Coronavirus News Roundup for April 21

Everything you need to know for Tuesday about higher ed and the coronavirus in one easy-to-read package (with some distractions to help your sanity).

April 21, 2020
 
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Happy Tuesday. I hope you all had as great a start to the week as I, surprisingly, did, although I'm kicking myself for neglecting to include a 4/20 joke of some sort in yesterday's roundup.

There's a lot going on right now. Georgia is letting businesses reopen on Friday. People are protesting stay-at-home orders, although largely by car because, you know, there's a nasty, fast-spreading virus out there. The oil market is suffering large declines as people stop going anywhere.

Before we get to more of the sad stuff, here are some palate cleansers to remind you it's not all terrible.

Because I messed up on Monday's roundup, here's a tale of cannabutter gone wrong. To be honest, the effects seem like something I would welcome right now.

Campy, over-the-top teen dramas are honestly my favorite guilty pleasure. Here is a nice list of where to stream them if you ever need to turn off your brain and binge for a few hours.

And you can count on Maine for a feel-good story about the weird stuff people are cooking as they run low on pantry supplies.

Let’s get to the news.

Judging from how today went, it seems this is the week institutions will announce how big a hit they're taking because of the coronavirus pandemic. The University of Arizona predicts a $250 million loss, spurring pay cuts and a hiring freeze.

The University of Michigan announced its losses could grow as high as $1 billion -- yes, billion -- by the end of 2020. Leaders are taking pay cuts, a hiring freeze is in place and staff have the option to volunteer for furloughs.

Michigan's community colleges don't seem to be doing much better. One has already seen a double-digit percentage drop in enrollment numbers for summer courses compared to the same time last year.

Meanwhile, several higher ed associations are asking Congress to consider other stimulus proposals, like extending the suspension of loan collection, before considering student debt cancellation.

Here’s a quick roundup of our latest stories, in case you’ve fallen a bit behind (we don’t blame you):

Law firms are capitalizing on students' growing anger over their thwarted spring semester. More and more student groups are suing their institutions for tuition refunds, Greta Anderson reports.

Students are also upset about who was, and wasn't, allowed to stay on campus during the pandemic. Most were denied, they say. And those who did get to stay are feeling the isolation, Lilah Burke writes.

Remember all the talk of rethinking the academic calendar? Well, Beloit College in Wisconsin is doing it. Elizabeth Redden has the story on the changes it's making.

Virtual tours are now bigger, and more necessary, than ever. But are they as effective? Scott Jaschik has this article in "Admissions Insider."

News From Elsewhere

Some researchers are calling out as unqualified an epidemiologist who's gained social media popularity due to COVID-19, The Chronicle of Higher Education reports.

The Associated Press has a story on how for-profit colleges are ramping up marketing efforts during this crisis.

DC Metro Theater Arts wrote about how colleges that teach performance arts are pivoting right now.

Percolating Thoughts

This is a time when everyone has an opinion. While I can't espouse any myself, I've gathered some interesting ones from others.

Reporter Karin Fischer ponders whether international students will pay for "Zoom U" as the pandemic continues in her newsletter.

Terry Hartle of the American Council on Education praises today's medical students, who are the opposite of the coronavirus-flouting spring breakers who made headlines last month.

A contributor to The Atlantic says we aren't yet all working together, though that's what we'll need to do to beat the virus.


Have any percolating thoughts or notice any from others? Feel free to send them our way or comment below.

We’ll continue bringing you the news you need in this crazy time. Keep sending us your questions and story ideas. We’ll get through this together.

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