Embry-Riddle 'expects' masks to be worn in classrooms, aircraft

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University announced Tuesday that it expects all students to wear masks in classrooms and on aircraft. Their spokesperson made it clear to FOX 35 News that this is not a mask mandate.

"[It's a] clear, cultural expectation for everyone in their community…keeping up with the university's strong aviation safety culture," the spokesperson said. 

This comes hours after a beloved professor and chairperson of the College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Engineering resigned.  

Dr. Timothy Wilson took to his LinkedIn page to say he was ending his 21-year career here because he believed the university's COVID policies to be wrong, adding that it would not allow professors to make masks mandatory in their classrooms or offices. 

Now, the university is releasing a statement that read, in part, "We are grateful for our colleague’s many years of service and wish him well in his future endeavors. His leadership and passion for his field have inspired many. We continue to partner with our outstanding faculty members to advance safety and uphold our mission of education during these complicated times."

Hours later, the university announced they were disappointed in the low number of students wearing masks on campus on the first day of class Monday. 

The memorandum read, in part, "From this moment forward, in light of the latest guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Embry-Riddle leadership expects everyone – whether you are vaccinated or unvaccinated – to wear a mask over your nose and mouth at all times whenever you are inside any university facility or aircraft."

The spokesperson also tells FOX 35 News they will be releasing the number of positive COVID-19 cases on campus every week.

Watch FOX 35 News for the latest updates on coronavirus pandemic.