Students sitting outside.

In this week’s roundup:  

President Joe Biden announced his American Families Plan which has several possible implications for higher ed, decisions around in-person commencement are rolling out and AI continues to seep into classrooms and campuses. 

April 22 – 28

  • President Biden’s American Families Plan, proposed today, includes free community college, increased Pell Grant funding, funds for retention and completion efforts, funding for two free years at MSIs and increased scholarship funding for future teachers. 
  • As we get closer and closer to commencement dates, colleges and universities continue to mull their options for holding in-person ceremonies. 
  • Meanwhile, some from the Class of 2020 question when they will get their promised in-person ceremonies. 
  • Federal COVID-19 relief for students has been beneficial to students across the income spectrum — leading educators and administrative professionals to want more resources like the relief aid to be permanent so they can help the students who need it most. 
  • In addition, as we near the 50th anniversary of the Pell Grant, three proposals for its transformation are being considered by the Senate. 
  • New exceptions to the United States’ remaining pandemic travel bans include students, academics, journalists and a few others from China, Brazil, Iran and South Africa. This news could help international enrollment levels bounce back. 
  • The 2021 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers by Inside Higher Ed and Hanover Research uncovered several findings about the pandemic. Topics include staffing changes, perceived student and faculty feelings and how the pandemic affected the humanities and liberal arts. 
  • Artificial intelligence has been making its way into real-life intelligence hubs (colleges and universities) for years, and the efforts have been exacerbated by the pandemic with new texting tools, as well as grading, teaching and plagiarism detecting. 
  • This technology switch lends itself to rethinking how colleges and universities deliver their courses, and the finances to go along with it. 
  • Greek life continues to undergo a reckoning, including a tough time at Duke University following the mass student disaffiliation with Greek life there, several chapters’ disaffiliation with the university and general feelings of undue punitive action towards Greek groups throughout the pandemic. 
  • Joining the ranks of institutions requiring the vaccine, Maryland’s state university system is requiring all students, faculty and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19 prior to their return to campus in the fall. 

ICYMI: Check out our new podcast, On The Yard, hosted by our VP & Managing Director Ashley Northington. New episodes will be posted every Friday for the next several weeks, so make sure you tune in to hear the latest on HBCU culture and leadership trends from experts in the field. 


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