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The breakdowns in COVID-19 testing have left colleges and universities with only one lever to pull: more de-densification. Learn why the first weeks of term—even for the best-prepared institutions—suggest that it’s time to limit the number of students on campus as much as possible.
Leaders in higher education are grappling with a climate of constant uncertainty as the COVID-19 epidemic continues to evolve in the United States and around the world. While plans for the upcoming semester may change, one of the few certainties for institutions is if and when students return to campus, they will need to practice physical distancing until a vaccine is widely available.
At many institutions, living on campus is a crucial dimension of the student experience, as well as a key source of auxiliary revenue. But current public health evidence indicates that communal living could strongly facilitate virus transmission, and many campuses lack the ability to give each student the safest option of a private room and bathroom. Ultimately, all universities are facing the same question: what is the housing solution that provides students with an on-campus experience that’s as fulfilling as possible, while also protecting the community from outbreaks?
As critical as it is to prioritize an isolation and quarantine strategy as part of your repopulation strategy, it is just as important to determine what approach works best for the needs of your campus community. Inherent in every decision is a balance between cost and risk to public health. EAB has spent the past few months speaking to higher education leaders about their IQ strategies and have catalogued the spectrum of approaches into the following tiers.
Explore four major trends why institutions are reducing the number of students they plan to have return to campus.
The decision to pull-back from repopulation will be one of the most complicated any leadership team will make. Not only are the public health and financial consequences immense, but there are dozens of variables that could inform this decision. Some of these may contradict one another, and others—like faculty and student opinion—are not easily quantified.
Why campus de-densification is a complicated set of decisions at the core of college re-opening plans
College and university leaders continue to grapple with difficult questions around bringing their students, faculty, and staff back to campus safely. Read our latest insight for more information on the complicated set of decisions at the core of re-opening plans.
In early June, EAB surveyed about 70 institutions on their plans to promote and enforce physical distancing on campus. Here are the three trends we uncovered.
Given the complexity of de-densifying campus, complying with health regulations, and reducing the risk of infections, SFOs continue to play a critical role in the university’s response. However, Facilities leaders are struggling to communicate key messages about repopulating campus to other leaders. To support repopulation conversations, this article captures five messages every Facilities leader needs the rest of campus to understand.