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The University Star




The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

Poll shows faculty discontent with return to face-to-face instruction

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Courtesy of Texas State

Texas State’s Faculty Senate released results in its July 22 virtual meeting from surveys asking faculty members questions about the university’s plan to return in the fall. The survey included questions about faculty members’ concerns over contracting COVID-19 on campus and their agreement or disagreement about returning to face-to-face instruction.
Nearly 700 faculty members from across the university’s respective colleges responded to the survey. 46.56% of responses were from tenured faculty; 31.74% of responses were from non-tenure line faculty; 17.66% of responses were from tenure-track faculty; 2.99% of responses were from faculty who preferred not to specify; 1.05% of responses were from “other.” The questions and results are as follows:

Cloth face coverings are now required indoors and outdoors on campus unless a person is alone. The consequences for not complying—for students, faculty, and staff—are outlined in the Roadmap section on Face Coverings & Masks. How satisfied are you with the current policies regarding face coverings and masks?

Very satisfied, 36.92% (247)
Somewhat satisfied, 39.76% (266)
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 5.23% (35)
Somewhat dissatisfied, 10.01% (67)
Very dissatisfied, 7.62% (51)
Prefer not to answer, 0.45% (3)
Total, 100% (669)

Regular and intensive cleaning and disinfection procedures will be in place during the fall 2020 semester, based on empirical evidence and FDA-approved products. How satisfied are you with the planned cleaning and disinfection procedures?

Very satisfied, 23.35% (156)
Somewhat satisfied, 42.81% (286)
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 11.68% (78)
Somewhat dissatisfied, 10.78% (72)
Very dissatisfied, 10.33% (69)
Prefer not to answer, 1.05% (7)
Total, 100% (668)

High-risk individuals, as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), have the opportunity through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to request workplace modifications to move their fall 2020 courses online. These requests are reviewed by one ADA officer, and all records are kept private. Faculty members with circumstances or conditions not defined by the CDC should consult with their department chair/school director about options for modifications, and are not required to submit documentation or other private information. How satisfied are you with the options for requesting workplace modifications?

Very satisfied, 25.04% (167)
Somewhat satisfied, 28.34% (189)
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 11.09% (74)
Somewhat dissatisfied, 17.84% (119)
Very dissatisfied, 16.04% (107)
Prefer not to answer, 1.65% (11)
Total, 100% (667)

What are your current plans for teaching in the fall 2020 semester?

I am teaching at least some face-to-face courses, 36.38% (243)
I requested to teach entirely online and am waiting for results, 10.78% (72)
I am already approved to teach entirely online, 20.21% (135)
I would prefer to teach entirely online but do not feel comfortable asking for accommodations, 18.11% (121)
I requested to teach online but was denied, 0.75% (5)
Other, 10.18% (68)
Prefer not to answer, 3.59% (24)
Total, 100% (668)

The tradition of shared governance in higher education recognizes the importance of both faculty and administrators as decision-makers. President Trauth assembled several work groups to make recommendations regarding COVID-19 plans and procedures. How satisfied are you with the culture of shared governance at Texas State University regarding the development of COVID-19 plans and procedures?

Very satisfied, 17.69% (118)
Somewhat satisfied, 25.19% (168)
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, 14.09% (94)
Somewhat dissatisfied, 20.99% (140)
Very dissatisfied, 20.39% (136)
Prefer not to answer, 1.65% (11)
Total, 100% (667)

How concerned are you about students and others on campus adhering to the guidelines for wearing masks and social distancing?

Extremely concerned, 63.53% (425)
Fairly concerned, 19.73% (132)
Somewhat concerned, 8.67% (58)
A little concerned, 4.48% (30)
Not at all concerned, 3.59% (24)
Prefer not to answer, 0.00% (0)
Total 100% (669)

How concerned are you that you will be at risk of contracting COVID-19 in the workplace even with current health and safety guidelines in place?

Extremely concerned, 58.00% (388)
Fairly concerned, 20.78% (139)
Somewhat concerned, 9.57% (64)
A little concerned, 6.28% (42)
Not at all concerned, 4.48% (30)
Prefer not to answer, 0.90% (6)
Total, 100% (669)

How concerned are you about your ability to effectively teach face to face courses in the fall 2020 semester?

Extremely concerned, 46.78% (312)
Fairly concerned, 18.29% (122)
Somewhat concerned, 6.75% (45)
A little concerned, 6.30% (42)
Not at all concerned, 6.15% (41)
Prefer not to answer / not planning to teach face to face in fall, 15.74% (105)
Total, 100% (667)
 

How concerned are you that you will be able to effectively regulate health and safety requirements in your classes (either directly or indirectly by monitoring and reporting noncompliance to the Dean of Students), such as mandatory face masks, social distancing, 50% student capacity, assigned seats, etc.?

Extremely concerned, 48.43% (324)
Fairly concerned, 17.19% (115)
Somewhat concerned, 8.97% (60)
A little concerned, 7.92% (53)
Not at all concerned, 5.68% (38)
Prefer not to answer / not planning to teach face to face in fall, 11.81% (79)
Total, 100% (669)
How strongly do you agree or disagree with the University plan to return to face-to-face instruction in the fall 2020 semester?
Strongly agree, 6.59% (44)
Agree, 6.89% (46)
Neutral/Undecided, 15.72% (105)
Disagree, 23.35% (156)
Strongly disagree, 46.41% (310)
Prefer not to answer, 1.05% (7)
Total, 100% (668)

During this unprecedented time, many decisions have been made in a short amount of time regarding budget cuts, campus safety, research, teaching, etc. How would you rate your level of trust in the administrators and officials making these decisions?

High trust, 14.69% (98)
Some trust, 30.43% (203)
Neutral, 11.99% (80)
Some distrust, 24.74% (165)
High distrust, 16.49% (110)
Prefer not to answer, 1.65% (11)
Total, 100% (667)
In addition to the surveys, faculty were asked to share comments with perspectives or thoughts they may have about the university’s preparation for the fall semester. In total, 397 comments were submitted, totaling 58,537 words.
Broad topics were taken from all of the comments and ranked based on the number of times each topic was addressed in the comments. The top ten most common topics addressed and the corresponding number of mentions are as follows:

  1. Unreasonable/impractical to be face-to-face in fall (95 mentions)
  2. Worried that students will not make good decisions outside of class/off-campus (56 mentions)
  3. Lack of representation on workgroups/lack of faculty voice or role in decision-making (53 mentions)
  4. Concerns about faculty regulating students in class or hallways. For example: Disruptive students trying to make statements, vague process if it happens (47 mentions)
  5. Lack of detail or clarity in Roadmap/mixed messaging/many questions still (35 mentions)
  6. Concerned that enrollment/money has been prioritized over lives & health (33 mentions)
  7. The inappropriate burden being placed on faculty with no compensation. For example: Planning online and face-to-face versions of the same class, subbing for sick colleagues, cleaning between classes, etc. (32 mentions)
  8. Faculty should get to choose to teach online or not (32 mentions)
  9. Concern University will go remote at last minute or after classes start, giving not enough time to prepare our classes (30 mentions)
  10. Concerned with transmission while passing in hallways, stairways, bathrooms, etc. (24 mentions)

Faculty Senate intends to release a statement directed at Texas State administration.

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  • Courtesy of Texas State

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  • Courtesy of Texas State

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  • A file photo of Faculty Senate meeting, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, in the J.C. Kellam Administration Building at Texas State.

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