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Now for Spring Semester Plans

Some professors are pushing back against universities' plans for more in-person classes in the spring, Inside Higher Ed reports.

Faculty members at three Florida universities have filed grievances regarding their plans for increased in-person instruction for next semester, it adds. For instance, IHE says the University of Florida plans to boost the number of in-person classes for spring 2021 to 5,394 from 821 currently. Though it notes the university says it will continue to follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines on social distancing and face coverings, it adds that Tom Auxter, a philosophy professor, has filed a grievance calling for remote learning to be the default. He tells IHE he is particularly concerned about in-person instruction as his age places him at increased risk of dying if he contracts COVID-19.

IHE adds that other universities are also seeking more in-person instruction, but have tried to take faculty concerns into account. Northeastern University, for example, says professors with childcare concerns can opt for remote teaching, and while Virginia Tech has urged professors to consider in-person instruction, the final decisions are to be left to each department.

The Scan

Back as Director

A court has reinstated Nicole Boivin as director of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, Science reports.

Research, But Implementation?

Francis Collins reflects on his years as the director of the US National Institutes of Health with NPR.

For the False Negatives

The Guardian writes that the UK Health Security Agency is considering legal action against the lab that reported thousands of false negative COVID-19 test results.

Genome Biology Papers Present Epigenetics Benchmarking Resource, Genomic Architecture Maps of Peanuts, More

In Genome Biology this week: DNA methylation data for seven reference cell lines, three-dimensional genome architecture maps of peanut lines, and more.