About a third said they might reduce their contributions to deferred maintenance, increase their faculty teaching load (33 percent) and increase their student-faculty ratio (32 percent). COVID-19 and the recession it drove will hurt virtually every college financially, both by imposing unexpected costs and by pinching (or gutting) almost every source of revenue. Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus, Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, Instructional technology / distance education, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Marketing / public relations / government relations. It’s a strategic asset that’s vital to every institution’s success. So even at their perceived peak, two or three years ago, fewer than one in five business officers said mergers were on the table at their college. It also suggests that most professors feel much better prepared to teach with technology this fall than they were last spring -- and they generally credit their institutions for helping to prepare them. What counts as success when it comes to containing COVID, Higher Ed’s Dirty Little Secrets | Higher Ed Gamma, Pa. State System to Lay Off More Than 100 Faculty Members, 10 strategies to support students and help them learn during the coronavirus crisis (opinion), GW tells students to prepare for unrest following election, California to vote on returning affirmative action to public universities, UVA Professor Apologizes for Racially Insensitive Remark, Jewish Faculty Refute Illinois Anti-Semitism Complaint. The higher ed future that COVID-19 will give us, however, is not entirely bleak. Making online classes is hard, but not as hard as making sure everyone has equal access. A good college dashboard should feature timely updates and information on when it was last updated, information on isolation/quarantine capacity, definitions of terms and data on community rates, she said. Inside Higher Ed has documented this trend in its annual surveys of faculty attitudes on technology going back over most of the 2010s. We are retiring comments and introducing Letters to the Editor. What might that change look like practically? We are retiring comments and introducing Letters to the Editor. "It was frustrating and heartbreaking to see which students struggled to manage the class. ), They cited a variety of reasons why: one community college teacher said that "every student engages (there are no ‘quiet’ students), there’s a degree of flexibility for students, using online resources in place of purchased texts relieves student cost," while another instructor said that her "course content is the most up-to-date it has been in several years with the extra prep I have been doing for the transition online.". The Current Situation's Impact on Other Issues. The answer is "first and foremost about sentiment," says Tyton's Fox. Photo courtesy of New College of the Humanities/Simon Jones. Of those, about three-quarters said they expected to keep their endowment payout rate steady in the next year, while 19 percent expected to increase it and 9 percent planned to lower it. Harrisburg University of Science and Technology, Indiana University of Pennsylvania-Main Campus, Indiana University-Purdue University-Fort Wayne, Indiana University-Purdue University-Indianapolis, Instructional technology / distance education, Louisiana State University and Agricultural & Mechanical College, Marketing / public relations / government relations. “Over all, as the public health impact of colleges reopening has become apparent, there has been a substantive move towards greater transparency,” Gross said. he said via email. This is the biggest hurdle we face. In 2019, those figures were 38 and 35 percent, respectively. “I found that a lot of schools did have dashboards -- I was pleasantly surprised -- but at the same time there is this issue of surveillance testing,” Rounds said. Those new costs and the near certainty of reduced revenues are likely to force campuses to make difficult decisions about allocating their resources in the coming year. Jerry Brown rallying support for Proposition 30 on election eve, Grand Valley State University - College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District. Under a third said they had restructured their living spaces (29 percent) or adopted keyless/touchless entry to facilities (20 percent). The dip in short-term confidence isn't surprising, given the double-barreled impact of COVID-19 and the ensuing recession on just about every aspect of institutional budgets. Here again, digging deeper than the overall numbers offers a bit of clarification: public college and university business officers across the board have a much rosier decade-long view than do their private college counterparts, with confidence levels rising for all segments of public institutions and dropping sharply for private baccalaureate colleges. By far the biggest complaint from students and faculty members alike about the remote learning that most experienced last spring was the lack of engagement and interactivity between students and instructors and among students themselves. Students WIth COVID-19's Long-Term Impact, Survey of College and University Business Officers, Peril for Private Colleges: A Survey of Business Officers, The 2019 Inside Higher Ed Survey of Chief Academic Officers, Student Affairs Leaders on Mental Health, Race Relations, Free Speech and More, House Democrats Rebuke DeVos Over Racial Policies, Wis. Indianhead Technical College to Change Name, Youth Making Up Larger Share of the Electorate. Instructors said they turned to a mix of institutional resources and peer support for help -- more than three-quarters said they received aid from instructional technology staff members (78 percent) and peer-to-peer forums (76 percent), while about two-thirds cited teaching and learning centers and instructional designers. But observers say the dashboards vary greatly in terms of completeness and transparency. Still, many colleges understand that they are responding to a real need with their dashboards and continue to develop and improve them, said Gross, the Yale medical professor who co-founded We Rate COVID Dashboards. "If they currently have low COVID rates, I think they worry about what it will look like should they have an increase in cases and how that could create fear and concern in the community. Professors' support for the statement "my institution is achieving an ideal digital learning environment" (How many faculty members would say anything at their institutions is ideal?) If we look far and hard enough into our postsecondary post-pandemic landscape, we can glimpse some reasons for optimism. And while CBOs generally say their leaders have stepped up amid the crises in play, they do not feel that way about another key campus constituency. But a third or more said they expected to eliminate administrative and adjunct faculty positions and eliminate underperforming academic programs by the end of 2020. Throughout the decade that Inside Higher Ed has been asking chief business officers how confident they are in their institution's financial stability over five and 10 years, they've historically been quite a bit more confident in the near term than over the longer term. About a quarter of business officers said they believed their institution could "ride out the current difficulties and return to more or less normal operations" within two years, while nearly half said their institution "should use this period to make difficult but transformative changes in its core structure and operations" in the interest of long-term sustainability. Most of those challenges disproportionately affect students from low-income and other disadvantaged backgrounds, which is why two-thirds of surveyed instructors said they were concerned about equity gaps. And I think there are a number of institutions that haven’t had to have great transparency for data prior to COVID and they’re catching up to what public accountability feels like, and how much vulnerability they’re willing to take on in sharing that information.". A lack of transparency or completeness can deprive students, employees and families of crucial contextual information they need to make decisions about their safety and make it hard to make comparisons across institutions. I think there are some institutions that are concerned about how their number of cases will appear compared to their peers’, and they're worried about being lumped in with some institutions that have had high positive rate. Valerio Parrot said institutions are nervous about sharing information on dashboards for several reasons. Asked how, with that help, they had redesigned their courses from spring to fall to achieve those goals, more than half of instructors said they had updated their learning objectives, assessments and activities (61 percent) and integrated the use of new digital tools (60 percent), while nearly half (46 percent) said they had embedded "more active learning elements (e.g., group discussion) to enhance student learning and engagement.". About three-quarters of those who were preparing to teach online (74 percent) and those who were preparing to teach fully in-person (73 percent) agreed with the statement "I am prepared to deliver a high-quality learning experience to my students this fall," while about 10 percent disagreed. Harpswell Foundation students. “So many COVID dashboards have been created for purported transparency, but many do little to help communities understand real-time community risk, and they create less comfort and understanding across the campus,” Valerio Parrot said. Founding Director Alan Lightman is pictured on the center right. University of Queensland student Robert Carrol participates in a surgery rotation at the Ochsner Clinical School in New Orleans. For instance, the survey asked business officers a set of questions from past questionnaires about their governance and decision-making frameworks -- and the results suggest that these crises have heartened them. The best dashboards, according to the We Rate COVID Dashboards rating scheme, are updated at least once every weekday and include information not only about the positive number of cases but also about the total number of COVID tests conducted and the frequency of testing. The global pandemic and recession appear to have influenced business officers' thinking about elements of campus operations that go well beyond their immediate financial and strategic approaches. Absent a national standard for how higher education institutions should report COVID-19 cases on their campuses, many colleges have taken to publishing information on cases on online dashboards. “It’s an interesting point that we’re into October and the closest we have to best practices and guidelines comes from We Rate COVID Dashboards' Twitter account rather than from any central organization,” said Teresa Valerio Parrot, principal of TVP Communications, a higher education communications and marketing firm, and a blogger for Inside Higher Ed.