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The health and financial impacts of COVID-19 are forcing universities to make significant budget cuts in a highly compressed time frame. Melanie Ho and Carla Hickman talk about the risks of allowing immediate crisis response efforts to sabotage a school’s ability to make the transformative changes needed to achieve longer-term aspirations. They urge university leaders to take active steps now to build strength and resiliency into their institutions.
They offer suggestions on the areas where campus leaders should focus their efforts in preparation for the fall semester and beyond. Finally, they discuss the importance of incorporating faculty voices into the planning process, suggesting there has never been a better time to gather together the best minds on campus to develop solutions to the institutional challenges they face.
"COVID-19 has really just served as a catalyst for trends that were already impacting higher education, already impacting our students, our finances, or institutional curriculum."
"We’ve got to figure out how to deal with the after even while we’re still extremely focused on the now."
"Every part of your campus is wearing a crisis management hat right now."
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The decisions that colleges and universities make across the next few months will determine the extent of the financial shock and whether the institution is positioned not only to recover, but also to emerge stronger on the other side. Based on our conversations with over a thousand college and university leaders, we have identified the five greatest mistakes in current COVID-19 response that are jeopardizing crisis recovery and post-crisis strategy.
In part one of this two-part discussion, EAB experts share four reasons why the coronavirus pandemic is a different type of crisis than any faced by higher ed before—and discuss effective leadership in an extended crisis.