Wednesday, July 15, 2020

What if

Goldie Blumenstyk, a writer for The Chronicle of Higher Education, wonders what might be happening if more college and university administrators “had made the moral case for a remote fall from the outset”:

Would higher ed be in any better shape right now in its quest for at least $47 billion in federal relief — not to mention more robust public support — if more college leaders had spent the past four months being more realistic and candid?

What if more had mentioned the unlikelihood of football this fall, of students’ being able to live safely together in residence halls, or even of holding any but the most necessary classes in person? Will it turn out that leaders’ push for a “normal-ish” fall in the midst of a deadly pandemic — whether motivated by good intentions, political pressure, existential financial fears, or some combination of all three — ultimately undermines their credibility and further damages goodwill?
Blumenstyk makes it plain: “For health and safety reasons, colleges should be predominantly online this fall. For financial reasons, some of them haven’t dared to make that call.”

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