It’s been a year since most U.S. colleges and businesses shifted to an online, study from home or work from home mode in order to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Our work and home lives were disrupted, and it’s safe to say that until the country reaches the herd immunity level, our disrupted state will continue.
There have been many articles describing the pivot to online teaching implemented by many colleges and universities around the world as they responded to the social distancing required due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I have written about that in general and about a specific institution’s actions through interviews with the leadership team at Saint Francis University.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, weekday mornings began with the sound of my alarm chirping, usually at 6 am. Leaping out of bed, I would shower, shave, get dressed, and head downstairs for a cup of coffee and bowl of cereal before getting in the car.
A few years ago, I was asked to develop and teach a course on Educational Entrepreneurship to a cohort of doctoral students enrolled in the Executive Doctorate in Higher Education Management program at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. As I constructed the syllabus for the one-semester course, I realized that I needed to find instructional content/materials to provide the students with some knowledge about business models in order to adequately complete the final assignment. That final project was an 8- to 10-page paper outlining in some detail a unique idea to generate revenues or reduce expenses for their institution.
On Friday, the news that we have been waiting for finally arrived. The U.S. Food & Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it had authorized Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use. Headlines indicated that the first shipment would be distributed around the United States through FedEx and UPS.
Grand Challenges for tough-to-solve problems have been documented in higher education as far back as 1906. Earlier this year, EDUCAUSE issued a number of Grand Challenges for Higher Education that their leadership believed could be solved through a digital transformation.
In an article published Monday by the New York Times, reporter Shawn Hubler writes that the resurgence of the coronavirus has forced universities to make deep cuts to close widening budget shortfalls. Some of the examples that she provides include the elimination of low-participation liberal arts degrees at liberal arts colleges, pausing admissions to Ph.D. programs in liberal arts, eliminating undergraduate programs in higher education, and furloughing employees.