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Leading the News
ICE Blocks Newly Enrolled Foreign Students From Entering US If School’s Reopening Is Completely Online
Bloomberg (7/24, Roth) reported, “Newly enrolled international students can’t come to the U.S. if their university has announced a 100% online reopening for the fall semester, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said on Friday.” Bloomberg added that “while students already studying in the U.S. at schools that have declared fully online models are allowed to stay, those abroad” are not going to be permitted entry except if their universities intend to employ “a hybrid or fully in-person model of instruction.” The directive follows ICE having “rescinded a policy requiring all international students to take at least one online class.”
USA Today (7/24, Quintana) reported, “ICE did say new international students would likely be able to enroll at universities that were offering a mixture of in-person and online classes, and they can stay in the country if their college switches to online-only instruction in the middle of the semester.”
The AP (7/24, Binkley) reported, “The policy strikes a blow to colleges,” and “several education groups issued letters this week urging ICE to allow all international students, including new ones, to enter the country even if their schools were operating entirely online.”
Inside Higher Ed (7/27) reports the new guidance “falls short of what colleges were asking for. Higher education groups had advocated for new international students to be granted visas to come to the U.S. to start their college programs regardless of whether their institutions planned in-person, hybrid or online-only modalities for the fall semester.”
CBS News (7/24) reported in response to the announcement, the ACLU said the Trump Administration “is exploiting the pandemic to target immigrant youth,” and that the new policy will “disrupt the lives of hundreds of thousands of students.” According to the Chronicle of Higher Education, about 12% of more than 1,250 US colleges are “switching to an online-only model this fall.”
Additional coverage includes the Wall Street Journal (7/24, Hackman, Korn, Subscription Publication), NPR (7/24, Treisman), Arizona Republic (7/24), Education Dive (7/24), and Forbes (7/24, Durkee).
Colleges Plan For Widespread Virus Testing, But Strategies Vary Greatly
The AP (7/26) reported that some colleges plan to test students for coronavirus “only if they show symptoms or come into close contact with someone who has tested positive,” but some researchers “say that approach could quickly cause outbreaks caused by students who don’t show symptoms.” For students heading to Colby College “in Maine this fall, coronavirus testing is expected to be a routine part of campus life,” as all students “will be required to provide a nasal swab every other day for two weeks, and then twice a week after that.” However, as universities “hurry to make plans for virus testing, federal officials are warning that they could overload labs that process tests for hospitals.” In a call “with governors last Monday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said too many colleges are signing contracts with commercial labs, which threatens to ‘jam up the capacity’ of the system.”
Colleges Beginning To Offer Discount Tuition Prices For An Online Fall
Inside Higher Ed (7/24, Burke) reported that “this spring was characterized by a quick, and sometimes panicked, rush to online learning for most colleges and universities” and though students “demanded housing and tuition rebates, only some institutions coughed up the refunds, with relatively few rebating tuition.” Now, “after April’s wave of announcements from college administrations saying fall terms will be in person and on campus, the tide is slowly beginning to reverse” as several prominent traditional institutions, “such as Spelman College, the University of Delaware, Harvard University and the University of California, Berkeley, have announced they will be offering undergraduate instruction primarily online this fall.” However “this time, many have also announced they will be discounting tuition or slashing fees for those studying at home.”
Study: Coronavirus Has Made Already-Stressed College Students More Anxious, Depressed
The Washington Post (7/24, Lumpkin) reported that “during spring break, when college students’ stress levels typically falls and sleep levels increase, rates of depression and anxiety soared, researchers said after monitoring behaviors among young people during the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic.” After tracking the moods and movements “of about 200 Dartmouth College students for more than two years, the researchers noted that the public health crisis had spurred higher-than-normal stress levels and bouts of sedentary behavior – an average of 21 hours per day – suggesting students followed social distancing orders and avoided traveling during the initial outbreak of covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.” Jeremy Huckins, “a lecturer on psychological and brain sciences,” and Andrew Campbell, “a researcher and computer science professor,” are using an app called StudentLife “to monitor students’ locations, phone usage and travel patterns.”
Students Conflicted Over Returning To Campus, Distance Learning
CNBC (7/26, Dickler) reports that “in response to the coronavirus pandemic, a growing number of US colleges have said their campuses will remain closed through the fall semester.” Still, many students “are heading back to school as soon as this weekend” but for some, “there is nowhere else to go.” About 52% “of high school and college students said going back to school in the fall is a bad idea, according to one survey of over 7,000 people by research and opinion firm TruePublic.” Others “are more worried about the risk of living with vulnerable family members during the public health crisis, or don’t have an option.”
Proposals To Consolidate Colleges Stirred Conversations About Shared Academic Leadership
Inside Higher Ed (7/24) reported that recent proposals to consolidate colleges “could run into challenges with shared leadership.” The Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education “recently announced plans to integrate operations at three pairs of universities.” The proposals “are the latest attempt by the ailing system to cut costs systemwide,” which “will look at the impact and potential cost savings of shared leadership, faculty and staff, enrollment management, reporting lines, and budgets.” The announcement “has stoked conversation about what shared academic and administrative leadership would look like and whether it could be successful. Dennis Jones, president emeritus of the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, supports the system’s effort.”
Penn State To Use Return Of Students Next Month As Part Of Massive Coronavirus Research Project
The Inquirer (PA) (7/26, Snyder) reports that “tens of thousands of students are scheduled to return to Penn State’s main campus in central Pennsylvania next month, swelling its host county’s population by more than a third. And during a historic public health crisis, that’s a research opportunity.” A Penn State team “has begun collecting baseline data for a research project” that “will allow the university to study itself and its wider community, with the hope of gathering information that will help inform decisions during this and future pandemics.” As part of it, “Penn State plans to begin testing local residents for antibodies to the virus by Aug. 1.”
Legal Expert: Do Not Sign COVID-19 Liability Waivers
In an article for Fast Company (7/24, Lamberti), editorial consultant for Courtbuddy.com Patty Lamberti writes that “as schools across the country announce their reopening plans, many officials have said that they want students, faculty, and staff to sign COVID-19 liability waivers, legal documents waiving their right to sue the school in the event that they contract the virus.” According to Jennifer McGlone, the Chief Legal Council at Court Buddy, “these liability waivers would never protect a school if they were sued.” She added, “They are contracts of adhesion. If all students are forced to sign them, students can argue that it’s not informed consent and it’s unfair to enforce them.” In most scenarios, “McGlone urges people not to sign a COVID-19 liability waiver.” McGlone stated, “You’re paying schools to educate you, exercise reasonable care, and make informed decisions. They need to stand behind the decisions they make.”
Black Student Enrollment Drops At Most Selective Public Colleges, Universities
The Hechinger Report (7/24, Smith) reports that the United States “is becoming more diverse, but its most selective public colleges and universities are not.” In a new report from The Education Trust, “101 of the most selective public colleges and universities were graded on how they’re doing at having Black and Latino student enrollment match the percent of college-age Black and Latino students in their states.” The nonprofit organization, “which advocates for low-income and underrepresented minority students, compared the percentage of Black and Latino youth between ages 18 and 24 in each state with the percentage of these students at each institution in the year 2000 and in the year 2017.” At nearly “60% of these colleges and universities, the percentage of Black students has actually declined since 2000, the report found.” Only “9% of these institutions enroll a percentage of Black students that’s comparable to the percentage of young Black adults in their states.”
Black UVa Assistant Professor Recommended Tenure After Being Previously Denied
The Chronicle of Higher Education (7/25, Zahneis) reports that a Black faculty member “at the University of Virginia whose tenure denial became a cause célèbre last month has now been recommended for tenure by his dean.” Paul C. Harris, an “assistant professor in Virginia’s counselor-education program, gained widespread support on social media and from prominent scholars last month after announcing his tenure bid had been denied, The Chronicle reported.” On June 24, Robert Pianta, “dean of UVa’s Curry School of Education and Human Development, informed Harris in a letter that he planned to ‘re-open’ the case.” On Friday, “exactly one month later, Harris was called to a meeting with Pianta and Maite Brandt-Pearce, the vice provost for faculty affairs. ... In the meeting, Pianta told Harris he’d been recommended for promotion and tenure.”
Diverse Issues in Higher Education (7/26, Pluviose) reports that “according to a Diverse report on the Diverse Talk Live discussion, the Promotion and Tenure Committee that voted to deny Harris tenure claimed that Harris’ publication record didn’t meet expectations, noting his work in the Journal of African American Males in Education seemed to be ‘self-published,’ even though the journal is a selective, peer-reviewed journal.” Following the initial decision “to deny tenure, more than 4,000 of Harris’ former students and colleagues signed a petition denouncing the decision.”
Opinion: Removing Name Of Segregationist From UT Austin Science Building Will Help Recruit STEM Scholars Of Color
In an op-ed in the Dallas Morning News (7/26, Jogee), astronomy professor at the University of Texas at Austin Shardha Jogee writes that “UT announced its decision to rename the Robert Lee Moore Hall as part of a set of measures to promote a more inclusive campus” and that “as a nonwhite woman who has spent 15 years of her professional life in this building, I applaud this long overdue decision.” She adds that “it is high time to stop publicly and grandly commemorating a white supremacist who rejected black students.” Jogee also states that “the removal of this name will help our efforts to address the staggering lack of scholars of color in STEM,” as Black scholars “hold only 4% to 6% of all bachelor’s degrees in mathematics or physics, doctoral degrees in astronomy or physics and faculty positions in physics and astronomy, according to the American Institute of Physics.”
Opinion: Schools Must Ask Themselves If It Is Safe To Return Back To School Amid Pandemic
In an op-ed for the Washington Post (7/24, Harvey), Hampton University President William Harvey wrote that “there is one question we can ask ourselves about everything from holding in-person classes to conducting a football season that, if we answer it honestly, can make all of our decisions easier: Is this safe? If the answer is yes, we can proceed. If the answer is no, or unclear, our choice is obvious.” At Hampton University, he writes that after “recognizing the financial impact of the virus on students and their families, we decided to reduce tuition by 15 percent to help students continue their education” after deciding to not hold “face-to-face instruction.” He concludes that “although getting students back to school is important, it is more important to get them back safely. There is no normal until our campuses, workplaces and neighborhoods are safe again.”
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Research and Development
Pitt Researchers Examine Different Shower Heads To Determine Their Effects On Pathogen Growths
The Science Times (7/24) reported a recent study at the University of Pittsburgh aimed “to investigate shower head materials that could affect microbial exposure on people, especially those who are immunocompromised individuals.” The researchers on project – called Investigating Home Water and Aerosols’ Links to Opportunistic Pathogen Exposure (INHALE) Lab – installed “nine shower heads in three newly built shower stalls that will run for eight minutes per day.” The National Science Foundation currently “funds one of the projects that will be using the lab, wherein they will investigate the effect of silver in shower heads in OP Legionella.” Additionally, a project “funded by the Central Research Development Fund will examine which prevention methods are best for preventing the Ops that can become airborne when the shower is running.”
Tesla Is Rapidly Expanding It Manufacturing Capability
Business Insider (7/25, Debord) reported that Tesla’s growth is “accelerating, but to satisfy demand for new and existing products, and to reach global markets more directly and at lower cost, it’s rapidly expanding its manufacturing capability.” Four factories “could be six in two years, as plants in Germany and Texas come online.” The scale that this “expansion provides could enable Tesla to become more solidly profitable,” but it could also “increase the company’s already huge lead over its EV competition.” These factories should “enable Tesla to create significant industrial scale for EVs, batteries, and solar products.” Over time, that should “lead to economies of scale, as well, and empower the company to vindicate its very elevated market capitalization, now some $300 billion.”
Sources Say Boeing Will Delay 777X Aircraft
Reuters (7/24, Johnson, Hepher) reported that Boeing “is preparing to delay its all-new 777X jet by several months or up to a year, three people familiar with the matter said.” Boeing “hopes to bring the jet to market as passenger travel rebounds after a downturn caused by the pandemic. It would also hope for a detente in a trade war between Washington and Beijing, which has sidelined crucial Chinese aircraft buyers.” The risk of a delay could mean “tougher scrutiny from the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration during the years-long certification process.” Boeing “has been working to get the 777X, a larger version of the 777 mini-jumbo, into the hands of customers in 2021.”
Boeing, Airbus Running Out Of Space To Park Undelivered Planes
The Wall Street Journal (7/26, Tangel, Subscription Publication) reports that Boeing delivered 70 fewer aircraft in the second quarter of 2020 compared to last year, while Airbus delivered 153 fewer aircraft. As a result, the planemakers are running out of places to park their undelivered aircraft.
Engineering and Public Policy
White House Chief Of Staff, U.S. Treasury Secretary Say GOP Relief Bill Coming Monday
The AP (7/26, Mascaro, Superville) reported Meadows and Treasury Secretary Mnuchin “spent a few hours at the Capitol later Sunday to put what Meadows described as ‘final touches’ on a $1 trillion relief bill” that Senate Majority Leader McConnell is “expected to bring forward Monday afternoon. ... Meadows said as the White House was ‘looking for clarity’ on a ‘handful’ of remaining issues ahead of Monday.” Reuters (7/26, Chiacu, Volcovici) reported Mnuchin and Meadows “would not discuss details, but the $1 trillion Republican offer was expected to include another round of direct payments to individuals, a reduced federal supplement to unemployment benefits and liability protections against coronavirus-related lawsuits.” USA Today (7/26, Elbeshbishi) reported, “GOP leaders had previously hoped to release the package on Thursday but delayed the release after the Trump administration requested additional time to review the bill,” according to McConnell.
The New York Times (7/26, Fandos, Cochrane) reported that with Democrats “already on record in opposition to a piecemeal approach, a narrow fix is almost certainly dead on arrival. Republicans know that, suggesting their Sunday proposal may in part be a negotiating tactic laying the groundwork to blame the opposition party when the funds ultimately expire.” House Democrats “passed their own $3 trillion proposal – which also includes money to bail out states and cities, fully fund the $600 federal jobless benefit and infuse billions more into the nation’s health care system – in May.” The Washington Post (7/26, A1, Werner, Stein) also reported Pelosi “has rejected the piecemeal approach, but time is running short because the temporary unemployment benefits are set to expire at the end of this week.”
The Los Angeles Times (7/26, King) reports, “Negotiations between the two parties have barely begun, largely because internal dissent among Senate Republicans and disagreements with the White House have stymied Republican efforts to produce a proposal.”
CNN (7/26, Westwood, Robertson, Main, Kelly) reported on its website that NEC Director Kudlow said Sunday “that $1,200 checks to Americans will be part of the new recovery package, in addition to reemployment bonuses, retention bonuses and tax credits for small businesses and restaurants.” The Washington Post (7/26, A1, Farzan, Shepherd) reported, “Kudlow and other administration officials denied intraparty conflict was at play as lawmakers rush to pass legislation before the enhanced jobless aid expires. Hinting at developments, Kudlow said that the federal government would extend a four-month moratorium on evictions that ended Friday.”
The Wall Street Journal (7/26, A1, Duehren, Ballhaus, Subscription Publication) and The Hill (7/26, Budryk) are among the other sources providing coverage.
Businesses Recalling Millions Of Workers, Boosting U.S. Job Growth
The Wall Street Journal (7/24, Morath, Mackrael, Subscription Publication) reported businesses are recalling millions of workers amid renewed demand as coronavirus lockdowns end, boosting U.S. jobs recovery. In total, 7.5 million jobs were added in May and June, and online job postings exceeded 7 million for the first time since April this week.
Poll: About 50% Of Americans Whose Families Were Subject To Layoff Amid Pandemic Feel Those Jobs Aren’t Coming Back
The AP (7/24, Boak, Swanson) reported a recent poll indicates that “nearly half of Americans whose families experienced a layoff during the coronavirus pandemic” think those jobs are permanently gone. There had previously been optimism that those jobs would come back, with “78% of those in households with a job loss” indicating during April that “they’d be temporary.” However, the most recent poll from The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research shows that “47% think that lost job is definitely or probably not coming back.”
Friday's Lead Stories
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