Coronavirus News Roundup for May 20

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

May 20, 2020
 
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We're halfway to a three-day weekend.

Here are some palate cleansers before we get to today's stories.

The College of Alameda, part of the Peralta Community College District, has an entirely volunteer-run shop on its campus, making nearly 10,000 masks and face guards each week. The masks are being distributed to local medical professionals and homeless shelters. Here's a nice video about their good work.

These quarantine gripes are sure to make you laugh. My favorite is the complaint about a recorder (which is also me, as I am reintroducing myself to my flute).

And here's an idea for how your dog can earn his keep.

Let’s get to the news.

More fall plans emerge. Ivy Tech Community College in Indiana aims to return to in-person instruction, with options for online and hybrid courses as well. Meanwhile, the chancellor of California's community college system endorsed the decision of many institutions' to stay online.

The University of Cambridge in Britain also announced plans to stay virtual -- except they'll continue remote learning through all of the next academic year.

More than 40,000 National Guard members could lose out on federal benefits like the GI Bill. They're working on COVID-19 testing and contact tracing for states, and their deployments could be ended before they receive eligibility for the benefits.

The manager of Florida's COVID-19 database was removed from her post last week, and researchers are worried the state will start to restrict access to the data.

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

We might be looking at a wave of financial exigency declarations at colleges. That comes with its own risk, Rick Seltzer reports.

Colleen Flaherty has a story on yet another consequence of the pandemic that many didn't think of -- who owns the content faculty put online?

Yet another survey shows that many students would rather defer enrollment than attend an all-online college, Scott Jaschik reports.

The pandemic has been a good thing for the Duolingo English Test, which is being increasingly used by colleges to admit international students. Elizabeth Redden reports on why there's some skepticism about the test.

News From Elsewhere

Researchers at the Community College Research Center at Columbia University looked at how budget cuts may affect community colleges.

The Atlantic looked at what colleges are planning for the fall and what it will take to get there.

NBC News took a look at how the CARES Act funding formula works.

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.

A professor of higher education argues in The Chronicle of Higher Education that colleges are posturing about reopening in the fall.

A past president and current fellow at the Association of American Colleges and Universities contends that higher ed is asking the wrong questions right now.

The former president of the Education Writers Association writes for The Hill about concerns for low-income students during the pandemic.


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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