ECU faculty speaks out on university’s return to campus plan

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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Around 300 professors and graduate students have their signatures on a petition, calling for more faculty input in ECU’s return to campus plan.

One June 22nd, ECU released its official plan to re-open: “The Return of Pirate Nation.”

However, a large group of faculty says that plan isn’t good enough.

“One of the reasons I signed it was because I was concerned about the limited shared governance in some of the decisions that were being made with the re-open,” said Anne Ticknor, an Associate Professor for the Department of Literacy Studies, English Education, and History Education.

The petition asks for seven different requests from the university.

Those requests include a free COVID-19 testing system for teachers and staff, necessary funding for effective online teaching, and clear procedures for addressing cases where students and employees don’t adhere to CDC guidelines.

There’s one request Ticknor believes is especially important.

“Supporting instructors in making their own decisions about teaching online, or face to face, without having to disclose any person information, or justify their decision,” said Ticknor.

ECU’s Interim Chancellor Ron Mitchelson responded to the petition in his most recent town hall address saying:

“I know we all still face uncertainty about returning to campus. The well-being of our community is of the utmost importance and is the focus of all of our efforts. I appreciate the faculty sharing their concerns and requests. I want to know this type of information as we move forward in our planning. Several of the items listed in the petition are already being addressed, and we are taking the others into consideration.”

There is no word from the university about which requests are being adressed.

To read the full petition, click here.

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