Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Other Florida colleges think USF's swine flu plan for online classes seems a little extreme

Unlike the University of South Florida, other big universities around Florida are not making extensive plans to teach all courses online if swine flu closes their campuses this fall.

Administrators have not talked to any medical experts who have suggested a scenario that would lead to closing the University of Florida campus, UF provost Joe Glover said in an e-mail to the Times.

So for now, there's no plan in the works to do that.

The same generally is true at Florida State University.

University of Central Florida is planning for both scenarios: keeping the campus open and having to close, according to UCF spokesman Chad Binette.

But the main focus is on serving students on a campus that stays open for business.

UCF also has an edgy take on raising awareness about swine flu.

Riffing off a Florida Department of Health ad campaign, UCF sends a character known as the Fifth Guy walking around campus. He totes a wheeled urinal with one hand and extends the other hand for a high five.

The Fifth Guy represents the one person in five who health officials say does not practice good hygiene, such as washing hands after using the restroom. Fortunately, UCF's Fifth Guy offers free hand sanitizer with his gross-out greeting.

"It's a hit with the students," Binette said.

Though public health officials are bracing for more widespread outbreaks of the H1N1 flu this fall, no one can say how severe they might be.

At USF, Tapas Das, the associate provost who is coordinating academic contingency plans, has said he sees a swine flu-related closure of the campus as a high probability.

Consequently, USF this week told all students their classes could be moved entirely online in an emergency.

FSU provost Lawrence Abele, a biologist, has read about the global Spanish flu epidemic of 1918.

"Even in horribly hit places such as military bases, they were able to get through the terrible events and get back in service fairly quickly," he said in an e-mail.

Abele said he doubts that FSU is looking at a full campus closure for reasons cited by the federal Centers for Disease Control. For one thing, most of FSU's faculty members are in an age group that may have some immunity.

Noting that more than 90 percent of their courses are on Blackboard, an online course management system in use at USF, FSU officials say they will respond if things change.

Similarly, the private University of Miami is encouraging professors to find distance-learning opportunities and alternatives that could come in handy if needed, according to spokeswoman Margot Winick.

At UF, Glover said the logistics of taking all instruction online would be formidable given the size of the campus, diversity of offerings and the need for labs and other specialized facilities.

UF will give students who are sick a chance to make up work, and it will adapt to changing conditions, Glover said.

SWINE FLU

On the Web

Talk about going viral: to see YouTube videos of the urinal-toting, germ-spewing Fifth Guy, visit links.tampabay.com.

Other Florida colleges think USF's swine flu plan for online classes seems a little extreme 08/27/09 [Last modified: Thursday, August 27, 2009 9:08pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Tampa Bay Times honored for top investigative story in Gerald Loeb annual business awards

    Business

    The Tampa Bay Times was a co-winner in the investigative category for one of the highest honors in business journalism.

    Tampa Bay Times current and former staff writers William R. Levesque, Nathaniel Lash and Anthony Cormier were honored in the investigative category for their coverage of "Allegiant Air" in the 60th Anniversary Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. 
[JAMES BORCHUCK   |   Times

]

  2. Pasco woman gives birth to child fathered by 11 year old, deputies say

    Crime

    A Port Richey woman was arrested Tuesday, nearly three years after deputies say she gave birth to a child fathered by an 11-year-old boy.

    Marissa Mowry, 25, was arrested Tuesday on charges she sexually assaulted an 11-year-old and gave birth to his child. [Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office]
  3. For good of the Rays, Tim Beckham should embrace move to second

    The Heater

    PITTSBURGH — The acquisition of slick-fielding shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria said a lot of things, most notably that the Rays are serious about making in-season moves to bolster their chances to make the playoffs, with a reliever, or two, next on the shopping list.

    PITTSBURGH, PA - JUNE 27:  Tim Beckham #1 of the Tampa Bay Rays celebrates with teammates after scoring during the eighth inning against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park on June 27, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) 700011399
  4. St. Petersburg showdown: Kriseman faces Baker for first time tonight at the Rev. Louis Murphy Sr.'s church

    Local Government

    A standing-room-only crowd packed a Midtown church banquet hall Tuesday to witness the first face-off between Mayor Rick Kriseman and former mayor Rick Baker in what is a watershed mayoral contest in the city's history.

    Former Mayor Rick Baker, left, is challenging incumbent Mayor Rick Kriseman, right, to become St. Petersburg mayor.
  5. At College World Series, the save goes to an LSU dad/doctor

    College

    OMAHA, Neb. — The father of LSU pitcher Jared Poche' helped revive an 87-year-old man who was slumped on the TD Ameritrade Park concourse with no pulse during Game 1 of the College World Series finals.

    UF’s Nelson Maldonado, left, and Deacon Liput high-five in Tuesday’s late CWS Game 2.