October 13, 2020
The Technician editorial raises some important points about what the administration has learned (or not learned) from the fall semester debacle. We raise many of the same arguments in our statement to Chancellor Woodson (see below).
October 1, 2020
September 28, 2020
Chancellor Woodson's response to statement on spring 2021 plans
Thank you for your statement of concerns regarding a return to campus for the spring 2021 semester. We appreciate your thoughtful message and write to assure you that planning for spring semester is in the beginning stage and will certainly include the input of faculty, staff and students.
The initial message was to communicate to the university community not only the importance of planning for the spring but also what we’ve learned, and how things will be different moving forward. Know that your representatives in the Faculty Senate and the faculty in general will continue to be involved in the planning as we move forward. We look forward to hearing further feedback as we finalize the plans.
Again, thank you for your email. Be well.
September 28, 2020
NC State AAUP chapter statement on spring 2021 plans
Along with many other NC State faculty, members of the pending NC State chapter of the American Association of University Professors are alarmed by Chancellor Woodson’s statement on September 23, 2020 about the upcoming spring semester. The plan Chancellor Woodson announced includes a mix of hybrid, face-to-face, and online graduate and undergraduate classes and on campus housing through the spring semester.
We are concerned that the Chancellor did not take responsibility for the consequences of the University’s plans for the current semester. As of September 21, NC State reported 1,111 COVID-19 cases and identified 27 COVID clusters associated with NC State, endangering students and employees as well as the Raleigh community and the home communities of students and employees. Bringing students back to campus this fall caused major disruptions and economic hardship to many students and their families. Planning for in-person classes that were canceled two weeks later was expensive, time-consuming, and disruptive to our entire campus community.
We are troubled that the University failed to consult seriously with NC State faculty—who expected and warned of the rapid spread of Covid-19 in and around the University—nor gave weight to their concerns before making those plans.
We are gravely concerned about the plans the Chancellor has announced for the spring semester, and for deciding on these plans without broad consultation with the faculty. The fall debacle was a failed and dangerous experiment, and the lesson should be to avoid a repeat, or worse. Half-occupancy residence halls and partially-full Greek houses, as well as partial face-to-face instruction during what epidemiologists have warned, may be an exceptionally dangerous time, invites disaster onto our campus and risks further breaking trust with students, faculty, staff, and the community. We urge University leaders to keep residence halls at or below their current levels of occupation and to offer only online instruction.
On behalf of the NC State community, we ask the Chancellor to transparently develop or expand means to seek and heed input about our Covid-19 and educational policies from a broad array of affected stakeholders. These can include our pending AAUP chapter, the NCSU Grad Workers Union, staff representatives, and student advocates. All stakeholders should be provided a venue for input and participation.
Paul Umbach on WRAL discussing furloughs and opening for spring 2021