A battle has broken out between college officials and some professors in Georgia over online classes held during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unable to require masks in class, some professors have defied orders to keep their courses in person for the 2021 fall semester by moving them online without approval from college heads – at times at the cost of their jobs.

Meanwhile, top university administrators say it’s time for normal campus life to return as COVID-19 cases fall after a summer spike, while many students push to get the full experience their tuition paid for following months of virtual learning at the pandemic’s start last year.

In this three-part story, State Affairs spoke with several professors who have run afoul of recent state policy on online college classes and dug into the background of that policy in open-records requests.

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