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Isn’t It Obvious? It’s Time to Expand Broadband Internet

In an op-ed in Slate magazine, former Florida governor Jeb Bush argues that it’s time to make a national investment to bring the internet to everyone in America. According to Governor Bush, nearly 21 million Americans had no fixed broadband service in 2019 because they live in rural areas where broadband providers say it’s too expensive to serve. Alternatively, they may not be able to afford it (I would suggest that affordability is an urban issue as well as a rural issue).

McKinsey and the Future Vision for a Post-Pandemic Workforce

In June 2020, the McKinsey consulting group commissioned a survey of global business executives about the post-pandemic future workforce. The survey responses clearly indicate a period of future disruption and change. Millions of low-income people have lost their jobs, and the survey indicates that the mix of post-pandemic jobs will look decidedly different from the pre-pandemic mix.

Meeting the Grand Challenges to Higher Ed: Financial Health

Of the four Grand Challenges to higher education, financial health is foremost among the minds of many traditional higher education institutions, particularly in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recently published articles and books call attention to the warning signs and at-risk metrics for traditional institutions that are financially troubled. For example, I’ve written about Robert Zemsky’s College Stress Test, Scott Galloway’s Value-to-Cost ratio and Vulnerability Score, and the Hechinger Report’s Financial Fitness Tracker.

Grand Challenges: A New Approach to Digital Transformation

In the latest issue of the Educause Review, Educause researchers Susan Grajek and D. Christopher Brooks write that Grand Challenges should be issued to encourage institutions to solve some of the biggest issues in higher education and that a digital transformation could be the best way to solve those challenges. For the uninitiated, a Grand Challenge “describes desired outcomes to problems that are extremely difficult (but not impossible) to solve and that are widespread, if not global, in scope.”

Citizen Science: The Water Testing and Awareness Project

Potable water is a requirement for life, yet in many towns and cities across the United States, municipal water poses human health risk either from source water or water infrastructure. As a society, we need household-scale water testing to understand the extent to which the health of the local population is at risk. In an effort to help our students understand the quality of their local drinking water, we have established the Water Testing and Awareness Project (Water TAP).