Remote learning cartoon.

In this week’s roundup:  

The U.S. News College and University Rankings were released, the Big Ten will play football this year after all and experts claim that campus reopenings have actually been successful.


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 September 9 - September 16

  • Institutions began announcing their plans for the spring, including spring break cancellations
  • Immunocompromised students from several institutions formed a support group to discuss their experiences during the semester and to help one another through. 
  • A federal appeals court in Boston will hear arguments today about whether Harvard University discriminates against Asian American undergraduate applicants. The closely watched case could impact whether U.S. colleges can use race as a factor in admissions. 
  • While outbreaks have plagued many large public universities, smaller, more rural campuses have been keeping their positivity rates low. In addition, some public health experts say that opening has been successful for many, despite high COVID-19 case numbers. 
  • A scholar at Oxford on the history of campus police warns that expanding campus police power to implement COVID-19 precautions can have lasting effects on communities of color both on and off campus. 
  • Survey results show that since the beginning of the pandemic, students of color and low-income students have faced more new hardships than other students. 
  • The U.S. News 2021 College and University Rankings were released on September 14. Changes in how the publication assesses institutions include putting more weight on outcome measures and starting to rank institutions that do not consider ACT or SAT scores for admission. 
  • Leaders of the Big Ten Conference reversed their August 11 decision not to play football in 2020 and will begin play as early as the weekend of October 23-24. 
  • Three public universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) are planning to affiliate in order to cope with the financial burden of lowering enrollment numbers. 
  • While remote learning has been thought to increase gaps in equity, experts say that the right structure and other key elements make it possible for that not to happen
  • After a six-year Education Department investigation, the University of California, Berkeley, will pay a nearly $2.4 million fine and will be monitored for two years for violating the Clery Act. UC Berkeley misclassified over one thousand incidents—mostly disciplinary referrals for liquor, drug or weapons violations—as campus policy violations rather than those of law. 


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