SSU’s Faculty Senate urges University of GA System to go online this fall

ByBria Bolden|July 20, 2020 at 10:39 PM EDT - Updated July 20 at 11:34 PM

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Savannah State University has confirmed to WTOC they will be providing a mix of in-person and online instruction for the fall.

However, a group that represents faculty on campus wants that to change.

A member of SSU’s Faculty Senate told us they want the Board of Regents and University System to do more to ensure the safety of the campus community.

Dr. Jordan Dominy is not comfortable with face to face classes at SSU this fall. The organization he represents, SSU’s Faculty Senate, isn’t either. The Faculty Senate is made up of elected faculty members from various departments and colleges.

They sent a letter expressing concerns about classes and re-opening plans to the University of Georgia System Chancellor and Board of Regents.

“We are asking for them to make online or remote methods of instruction the default mode for the fall semester and also empower leaders at our local campuses here at Savannah State and throughout the University System to take the further steps that they need to ensure the safety of the campus community,” said Dr. Dominy.

Dr. Dominy says he and faculty are worried about the health of African American students, faculty and staff. African Americans make up about 80 percent of their student body, faculty and staff.

“Since the CDC is indicating that Black and African Americans are having a significantly worse set of outcomes, it puts our campus particularly at risk.”

Dr. Dominy says they were told to be prepared to change plans for classes at a moment’s notice if some students did not feel safe.

He says faculty is thinking about the students they serve and putting classes online is the safest thing to do.

“We know as faculty we are good at our jobs. We will be able to provide a quality education, a good strong educational experience for our students even in these strange strangers of times we are living in right now.”

Savannah State says they are following guidelines from the CDC, requiring new safety protocols, and have provisions in place to protect students, faculty and staff.

The first day of classes is August 17.

Photo: WTOC

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