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Politics Washington's inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges, universities at risk

13:10  04 october  2020
13:10  04 october  2020 Source:   thehill.com

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Maintaining the strength of colleges and universities today will translate into a better tomorrow for our students and the nation. “ COVID -19 puts higher-ed finances at risk . For some universities , revenue shortfalls are going to bring pain — for other universities the shortfall may be a disaster,” the report

Covid -free communities on the U. S .-Canada border want travel restrictions e Health • Perspective. Dozens of colleges and universities are dropping SAT/ACT requirements for fall 2021 applicants could be a turning point for the way colleges and universities assess the value of using test scores in admissions decisions in the future . By signing up you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

A new academic year for the nation's 4,300 colleges and universities has dawned with a little less of its customary pomp and pageantry.

a group of people walking in front of a building: Washington's inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges, universities at risk © Getty Images Washington's inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges, universities at risk

The excitement of move-in day was muted. There was less laughter at curbsides as students pulled bags out of cars (and parents suppressed welling tears). Fewer kickoffs are soaring into crisp blue skies. The angst that many Americans feel also exists on the nation's campuses that educate 20 million students annually and employ 4 million people.

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Washington ' s inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges , universities at risk | TheHill. As Washington state moves into the colder fall and winter months, its COVID -19 response efforts will soon arrive at a key juncture.

Washington ' s inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges , universities at risk . Over the fall, millions of high-school students across the United States participated in the annual process of submitting college applications to attend the nation’s best schools.

As presidents of university systems, we are concerned about the health and safety of our university communities, and about the social and economic well-being of our states and of the nation. We are alarmed about the future of higher education institutions - indispensable centers of research, innovation and discovery - in America.

Today, we serve as presidents of the University of Colorado and the University of Massachusetts, but in our previous lives, we served together in the U.S. House of Representatives. Though we were members of different parties, we believed in the absolute importance of collaboration and collegial engagement - and still do. Simply put, it would be a tragic mistake to allow the institutions that have driven America's success and are essential to its future to wither during the COVID-19 siege.

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Governments’ response to COVID -19 From pandemic crisis to a better future . Some in the public sector workforce have been put at risk as they continue to provide critical services and infrastructure. Indeed, future waves of infection could prompt some to revert to crisis response.

Washington ' s inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges , universities at risk .

The CARES Act signed into law in March provided an initial round of pandemic-relief funding, but Washington's inability to agree on a second comprehensive bill leaves higher education in significant jeopardy. We urge decision-makers to consider the severe pandemic-driven disruptions to these powerful drivers of economic development and social mobility. For colleges and universities across the nation, pandemic-related expenses already have been enormous and continue to mount. At the same time, our institutions are suffering severe revenue losses.

As a recent Brookings Institution report noted, no institution is escaping the pandemic's financial impact. "COVID-19 puts higher-ed finances at risk. For some universities, revenue shortfalls are going to bring pain - for other universities the shortfall may be a disaster," the report said.

During our time together in Congress, we focused on keeping America strong, ensuring opportunities for America families and solving the pressing challenges facing our nation. Today, in our current roles, we worry that the nation is losing sight of the grave risks to national and local economies that will result if the health of our colleges and universities is allowed to deteriorate. This should be of concern to citizens from all political persuasions. Fewer matters will have greater impact on the future security and prosperity of the nation.

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Washington ' s inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges , universities at risk . Opinion. — 8m 2s ago. "We're trying to see how can we keep the groups separate so we don't have any incidents but not put in place programs that could be problematic in the future ," he said.

Just In Washington ' s inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges , universities at risk . Videos posted on Twitter by a photojournalist from the Press Herald show students from Bowdoin College marching on their way to Collins's office to protest Kavanaugh's confirmation.

Recent discussions about higher education have tended to focus on the delivery of academic programs - in-person or remote - or have related to high-profile sports programs. In Washington, D.C., the discussion has centered on student loan programs - an important topic for sure. However, less has been said about the need to preserve a sector that has driven so much of our nation's success.

Higher education's impact is felt in so many ways:

A college degree typically means economic transformation, with the median lifetime earnings for bachelor's-degree holders estimated to be twice those of high school graduates.

Colleges and universities are major employers. They are the largest employers in 10 states and in two-thirds of America's 100 largest cities. U.S. colleges and universities employ 4 million people. In comparison, the auto industry employs 3 million people and airlines 750,000.

Colleges and universities ignite innovation. From 1996 to 2015, technology transfer from universities sparked development of more than 380,000 new inventions and contributed $591 billion to the national GDP.

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The damage from covid -19 means that, in the short term at least, universities will be Until now most of them, especially the ones at the top of the market, have resisted putting undergraduate courses online. The College Crisis Initiative at Davidson College says that less than a quarter of American

Washington ' s inability to agree on COVID relief puts future of colleges , universities at risk . The new guidelines allow for informal resolutions, such as mediation, if both parties agree ; a full hearing remains an active option. In either case, the university must supply counseling and other support to

More broadly, access to higher education at strong, vital institutions is essential to the prosperity of families and to our need for a workforce that can compete and win on the global stage. Extending higher education more fully to underrepresented communities is essential if we are to live up to our nation's ideals and create social harmony.

We must support our colleges and universities because our nation needs to keep moving forward. Our students need to move forward. We must be primed for renewal and recovery when the pandemic is behind us. And we must be engaged in R&D efforts aimed at treating and preventing COVID-19, subduing other potential health threats, and driving our innovation economy.

Maintaining the strength of colleges and universities today will translate into a better tomorrow for our students and the nation.

Mark Kennedy is the president of the University of Colorado. From 2001 to 2007, Kennedy served in the U.S. House of Representatives, first for Minnesota's 2nd District and then for its 6th District. Marty Meehan is president of the University of Massachusetts and represented the state's 5th District in the U.S. House from 1993 to 2007.

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