UM professors upset over school’s plan to have in-person classes amid rising COVID cases

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As Miami-Dade County — the epicenter of the pandemic in Florida — reports thousands of COVID-19 cases each day, some faculty and staff at the University of Miami are pushing back over the school’s plan to reopen its campuses, feeling the administration has ignored their pleadings over personal safety.

The private university, based in Coral Gables, granted its nearly 17,000 students the power to decide how to learn, but failed to do the same for many of its approximately 16,000 faculty and staff, full and part time, some employees said.

Students got two choices: Take classes entirely remotely, or return to campus and take some classes in person and some online, which UM describes as a “hybrid protected model.” UM encouraged professors who qualify as vulnerable with underlying medical conditions, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, to request accommodations, but didn’t do same for those who

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University professors fear returning to campus as coronavirus cases surge

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Laura Crary, an art history professor at a liberal arts college in South Carolina, is anxious to return to the classroom, so much so that she was prescribed anti-anxiety medications for the first time in her life.

“I am 62.5 years old, which means I’m four years from full retirement age, or I’d probably retire right now because I’m very nervous,” she said.

While the final fall 2020 plans at her college are still pending, professors at her university were told that conducting solely online classes was not an option. Crary asked that NBC News not name the college.

As coronavirus cases start to surge in more than 30 states across the U.S., some professors are pushing back when it comes to returning to campus for in-person teaching. More than 50% of colleges and universities have announced they will be hosting professors or students back on campus in the next

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