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Vice President Mike Pence held a call Wednesday with leaders of 14 colleges and universities. They were joined by Betsy DeVos, the U.S. secretary of education, and Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, in a discussion about "best practices to get students back to school in the fall," according to a news release from the vice president's office.

The group discussed a guidance document the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released earlier this year about how colleges should plan, prepare and respond to COVID-19.

"These college and university leaders discussed possible options to re-open their campuses for students, faculty and staff safely and responsibly," the release said. "Many participants on the call discussed working groups they developed on campus to provide data-driven strategies for re-opening. Participants discussed the importance of opening and maintaining research labs to assist with COVID-19 research, testing and tracing."

Participating in the call were:

  • President of Purdue University and the 49th governor of Indiana, Mitch Daniels Jr.
  • President of the University of Texas-El Paso and the 24th secretary of the Air Force, Heather Wilson
  • President of Hillsdale College Larry Arnn
  • President of Marquette University Michael Lovell
  • President of the University of Virginia James E. Ryan
  • Chancellor of the University of Alabama system Fess St. John IV
  • President of the University of Florida W. Kent Fuchs
  • President of the University of Notre Dame Reverend John Jenkins
  • President of Carnegie Mellon University Farnam Jahanian
  • President of the Ohio State University Dr. Michael V. Drake
  • President of Stanford University Marc Tessier-Lavigne
  • President of Wake Forest University Nathan Hatch
  • President of Arizona State University Michael Crow
  • President of Hampton University William R. Harvey