. But now they have additional information and so they can make a more well informed. As Beth has said many times, this is a choice right there. A lot of students who want to be here and they want to be a part that would be part of the community. Um, so it's part of that choice, but it's making an informed choice. So I think now that that information is out there let making sure that people know that they can get out of there. Contract. Um All right, well, I think, you know. Thank you so much, Bob, for taking time to be with us. Um, and we may Assefi, see, we may have a few more minutes together to stay and meet. Should we should. We want to you. So, um, I think, you know, we'll have other occasions to talk. I know we are already talking about another possible