Gilbert, Neuman speak with BDN about faculty perspectives for returning to campus

The Bangor Daily News interviewed Faye Gilbert, interim executive vice president of academic affairs and provost at the University of Maine, and Lisa Neuman, an associate anthropology professor who leads UMaine’s chapter of the Associated Faculties of the Universities of Maine (AFUM), about a survey detailing how participating faculty feel about returning to campus in the fall. A survey by the union in June found 57% of the more than 250 faculty respondents “said they felt uncomfortable with teaching in classrooms this fall as the coronavirus pandemic continues and as new cases surge nationally.” On the other hand, 49% of faculty who responded to the survey said they were preparing for in-person instruction. “It’s not the actual percentage that really matters there. It’s just that there was a discrepancy that was significant between those who would like to return and those who were actually making those plans,” Neuman said. Gilbert said UMaine administrators expect more than half of the classes taught in the upcoming semester will be in-person. “It seems to be laying out pretty well with people expressing their beliefs about the best way to offer their classes, and that portfolio of needs,” Gilbert says. Neuman noted that the university “is trying to work with everybody to make sure people have some options, and that they are aware of the options that they have.” WGME (Channel 13 in Portland) also mentioned the BDN article.