The Great Contraction Cuts alone will not be enough to turn colleges’ fortunes around. — from chronicle.com by Lee Gardner

Excerpts:

With higher education facing average revenue losses of 14 percent or more due to Covid-19, the pandemic presents an existential challenge for the hundreds, maybe thousands, of colleges that entered last March with already precarious finances. Every week or so seems to bring new headlines about institutions making jaw-dropping cuts.

But slashing budgets alone, experts agree, isn’t enough to survive. Struggling colleges must cut strategically and adapt to a new way of operating, in order to find a way to eventually grow and thrive.

From DSC:
As I mentioned to a friend who wondered about those two words –“grow” and “thrive” in the last sentence above…

For too long many colleges and some universities have not been experimenting with other business models. They didn’t pay attention to the surrounding landscapes and economic realities of the masses. I think some of the institutions out there will grow and thrive — but it will be far fewer institutions who see such growth. SNHU, Arizona State, Western Governors University, and the like have done well. But then again, they thought big as well and did so years ago. They have a major leg up on other institutions.

She has served as a college president for nearly 20 years, and in that time, she has watched students’ view of higher education shift to be predominantly about “the outcome of being prepared for a job,” she says.

Funny how that corresponds directly to the increase in tuition, fees, books, room and board, etc. that took place during that same time. 

 

Public Colleges Are Going After Adult Students Online. Are They Already Too Late? — from chronicle.com by Lee Gardner

Excerpts:

But competing with the established national players in online education presents a tall order. The so-called megauniversities have a huge head start and deep pockets, two advantages public universities are unlikely to overcome easily, if at all.

Mega-universities have spent more than a decade building and honing well-funded and sophisticated operations that function on a scale few start-ups can hope to match. They spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year marketing themselves nationwide to students.

Mega-universities have also developed recruitment and admissions operations designed to make things as easy as possible for working adults to enroll.

 

 

Five free keynotes on online learning for streaming into virtual conferences — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

These are the five keynotes:

  1. Developing quality blended learning courses
  2. Digital learning and the new economy
  3. New technologies and their potential and limitations for teaching and learning
  4. Ten lessons for online learning from the Covid-19 experience (based on research findings)
  5. Online learning in the (k-12) school sector

From DSC:
Thanks Tony for sharing these keynotes and your expertise — which is drawn from so much research and experience. Thanks for giving it away — may your gift bless many. (And I thought you were going to retire…?!? Selfishly, I’m/we’re glad you didn’t!)   🙂

 

From DSC:
Numerous articles are out there on this, but here’s a handful of them:

Jeff Bezos to Step Down as Amazon C.E.O. — form nytimes.com
Andy Jassy, the chief of Amazon’s cloud computing division, will become chief executive, while Mr. Bezos, the company’s founder, will become executive chairman.

How new Amazon CEO Andy Jassy built an enterprise tech juggernaut — from protocol.com
Using lessons honed from a stint as outgoing CEO Jeff Bezos’ right hand, Jassy changed the way enterprise tech is bought and sold in building the most profitable division of the company.

Jeff Bezos is stepping down as Amazon CEO: Read his full letter to staff — from fastcompany.com
Day One is finally over for Jeff Bezos. 

 

3 Main Changes to Help Fill College Classrooms — from fierceeducation.com by Alison Diana

Excerpt:

Reducing Tuition:
Southern New Hampshire University last month announced it will cut the cost of its Fall 2021 campus-based programs to $15,000 or $10,000 per year and use “an increased focus on experiential and project-based learning; a new and more transparent financial aid process, shifting from merit-based to need-based financial aid awards to level the playing field for all students.”

This marks more than a 50% reduction of its fees, according to SNHU. The university also plans to increase its on-site campus enrollment to 4,500 students from 3,000, although it did not say how or if it expects to adapt faculty or administrative staffing.

SNHU is not alone in addressing tuition to encourage people to attend their schools.

 

Best NASA Pictures of 2020 — from fubiz.net

Beyond the beauty of these contemplative images, the space agency also had another goal: that of raising awareness of the urgency of taking action to protect the Earth and its fragile environments. Fires, pollution, rising waters, floods…so many phenomena that these images reveal and document with precision and that should challenge us. As Thomas Pesquet said after his experience in orbit, looking down on the Earth can make us aware of its fragility and the sometimes disastrous action of man on nature.

Best NASA Pictures of 2020

Also see:

 

The Annual Report: Ringing in the Changes — from campustechnology.com by Mary Grush & Doug Foster

Excerpt:

Mary Grush: The annual report for the Division of Information Technology for FY 19-20 allows you to reflect on the division’s work for the year. How does this document help the institution’s resolve?

Doug Foster: The annual report is actually part of a larger alignment strategy. We have strategic priorities at the university level; and we have strategic priorities for the IT division. In IT, we put together an annual plan every year, which is what we execute our work against, and, finally, we put out an annual report.

An example report:

Here is an example annual report from the University of South Carolina's IT Division

 

#survivingcovid19 #reinvent #highereducation #futureofhighereducation #60yearcurriculum #costofhighereducation #alternatives #innovation #learningfromthelivingclassroom and many more

 

7 Questions Every Leader Should Ask Themselves at the End of the Year — from inc.com by Raj Jana
The first step to a better year ahead is taking the time to reflect on the one prior.

Excerpts:

  1. Who or what would you like to praise?
  2. What would you like to praise yourself for?
  3. What would you like to let go of moving into 2021?
  4. What did you love most about 2020?
  5. What would you want more of, or want to be different in 2021?
  6. What would you need to feel complete closure in 2020?
  7. What’s next for you in the week ahead?
 

Online learning and law schools during the pandemic — from tonybates.ca by Tony Bates

Excerpt:

Pre-Covid, law schools and especially law accrediting agencies in North America have been pretty conservative in the past with regard to online or more accurately distance learning (see Online education and the professional associations: the case of law, for more details on the situation in 2018).

We can then fairly safely assume that most of these schools would have had no or little prior experience of online learning before March of this year. So it is interesting that 89% of students in law schools in the USA responding to a Thomson Reuters survey reported that during Covid-19 they were taking classes entirely online.

However, for me the most interesting results are in the graph below:

Preferences for permanent changes
Preferences for permanent changes with law schools

It seems clear that at least some level of online instruction will continue in the future, and that online learning will become widespread for at least some types of classes.

Given that there was almost no online learning in law schools in the USA pre-Covid 19, this is a significant conclusion.

From DSC:
I appreciate Tony writing about this topic. He’s correct in saying the ABA and the legal education field — along with the entire legal realm — was behind the 8 ball in terms of online learning (and I would add the use of emerging technologies in general). In fact, I’d say that the ABA was essentially twenty years behind in terms of getting on board the online learning train. It still has a ways to go…but the pressure is on the ABA to get with the times. Our society requires that they do so. The pace of change has been changing for a decade or more now. They can no longer walk on the race track and hope to not get in the way of a world that’s traveling at 180 mph.

The pace has changed significantly and quickly

Make no mistake, if the ABA — and the legal field in general — continues at their previous pace, we all will pay the price. Consider but a few areas that are already having an impact on our society:

  •  #AI #blockchain  #XR #AR #MR #VR #robotics #bots #algorithms #ethics #BigData #learningagents #legaltech #NLP #emergingtechnologies

Along with other tags that apply here:

  • #stayingrelevant #reinvent #vision #leadership #strategy #A2J (Access to Justice) 
 

Logging in to get kicked out: Inside America’s virtual eviction crisis -- from technologyreview.com by Eileen Guo

Logging in to get kicked out: Inside America’s virtual eviction crisis — from technologyreview.com by Eileen Guo

Excerpts:

An unprecedented, imperfect moratorium
Before the pandemic, an average of 3.6 million Americans lost their homes to evictions every year, according to Princeton University’s Eviction Lab. By the end of 2020, this number could increase exponentially, with one report from the Aspen Institute estimating that, without further federal aid, between 30 to 40 million people may be at risk of eviction in the next several months. The financial hardship exacerbated by covid-19 has left many in a precarious situation.

.

Legal aid attorneys chart course for 2021 after spike in demand

Legal aid attorneys chart course for 2021 after spike in demand — from law360.com by Justin Wise

Excerpts: (emphasis DSC)

The coronavirus pandemic and the economic downturn it caused sparked a massive spike in demand for legal aid services from America’s most marginalized communities, leaving a field already under-resourced facing even greater strain in 2020.

At the same time, many organizations had to close their offices in the spring and significantly reduce in-person communication with clients to comply with health guidelines. It all amounted to a “pretty crushing” year in which attorneys transitioned to a primarily remote operation with new channels including a COVID-19 legal intake line, Southeast Louisiana Legal Services Executive Director Laura Tuggle said.

Tuggle said 3 in 4 of the calls on the SLLS hotline are from people seeking assistance on matters relating to housing and evictions. Overall, the group has had a 300% increase in eviction cases this year. It also had a 600% increase in unemployment assistance cases in the first few months of the pandemic.

“The most pressing legal need America faces as we enter 2021 is the tsunami of potential evictions that threaten the millions of people who have lost jobs during the pandemic,” LSC Executive Director Ronald Flagg said, pointing to a study showing that evictions can cause increases in COVID-19 cases and deaths.

 

 

Addendum on 12/9/20:

 

5 things we’ve learned about virtual school in 2020 — from npr.org by Anya Kamenetz

Excerpts:

  1. The digital divide is still big and complex.
  2. Relationships are everything when it comes to keeping kids engaged remotely.
  3. Digital teaching can be good, even great with the right support for teachers. But that’s far from the norm.
  4. Hybrid models are extremely challenging.
  5. Some kids are not learning much online. They’ll be playing catch-up in years to come.
 

The Digital Divide for Tribal College Students — COVID, CARES Act, and Critical Next Steps — from diverseeducation.com

Excerpt:

In this episode staff writer Sara Weissman shares a story that focuses on the digital divide for Native Americans by bringing in voices of tribal college leaders and their students during the COVID 19 pandemic.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service. Hear first-hand how students from Diné College and other institutions are currently affected. Carrie Billie (Big Water Clan), President & CEO of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC) and Dr. Cynthia Lindquist (Star Horse Woman), President of Cankdeska Cikana Community College in North Dakota, break down the data and lay out critical next steps necessary to address the digital divide.

Many don’t know but Native American colleges and universities have long struggled with the worst internet connectivity in the nation while ironically paying the highest rates for service.

From DSC:
When will there be justice!? Let’s join in and make amends and provide the funding, concrete assistance, products, and services to Native American colleges, universities, and communities. Some potential ideas:

  • For the short term, could there be Loon balloons deployed immediately to provide free and stronger access to the Internet?

Could Project Loon assist Native American colleges, universities, and communities?

  • Could our Federal Government make amends and do the right thing here? (e-rate program, put Internet access in, make policy changes, offer more grants, other?)
  • Could Silicon Valley assist with hardware and software? For example:
    • Can Apple, HP, Microsoft, and others donate hardware and software?
    • Can Zoom, Adobe, Cisco Webex, Microsoft Teams, and others donate whatever these communities need to provide videoconferencing licenses?
  • Could telecom providers provide free internet access?
  • Could MOOCs offer more free courses?
  • Could furniture makers such as Steelcase, Herman Miller, and others donate furniture and help establish connected learning spaces?
  • How might faculty members and staff within higher education contribute?
  • How could churches, synagogues, and such get involved?
  • Could the rest of us locate and donate to charities that aim to provide concrete assistance to Native American schools, colleges, universities, and communities?

We need to do the right thing here. This is another area* where our nation can do much better.

* Here’s another example/area where we can do much better and make amends/changes.

 


Addendum on 12/7/20:

 

State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs

State Court Budget Forecast: Stormy with Rising Backlogs — from law360.com by Andrew Strickler

Excerpt (emphasis DSC):

As state lawmakers begin preparing for upcoming legislative sessions amid a resurgent pandemic, a scattered but largely grim outlook for state court funding is beginning to take shape.

With some judicial administrators already dealing with staggered budgets and new technology costs, experts and advocates say court leaders have their work cut out for them to convince budget analysts and lawmakers to pay for pandemic recovery efforts.

Perhaps nowhere is the coming financial strain more apparent than in Florida, where legislators began gathering Tuesday in Tallahassee to face a historic $5.4 billion budget deficit over the next two years.

There, court leaders have drawn on their experiences dealing with a crush of foreclosures and other litigation following the 2008 financial crisis to project that nearly 1 million additional cases will be in front of the state’s trial courts by the middle of 2021.

In New York, where the next fiscal year promises to include a gaping $14.5 billion budget hole, dozens of appellate judges over age 70 are being forced into retirement, a move court administrators said would save $55 million in the coming years and help prevent staff layoffs.


Addendum on 11/24/20:

Civil Justice Fest: A Month of Dialogues On the Most Pressing Civil Justice Issues — from vimeo.com
Judicial Education Program & Congressional Civil Justice Academy Law & Economics  Center Antonin Scalia Law School George Mason University November 2020 Virtual

 
 
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