Professors Worried About Problems To Come When Campuses Reopen

Jul 8, 2020
Originally published on July 7, 2020 3:32 pm

Professors’ unions at Wright State and Miami University are warning of problems to come when students return to campus this fall. 

More than a dozen chapters of the American Association of University Professors have signed an open letter to college administrators, warning of a potential “superspreader event” as campuses reopen.

“What is being set up is a very, very dangerous situation,” according to Dr. Cathy Wagner, President of the AAUP Chapter at Miami University.

She says universities are some of the biggest employers in Ohio, and an outbreak on campus is unlikely to stay on campus.

And professors are saying they should be able to deliver courses online if they think that’s the right thing to do to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Wagner says she sympathizes with college administrators, who are struggling to deal with student safety and enrollment issues at a time when Governor DeWine has cut $110 million in higher education funding.

She thinks politicians should be saving universities, not defunding them.

“There should be bailout money not only to keep the places open, but also to help with the testing and everything that’s required to keep people safe,” Wagner says.

Wagner says universities aren’t just big employers. They’re also the places where researchers are working to solve some of society’s biggest problems—like the pandemic.

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