EduShare - Higher Ed Blog & News


Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 11/20/20

We hope you were able to join us for our Friday 5 Live.  Jen Meyers Pickard and Sheila Murphy of WittKieffer provided insights into pandemic-era higher education job search.

We are now podcasting Friday 5 Lives so you can more easily share this resource with colleagues!



As COVID continues to surge across the United States, the shift to online learning has accelerated this week.  Philadelphia prohibited in person instruction at its over 20 colleges and universities.  The state of Michigan has also switched college and universities to online learning for the next three weeks.  Governors in the northeast appealed to colleges and universities asking they offer COVID testing, as the SUNY system is doing, to all students before they return home for the Thanksgiving holiday.  Institutions like Duke University and Washington University are receiving praise for their comprehensive testing processes that focus on the entire student population versus only symptomatic students.



According to a report by the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice, 38% of faculty and staff surveyed indicated that they had “some form of basic needs insecurity in 2019.” Those faculty and staff who are employed part-time faced higher rates of food and housing insecurity then full-time employees.  Researchers indicate that this basic needs insecurity of faculty and staff has the potential to impact student success.


“I think there is a moment of reckoning in America. Now is the time for us to have honest change." - Kent Devereaux, president of Maryland's Goucher College



This week fifty liberal arts colleges including DePauw, Occidental, Oberlin and Pomona announced an alliance with the University of Southern California's Race and Equity Center.  This new alliance, called the Liberal Arts Colleges Racial Equity Leadership Alliance, will “host virtual meetings about campus equity, survey students and employees, and give workers equity-related resources.”



The Chronicle reports this week on community college enrollment dips, which promise to last throughout this academic year.  The latest data from National Student Clearinghouse Research Center show a 9.5 percent drop in attendance at community colleges from last year. As public two-year colleges “are most likely to enroll low-income and minority students, the equity implications of the enrollment dropoff are troubling.” First-time in college attendance by Black, Hispanic and Native American students is down this fall semester by nearly 30 percent for each group.


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Texas Monthly reports this week on Rice University’s efforts to prevent COVID outbreaks on campus.  This semester the university launched the COVID Community Court (CCC) made up of students who adjudicate public health violations on campus. Penalties include letters of apology, community service projects, completing educational research or meeting with advisers.  While a $75 penalty can be levied, no student has received that sanction. While many credit the CCC with helping prevent COVID spread at Rice, some students feel like the Community Court has created a sense of paranoia and punishment on campus.
Author: Meg Foster
November 20, 2020
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