Amidst the concerns of college students returning to campus across the nation, Georgia Tech has published an open letter, signed by more than 2,000 faculty and staff members, expressing their concerns with the plans and guidelines set forth by the University System of Georgia and its Board of Regents. Locally, Valdosta State University is also bound by these regulations.
As the coronavirus infection rate in the U.S. surpasses 50,000 new cases a day, colleges and universities around the country are trying to figure out how to educate their students this fall while still keeping their campus communities safe.
That balancing act sometimes causes consternation. At the Georgia Institute of Technology, which is scheduled to hold in-person classes, more than 800 of its 1,100 faculty members have published a letter outlining their concerns. The letter, reported by Georgia Public Broadcasting, criticizes the state university system for mandating statewide reopenings this fall that “do not follow science-based evidence, increase the health risks to faculty, students and staff, and interfere with nimble decision-making necessary to prepare and respond to Covid-19 infection risk.”
Georgia Tech is a public university and is bound by the rules set by the University System of Georgia and its Board of Regents.
New COVID-19 cases are rising in Georgia faster than ever before, averaging more than 2,600 new cases per day over the past week.
Faculty are particularly concerned about a university reopening plan that makes face coverings encouraged but optional. That is “such a flagrant violation of the science that it threatens our core identity as a world class research university with leading scientists and engineers,” professor Janet Murray, lead signatory on the letter, told NPR. “It’s a nightmare for faculty.”