Coronavirus News Roundup for May 15

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

May 15, 2020
 
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We made it! I'm going to jump right ahead to the good stuff, because it's Pet Friday.

At right is Rufus, our copyeditor Sara Brady's perfect corgi mix. The 4-year-old loves peanut butter, yogurt, chasing squirrels and sleeping in a people bed, according to Brady, who called him her "favorite creature."

This fellow at left is Bernie, a senior citizen that Molly Elton, the associate director of college counseling at Tower Hill School in Delaware, adopted this past winter. He used to live in Louisiana and now enjoys playing dress up with children. "He is a good sport," Elton said.

Finally, at right is some representation for the cats (we are pet-inclusive here). Kristin Chambers, a financial aid counselor at Western Washington University, said ​Bastian, aka Bash, is the orange kitty and Mina is a tuxedo cat. Bash likes to play with his toy fish, hunt ghosts and make special appearances on videoconferences. Like a good little sibling, he bothers Mina a lot. They both love food and gazing out the windows.

To the news.

Vice President Mike Pence held a call Tuesday with 14 college and university leaders to discuss the best ways to get students back to campuses in the fall.

Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate's education committee, said on Fox News that university presidents should be planning to fully reopen in the fall. Testing capacities should be ready by that time, he said.

Still, more colleges are announcing plans for a virtual fall. Harvard Medical School plans to be remote.

A survey from Primary Research Group found that 60 percent of faculty respondents had taught a class remotely before the pandemic. The survey found other details about what faculty are using now to teach remotely. For instance, all art, theater and music instructors who took the survey said they're using Zoom for classes.

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

Doug Lederman has a story on a new report from Eduventures on how institutions can make their virtual experiences better replicate those that are in-person.

California State University recently announced plans to remain mostly virtual through the fall semester. Lilah Burke explains why they're bucking the trend of reopening.

Scott Jaschik wrote about how students are having trouble submitting their AP tests online.

Missouri Western State University has cut about 30 percent of its faculty. Colleen Flaherty reports on how that will change the university.

Those with college degrees have been better off in the recession so far than those without, but those with graduate degrees are doing even better, Emma Whitford reports.

News From Elsewhere

The New York Times wrote about how college life in the fall will likely look as patchwork as the country's reopening, as different systems and states put forth different plans.

Could student athletes turn to community colleges as opportunities in other divisions disappear? CalMatters explores this question.

New York magazine talked with Scott Galloway, who believes tech is poised to take over higher education due to the pandemic.

Percolating Thoughts

This is a time when everyone has an opinion. As journalists, we try not to have opinions, but we've gathered some interesting ones from others.

The pandemic has spurred a rise in racism and xenophobia. Colleges and faculty can take action to push back on this, writes a professor at the University of Wisconsin at Madison.

A recent roundup of letters to the editor at the Los Angeles Times focuses on the mess many college students are graduating into.


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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