Colleges want in-person teaching for fall semester, but professors are pushing back

Colleges want in-person teaching for fall semester, but professors are pushing back

Colleges are pushing for a return to in-person teaching in the fall, but professors are refusing to comply due to coronavirus fears. Roughly 65 percent of schools that plan to hold classes in the fall are planning in-person semesters, according to tracking by The Chronicle of Higher Education. While students are keen to be back on campus, making good on the hefty tuition they spend each year, professors have been digging their heels in regarding any return. The United States has seen a surge of new COVID-19 cases, reporting record numbers over the past week. Many states have either paused or started to reverse their plans for reopening, putting the future of many businesses and institutions at risk, including universities. The average age of an American college professor is 55, according to the European University Institute. People over the age of 60 are the most vulnerable to COVID-19, meaning a large number of professors feel they would be gambling with their lives if they return. “Until there’s a vaccine, I’m not setting foot on campus,” Dana Ward, 70, an emeritus professor of political studies at Pitzer College, told the New York Times. “Going into the classroom is like playing Russian roulette.” A Cornell University survey found that around one-third of its faculty were “not interested in teaching classes in person,” one-third were “open to doing it if conditions were deemed safe,” and the remainder were “willing and anxious to teach in person.” But faculty in other schools, such as Penn State, University of ...
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