Faculty must be part of safe-return decision making

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

This message was sent to senior University administrators on Tuesday, January 25.

FAUW has been receiving many messages from members detailing their concerns about Waterloo’s plans for a safe return to campus and the lack of consultation with faculty on those plans and the pandemic response in general.

In light of the University’s announcement on January 21 that most classes will resume in person on February 7, to ensure the safety of our members and everyone on campus, and to safeguard the fundamental principle of collegial governance of universities, FAUW asks that the following conditions be met by February 7:

  1. That an adequate supply of N95 or KN95 respirators be provided for our members and for all members of the UWaterloo community who must be on campus.
  2. That Rapid Antigen Tests be provided to faculty who are required to be on campus as soon as they are available.
  3. That the University conduct an assessment to determine when COVID-19 booster shots should be mandatory.
  4. That the University provide an update about safety upgrades to campus infrastructure, including air exchange rates and carbon dioxide levels in offices, classrooms, and other spaces that have taken place since July 2021, and information about how air quality will continue to be monitored and reported to the campus community.
  5. That faculty have the autonomy to consult with their students and to decide whether their courses should continue online or in-person.
  6. That Faculty Councils and Senate have robust discussions of the conditions required for a safe return to campus.
  7. That faculty be meaningfully consulted on decisions related to a safe return to campus and our pedagogical duties.
  8. That until such meaningful consultation with faculty takes place, the administration stop claiming it is occurring.
  9. That the results of the recent survey asking employees how they feel about returning to campus be released to the campus community, and any parallel survey results for students.

Read the related post on our blog.