18 Mar Chancellor’s Response on Reopening Concerns
Last week, we published an open letter outlining concerns our members have expressed over recently announced reopening plans published by the administration. In particular, we have heard frustration over the lack of transparency and inclusion in the decision-making process that seems to have completely bypassed faculty committees formed explicitly to consider this topic, and concerns over what appears to be a move toward Hybrid/HyFlex models of course delivery.
Unfortunately, the response we received seems to carefully avoid addressing these concerns, leaving more questions than answers in its wake. For full transparency, we have reproduced that response from Chancellor Amiridis in it’s entirety, here:
Thank you for sharing your concerns regarding UIC’s return-to-campus this fall. We too are cautiously optimistic about vaccinations – in fact, we expect to start vaccinating the remaining faculty and staff within the next 2-3 weeks – and we hope that we can finally get a handle on the pandemic. Of course, the situation remains fluid, but it now appears that we can begin our transition back to on-campus learning, consistent with national trends in higher education and relying on guidance from appropriate medical and government entities.
We recognize that many details still need to be worked out, both on a macro and micro level. But we are confident that those details will be worked out within the Colleges and the departments with guidance from the Provost office, and that faculty members and their Chairs/Deans will effectively communicate and reach appropriate arrangements to return to on-campus teaching without compromising safety.
Should any particular issues arise that you feel require more discussion, please do not hesitate to reach out to Nancy or Andrew, and they will include me and Susan as appropriate. The University sincerely appreciates the commitment and flexibility of all our faculty during these challenging times, and we will continue to work with you to achieve our ongoing critical missions for our students and our community.