Chancellor Jones replies to University’s COVID-19 questions


Mark Capapas

Chancellor Robert Jones prepares to give the State of the University address on Jan. 24. Jones answers the University’s questions concerning UI’s COVID-19 response in this Staff Report.

By The Daily Illini Staff Report

  1. Will there be a standard list of COVID violations and their corresponding punishments for students to see? If so, what is that list? 

No, there is no such list. Student conduct decisions are all individualized – our approach to a student’s first reported failure to wear a mask properly and a student’s repeated violations of an isolation order are very different. While we take all violations seriously, there is no excuse for hosting large parties, violating quarantine or isolation or refusing to cooperate with C-UPHD. Students who engage in such conduct moving forward will face dismissal.

  1. In order to stem the spread, the University is ramping up its expectations and restricting student movement the next two weeks. Why do you feel a discipline first approach is most effective?

I would not characterize our approach as discipline first. We have been communicating with the student body for months about our shared responsibility for the health and well-being of our community. We also have been issuing warnings to students who have been reported for minor violations and for slow responsiveness to C-UPHD. At this point, everyone is aware of what is required for this semester to be a success, and most students are doing their part. The few remaining students who are choosing to ignore the university, the police, local officials, the governor and public health professionals put everyone else in jeopardy, and their behavior is being addressed.

  1. What is your reaction to Joe’s Brewery closing in solidarity to the University’s new restrictions? Do you have any thoughts on the other bars that remain open?

The safety and health of our students, faculty, staff and the surrounding community is our top priority. The decision for private businesses to remain open or close is not the purview of the university. However, we appreciate anyone in our community who prioritizes the safety of others during this unprecedented time.