Screening university students could reduce community COVID-19 burden

Researchers in Canada and the United States report that screening students for infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) as universities re-open this fall could reduce the burden of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in the broader community.

The team conducted a model-based analysis to estimate the impact that the return of a relatively large student population would have on the rate of COVID-19 infections in a mid-sized city, where the number of cases was relatively few, prior to students returning.

Lauren Cipriano (University of Western Ontario) and colleagues from the London Health Sciences Centre and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health say the findings suggest that the return of such a student population would significantly increase the number of COVID-19 cases in the community.

The study also suggests that routine testing of students would prevent the number of infections in this population and provide significant public

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University of Kentucky cancels spring break 2021 because of COVID-19


The University of Kentucky will not have a spring break in 2021. 

Citing the need to keep students on campus as much as possible during the coronavirus pandemic, UK announced the change Thursday, which is on par with decisions from multiple universities around the country. 

UK wants to make sure students don’t travel around and bring more coronavirus cases back to Lexington. It cancelled the fall break as well and required testing for all on-campus students this semester. 

Other universities to cancel spring break include the Ohio State University, Purdue University, California State University, The University of Iowa, Iowa State University, the University of Northern Iowa and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

“We appreciate the patience of our community as we plan, once again, for reinvented operations this spring,” said an email sent to the campus community from President Eli Capilouto. “This is not how we envisioned this year, but

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University of Michigan’s faculty senate divided on ‘no confidence’ vote in President Mark Schlissel

ANN ARBOR, MI — The University of Michigan’s faculty senate was divided on a vote of ‘no confidence’ in President Mark Schlissel Wednesday afternoon.

According to multiple sources, the vote was 957 in favor, 953 against and 184 abstentions. The vote requires 50% of all votes to be in favor to pass.

While the resolution appeared to not pass Wednesday, the senate was still discussing how to count abstentions. The vote tally — and whether or not the no-confidence resolution is ultimately adopted — could still change. But that much remained unclear Wednesday night.

The resolution faults Schlissel for not using scientific data predicting the risk levels for fall 2020 reopening plans. The resolution also says he failed in his handling of the sexual misconduct allegations against former provost Martin Philbert, “who was dismissed for sexual misconduct that was known to members of the university for decades,” the resolution says.

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University of Michigan files complaint against graduate instructor strike


The University of Michigan filed a complaint and motion in Washtenaw County Circuit Court on Monday, requiring the Graduate Employee Organization to return to work. 

U-M is seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the graduate instructors union’s strike. On Sunday, 80% of union members voted to extend the strike, which started on Sept. 8, for another five days.

“Going to the court was our only choice after learning the strike would continue. We’d much rather our classes be in session while we work out our differences,” U-M President Mark Schlissel said in a video to the campus community. 

More: Residents of 30 E.L. properties, including MSU Greek houses, ordered to quarantine

If the court grants the injunction, GEO members — who refuse to work — could be held in contempt of court, according to a university statement. The group could also face civil damages because of

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University of Montana sees 4.5% decrease in enrollment, retention up | Local News

UM enrollment

Students walk on the Oval at the University of Montana on Tuesday. The university released their enrollment numbers for Fall semester on Wednesday.

The University of Montana reported a 4.5% decrease in student enrollment Wednesday, attributing the drop to the coronavirus pandemic that shifted student plans after high school.

In total, UM reported 10,015 students enrolled for the fall 2020 semester, compared to 10,487 in fall 2019. The decrease in overall enrollment can be attributed almost exclusively to a smaller freshman class, said Dave Kuntz, UM director of strategic communications.

Prior to the pandemic, UM was seeing an increase in both overall applications and out-of-state applications for fall semester, Kuntz said.

“When we looked at applications leading into the fall 2020 semester, our overall applications were up nearly 7%, and our out-of-state applications were up nearly 15%, and that was prior to the COVID pandemic arrival,”

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University of Michigan staff continue demanding change after grad students end strike

A strike over conditions during the coronavirus pandemic at the University of Michigan ended this week after two proposals and legal action from the institution. But students and staff are continuing to demand change.

GEO, the union representing over 2,000 graduate student instructors and graduate staff assistants at the school’s three campuses, went on strike Sept. 8, with a list of demands including the right to work remotely and increasing COVID-19 testing. On Wednesday, after extending the four-day strike, it announced it had accepted a second offer from the university.

PHOTO: Members of the Graduate Employees’ Organization Local 3550 protest outside of Angell Hall on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, Mich., Sept. 11, 2020. (Kimberly P. Mitchell/Detroit Free Press via USA Today Network)

The move came two days after the University of Michigan authorized seeking a temporary restraining order and preliminary injunction against the union strike.

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University statement on U.S. Department of Education letter regarding nondiscrimination practices

On September 16, 2020, the University received a letter from the U.S. Department of Education requesting information about Princeton’s nondiscrimination practices. 

The letter was the Department’s reaction to President Eisgruber’s update to the University community outlining the steps we are taking to address systemic racism at Princeton and beyond. Princeton has long been committed to creating and maintaining a community where all can thrive, and stands by its representations to the Department and the public that it complies with all laws and regulations governing equal opportunity, non-discrimination and harassment. This work is core to the University’s teaching and research mission, and we are vigilant in our pursuit of equity in every aspect of our programs and operations. The University also stands by our statements about the prevalence of systemic racism and our commitment to reckon with its continued effects, including the racial injustice and race-based inequities that persist throughout American

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Despite COVID-19, University of Georgia, Georgia Southern, Georgia Tech Thirsty for In-Person Classes

As the number of coronavirus cases exploded across the University of Georgia’s Athens campus in late August, some faculty began asking department heads about shifting from in-person classes to an online curriculum. 

After fielding several requests, one faculty chair emailed a dire warning to members of his department: the university would reject any official requests to switch to online learning. And if professors attempted to switch unofficially, the state university system was prepared to track them down.

“I’ve been advised that physical audits (by USG auditors) may take place that check to see that… the class is meeting the day/time/classroom that is listed in the instructional plan,” the chair wrote in an email obtained by The Daily Beast on the condition that the author not be identified. USG refers to University System of Georgia, the governing body of the state’s 26 public universities.

Objections from students taking the classes,

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University rankings don’t measure what matters

International rankings of universities are big business and big news. These systems order universities on the basis of a variety of criteria such as student to staff ratio, income from industry, and reputation as captured through public surveys.

Universities around the world use their rankings as marketing material and parents and prospective students make life choices on the basis of them.

But the methodology underpinning the Quacquarelli Symonds and Times Higher Education ranking systems and others like them would be unlikely to pass as a third year student’s research project. And yet high-status universities around the world spend time and money competing in this extravaganza rather than pointing out that the Emperor is wearing no clothes.

Why would they when the rankings reinforce their position as institutions of choice for those who can afford their fees?

As a researcher of higher education, I find it worrying that we’re held captive

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Duquesne University professor who used N-word in class video on paid leave, pending investigation

A Duquesne University professor who used the N-word in a class video is on paid leave, pending investigation, the university confirmed Friday evening. A university spokesman confirmed the faculty member in the video, Professor Gary Shank, is no longer teaching and another professor is taking over the course. The course was educational psychology, and it was held at 10-10:50 a.m. “As this is a personal matter, further specifics cannot be discussed, but another professor is taking over the course,” the university said in a statement. In a video shared on social media, the professor can be seen explaining how the word will be used in “the pedagogical sense.”He then gives examples of when that word was used when he was younger. The university said School of Education Dean Gretchen Generett sent the following letter to the students in the class within moments of learning about the incident: “I am writing … Read More