Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, August 11, 2020

Three Tenured Professors Request New Mexico Law School To Delay Tomorrow's Start Of On-Ground Classes Due To COVID-19 And Cyber Attack

Daily Lobo, UNM Law Professors Request Delayed Fall Semester After Two Test Positive for COVID-19:

New Mexico Logo (2015)A group of tenure track School of Law professors at the University of New Mexico have formally requested a delay in the start of the fall semester.

According to a letter obtained by the Daily Lobo, law school faculty members Christine Zuni Cruz, Barbara Creel and Marc-Tizoc González sent a letter to UNM School of Law Dean Sergio Pareja on Aug. 5 urging him to push back the start of the semester until Sept. 8.

The letter referenced that the law school has reported two positive cases of COVID-19 in the past few weeks. ...

According to the employee, policies were not in place prior to the first positive case, and multiple employees have expressed concern over the lack of COVID-19 protections for faculty, staff and students with the pending school year.

In addition to the coronavirus disruption, the letter also referenced that on July 27 an “illegal intrusion into the IT environment” had occurred. The letter referenced it as a possible “ransomware attack” which had “rendered the law school network server completely inaccessible.” The letter stated that “the hack resulted in the deletion of information and data preventing faculty from preparing for the semester.”

Based on those unprecedented events, the faculty asserted that they need a delay in the semester to better prepare and reconsider other teaching modalities given the pandemic.

“We believe it is our duty, as tenured faculty members entrusted with shared-governance responsibilities, to ask that the administration acknowledge the overload and additional stress caused by the cyber-attack and neither ignore, nor deny its impact on teaching preparation and related work,” the letter read. ...

The in-person New Student Orientation for the School of Law is currently scheduled to begin on Aug. 12, with the semester scheduled to start on Aug. 17.

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