Administration calls professor’s accusations into question


by Liam Gwynn

Dr. Christopher Aberson came forward to the Lumberjack with a story about how he was symptomatic and asked to teach online but was denied the opportunity and asked to teach in person instead. Provost Jenn Capps responded to these accusations after Aberson’s story was released. Capps claims that a majority of the time teachers are allowed to change modality, however, they have to meet certain requirements.

According to Capps, a professor seeking a modality change has to be verifiably ill and then has to seek approval from their department head to change modality. In cases like Aberson’s where the department head is the one asking, they have to seek approval from Capps directly. Capps couldn’t speak on Aberson’s case specifically due to confidentiality reasons, yet she was able to speak on similar hypothetical situations.

“I’d say eighty percent of the time a request for a change is being granted, when it’s not being granted, it’s because perhaps a person is operating off of being afraid or they are like ‘something could happen therefore I don’t want to teach in person I’m just going to shift my course online and I’ll let you know when I wanna come back,’” Capps said. “Well, that’s not somebody who is sick and that’s not the agreement that was made with the students.”

Aberson never tested positive for COVID-19 but he did claim he was symptomatic. In times where COVID-19 takes up the majority of the conversation, people are still getting sick with other illnesses and it can be confusing when symptoms of one illness overlap with COVID-19 symptoms. According to Capps and school policy, just coming in contact with COVID-19 is not enough to warrant staying home or teaching online.

“For students, faculty, and staff our current policy is that if you are vaccinated and you come into contact with somebody with COVID and you’re masked and vaccinated, that doesn’t mean that anything needs to change,” said Capps, continuing. “What you need to do is continue about your work and life and monitor and keep doing wellness checks, and if you start to experience symptoms then you get tested and isolate.”

Strangely enough, that is what Aberson was trying to do according to his accounts of the event. He came into contact with COVID-19, started feeling symptoms, and then requested a modality change. Aberson was under the impression that his request was possibly denied due to him being outspoken against different school policies. When asked about whether this was a genuine possibility, Capps firmly denied any bias in the deciding process.

“Oh of course not, that would be all kinds of wrong,” Capps said. “It’s just really centering on a couple of things, making sure the student gets the instructional experience that they desired and making sure that faculty and staff and student health is protected.”

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email
Share on reddit

More Stories

Photo by Abraham Navarro | Cowboy Daddy's Drummer and Keyboard player Conner West, 25, and guitarist Skye Freitas, 24, jam out at the Gutswurrak Student Activity Center on April 28.

Local bands rock the Gutswurrak

by Ione Dellos Band members wait in front of the bathrooms, eyes anxiously fluttering from the stage to the growing audience in the Gutswurrak Student Activities Center. After the deepest sigh one could possibly take, they make their way to

Travis Allen pole vaults at the Green and Gold Track Event on Feb. 12 Photo by Morgan Hancock.

Athlete’s outperform at decathlon

by Carlos Pedraza The Cal Poly Humboldt Track and Field team participated in the Stanislaus State Multi-Event from Thursday April 7 to Saturday April 9. The team participated in over 10 different events, all of which were multi-day involving different

Photo by Morgan Hancock | Izzy Star hits a home run in final softball game of the season at the Bear River Recreation Center in Loleta, California on Saturday, April 30.

Cal Poly Humboldt plays its last softball game of the series

by Eddie Carpenter On April 30, Cal Poly Humboldt Softball played the last two games of their series against Cal State San Marcos. Due to weather conditions, the softball games had to be relocated to the Bear River Recreation Center

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply