Athens, Georgia-- Some college professors in Georgia are upset after claiming they have been requested to provide a suggestion for someone to teach in their place if they contract Covid-19.

One UGA professor told CBS46 that she got "chills" when asked during a faculty meeting to help figure out who handle her course load if she gets sick and cannot do it.

The professor added that the notion reinforces the risk associated with returning to classrooms this fall and how it puts educators, staff and students' health in jeopardy.

Hannah Morris, a graduate student at UGA, tweeted this Friday which has gained a lot of traction on Twitter: "Faculty at UGA are being asked to identify their next-of-academic-kin, meaning someone who can take over their class if they get exposed/sick (or worse). It’s almost like admin know conditions will be unsafe and people will get sick." 

Morris says no one's life should be put at risk when learning can happen virtually.

"No one should be compelled to come into a Georgia classroom because they are afraid of losing their job, or their funding, or their healthcare, or their visa, or their immigration status," said Morris. "We should not be compelling people to come into unsafe conditions and that is what the university is doing right now."

"This is a misrepresentation. It is common practice in academia for faculty members to designate a fill-in if they cannot teach a specific class, due to illness or a professional responsibility such as presenting at a conference," released by Greg Trevor of the University of Georgia.
 
"To ensure that students receive uninterrupted instruction over the semester, all instructors in an abundance of caution have been asked to designate someone to teach their course if they become unable to do so due to extended illness.  The replacement instructor would typically be in the same academic department, have a similar area of expertise, and in many cases, would already be teaching or have taught the same course.  This is the same protocol that was in place for the spring and summer semesters.  There is no official policy to refer to," released by Wendy Hensel, GSU  

 Morris says if anyone on campus needs advice or wants to join in on the conversation about returning to classes safely then she can be reached through the following sites: https://www.re-opengeorgiasafely.com hannah@re-opengeorgiasafely.com

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