California State University chancellor explains reasoning behind decision to hold virtual classes this fall

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- California State University won't be reopening campuses for the fall semester because of the coronavirus.

Chancellor Timothy White said Wednesday on Good Morning America that the 23-campus system will continue to hold most instruction online, as it's done since March. "Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best," said White. "We'll probably end up somewhere in between those two places."

Chancellor White says it's wouldn't be fair to risk reopening some classrooms to students only to shut them down again if there's a second wave of COVID-19 cases, which many health officials are predicting.

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While most classes will be online, there will be some exceptions, according to Chancellor White, like clinical classes in the nursing programs. He assured there will be rigorous health and safety requirements. "Take a laboratory that may usually have 20 students in it, it may have 5 students, distanced. They're wearing personal protective gear. We have sanitation in between everybody who uses instrumentation in a laboratory, things of that nature. That cost of in-person delivery is going to go way up because of the concerns about healthy and safety."

Cal State was the first major university system in the country to decide to switch to online learning in the fall. The decision impacts five million students across the state.


It's not clear how the change will impact the system's budget.

You can watch Chancellor White's full interview, here.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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