Paul L. Caron

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

College Plans For On-Campus Teaching In Fall 2020 Are Crumbling

Chronicle of Higher Education, Colleges Hoped for an In-Person Fall. Now the Dream Is Crumbling.:

Several prominent campuses on Monday announced reversals of prior fall reopening plans as Covid-19 case counts surge across the country. Coming after months of expressed optimism about the possibility of in-person operations, the announcements signal a retreat from those projections that may grow to a wave.

The University of California at Berkeley’s chancellor, Carol A. Christ, announced at a Chronicle event on Monday that Berkeley — which had planned to have some students on campus and to hold some classes in-person — will begin its fall semester online. The news came alongside Monday actions by Morehouse, Grinnell, and Spelman Colleges, in addition to Clark Atlanta University. ...

Such announcements have been widely predicted, even as some presidents declared that they planned to bring students back for fall classes. In planning to reopen, colleges have cited the benefits to in-person learning, the disparities in technology access off campus, and detailed safety plans. There is also a clear financial incentive to bring students back; fees for housing and dining are significant portions of operating budgets.

But in the face of rising cases nationally, and as faculty and students raise safety concerns, colleges have said they can’t pull it off. ...

As of late May, about two-thirds of plans collected by The Chronicle said they were planning for in-person classes. That figure has declined to just above 50 percent, still a very large proportion of the more than 1,200 campus plans reviewed. ...

Thomas, Morehouse’s president, said he doesn’t expect the announcements Monday to be the last. “I may have missed it, but I don’t see a lot of university presidents out there creating compelling, values-based arguments for opening.”

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Focusing on cases is a mistake. We should be focusing on severe cases, which are on the rise but decidedly less so than the number of cases. Campuses should be open and professors should be teaching live, except for those that are in the high risk groups (who should be teaching online).

Posted by: Anon | Jul 27, 2020 2:26:11 PM

Okay, let’s cut salaries then. You know... because there are no more office hours, etc.

Posted by: Anon | Jul 21, 2020 3:47:16 PM

I'm sure all those involved in these decisions are "exhausted." They are "heroes."

Posted by: Dale Spradling | Jul 21, 2020 1:00:47 PM