**UPDATE: As of 7/10/2020, the OU Workers United petition, and its accompanying signatures has been delivered to University President Joe Harroz, Jr., Senior Vice President and Interim Provost Jill Irvine, and Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Eric Conrad.**
**UPDATE (7/7/2020): The Interim Provost's announcement on July 7 of a Flexible Teaching Plan is not a satisfactory response to the concerns presented in the OU Workers United petition. We continue to hope that the University will reconsider its determination to sponsor "a primarily in-person educational experience." Read more: http://www.ou.edu/together/academics/flexibleteaching.**
**NOTE: OU faculty, staff, students, and community members may add their signatures to this letter by completing the form at the bottom (just keep scrolling!). Names do not appear automatically, but the list will be updated frequently. Email addresses are collected for verification purposes only and will not be shared publicly.**
TO: President Joseph Harroz, Jr., Senior Vice President and Interim Provost Jill Irvine, University Chief COVID Officer Dale Bratzler, and Vice President for Operations and Chief Operating Officer Eric Conrad
We, the undersigned, including University of Oklahoma tenured and tenure-track professors, term faculty, adjunct faculty, part-time instructors, graduate student teaching and research assistants, and staff members call on the OU administration to adjust the Fall 2020 “Safe and Resilient” reopening plan in consideration of the recent surge of COVID-19 cases in Oklahoma and across the nation.
We appeal to the University’s leadership to adhere to the following core principles during the COVID-19 pandemic out of respect for the autonomy and well-being of:
1. our teaching community and their families, no OU instructor--including Graduate Teaching Assistants and non-tenure-stream faculty--will be required to teach in person, and all OU instructors will be afforded decision-making power over curriculum and method of instruction, including the choice to teach entirely online and the necessary support and supplies for transition teaching to an online format, in accordance with the principles of academic freedom;
2. our staff community and their families, all staff members who are able to meet their responsibilities remotely will be permitted and encouraged to do so, and will be provided with the equipment and supplies required for their work, thereby reducing numbers of staff on campus to protect the safety of all who cannot work remotely;
3. our student community and their families, no student at any level of university education will be required to attend class in person, and all students of the university will be afforded the choice to attend classes entirely online.
4. Finally, out of respect for the privacy of our university community, no OU teacher, staff, or student will be required to disclose their personal medical conditions or those of their family members in order to be permitted to teach, work, or attend classes entirely online. These accommodations will not be made through ADA processes, as they are a matter of public health and workplace safety. Additionally, no University employee will be required to use paid sick leave or FMLA leave in order to quarantine, whether voluntarily or involuntarily, in the event of known exposure to COVID-19, or to care for children whose regular school or daycare situation is interrupted by closures due to COVID-19.