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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 4/24/20

You can’t use up creativity.  The more you use, the more you have.

Maya Angelou

Our Next Friday 5 Live - Helping Students Finish The Semester Successfully   

We’re trying something new with Friday 5 Live!  We hosted our second live event today discussing student success and retention with Dr. Denise Swett. Please join us on May 8 for our next Friday 5 Live.  More information in next week’s newsletter.


Updates on COVID-19 and Higher Education

This week, attention turned to what institutions are planning for the fall semester with some announcing hybrid fall classes or shortened fall terms.  Other institutions are reporting the extensive financial fall out of COVID-19; three colleges in the Vermont system will close and the University of Arizona announced furloughs.  WCET has provided additional updates this week on relevant federal policy changes.  The Chronicle continues its extensive reporting this week as well as Inside Higher Ed offering up-to-date reporting.


Getting Federal Relief Money Into the Hands of Students

Education Dive and Politico report this week on the CARES Act and frustration with the time it is taking to get relief monies into the hands of students.  The American Council on Education is concerned students will be taxed on grants received from the CARES Act. The Department of Education released a second round of federal relief on Tuesday which institutions can use to“reimburse themselves for refunds of room and board costs or money they've spent on technology and internet access for students.”


Planning for the Fall 2020 Semester Start

As institutions continue to grapple with the fall 2020 semester start, the Chronicle of Higher Education reports this week on two institutions’ approaches to the reopening.  California State University at Fullerton announced Monday that the university will plan a fall online semester start and, “should governmental and health authorities allow, gradually move back to on-campus operations.”  Purdue University’s president made a very different announcement on Tuesday sharing that Purdue would bring students back to campus in August.  Both institutions’ responses attempt to address the many variables impacting campus openings: continuations of stay-at-home or shelter-in-place orders, COVID-19 flare ups and associated changes in risk levels, and the ability to test for the disease.


Impact of COVID-19 on the Community College

Achieving the Dream hosted a town hall Monday addressing critical issues and concerns facing community colleges.  Achieving the Dream staff members shared best practices as leaders, faculty and staff from community colleges across the country listened in. Recommendations included investing in online mental health professionals, tutors and career advisors while also providing connections between students and community support resources. Panelists recognized the concerns of impending state budget cuts and encouraged attendees to think creatively about the fall semester start sharing strategies like shortened terms.


Syracuse University Administration and Coaches Taking Pay Cuts

In a week where institutions (University of Arizona, Guilford College and Drew University to name a few) are announcing furloughs and layoffs and freezing hiring, Syracuse University’s highest paid employees are taking 10% pay cuts.  Faculty and staff salaries are frozen as is new hiring, but for the time being, Syracuse is not making plans to layoff staff.  Citing a $35 million loss due to COVID-19, Syracuse’s financial plan also includes a 5% cut across all academic, auxiliary, and administrative units.

Author: Meg Foster
April 24, 2020
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