Reopening a college right now is harder than ending the Cold War
Texas A&M University
- Michael Young told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he helped develop a unifying plan for East and West Germany as a State Department employee 30 years ago.
- Now, Young is the president of Texas A&M University and he's trying to bring its 65,000 students back to campus. He told the Journal it was easier to plan for the event that many consider to be the end of the Cold War than it is to plan for students to return to college campuses amid the
- Texas A&M's current back-to-school plan includes some students returning to campus with extensive precautions while others would continue to take classes remotely.
- The school would shut down again if infections crop up on campus at a considerable rate: "If it was 100 professors a day [getting sick], it would be game over," he told the Journal. "We can't lose 20% of our professors and continue to run the university."
- Other schools are opting to reopen their campuses, too. Cornell University conducted a mathematical modeling study that found "counterintuitive" evidence that fewer members of the campus population would be hospitalized if the school opened with proper precautions. Meanwhile, some schools are opting to continue to distance learn but allow students on campus.
- Even still, the Chronicle of Higher
Educationfound that as of late July, just 48% of US collegeswere planning on in-person instruction. A month earlier, that figure was as high as 65%, meaning schools have been walking back their initial decisions.
- There's been minimal federal guidance and general lack of consensus on what colleges should do. Trump continues to push for widespread reopening even as coronavirus cases surge — and more than 6,300 coronavirus cases have been linked to colleges. Meanwhile, the vast majority of college students say they don't want to pay full tuition for online schooling.
- This combination leaves decision-makers like Young at a crossroads and it's hard, like, Cold War hard.
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