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UM-Duluth Faculty Threaten To Teach Classes Online If Administrators Don't Better Prepare For COVID-19

DULUTH, Minn. (AP) — Faculty at the University of Minnesota-Duluth's largest college are threatening to put all their courses online if administrators don't meet their demands to make better preparations to handle COVID-19 infections when classes resume this fall.

The Minneapolis Star Tribune reported Wednesday that Swesnson College of Science and Engineering department heads sent a letter to Chancellor Lendley Black on Monday demanding an on-campus testing site, daily updates on positive cases, notifications if students test positive and clear online options for students. The letter demands administrators implement the changes before classes resume Aug. 31.

"It is difficult to imagine that we will be able to be in person for more than a few weeks with what we know of the current plan," the letter states. "We are risking our ability to deliver classes even remotely if we do not achieve these items very quickly."

About half of all UM-Duluth classes will be online during the fall semester, although about 80% of students will have at least one in-person class.

University spokeswoman Lynne Williams said "faculty control their delivery mode and should be preparing their contingency plans." But she warned that the university will keep campus community members' heath records private and the school can't get information from people who seek medical care off-campus.

(© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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