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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 4/3/20


Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.”

– Arthur Ashe

We invite you to join us Friday, April 10 for our first ever Live Friday 5!  Dr. Ghazala Hashmi will share her insights and advice on working from home. Please join us from 12:00-12:30PM (Eastern) by registering here. We look forward to having you join us live next week.

1

Updates on Covid-19 and Higher Education

As the week has unfolded, we see the continued impact of Covid-19 on institutions of higher education as schools look to shift online for summer and potentially fall semesters, and consider the financial ramifications.  WCET has an updated website which includes relevant policy changes.  Education Dive is continuing to update its resources on Covid-19’s impact on our field. The Chronicle continues its extensive reporting this week as well as Inside Higher Ed who is providing up-to-date reporting.

2

Covid-19 Impacting State Funding of Colleges & Universities

This week Education Dive examines the abrupt impact of Covid-19 on state funding of higher education.  At the beginning of March, experts anticipated modest increases to budgets and potentially new efforts to make tuition free for more students.  However, as the nation shifts towards a potential recession and state tax revenues decline, states will have fewer dollars to fund higher education programming.  Experts caution that it is too soon to fully understand the impact to college budgets.

3

Looking Towards Fall Semester

Inside Higher Ed reports this week on the question on many minds: will the fall semester be online, too, or will life have returned to “normal” by then?  Multiple universities shared the concerns and considerations as they ponder plans for the fall 2020 semester. “Colleges may not end up teaching virtually this fall.  But one way or the other, they need to prepare for a future "where we need at the drop of a hat to switch modalities," be it from another pandemic (or one that recurs) or something else” shared Flower Darby of Northern Arizona University.

4

Zoombombing Impacting Online Courses

Faculty and students are reporting cases of Zoombombing: live classes being held in the web conferencing platform Zoom being hacked.  Classes are being disrupted by disturbing images or crude submissions to the chat. The "bombs" typically “take the form of racist vitriol or pornographic content shared with the group by an unwelcome user.”  Insider Higher Ed reports this week on this disturbing trend. Teaching or hosting student meetings in Zoom? Refer to these helpful directions to better secure your Zoom sessions.

8.4 million: Total number of Zoom-meeting minutes the University of Texas at Austin hosted on March 31. 252,720: Number of unique participants. (Source: Chronicle of Higher Education)

5

Students Eager to Return to Brick and Mortar Classrooms

The Chronicle reports this week on the potential impacts of Covid-19 related closures on Title IX hearings.  Officials must now figure out, “what to do about their open sexual-assault investigations.” There are concerns that shifting hearings online and school closings will delay the process and thus prolong trauma for students who have already been through traumatic experiences .  In addition, Title IX officers are advised that they might see an increase in virtual harassment issues.

Author: Meg Foster
April 3, 2020
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