Here’s what we know:
- Absolutely nothing is firm yet as to actual plans for Fall semester at hardly any school in the U.S.*
- All schools that we’ve heard of have finalized summer semester as online-only, and canceled on-campus programs.
- All schools WANT to be on campus again in the Fall
- No schools are closing; all will have some type of teaching available
This post isn’t specific to business schools, but it’s speaking about higher education in America in general, and the various responses we’ve seen so far to managing operations and their academic community in light of coronavirus. From what we’ve observed, it appears that the administrators of almost all academic institutions have been doing their best to signal that they will be back up and running in the Fall.
First takeaway from today’s post: Just because a school has announced that they will resume operations does not mean that that will actually happen in the form of in-person education for all disciplines.
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So after all that…
What will happen at your specific school?
Most of them are putting on a brave face and trying to get undergrads and their families comfortable with the idea of returning to campus, by conveying their commitment to being a stable place of higher learning, and showing the students that they can continue working towards their dreams of education and future success. Our sense is that honestly, most college kids are going to stick with their plans and won’t be dropping out of college even if it’s done remote. The schools want to reassure people that school will continue. The schools are quite concerned about their financial position and they really really need enrollments to stay at a certain level, and deposits to come in, and tuition payments to be made on a continuous basis, or to put it mildly, they’ll be f*cked. Some regional colleges are definitely going to fail as a result of coronavirus.
The large universities that most of you are interested in attending are likely to survive this catastrophe but it’s going to have a long-term impact. For the near term, the schools just want to hold onto the students they have and make sure they can support them in some capacity for Fall. Whether that’s online or not, the schools themselves probably do not even know — unless their administrators have secretly already decided for online-only for Fall and are keeping that decision close to the chest for as long as possible. Which we suspect is happening behind closed doors in some ivory towers.
Kudos to the schools that are thinking outside the box and are working on new strategies and tactics to reopen. At some point, all schools will certainly reopen, and those new processes, policies, and practices will be needed — and we know that many administrators at these schools truly want to have students on ground again as soon as they possibly can.
We’ll continue to keep you all updated as best we can on what’s literally been announced, and what’s probably going to be announced, and we’ll be as interested as you are to find out as the future unfolds in front of all of us in real time.