Astronomy professor goes on medical leave

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Professor Gregory Taylor took last semester off for medical reasons and, after returning for spring 2015, had to again go on leave with five weeks remaining. Photo courtesy of Chico State

Professor Gregory Taylor of the geological and environmental sciences department has gone back on medical leave as of two weeks ago.

Taylor had been on leave all of last year to recover from unspecified illnesses. He came back to teach three classes for this spring but eventually decided that he still wasn’t prepared for the work.

“He kept thinking he would heal and it didn’t happen,” said Russell Shapiro, the department chair.

Students who were in Taylor’s classes have mentioned the professor’s erratic behavior.

“One day he came in and said ‘I was gonna teach today, but I’m not,’ and left,” said Jeannette Bradford, a junior.

Taylor has dismissed the class three times throughout the semester for similar reasons, Bradford said.

Because of the medical issues, Taylor immediately went back on leave two weeks ago instead of waiting until the end of the semester. Other professors were chosen to help teach his classes for the remainder of the school year.

The sudden change in teaching styles has been jarring for students, however.

“She’s trying to fit what he should have taught the previous week and the week we’re currently in into one day,” Bradford said about the substitute professor. “At this point, she’s teaching too fast.”

Shapiro stressed that Taylor was not fired in any fashion.

“I think it was mutual between Greg and I,” he said. “There is no separation.”

However, most students were left in the dark regarding Taylor’s departure.

“They just came into class and said they decided to let him go because his medical issues were getting in the way of him teaching,” said Aubree Bradford, a senior.

Despite this semester’s issues, Shapiro believes that Taylor will return to Chico State in the fall of this year.

“Theoretically he’ll come back,” he said, “but I’m not a doctor.”

Joe Silva can be reached at [email protected] or @theorion_news on Twitter.