Coronavirus News Roundup for May 21

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

May 21, 2020
 
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All 50 states have started to reopen in some way, shape or form. Wuhan is banning the hunting and eating of wild animals in light of the pandemic. The number of cases around the world has been jumping up.

That's enough bad news for right now. On to some palate cleansers.

The Smithsonian Associates are offering free virtual classes for the first time in their history.

Dolphins in a popular Australian tourist spot apparently miss people, and they are leaving some gifts to lure them back.

And for another little animal break, peruse the Photo Ark, a project aimed at photographing endangered species before they disappear.

Let’s get to the news.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has issued new guidance on how colleges can slow the spread of COVID-19. It recommends promoting social distancing, ensuring ventilation and water systems are properly operated, increasing disinfection practices, closing use of communal spaces, and changing food services protocols, among other things.

In the middle of all this, Arizona State University reports some good news. Its summer enrollment is at an all-time high, with more than 56,000 students signed to take courses. That's a 16.5 percent increase from last summer. ​

More good news: Moody's Investors Service reports the outlook for community colleges remains stable. The institutions' history of flexibility, support from local property tax revenues and possible enrollment increases are factors in the rating service's report.

College presidents in New Jersey are asking the state for immunity from lawsuits related to the pandemic as they try to decide whether to reopen campuses in the fall, echoing concerns raised by college presidents last week during a meeting with Vice President Pence.

The attorney general for Washington State is challenging the Education Department's decision to exclude undocumented students from emergency aid grant funding included in the federal CARES Act package.

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

Scott Jaschik wrote about a survey that asked students which of 15 scenarios they would prefer for the fall. The winner? In-person courses.

A new option has emerged in recent weeks. Some colleges are planning to reopen the fall semester early and end it by Thanksgiving, when it's expected the virus will resurge. Lilah Burke has the details.

I wrote about what two-year colleges are planning to do for the fall. Hint: most are planning to stay (mostly) remote.

Doug Lederman wrote about one professor's in-depth survey on how students felt about the wacky semester this spring.

News From Elsewhere

CNN has a story on how historically black colleges and universities are being hit especially hard by the pandemic.

The Chronicle of Higher Education wrote about how the COVID-19 pandemic could change how human resources departments in colleges work forever.

The New York Times talked with a student who took a job as a temporary morgue worker in New York City as the virus spread.

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 Georgetown student wrote about how the coronavirus has affected her social experiences in her freshman year of college.

The vice president of the Aspen Institute wrote about three things colleges should be doing to help students -- even though all three will be tough.

A writer at the Detroit Free Press examined some of the things colleges will have to do to get football back up and running in the fall.


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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