How much longer do people think everything can go on as virtual only? Sooner or later people will start asking why you need an actual campus and buildings.

Inside Higher Ed reports:

Wentworth Faculty Rebuke Spring Instruction Plans

Worried for their safety and stretched thin between work and parenting responsibilities, faculty members and librarians at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston voted no confidence in the institution’s president and administration Monday.

Faculty members and librarians are worried about COVID-19 exposure on campus as the pandemic continues to worsen across the United States. The university reopened campus this fall with a hybrid in-person and online instruction model. A quarter of classes were offered in person and the remainder were taught online, according to a statement from the university. Faculty members teaching in person spent an average of four to six hours per week on campus.

That will change next spring, when the university will require more in-person instruction, said Greg Sirokman, a chemistry professor and president of the Wentworth Faculty Federation, the union representing faculty members and librarians. Exactly how much more is unclear. At first, faculty members were asked to teach one of their three courses in person next spring, and later they heard that 50 percent of the teaching load will be in person, Sirokman said. The in-person targets for spring instruction have not been publicized to faculty members yet, but Sirokman feels certain they will be an increase from the fall.

Wentworth faculty members join others at many universities who are upset with their institutions’ COVID-19 response plans. Standoffs between faculty unions and college administrations have cropped up throughout the pandemic. Faculty unions at the University of Central Florida, the University of Florida and Florida Atlantic University filed grievances against their institutions for pushing in-person instruction. At Northeastern University, faculty members went back and forth with the administration about in-person teaching plans and accommodations for this spring, and University of Michigan faculty members put pressure on the university to include more remote teaching for the winter term.


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