"The Other Pandemic" (October 7, 2021), signed by Professor Jason Mittell on behalf of the AAUP Executive Committee and Working Conditions Committee, contains at least one false statement and one claim that cannot be supported by any known data. "Vermont case counts are currently higher than nearly all other states with NESCAC schools." As of early October, Vermont's year-to-date case counts (5,130 per 100k) were lower than Maine (6,984), Connecticut (11,022), Massachusetts (11,896), and New York (12,305), according to the CDC. Measured by seven-day per-capita counts in early October, Vermont (156) was in better shape than New York (207) and Maine (289) but trailing Connecticut (77) and Massachusetts (139). An "epidemic of confusion, frustration and distrust ... is currently raging across campus." Where is the evidence to support this potentially alarming claim? A central tenet of the AAUP's demands of Middlebury’s administration has been that decision making should be data-based, free of cognitive bias. Let’s all embrace that ideal. Jonathan Isham Department of Economics and Program in Environmental Studies
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