A letter sent to the US House of Representatives by the American Council of Education and other higher-ed groups asserts that the cost of the coronavirus pandemic to US colleges and universities will exceed the $120 billion originally estimated, writes Michael Nietzel, president emeritus of Missouri State University. The groups are requesting federal assistance to address the budget crisis, which Nietzel says "will be felt for years to come."
Coordinated online learning collaborations among universities present an opportunity for financial savings and for reaching a broader group of students, researchers Igor Chirikov and Rene Kizilcec write, noting that per-student costs for this method can be slashed by 20% for hybrid learning and 80% for fully online learning. They suggest groups of colleges create networks -- such as those in Texas, Russia and elsewhere -- that involve licensing fees for producing shared online courses.
White House coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas has threatened to sue nearly 100 fellow Stanford colleagues who jointly denounced Atlas' views on the virus and claimed "a moral and an ethical responsibility to call attention to the falsehoods and misrepresentations." The immunologists did not meet demands from Atlas' lawyer, saying they stand by their remarks.
Some colleges around the country are seeing some success in preventing the spread of the coronavirus, such as Quinnipiac University in Connecticut, where only one person has tested positive in the past two months. Strict rules for masks, social distancing, contact tracing and frequent testing are seen as contributing to their successes, while in some cases schools' remote locations are believed to be playing a role.
Flexible working schedules have become more important during the pandemic to attract and keep staff, and companies such as Elephant Ventures have even seen productivity rise with the introduction of four-day weeks. Employee recognition is also vital for a productive, engaged workforce, giving employers an incentive to introduce online channels that facilitate real-time rewards and peer-to-peer recognition.
Higher ed institutions have discovered the value of Minecraft to bridge gaps brought on by remote learning