Contest for best “why I would like to work remotely during a pandemic” request

5/6/2020 update:

The latest email from HR is here. It gives the faculty a 6 day extension on the demand for requests for remote teaching. I clicked on the Remote Work Request Form link in the email. I was surprised to learn that there’s a university policy requiring all employees to demonstrate honesty in communication & conduct. I guess there’s an exemption for JH administrators.

In any case I’ve got a fifth of Laphroaig for whoever submits the best reason in the comments for wanting to work remotely. In keeping with UO policy, all entries must start with “Honestly, ”

5/5/2020: HR gives faculty til Friday to get BMI up to 40 & request opt-out from in-person teaching

The CDC’s risk criteria include:

People of all ages with underlying medical conditions, particularly if not well controlled, including:

    • People with chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma
    • People who have serious heart conditions
    • People who are immunocompromised
      • Many conditions can cause a person to be immunocompromised, including cancer treatment, smoking, bone marrow or organ transplantation, immune deficiencies, poorly controlled HIV or AIDS, and prolonged use of corticosteroids and other immune weakening medications
    • People with severe obesity (body mass index [BMI] of 40 or higher)
    • People with diabetes
    • People with chronic kidney disease undergoing dialysis
    • People with liver disease

Which gives the younger faculty and GE’s a scant few days to get that BMI up. Handy calculator here. Not clear what happens if you don’t hit the 40 BMI target til classes start, but it can’t hurt to try.

Dear Faculty and Graduate Employees,

President Schill and Provost Phillips announced last week that discussions are underway to proactively develop plans for a number of possible scenarios that would allow the university to open for in-person, on-campus instruction this fall and to start opening the campus for research functions this summer. Paramount to this planning is the health and safety of our faculty, staff, and students. Gathering information from our faculty and graduate employees is key to our planning efforts so that we can understand who will be on campus as we complete classroom scheduling for fall term and who may need to work remotely as researchers start returning to the labs and other facilities this summer. Please note that the university will have social distancing measures and other safety protocols in place before it re-opens. For more information about those efforts, please review the provost’s message to campus.

Faculty and GEs at Higher Risk:

Our first priority is giving faculty and graduate employees (GEs) who are at higher risk according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) an opportunity to request to continue working from home through the fall term. If you meet the CDC risk criteria and would like to request to continue working 100% remotely through fall term, please submit your request using the online Faculty Remote Work Request Form by Friday, May 8.

We will work to grant these requests when possible or to find other mitigation accommodations that allow the faculty member or GE to work on-campusSubmissions will be received and managed by the Office of Human Resources and will be treated privately, maintained securely, and only accessible to those with a need to know to perform their work. If we do not receive your request by May 8, we will assume that you would like to work on-campus through fall term to the extent it is open. 

Faculty and GEs Outside of Higher Risk Categories:

Faculty and GEs who are not in higher risk categories, as defined by the CDC, may also request to continue working remotely. We will assess these requests on a case-by-case basis based on the needs of the faculty member or GE and their school or college. Since we are planning for research functions over the summer and fall term classes now, it is critical that faculty and GEs who want to continue to work 100% remotely through fall term submit their request for consideration and authorization using the online Faculty Remote Work Request Form by Friday, May 8. If we do not receive your request by this date, we will assume that you would like to work on-campus through fall term to the extent it is open. 

All Faculty and GEs:

The above linked survey is for faculty and GEs who are requesting to work remotely 100% of the time through fall term. You do not need to fill out this survey if you can work from campus but would like to discuss an alternative work schedule or other safety mitigation measures in addition to the ones listed in Provost Phillips message to campus. Please reach out to your department head, area coordinator, or program director in the coming weeks, and no later than May 31, to discuss those types of requests.

Please fill out the remote survey under the assumption that K-12 schools and other care facilities are open fall term. If that is not the case and if the university is open fall term, we will send out another message and survey that acknowledges and accounts for the needs associated with those closures.

We want to reiterate that we will treat requests to work from home privately and will only share these requests on a need to know basis. Faculty and GEs requesting remote work will be protected from retaliation based on their work from home request. 

In addition to reviewing faculty and GE requests to continue to work remotely, the university may ask campus community members to work remotely based on the needs of the institution and state and federal re-opening guidance.

Finally, it is important to understand that the degree of flexibility that the university is able to offer through fall term to work remotely is directly connected to its response to COVID-19.  While the university generally supports flexible work arrangements, it is very unlikely that it will be able to maintain this level of flexibility outside of its COVID-19 response efforts.

Other Accessibility Considerations:

Faculty members and GEs with disabilities who want to work on campus during the fall term should first approach their unit level administrator (department head, area coordinator or program director) if they want to request an alternative schedule or the implementation of other safety mitigation measures that may be medically necessary to effectively perform the essential functions of their position on-campus. While a faculty member or GE may choose to disclose the medical reason for their specific request, such disclosure is confidential and the department may not request medical documentation to confirm it is needed. If a request cannot be resolved at the department level, then the faculty member or GE is encouraged to work with the ADA Coordinator on the matter.

Thank you for reviewing this important information related to our planning efforts. If you have any questions about requesting to work remotely through the fall, please contact Employee and Labor Relations in Human Resources at uoelr@uoregon.edu

Sincerely,

Mark Schmelz
Chief Human Resources Officer and Associate Vice President

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65 Responses to Contest for best “why I would like to work remotely during a pandemic” request

  1. Tree-lovr says:

    I work for a great department but I’m nearly 60, there’s no f*&%!ng vaccine, and I belong to a union (staff). Not coming back to campus unless armed guards show up at my door.

  2. Thomas Hager says:

    But seriously, folks, the UO has to survive somehow until there’s a good vaccine in a couple of years. I was struck by the comment on concurrently teaching online and in person. I am long retired, so forgive me if there are already answers to this: Is the UO supporting the recording of every class lecture on campus for concurrent online distribution? If not, why not?

  3. Jack Straw Man says:

    HR extended the deadline for requesting to work remotely by a week. But CAS just gave everybody who’s teaching in fall 36 hours to commit to their class being in-person or online. Does anybody in the administration talk to anybody else?

    • uomatters says:

      Good question. I’m posting the message here:

      From: CAS DD Social Sciences
      Subject: Fall 2020 Schedule and spreadsheet
      Date: May 6, 2020 at 4:18:14 PM PDT
      To: Brett Rushforth , Craig Parsons , Dan Gavin , Doris Payne , Frances White , Ian McNeely , Jamie Bufalino , Jeremy Piger , Kathie Carpenter , Laura Pulido , Mark Carey , Michael Dreiling , Pedro Garcia-Caro , Priscilla Yamin , Rick Colby , Tuong Vu Cc: Bruce Blonigen , Alicia De Gonzalez

      Dear Colleagues,

      This will not be a fun email, so let me just start with the fact I’m asking you for complicated information by Friday May 8 at noon. I apologize for that as I know that precisely the people who can help answer these questions are the people who are busy helping to deal with spring. All I can tell you is I only learned recently that I need to collect this information, and the entire goal is to make this fall term a success, which is linked to our continued health as a university.

      Here is the context. The registrar and the provost’s office are trying to rearrange the fall schedule under the following assumptions:

      (1) The assumption of no gatherings of more than 50 people, thus all larger classes will be remote.

      (2) The assumption of 6 foot physical distancing so classes under 50 people can meet in classrooms, but the rooms must be big enough for distancing.

      (3) Enhanced cleaning and extra class turnover time will be needed, so our usual 10 minute turnover won’t work (they’re thinking of 30 minutes).

      (4) Consequences of 1-3 are that we expect to be very short of classroom space even after the university enlists other space that can be used as classroom space temporarily, so we’ll also be looking for opportunities to cancel classes.

      (5) There is a feeling that it is important to remake the schedule quickly so that students can register for fall before they “go home” for the summer.

      We need information from you in a really short time, in fact by FRIDAY MAY 8, Noon.

      Here is what we’d like to know:

      1. Indicate any classes of more than 50 you wish to offer in a hybrid model where half of the students meet during half the class periods and the other half during the other class periods. There will need to be material online to supplement. [Note that the number of class periods can’t be increased.]

      2. If you know of courses of under 50 that will be offered fully remote (because the instructor is in a vulnerable category for example), please indicate that.

      3. Are there courses on the list that won’t be offered in the fall?

      4. Can you identify non-essential courses that can be eliminated if class space is tight (it will almost certainly be very tight).

      The spreadsheet is attached. If you’d like you can cut and paste your department into a new spreadsheet.

      Note 1: Please ignore things that aren’t real courses (401s, 601s, 405s, etc.)

      Note 2: Please use column J for hybrid candidates (just mark with an “H”), and for courses you know already will be fully remote (mark with an “R”)

      Note 3: Please use column K for courses you won’t actually be teaching in Fall 2020 (NO=not offered) and also for courses that could be cancelled (NE=non-essential).

      Note 4: Please use column L (or more if you need them ) for any other comments.

      Note 5: If transcribing into this spreadsheet is going to be a lot of busywork for someone without time, but you have this legible in some other form, you can send it to me in the other form and I’ll either transcribe it myself or (more likely) get someone else to do it in the dean’s office.

      Thank you and sorry for asking you to do so much work like this so quickly.

      Regards

      Phil

      Philip W. Scher
      Divisional Dean for Social Sciences
      Professor of Anthropology
      Professor of Folklore & Public Culture
      University of Oregon

      • Anonymous says:

        Thanks for posting this. It’s a lot more info than I was given. I was just asked to choose “remote” or “in person,” one or the other.

        Is this a good time to note that a university that was truly concerned with “resilience” might have invested in classroom space over the years? At the best of times we have trouble finding rooms for all our classes, especially large ones. And now, in a crisis, we suddenly find classroom space is tight? Hoocoodanode?

      • HeadingForTheHills says:

        Reading this makes me think we should all just take a gap year. What a mess.

      • Max W. says:

        So this fun-to-read missive was promulgated solely to the Social Sciences?

        • uomatters says:

          I believe the same message went to the heads at all CAS divisions, this just happens to be the version someone leaked to me.

  4. Concerned Associate says:

    Honestly, I get sexually aroused by The Phildo. I teach in the Law School and my office looks out on its thrusting magnificence. I am concerned that I will jump the bones of the first student who comes to office hours, since I’ve read that sexual intercourse can spread the novel coronavirus.

  5. Daddy Warbucks says:

    Honestly, it’s nice that Schill is reopening campus this Fall just so I can coach some football games, but we can just play Madden on my xbox online instead.

  6. NoDeod says:

    Honestly, because my armpit flora has never been healthier.

  7. AlwaysWantedtoSocialDistanceAnyway says:

    Honestly, I never did enjoy interacting with young people, particularly this current generation. They’re the worst. This will work out best for them and for me.

  8. Rose says:

    I might be at a minority here but I am very much looking forward to resuming class in person in the fall. My specific discipline does not carry well over zoom at all; and I care about the skill my students acquire.
    Of course I will follow official guidelines and do not assume to lecture others what to do… If you need to teach remotely, for ANY reason, you should. But I beg you: let me teach in person (with social distancing and all needed precautions in place). It CAN be done safely.

    • Oryx says:

      I agree. Education isn’t just our job, it’s one of the most impressive accomplishments of human civilization. If I didn’t believe that, I wouldn’t be a professor. Some of this education can be done on line but it’s a poor substitute, for some students more than others. I weigh the benefits of educating people against the risks, and the risks would have to be far greater than they are to win.

      • Anonymous says:

        I too am very much looking forward to resuming classes in person, as I also find that Zoom is less than optimal for how I teach. But I guess I don’t share Oryx’s rosy view of the odds. Here’s the most rational assessment I’ve seen, and for those of us who spend lots of time in close contact with students, this looks bad: https://erinbromage.wixsite.com/covid19/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them?

        https://erinbromage.wixsite.com/covid19/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them?fbclid=IwAR2f5sK2GMJ99fzBtCivy4Vj6ApG_eynC9hnAJcLqKMK3sPDNaBBSW4kw6k

        • Outdoor Otter says:

          There is no safe social distancing in enclosed indoor spaces. Folks — especially admin — should thoroughly read the Erin Bromage site linked above. It seems credible and is sobering with regard to the probability of transmission in indoor spaces (like classrooms).
          To quote: “Indoor spaces, with limited air exchange or recycled air and lots of people, are concerning from a transmission standpoint. We know that 60 people in a volleyball court-sized room (choir) results in massive infections. Same situation with the restaurant and the call center. Social distancing guidelines don’t hold in indoor spaces where you spend a lot of time, as people on the opposite side of the room were infected.
          The principle is viral exposure over an extended period of time. In all these cases, people were exposed to the virus in the air for a prolonged period (hours). Even if they were 50 feet away (choir or call center), even a low dose of the virus in the air reaching them, over a sustained period, was enough to cause infection and in some cases, death.
          Social distancing rules are really to protect you with brief exposures or outdoor exposures. In these situations there is not enough time to achieve the infectious viral load when you are standing 6 feet apart or where wind and the infinite outdoor space for viral dilution reduces viral load.”

  9. Honest Abe says:

    Honestly, it seems perfectly reasonable for the administration to survey the faculty about pre-existing conditions and remote preferences before setting the fall schedule. And if they hadn’t just tried to bully us into accepting a wage cut plan that would have protected the highest paid administrators, I might even trust them to do it excellently.

    • Compulsory Pessimist says:

      It is NOT reasonable or appropriate for the administration to survey ANYONE about their personal medical conditions.

      I refuse to tell my employer “I’m a high medical risk.” Nor do I feel it reasonable to tell them if my household includes someone at high medical risk, but that’s a factor for many people too!

      “I am requesting to work remotely during Fall 2020.” Period. End of sentence. It should be unnecessary to say the implied “…because I’m an adult you expect to make good choices on the daily and this is what I believe is the best choice for me” but I guess we need to.

      • Anonymous says:

        Compulsory Pessimist — exactly!!! For #*@#$^& sake. I’d like to know just exactly how many people are not close to someone who isn’t fragile to this damn virus. This is outrageous.

  10. Dog says:

    give me the scotch cause I will start with the word Excellence, honestly ….

  11. Perplexed Otter says:

    Is the university administration that has to issue a modified and reassuring email within 48 hours the same administration that we are supposed to trust to run a system of testing and quarantining to protect the health of a community of 30,000+?

  12. Anas clypeata says:

    I’ve gained two pounds today. Only 121 more to go! It’s nice to have something to focus on.

  13. Canard says:

    I’m getting tired of all the snarky working-class-hero bullshit flying around here. Some people may have artwork, and bookshelves, and charming children – so that means they’re not allowed to be worried about the chance of dying, or the risk to their family members? Up yours, you pompous, self-righteous, “sympathetic” tools. I guess I should be abashed, after being lectured by the enlightened, who have somehow risen above the dullard professoriate and alone are able “to realize how singular these times are”. But I think you are falling for the same false narrative being pushed by the Republicans in their rush to re-open the economy.

    Yes, many “essential” workers are being forced to take unreasonable risks at this point, due to a proto-fascist administration that only cares about the stock market and re-election strategies. This is unfair and evil, and your solution is that everyone else should be happy to join them? “Literally, this is the least we can do”? “Suck it up”? Tell me how either of you is that different from the business owner demanding that his workers be forced back to work for his benefit. The effect is exactly the same – don’t worry about your life, just shut up and get back to work.

    A more reasonable position might be to argue that no one should have to make such a choice, and that our government should pay workers’ salaries during the shutdown, as is happening in most other developed countries. But I guess it’s just more satisfying to rail against the bougie faculty. Are you the last remaining Stalinists, or perhaps shilling for Art Robinson?

    • straw man in a dead horse says:

      You can be worried all you want and I won’t complain. Some of us are fed up with the ME ME ME attitude of people like Canard, who from the outside look like privileged ars-holes. No one is telling you to disregard your health, and maybe you should also look at other things IN ADDITION to your health. At the time where our students are seeing their future going up in smoke, we (faculty) should be thinking more broadly about our role.

      Here’s what I see. Teaching online is likely going to lead to tons of college dropouts. Setting aside the financial side of things, we are going to lose marginal students, who don’t have a good internet connection, who don’t have a place to study at home, who have a hard time coping with classes even when they are not online. I DON’T want to fail those students, and I am ready to teach on campus, AND CONCURRENTLY online (for those who cannot join us on campus).

      Also, nice touch about railing against the government. Surely, all those European countries paying workers’ salaries are eating money and not going to supermarkets where workers are exposing themselves. I’m as liberal as the average UO liberal, but come on, you are beating a dead horse.

      • Canard says:

        I don’t think it is beating a dead horse at all. The idea is to reduce the risk as far as is epidemeologically and economically possible. There are essential workers (healthcare, food supply chain, public utility, etc.) who are taking risks to keep the rest of the population literally alive. We now are calling them heroes, and we should pay them a lot more. And make sure they have unemployment if they judge that their risk, given their personal circumstances (such as having a child with diabetes) is too great.

        As for the rest of us, although we may think our work is critical, no one dies if we don’t do it. We are staying home, not because we are “privileged ars-holes”, but because the people who actually understand this stuff have told us to. When as many people as possible get out of the infection pool, transmission rates drop for everyone. This is why the rates on the West Coast, where most people are not insisting on their constitutional right to get a haircut, are dropping, while much of the rest of the country continues to climb. So even if you have a nice house, with art and books and children, you should probably stay in it, rather than going out into the general population to stand in solidarity with the essential workers, for no good practical reason. The clerks at our grocery benefit more from our shopping every two weeks than they would benefit from any virtue-signalling behavior by us. Unless you are glued to Fox News, you probably understand that the hate-filled revolt against the elites who won’t let us work will only lead to more suffering and death for all.

        So the infection rate is dropping and the summer passes – then what happens? 20,000+ students return to campus in the fall, from locations across the country and world. Will some of them be carriers? Undoubtedly. Will we be able to locate and quarantine all those with infections? Definitely not, but hopefully we can test enough to keep the infection rate low. Does anyone know for sure – five months in advance – how this will play out? No. Would you be a fool if you didn’t think about how this scenario would affect your health and life, or that of your family? Absolutely. Should you make a decision now, on what you will do in five months, when we aren’t really able to predict what is going to happen in two weeks? Maybe a tentative one, given your assumptions, and then adjust as circumstances develop. But your assumptions might be very different from someone else’s, and lead to very different conclusions. We can make decisions on the fly, can’t we? Didn’t we all just start teaching remotely with two weeks warning?

        So I have no patience for these jerks who berate their colleagues who are raising these questions. I don’t know anyone who isn’t looking at “other things IN ADDITION to your health.” You don’t know other people’s concerns, or health histories, or living situations, yet you presume to make those decisions for them. You actually are “telling you to disregard your health”. You have decided that you will be teaching on campus, and that’s fine. Others may come to a different conclusion, and they shouldn’t be shamed for it.

        As for your concerns for the students, we all share them. I am spending lots more time teaching than I ever have, and not just moving onto a digital platform. My research project has been put on hold until the summer. All of my classes are running way over time, as students hang around on Zoom to talk. I am staying in touch with students I’m concerned about, talking with them on the phone over the weekend, even going to meet some especially worried students in person, off campus (appropriately socially distanced, of course), reaching out to counselors. I want those students to succeed, and I’m very worried about the ones who, for a variety of reasons, are falling behind. We all care about our students a lot, but that doesn’t necessarily mean we are willing to risk death for them.

        Regarding the consequences of this for our students, maybe I benefit from having weathered a few more economic crises than you. (As a friend of mine once observed, your first recession as a grown-up completely freaks you out, and then you learn about all the prior ones your parents had to deal with but you never really understood.) This pandemic is certainly having an impact on our students that we should try to minimize, but most of them will get through it as well as anyone else. I’m still in touch with almost all my students who graduated in 2009, into the worst job market in memory. All of them are gainfully employed in their fields of choice, or in graduate school, or raising families. Most of them got lousy jobs for a few years, then moved on as the economy improved. Back then they may have foreseen “their future going up in smoke”, but they were mistaken. The only way your future definitely goes up in smoke is if you die.

        I appreciate your concerns and your arguments, Straw Man. But I have had it with people like the Stop/Whine pair above, who combine self-righteousness with an obsequiousness to the prerogatives of the institution that is bizarre. When they rant about “PERS Tier 1…fancy groceries.”, or “lovely bookshelves and artwork and skylights and well-fed pets and so charming children”, (or suggest that parents should be willing to quarantine themselves from their children in order to teach on campus), they display their obliviousness, and their snide callousness and disdain towards others’ lives, showing that their true motivation is probably not so much concern for their colleagues or students, but rather some unresolved conflicts and self-loathing they feel about having chosen careers in the bourgeois confines of academia.

        • Anonymous says:

          “ The idea is to reduce the risk as far as is epidemeologically and economically possible.”. —- while I sympathize with most of your points, if we use the above rubric, we would simply cancel all classes for the Fall and Spring, and so on until a vaccine is created and distributed and administered to at least 60-70% of people.

          The whole point is that we have competing interests here, with life and death consequences on both sides — just one side has more immediately noticeable ones.
          This thing is only going to get worse, AND we can’t just all stay on lockdown for years.

      • Logical Otter says:

        I am also concerned about the marginal students. But one has to acknowledge that there is a whole range of experiences out there, even in that group. For many students whose families are currently experiencing financial hardship, learning online may be the most affordable way (and maybe the only way) for them to continue college. They can live where it is least expensive for them (for many of them, this is at home with their parents).

    • Stop the Whine says:

      Look, I suggest you think through the following: where does the money come from that pays for your salary which pays for bookshelves and arty stuff and skylights and charming (to you) children? My students always need hints, so here are two: taxes and tuition are a good place to start. Also, Problem 2: what has happened to our tax base? Once you do that homework, let’s discuss what happens when we decide not to teach. Do you think we will still be leading our comfortable lives? So you think UA will save us if the UO doesn’t exist, or simply becomes the Knight Institute of Applied Biology? (If you are someone who would be employed by the future Knight Institute, you can stop reading now, I guess,)

      I don’t say ignore your health. But if you think somehow we should be the people who take on *no* risk, then I suppose I don’t have anything further to discuss.

  14. MyGuess says:

    I think the classes in Fall will still be delivered in most part, if not completely, by remote teaching. My guess is that the administration wants to know if there are faculty that cannot at all be present (because of health conditions etc.). Those faculty will have to be protected during the pandemic. All the other faculty are potentially more flexible, and in case we have enough monitoring on campus and enough safe conditions, the faculty at lower risk will be able to be occasionally on campus, for example to teach some part of the lectures that require lab time, or for finals to control that students do not cheat etc. I bet labs will be stretched in time to include social distancing: still some faculty will have to be on campus for the labs.

  15. cdsinclair says:

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  16. Stop the whining says:

    Not having in person classes is an existential threat to the UO. I think many faculty have their heads in the sand about the security of their jobs. So yes we will need to accept some risk. If you cannot, and you are PERS Tier I, you have an option that many of us do not: retire with generous benefits. Otherwise, like the people who stock the shelves at your fancy groceries and deliver your Amazon packages, who are assuming risks to keep the world moving, we should do the same. The level of risk posed to most of us will be lower than those folks. Suck it up.

    • Stop the Whine says:

      You’d have almost thought this post was about parking or having to walk or bus to campus, with all this nebbishy kvetching.

    • Worried Parent says:

      I’m not whining but I am worried about my son who has type I diabetes. This request doesn’t seem to acknowledge that in-person teaching might indirectly put family members at risk. Household transmission rates are very high.

      • Stop The Whine says:

        I am sympathetic. I believe there are steps you can take — isolating yourself from your son until the vaccine is available, for one. Are you fortunate enough to live in a house where you can have a separate bed/bath? I ask because many workers who are keeping us afloat and keeping the food on your table do not have that luxury. I realize this is extreme — but despite the minor inconveniences of teaching via Zoom and showing our lovely bookshelves and artwork and skylights and well-fed pets and so charming children in the background to our students — many of us have yet to realize how singular these times are. We very well could be headed into a global downturn never seen in our or even many of our parents’ lives. Already people who are less fortunate have lost their jobs, businesses, livelihoods, and it is not at all clear they will recover. I believe us professors can return to some modified version of in-person teaching. Literally, this is the least we can do.

        • Logical Otter says:

          Stop the Whine is making false comparisons. Health care workers are putting themselves at risk to save other lives. Others are putting food on our tables because there is no substitute, and for that we are grateful. In the case of universities, there is a reasonable alternative that allows the world to move forward and that is to teach remotely. This reduces risk to faculty, staff, students, their families and the general public. Furthermore, everyone seems to presume that students won’t come back if classes are online, but some cautious students (and yes, I know some….) may not come back if classes are in person.
          So…no…it isn’t somehow noble to go forward and needlessly risk more lives if there is a reasonable alternative.

          • uomatters says:

            Gain a few students, lose a few professors. I’m no cost-benefit analyst, but sometimes I think Chuck Lillis puts a positive welfare weight on both these outcomes.

            • Observer says:

              There will actually be a huge amount of UO classes online in the fall. I would advise any student on a vulnerable category to take only online classes then.

  17. thedude says:

    We all just take up smoking.

    • uomatters says:

      What?

      • Francophile says:

        Google: “Low incidence of daily active tobacco smoking in patients with symptomatic COVID-19.” France, need I say more?

    • I Must Remain Anonymous says:

      I can *finally* smoke during meetings! It’s the 1980’s all over again — back when fans behind the floppy drives in our office Televideo CPM machines sucked up the cigarette smoke! Good times, good times.

  18. Professor Kim Jong Un, PhD says:

    I filled out the form and attached the required selfie of me on my bathroom scale in boxers. Apparently 5’2″ and 350 lbs is well over the threshold, so I’ll be teaching from the beach house this fall. Good luck to the rest of you.

  19. raiseyourhand says:

    This whole thing makes me so incredibly uncomfortable.

    • Anonymous says:

      How can we commit to coming back to the classroom in the fall when we have no idea what the safety level will be? I feel like all this pressure is simply to assure the administration’s bottom line.

  20. Eternal Skeptic says:

    Five day deadline for something starting five months from now — with only vague promises that say “the university will have social distancing measures and other safety protocols in place before it re-opens,” but almost zero details on specifics. Seems unnecessarily rushed? Would it have been too much to ask for a week?

  21. Puzzled Otter says:

    Question for the admins (or anybody): If I teach in-person in the Fall, and at some point a student in my class tests positive for COVID-19, does the class then go online for 2 weeks while everyone in the class quarantines? And when the students in the class are quarantining, are they missing attending their other classes that are still being taught in person? Not to mention that my 2nd class would go online during this 2-week period, so those students would have to adjust accordingly. I’m having a hard time figuring this one out…but maybe it’s just me…Or maybe it’s a hard math problem that some of our mathematicians could tackle?

    (Apologies for cross-posting, I think my question is now more relevant to this thread.)

    • thedude says:

      I think ideally you all self quarantine, and get a test. If positive quarantine continues. Negative, go back to work.

      • Worried Parent says:

        Yes that would be ideal. But one sick student could trigger the need for several hundred tests if we also test all the students in each of the sick student’s classes. Given the experience of the past couple of months, do you really believe that will be possible? Suppose this happens repeatedly over the course of fall term?1

      • thedude says:

        The way to make it really efficient is batch test the whole class. Then if it comes back positive test everyone in the class.

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