In the weeks leading up to the decision to shift to distance learning, TCU’s top administrators met consistently.
“It was very stressful,” Chancellor Victor Boschini said. “We were meeting every day.”
“The main reason we did it was because of our advice from our local health department,” he said. “Our biggest thing was the health of our students.”
Tarrant County is under a state of disaster and public health emergency; only essential businesses are allowed to remain open, provided they adhere to requirements meant to limit the spread of the disease.
The decision will prove costly. Boschini said TCU might lose more than $40 million. At its April meeting, the Board of Trustees froze the budget for the 2020-21 academic year.
“The board is just saying, let’s step back and take a pause before we spend any more money, and let’s see how this is all going to play out,” Boschini said.
He said distance learning provides an entirely different experience with positive aspects of its own.
“I don’t think the online and campus experiences are equivalent. I think they’re different, but I think they both have pluses and minuses,” Boschini said. “We’re actually getting a lot of positive feedback from students about it.”
Boschini remains optimistic about being able to resume on-campus classes in the fall semester, but he said he understands that nothing is guaranteed.
“I’m pretty confident from what I’ve seen from the CDC and the Texas curve that we’ll be okay in August,” he said. “We realize that might not happen or it might happen later than we want.”