Paul L. Caron
Dean



Wednesday, July 8, 2020

NY Times: Colleges Plan To Reopen Campuses, But For Just Some Students At A Time

New York Times, Colleges Plan to Reopen Campuses, but for Just Some Students at a Time:

With the coronavirus still raging and the fall semester approaching, colleges and universities are telling large segments of their student populations to stay home. Those who are allowed on campus, they say, will be living in a world where parties are banned, where everyone is frequently tested for the coronavirus and — perhaps most draconian of all — where students attend many if not all their courses remotely, from their dorm rooms.

In order to achieve social distancing, many colleges are saying they will allow only 40 to 60 percent of their students to return to campus and live in the college residence halls at any one time, often divided by class year.

Stanford has said freshmen and sophomores will be on campus when classes start in the fall, while juniors and seniors study remotely from home. Harvard announced on Monday that it will mainly be first-year students and some students in special circumstances who will be there in the fall; in the spring, freshmen will leave and it will be seniors’ turn.

At the same time, very few colleges are offering tuition discounts, even for those students being forced to take classes from home.

Professors, students and parents all seem to be conflicted over how these plans will work out. ...

College administrators say they are in a bind and doing the best they can to bring students back to campus to get at least some of the social and academic benefits of being surrounded by their peers. ...

Princeton is one of the few universities that has said it would offer a tuition discount this fall because of the limitations. Students, whether on campus or learning remotely, will be charged 10 percent less — $48,501 for the coming year, instead of $53,890, according to a spokesman, Ben Chang. It was unclear how students receiving financial aid — who account for more than 60 percent of undergraduates — would be affected.

Princeton said it was instituting the policy because most undergraduates would be on campus only half the year — freshmen and juniors in the fall, sophomores and seniors in the spring. ...

Many universities are requiring behavioral contracts in which students agree to wear face masks in public, to be tested regularly for the coronavirus, and to limit travel and socializing. If they break the rules, they can be disciplined. ...

Faculty members are also worried. More than 850 members of the Georgia Tech faculty have signed a letter opposing the school’s reopening plans for the fall, which say that wearing face masks on campus would not be mandatory, just “strongly encouraged.” ...

International students may have the hardest time of all. Many have returned to their home countries and will not be able to re-enter the United States because of travel and visa restrictions. ...

Cornell University is bucking the trend and allowing all its students back to campus, with a mixture of in-person and online instruction. ...

Many schools suspended their usual grading policies amid the chaos of the spring term, substituting a pass/fail system instead. Now they say they are planning to restore normal grading policies.

https://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2020/07/ny-times-colleges-plan-to-reopen-campuses-but-for-just-some-students-at-a-time.html

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