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University Of Dayton Faculty Worried About Returning To Campus

The University of Dayton is planning to open this fall, and a new survey put together by faculty members is finding that many UD employees don't feel comfortable with the reopening.
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The University of Dayton is planning to open this fall, and a new survey put together by faculty members is finding that many UD employees don't feel comfortable with the reopening.

A group of faculty members at the University of Dayton are collecting surveys from UD employees to see how concerned they are about the campus reopening — and the risk of catching the coronavirus at work.

More than 250 UD employees have responded to the survey. Fewer than 30 percent say they feel safe returning to campus in the fall.

“We’re all vulnerable to this virus,” says Professor Peggy DesAutels, “and it’s not going to be controlled or contained by fall. In fact, things just seem to be getting worse. So, I’m not willing to take health risks for myself, and also, for my husband, who is 71 and has underlying health conditions.”

DesAutels says she asked to teach all of her courses online this fall, and she’s waiting for approval.

At the same time, she worries other faculty and staff may not have a choice, or will choose being collegial over their own best interests.

“Some faculty will feel pressured to choose to teach in person so they don’t let down their students or don’t let down their colleagues if they’re team teaching,” she says. “It’s just going to be very challenging.”