Georgia State Professor Files Complaint over Denied Request to Teach Remotely

Historians in the News
tags: public health, academic labor, colleges and universities, COVID-19, Remote teaching

A prominent Georgia State University professor has filed a complaint with federal officials after he says the school denied his request to teach remotely.

Dan Immergluck said in interviews with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution his request was rejected despite paperwork from his doctor stating Immergluck has a heart condition that could jeopardize his health if he contracts COVID-19.

“All teaching, research should be done remotely wherever possible,” the doctor, whose name Immergluck redacted for privacy concerns, wrote on a university medical certification form.

“He is at increased risk of complications/severe illness if he were to contract COVID-19,” the doctor wrote in response to another question on the form asking about the employee’s limitations.

Immergluck said Georgia State pulled him from teaching his classes this semester when he appealed the university’s denial. He said Georgia State has docked his pay by 40%, reflecting the share of his workload devoted to teaching.

Georgia State declined comment Monday.

Immergluck is one of many Georgia faculty members with various ailments or medical conditions who say their college or university has unfairly denied requests to teach off campus since the coronavirus pandemic began. Immergluck believes he is among the first tenured faculty members in the University System of Georgia, which oversees Georgia State’s operations, to file a federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission complaint. He wants the University System to require students and employees to wear masks in classrooms and be vaccinated, which it currently doesn’t do.

“I want them to change their policy, so fewer people would need accommodations,” Immergluck said in a telephone interview. “To me, clearly, they are not following the law.”

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Immergluck, 60, has been at Georgia State for more than four years and taught at Georgia Tech for 12 years before that. He’s a nationally recognized expert on affordable housing issues who’s written four books and sits on the editorial boards of four peer-reviewed academic journals.

Immergluck said he taught all of his classes remotely last year, encountered no problems with administrators and got excellent reviews from students.

Read entire article at Atlanta Journal-Constitution