Profs. expected to teach in person

Tom Benoit

The college is expecting all professors to return to in-person teaching.

According to KSC President Melinda Treadwell, the students did not want to return to online classes.

“There’s an interesting dichotomy,” Treadwell said, “Students wanting the flexibility of the synchronous or online course, and so how do you serve both audiences?”

Treadwell said there will always be some classes taught entirely online due to factors such as location or opportunity, but it will only be a “tiny” percentage. She explained that she knows some classes within the American Studies program and some classes around race and racial identity discussions are online because they do not have specialists in the Monadnock region.

Karrie Kalich, associate dean of academic affairs, said that professors who have taught online classes over the course of the pandemic are being told the expectation is that the college returns to in-person learning. Treadwell explained that some professors are teaching online because they have a medical leave due to COVID-19, however this is shifting, she said.

“It’s becoming increasingly tolerable for people who are even at risk to be coming back into community because of the vaccination effectiveness and other details,” she said.

Provost James Beeby saidprofessors can go to the college with documentation of health  issues, and if the college cannot make a reasonable accommodation, the college can make a judgment call. “But the expectation is that the faculty member teach in person,” Beeby said.

Kalich explained that some faculty may receive a letter following a request that “reasonable” accommodations are appropriate, which could include HEPA air filters, N95 masks and offering classrooms with the greatest air exchange.

“We try to do everything we can… our goal is to educate students to the best of our ability and we know that, for the large majority of our students, that happens best when we can have an in-person delivery of a class,” Kalich said.

Beeby said the Zoom technology for classrooms will not be going away “Occasionally, that’s a good use to have,” he said.

“We don’t know what’s going to happen with COVID[-19] and the future,” Beeby said, “Sometimes faculty may use the technology in the classroom…I think that’s a good thing to have.”

 

Tom Benoit can be contacted at
tbenoit@kscequinox.com

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