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Higher ed is changing. Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer and Chronicle veteran, connects you with the people, trends, and ideas that are reshaping it. Delivered on Wednesdays.

From: Goldie Blumenstyk

Subject: The Edge: Which Practices Paused by the Pandemic Should Just Never Come Back?

I’m Goldie Blumenstyk, a senior writer at The Chronicle covering innovation in and around academe. As the Covid-19 crisis continues, here’s what I’m thinking about this week.

The pandemic halted some higher-ed practices. Which ones deserve a "good riddance"?

I’m on vacation. That means some R&R for me, but I’m leaving homework for you. The assignment is inspired by a series in The Washington Post called "Endangered Experiences," which looks at commonplace practices of the pre-pandemic era — salad bars, conga lines, you get the idea — and explores whether they’ll be gone for good once we get past this virus.

I’ve written before about how the pandemic, as horrible as it is, has brought about some welcome practices. I also wonder if some of what’s been paused because of Covid-19 should be done away with altogether.

It’s probably not worth debating whether higher ed is better off without heavily subsidized athletics (I put my own stake in that ground years ago), but what about some other experiences and customs that are being sidelined by the pandemic? Could the academic enterprise be more affordable, more engaging, and maybe even more equitable without them?

I’d love to know what you think. As you consider what happened in the spring — and what's going down now — please send me your thoughts (my email address is below) on what losses we shouldn’t lament. I’ll share some of the responses in a future newsletter.

Join our discussion of how academic and tech leaders can collaborate better.

How do colleges determine which tools will help professors teach and students learn — and continually assess whether those approaches are working? That's what my colleague Lee Gardner will ask a panel of leading practitioners on Thursday, September 3, at 2 p.m. Eastern time. The group includes Michael Cato, chief information officer at Bowdoin College; Liv Gjestvang, associate vice president for learning technology at Ohio State University; and Rashmi Radhakrishnan, chief information officer at Arcadia University. Sign up here to tune in live or watch later on demand.

Got a tip you’d like to share or a question you’d like me to answer? Let me know at goldie@chronicle.com. If you have been forwarded this newsletter and would like to see past issues, find them here. To receive your own copy, free, register here. If you want to follow me on Twitter, @GoldieStandard is my handle.

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The veteran reporter Goldie Blumenstyk writes a weekly newsletter, The Edge, about the people, ideas, and trends changing higher education. Find her on Twitter @GoldieStandard. She is also the author of the bestselling book American Higher Education in Crisis? What Everyone Needs to Know.