Northern Arizona University faculty members alarmed about university’s plans to reopen

Photo: Yuanchen Bao

By Grace Oldham | Arizona Republic

Tad Theimer is losing sleep. After more than 20 years of teaching at Northern Arizona University, the professor in the biology department is weighing whether to submit his resignation.

Related: Grand Canyon University pushes back start date for in-person classes

He says it’s impossible, as a scientist looking at the data, to ignore the contradiction between what is known about the coronavirus pandemic and the university’s plans to reopen. But most of all, he thinks of his students.

“Am I supposed to tell my students it’s safe to come back, even though I think it’s complete folly?” he asked. “I’m in a moral dilemma.”

While Arizona remains in the national spotlight with rising COVID-19 infection rates and the nation’s highest rate of positive tests, NAU — along with University of Arizona and Arizona State University — hasn’t budged on plans to open the campus next month.

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