In this week’s roundup:
The Big Ten and Pac-12 have postponed their fall football seasons, California released guidance for higher education on how to return to campus in the fall and students are quitting sororities and fraternities in response to inaction on social justice.
Stay tuned for our weekly roundup on what trends we're seeing across institutions, how individual colleges and universities are responding to them and what national policy changes are affecting higher ed.
Week of August 5 - 12
- California released guidance on reopening in the fall for higher education institutions. With many of the same mandates as other states, such as frequent hand washing, cleaning and mask wearing, California is also barring colleges and universities from holding indoor lectures if they are located in a county on the coronavirus watchlist.
- Two of the nation’s wealthiest and most powerful football conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-12, postponed their fall football seasons due to coronavirus concerns.
- Following increases in positive cases from fall athletes and accounts of coaches’ discouragement of reporting COVID-19 symptoms and threats to take away playing time, athletes are demanding that safety protocols be enhanced.
- UNC Chapel Hill recently announced that they would return to campus in person, despite local health experts’ recommendations to start the semester online.
- Some colleges and universities are already communicating about COVID-19 test results prior to students’ return to campus.
- Quarantine restrictions for students coming back to colleges and universities pose problems for both the students and the institutions.
- President Donald Trump signed an executive order to continue deferring federal student loan payments for more than 35 million student loan borrowers through the end of the year.
- Johns Hopkins University, an institution which has been revered as a source for information during the pandemic, announced that they will hold their fall semester entirely online for undergraduates.
- Colleges and universities are using several tactics to try to keep undergraduates from socializing and spreading COVID-19. But some worry about possible abuses of such community policing.
- Several small colleges are offering free tuition for a certain period of time (one semester to a full year) if students enroll full time for the coming academic year.
- After University of Arizona’s announcement of their purchasing the for-profit Ashford University, Arizona Public Media received a letter written by faculty at U of Arizona pleading with the board of regents not to go through with the deal.
- A former professor who built the Africana studies department at San Diego State University and current Democratic member of the California State Assembly is proposing a bill to require that undergraduate students take an ethnic studies course in the California State University system.
- 17 sorority members at the University of Richmond wrote an “Open Letter of Group Disaffiliation,” vowing to quit their sororities after their inaction following the death of George Floyd; over 130 other members of sororities at the university have since signed. In addition, the members of the Executive Board of UR’s Panhellenic Council have resigned. This is but one example of college students pushing back on Greek life and traditions.