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Faculty Union at Temple U. Demands All-Virtual Fall Semester Due to Coronavirus Fears

Faculty Union at Temple U. Demands All-Virtual Fall Semester Due to Coronavirus Fears

“Our hope is that Temple’s administration will acknowledge that despite all their careful planning, conditions right now are outstripping plans”

Why not just cancel this academic year altogether? Wouldn’t that make the most sense?

The Philadelphia Business Journal reports:

‘They’re terrified’: Temple University faculty union demands all-virtual fall semester

More than 1,000 Temple University professors, librarians and academic professionals have voted to support their union’s demand that the school move to all-virtual classes this fall.

Leaders of the Temple Association of University Professionals (TAUP) said roughly 92% of the union members who participated in the recent vote agree with their stance, which argues the dangers of bringing any faculty to campus far outweigh any benefits. About 50% of the union’s 2,600 members participated in the vote.

TAUP President and English professor Steve Newman said during a virtual press conference Thursday afternoon that while the union respected the difficult decisions Temple has had to make as it plans for the fall semester, TAUP was left out of that decision-making process, necessitating that it go public with its demands.

“Our hope is that Temple’s administration will acknowledge that despite all their careful planning, conditions right now are outstripping plans,” he said.

Temple’s perspective

In a statement, Temple spokesman Ray Betzner said the views of TAUP members “do not come close to representing a majority of faculty views,” and that its own internal surveys found 89% of faculty responding agreed the university is managing the situation well. Currently, the school plans to bring students back to campus and hold smaller courses in-person, with larger courses held virtually.

As Temple has multiple unions representing its faculty and staff, Betzner said only slightly more than a quarter of Temple faculty “are even eligible to vote on TAUP’s platforms.” (About half of TAUP’s members are adjunct faculty members.)

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Comments

When I read this kind of story, there are two points that come to mind.

1. The average age of tenured faculty is high enough that fears of covid-19 are not unreasonable. Adjunct faculty, generally being younger, seems to be over reacting.

2. Even without covid-19, we have been moving toward a world where the majority of education will be online. So the only problem is that the old brick-and-mortarboard style of education doesn’t want to have to give up their plush campuses and outrageous tuition.

So a disease and unreasonable (in some cases) fears of it seem to be accelerating a change that was destined to happen anyway, while the forces of the education establishment fight tooth and nail to hold back progress.

Truly we live in interesting times.

From where are the tenured faculty going to get infected? The students (under 25, generally), which are the majority of the campus population, won’t be a significant vector of infection.

The Friendly Grizzly | August 2, 2020 at 6:33 am

How do they feel about virtual paychecks?

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