Members of the Faculty Executive Committee discussed what can be learned from UNC’s reopening plan and what steps must be taken in the spring semester to avoid a future recurrence at Monday's meeting.
Faculty agreed that, although the Board of Governors gave the authority to welcome students back onto campus, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz had the responsibility of implementing those steps throughout campus.
“Nobody made UNC appear on 60 Minutes,” Eric Muller, a law professor, said. “The Board of Governors did not do that ... while I wouldn’t expect any kind of apology or acceptance of responsibility for judgments that were not our campus's leadership's — that would be deeply unfair — I don’t think it’s unfair to expect some sense of accountability for those aspects of things that were — at least, to public eyes — rather clearly theirs.”
But there was debate over how the University’s administration should acknowledge its errors.
Some members felt a formal apology should be issued, while others said an apology means nothing without hard evidence of changes going into the spring semester.
"I do think we have to think — we have to realize that just because we know better, doesn't mean we do better," nursing professor Rumay Alexander said.
Alexander added that restoring trust among UNC’s community will be a result of implementing strict changes.
“You can’t talk your way out of what you behaved your way into,” she said.
Regardless, several faculty members noted there is a sense of “mistrust” and “fatigue” on campus after UNC moved undergraduate classes online and reduced housing capacity at residential dorms.