Coronavirus News Roundup for May 28

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 28, 2020
 
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Things are starting to reopen. The World Health Organization says the risk for reinfection of COVID-19 is unclear. A poll found that only half of Americans would get a vaccine for the virus when it becomes available.

But we'll always have animal photos. And funny animal photos.

If you're unhappy with the space background for your video chats, I just discovered that even Cheez-Its has made a foray into Zoom backgrounds.

Remember that guy who threatened to walk around beaches in a Grim Reaper costume if they opened too early? Yeah, he actually did it.

On to the news.

Purdue University’s Board of Trustees voted to adopt a fall academic calendar that will include in-person instruction from late August to late November, without the usual fall breaks. The rest of the semester will be remote. The board also approved plans to offer remote instruction for students who can't or won't return to campus.

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities is praising the introduction of a bill in the U.S. Congress that would expand the National Science Foundation. Under the bipartisan bill called the Endless Frontiers Act, the foundation would get $100 billion over five years to increase research in areas like artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and advanced manufacturing. It would also be renamed the National Science and Technology Foundation.

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

Confused by the recent guidelines released by the Education Department? You're not alone. Kery Murakami reports on the latest information related to federal coronavirus relief aid for colleges and students.

Doug Lederman examined whether active learning is possible in the age of social distancing.

Ed-tech companies are keeping busy during the pandemic. Lindsay McKenzie reports on how companies and organizations are prepping faculty members for remote teaching in the fall.

Greta Anderson wrote about why some National Guard members who are deployed to help with the coronavirus pandemic won't get their federal benefits, including tuition benefits.

News From Elsewhere

Some experts predict that elite institutions will be dipping further into their wait lists for the next academic year due to the coronavirus pandemic, Insider reports.

CNBC reports on a survey that found nearly 40 percent of parents have dipped into college funds to cover costs from COVID-19.

The Chronicle of Higher Education looked at the importance of clear communication during times like these.

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 at Southwestern University provides some advice for how liberal arts colleges can survive COVID-19.

An editor at The New York Times considers whether the pandemic could be the end for admissions tests, and whether that's a good or bad thing.

The director of REACH, which aims to provide quality education for migrants and displaced communities, wrote in The Hechinger Report about how her work with refugees could inform how the U.S. implements emergency education measures in 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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