(The latest developments on the impact of the coronavirus in higher ed can be found here.)

12:16 p.m. Eastern, 9/30/2020

Virus ‘Spread Like Wildfire’ on Notre Dame’s Football Team

5:02 p.m. Eastern, 9/29/2020

Cases Among 18-to-22-Year-Olds Increased 55% in August, CDC Says

According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Covid-19 cases among 18-to-22-year-olds increased by 55 percent from August 2 to September 5. The report’s authors acknowledge the role of colleges and universities in possibly fueling the spread, saying “it is likely that some of this increase is linked to resumption of in-person attendance at some colleges and universities.” The authors add that the increases “were not solely attributable to increased testing.” —Andy Thomason

2:26 p.m. Eastern, 9/29/2020

Appalachian State U. Student Dies of Covid-19 Complications

This post has been updated (4:27 p.m., 9/29) with the university’s statement.

A 19-year-old Appalachian State University sophomore has died of complications from Covid-19, the Watauga Democrat reports. The newspaper quoted a friend as saying Chad Dorrill had been “perfectly healthy” before his diagnosis. A statement attributed to Dorrill’s mother said he had been “incredibly tired” for two weeks. “As our family suffers this incredible loss, we want to remind people to wear a mask and quarantine if you test positive even without symptoms,” the statement said. “You have no idea who you can come into contact with that the virus affects differently.”

On Tuesday afternoon the university confirmed Dorrill’s death in a message to the campus community. Sheri Everts, the university’s chancellor, said Dorrill had been living off campus in Boone, N.C., and taking all his classes online. But when he began to fegreeel unwell, Everts wrote, Dorrill traveled back to his home county, tested positive for Covid-19 and quarantined, then returned to Boone after being cleared by his doctor. There he suffered from additional complications, and was subsequently hospitalized. “His family’s wishes are for the university to share a common call to action so our entire campus community recognizes the importance of following Covid-19 safety protocols and guidelines,” Everts wrote.

According to Appalachian State’s coronavirus dashboard, as of Tuesday there were 159 active Covid-19 cases among students — the highest single-day total since the pandemic began. In her message Everts acknowledged the rise in cases, and asked community members to “let us all honor Chad and his contributions by taking care of ourselves and our community.” —Andy Thomason

2:11 p.m. Eastern, 9/29/2020

Police Shut Down 1,000-Person Party Near Florida State U.

Police officers shut down a party of more than 1,000 people near Florida State University over the weekend, the Miami Herald reports. The news came just days after Florida’s Republican governor, Ron DeSantis, said he would push for a “bill of rights” that would protect college students from being disciplined for attending parties. —Andy Thomason

1:36 p.m. Eastern, 9/29/2020

Notre Dame President Apologizes for Not Wearing Mask in Rose Garden

The University of Notre Dame’s president, the Rev. John I. Jenkins, apologized on Monday for not wearing a mask while attending President Trump’s ceremony to nominate Amy Coney Barrett, a Notre Dame law professor, to the U.S. Supreme Court.

The university previously said that Jenkins had been tested for Covid-19 upon entering the White House grounds, had been cleared, and then had been allowed to sit maskless during the outdoor ceremony, held in the Rose Garden. —Andy Thomason
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4:09 p.m. Eastern, 9/28/2020

U. of Iowa Fields Over 450 Complaints of Covid-19 Safety Violations

The University of Iowa has received more than 450 complaints regarding violations of its Covid-19 student-safety protocols, The Gazette reports. The news follows a weekend in which the Iowa City police reported several parties that appeared to involve fraternities and Iowa students, according to the newspaper. The 452 new reports of safety violations — made through an online form set up by the university — come on top of 256 that had been received by the institution as of September 11. —Andy Thomason

4:00 p.m. Eastern, 9/28/2020

All On-Campus Students at Cal State-Long Beach Face 2-Week Quarantine

All 328 students studying on campus at California State University at Long Beach are under a two-week quarantine as of this weekend, The Orange County Register reports. The move followed news that five students who had gathered off campus had tested positive for Covid-19. In-person instruction has also been suspended for two weeks. All Cal State campuses are operating at limited in-person capacity this semester, with only a small fraction of students living and studying on campus. —Andy Thomason

2:08 p.m. Eastern, 9/28/2020

Colleges Have Logged at Least 130,000 Cases of Covid-19

According to The New York Times’s college-case tracker, which was last updated on Friday, American institutions of higher education have logged at least 130,000 cases of Covid-19 since the pandemic began. The tracker also counts at least 70 deaths associated with colleges and universities — most of which were reported in the spring. The case figure is almost certainly an undercount, and the Times reported that at least 42,000 new cases had cropped up at colleges since early September. —Andy Thomason

5:55 p.m. Eastern, 9/27/2020

Notre Dame’s President Appears Again Without a Mask

When the Rev. John I. Jenkins was in the Rose Garden on Saturday to attend President Trump’s announcement of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, one aspect of his presence raised eyebrows: He wasn’t wearing a mask.

Jenkins — who is president of the University of Notre Dame, where Barrett was a law professor before joining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit — had been criticized in August after he was photographed posing with students on campus but without a mask, contrary to social-distancing guidelines. He later apologized.

Now, reports the South Bend Tribune, the university explains that Jenkins and other attendees had been tested with nasal swabs and, after being cleared, were allowed to sit maskless outside the White House. —Dan Berrett

6:00 p.m. Eastern, 9/27/2020

Penn State Reports 55-Percent Increase in Covid-19 Cases

Pennsylvania State University has more than 2,100 positive cases of Covid-19 and 200 people in quarantine or isolation, according to the university’s dashboard.

But, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Eric Barron, president of the university, said the 55-percent increase would not necessitate a switch to remote instruction. “Hospitalizations remain at very low levels, very little change in quarantine and isolation (capacity), and not seeing transfer from students to faculty — these are the keys for us moving forward,” the newspaper quoted him as saying. —Dan Berrett

2:11 p.m. Eastern, 9/25/2020

U. of Delaware Takes Drastic Steps to Close Budget Shortfall

Facing a budget shortfall of $250 million, the University of Delaware will make layoffs, furlough all of its staff, and even use $100 million from its endowment to close some of the gap. The Newark Post reports that the university announced the cost-cutting measures on Thursday. While it hasn’t decided how many employees to lay off, the university said that all 3,500 staff members would be furloughed. All university units will face cuts of at least 15 percent, and the institution will draw $100 million from its endowment to cover some costs — a level of spending that is “not sustainable,” according to the university’s president, Dennis Assanis.

According to the newspaper, the university was projecting a $168-shortfall last spring, when it assumed that most students would be able to return to campus this fall. Its primarily online fall plan caused that deficit to grow to $250 million. —Andy Thomason

1:55 p.m. Eastern, 9/25/2020

Pac-12 Will Play Football After All; U. of Oregon President Says Decision Was About ‘Hope’

The Pac-12 Conference will start a football season in November, reversing an August decision to postpone its fall sports schedule. The conference said on Thursday that a newfound ability to test players daily had made a big difference in easing member institutions’ concerns about athletes’ health amid the pandemic. The conference’s commissioner, Larry Scott, called daily testing a “game-changer.” The Big Ten Conference stated a similar rationale earlier this month when it also announced it would play a football season after all.

In a message to his campus, the University of Oregon’s president, Michael H. Schill, said the conference’s decision was “not about money,” adding that athletics departments would face big financial losses even with a football season. “No, it is about something bigger — hope. As we all face the challenges posed by Covid-19, continue to wrestle with the scourge of systemic racism in our society, and face an incredibly polarized national election, I believe sport can help unite our community, be a boost in morale, and give us something to cheer for during some pretty dark days.” —Andy Thomason

4:57 p.m. Eastern, 9/24/2020

A New Recommendation From Ohio to Colleges

3:29 p.m. Eastern, 9/24/2020

Birx Praised Texas A&M for Low Positivity Rate, Which Is 10%

Deborah Birx, the coronavirus-response coordinator for the White House Coronavirus Task Force, said on Wednesday during an appearance at Texas A&M University at College Station that the institution’s positivity rate was impressively low. But The Houston Chronicle reports that the rate is around 10 percent, which is relatively high. (According to the university’s coronavirus dashboard, the positivity rate from the campus’s random testing was 1.6 percent for the week ending September 12, but the overall rate was much higher.)

“Maybe she was looking at the wrong number,” said Peter Hotez, co-director of Texas Children’s Hospitals Center for Vaccine Development, who added that the White House task force is “such an unreliable source of information.” The White House did not immediately respond to The Houston Chronicle’s request for comment, according to the newspaper. —Andy Thomason

1:09 p.m. Eastern, 9/24/2020

Boulder Bans Gatherings of 18-to-22-Year-Olds, Citing College-Student Spread

Boulder, Colo., has banned all gatherings of 18-to-22-year-olds, citing the role of University of Colorado at Boulder students in fueling the spread of Covid-19. The order, which takes effect Thursday afternoon and will last two weeks, explicitly prohibits students in that age group from gathering inside dorms. It also bars athletes on the Boulder campus from having team practices. In issuing the order, Boulder County called it “essential” that the disease’s spread by students, many of whom are asymptomatic or have only mild symptoms, be slowed. According to the university’s coronavirus dashboard, there have been 933 positive Covid-19 tests on campus in the last month. —Andy Thomason

12:47 p.m. Eastern, 9/24/2020

N.C. State Plans a Hybrid Spring After a Failed In-Person Fall

North Carolina State University will welcome some students back to campus and have a mix of in-person and online classes this coming spring, the institution announced on Wednesday. The university began the fall semester primarily in person, but quickly shut down face-to-face instruction and asked students to move out of dorms as Covid-19 spread quickly among them. The university said on Wednesday that making all dorm rooms single-occupancy, as well as building up its testing capacity, would help it return to some level of in-person operation.

The university is already feeling the effects of drastically curbing operations this fall. The institution announced on Thursday that it had suffered a 61-percent drop in auxiliary revenue, amounting to $75.4 million. In response, the university will impose temporary furloughs and temporary salary reductions for some employees in auxiliary units, such as dining and housing. —Andy Thomason

3:03 p.m. Eastern, 9/23/2020

U. of Wisconsin Will Restart In-Person Classes While Asking Students to Consider Moving Out

The University of Wisconsin at Madison is set to restart in-person classes after a two-week pause, and is asking students who are able to consider moving out of the dorms, the Chicago Tribune reports. The chancellor, Rebecca Blank, said the pause, coupled with increased testing and the quarantining of some dorms, had helped bring cases down. The university has logged more than 2,700 cases among students since late July. —Andy Thomason

12:12 p.m. Eastern, 9/23/2020

Health Official Says Michigan State Is Underreporting Coronavirus Cases

A county health official says Michigan State University is undercounting Covid-19 cases in its public-facing dashboard, the Lansing State Journal reports. Ingham County’s health officer, Linda Vail, told the newspaper that 1,250 cases had been tied to the university, while Michigan State is reporting only 528. A university spokesman told the newspaper that officials were “aware of the discrepancy” and that “we don’t dispute her numbers.” He added that Michigan State would work with the health department to improve the dashboard. —Andy Thomason

12:03 p.m. Eastern, 9/23/2020

2 Accounts of Covid-19’s Effect on Students

11:58 a.m. Eastern, 9/23/2020

College Football Player Died of Blood Clot Following Covid-19 Diagnosis

Jamain Stephens, a football player at California University of Pennsylvania, died earlier this month of a blood clot after being hospitalized for Covid-19 and pneumonia, according to new reporting by The New York Times. Previous reporting had cited a statement by Stephens’s high school that he died of the coronavirus, a claim the school later backed away from. The Times’s reporting appears to serve as chilling confirmation that Covid-19 can be deadly even for the predominantly young students living on and around many campuses.

The Times also reported that few, if any, health precautions were taken at Stephens’s housing complex, near the university. The complex, which is privately owned, did not test returning students, or check their temperatures, and no contact tracing was done in response to positive cases in the complex, the newspaper reported. California University is not allowing students on campus this semester, and the college-football season there was canceled, but Stephens wanted to return, the Times reported, “so he could work out with his teammates.” —Andy Thomason

3:27 p.m. Eastern, 9/22/2020

Another Football Game Postponed Due to Covid-19

1:39 p.m. Eastern, 9/22/2020

James Madison U. Will Restart In-Person Classes After Sending Students Home

James Madison University will take the unusual step of restarting in-person instruction after shutting it down weeks ago and asking students to move out of on-campus housing, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The university will welcome students back to a campus that has increased its quarantine capacity and started mandatory surveillance testing. A little over half of students living on campus moved out when the university announced a suspension of in-person learning earlier this month. —Andy Thomason

5:13 p.m. Eastern, 9/21/2020

U. of Wisconsin Chancellor Fires Back at County Over Call to Go Online

The day after the Dane County executive called on her to move all instruction online at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, the chancellor, Rebecca Blank, responded with a public rebuke, calling on his office to “become a partner” with the university in reducing transmission of Covid-19. The unusual feud underscores just how tense town-gown relations have become in the pandemic.

On Sunday the executive, Joe Parisi, condemned the university’s decision to continue operating in person as cases surged locally (the university recently started a two-week pause in in-person learning in response to the increase). “This implicit acceptance that some people are just going to get sick — some seriously — spread this to friends and families, and people will experience long-term cardiac illness is entirely unacceptable when individuals have the ability to make decisions right now to prevent this from continuing,” Parisi wrote. “The time to act is now.”

On Monday, Blank responded by urging the county to take further action to discourage unsafe off-campus gatherings. She also said that flipping instruction online would not prompt students to leave the community. “It’s wishful thinking to suggest otherwise,” she wrote. —Andy Thomason

2:29 p.m. Eastern, 9/21/2020

In Poll, Students Say Colleges Were Wrong to Reopen in Person

A bare majority — 51 percent — of students at accredited, four-year colleges say the institutions made the wrong choice in allowing students back on campus, according to a new poll.

The results come from a demographically representative online survey of 808 students, conducted by the pollster College Reaction. They seem to contradict statements from campus leaders saying they resumed in-person instruction because of overwhelming student demand, although many students in the survey, 46 percent, did say that returning to in-person classes had been the right choice.

College Reaction also found that among students on in-person campuses, many have seen or engaged in social activities that might put them at risk of contracting the coronavirus. Here are survey results on responses to the question “Since arriving on campus, have you …?”

  • Seen a party: 57 percent.
  • Gathered with friends without masks: 50 percent.
  • Dined in a restaurant or gone to a bar: 49 percent.
  • Known someone who’s contracted Covid-19: 42 percent.
  • Attended a party: 12 percent.

Francie Diep

2:12 p.m. Eastern, 9/21/2020

AAUP Will Investigate ‘Crisis in Academic Governance’

The American Association of University Professors announced on Monday that it had opened an investigation of “the crisis in academic governance that has occurred in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Calling the investigation “unique,” the association said it would focus on seven colleges: Canisius College, Illinois Wesleyan University, Keuka College, Marian University, Medaille College, National University, and Wittenberg University.

The focus of the investigation will be “whether there have been departures from AAUP-supported principles and standards of academic governance” at those institutions, the association said, adding that it may also look into “the effects of unilaterally imposed mass layoffs on academic freedom and tenure, the enrollment and financial challenges facing many institutions, and the impact of these challenges on higher education, especially the humanities and liberal arts.” —Andy Thomason

1:58 p.m. Eastern, 9/21/2020

U. of Colorado Moves Classes Online for 2 Weeks Following Case Surge

The University of Colorado at Boulder is moving all its classes online for two weeks after an increase in Covid-19 cases, The Denver Post reports. The university also last week informed almost 200 students in one residence hall that they would have to leave the dorm to make room for isolation housing. The flip to remote instruction comes about a week after the local health department urged all students to self-quarantine for two weeks. —Andy Thomason

6:10 p.m. Eastern, 9/18/2020

U. of Michigan Faculty Affirms ‘No Confidence’ in President

It’s official: The University of Michigan at Ann Arbor faculty has voted “no confidence” in President Mark S. Schlissel, who has been besieged over his campus-reopening plan and concerns about top-down leadership.

The faculty on Wednesday cast 957 votes in support of the no-confidence motion and 953 against it, with 184 abstentions. Faculty leaders initially said the motion had failed because they counted abstentions as negative votes. A faculty uproar ensued, and then an exploration of arcane parliamentary rules. That process led to a different conclusion.

“Abstentions should not have been counted as votes,” wrote Colleen Conway, a professor of music education and chair of the Faculty Senate, in an email to the faculty on Friday. She declared the no-confidence motion to have passed. —Vimal Patel

2:59 p.m. Eastern, 9/18/2020

Students Dismissed by Northeastern Will Receive Tuition Credit

Northeastern University said in a tweet on Thursday that 11 students who had been dismissed for congregating in a hotel room would be able to recoup $27,760 of their fall-semester expenses as a tuition credit in the spring. The university will keep $8,774 of each student’s prepaid fall expenses, CNN reported. The students were dismissed for violating the university’s public-health protocols.

—Don Troop

1:59 p.m. Eastern, 9/18/2020

Providence College, SUNY-Oswego Pause In-Person Instruction

Two more institutions are flipping to remote learning because of high coronavirus numbers. The Boston Globe reportedthat Providence College would shift to remote learning until at least September 26 after 84 students tested positive for the virus in just two days. The State University of New York at Oswego halted in-person classes until October 5 after discovering 82 Covid-19 cases during its current two-week reporting period, according to the Democrat & Chronicle. Oswego is the second SUNY campus to move online due to a rise in cases. SUNY-Oneonta this month sent students home and moved to remote instruction for the entire fall semester. —Don Troop

1:54 p.m. Eastern, 9/18/2020

Florida Atlantic Forced to Postpone Football Game

ESPN will have an opening in its weekend football lineup as a result of a coronavirus outbreak among players at Florida Atlantic University, the Yahoo Sports reporter Pete Thamel said Friday on Twitter.

Jared Benko, athletics director at Georgia Southern University, confirmed that FAU’s team wouldn’t be making the trip to Statesboro, Ga., for Saturday’s game. The South Florida Sun-Sentinel this week quoted FAU’s coach, Willie Taggart, as saying that “like 11” members of the program had tested positive. The game is expected to be rescheduled. —Don Troop

2:09 p.m. Eastern, 9/17/2020

More Than 1,000 Told to Quarantine at Liberty U.

More than 1,000 students and employees at Liberty University have been instructed to quarantine in response to possible exposure to Covid-19, according to a local TV station. The university said it had logged 141 active cases of Covid-19 among students and employees. —Andy Thomason

1:34 p.m. Eastern, 9/16/2020

Grand Valley State Students Ordered to Quarantine

1:29 p.m. Eastern, 9/16/2020

State Takes Lead in Contact Tracing as Students Say Boston College’s Testing Is Inadequate

Massachusetts will take the lead in contact tracing at Boston College amid growing criticism of its handling of Covid-19, The Boston Globe reports. Several students told the newspaper that they had had trouble being tested. “The way that they are handling the whole thing is absolutely ridiculous,” said one student who had exhibited symptoms of Covid-19. The college has in recent weeks increased its surveillance testing. —Andy Thomason

11:08 a.m. Eastern, 9/16/2020

Big Ten Reverses Earlier Decision, Will Play Fall Football

Presidents of colleges in the Big Ten Conference have voted to begin a football season in late October, reversing their earlier decision to call off fall football due to safety concerns. The conference said it now could conduct daily Covid-19 tests for athletes, coaches, and other employees, and would provide “enhanced cardiac screening” for athletes. Fears that athletes who test positive for Covid-19 may suffer from myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, were influential in the conference’s initial decision not to play. According to the conference, the presidents’ decision was unanimous. —Andy Thomason

10:45 a.m. Eastern, 9/16/2020

U. of Colorado Students Urged to Quarantine for 2 Weeks

Local health officials are urging students at the University of Colorado at Boulder to quarantine for two weeks following a surge in cases in the area, The Denver Post reports. According to the local public-health department, nearly 70 percent of new cases since late August in Boulder have been members of the university community. “More stringent and mandatory restrictions will be imposed if students do not comply and break the transmission cycle,” wrote Jeffrey J. Zayach, executive director of Boulder County Public Health. —Andy Thomason

5:14 p.m. Eastern, 9/15/2020

U. of Michigan President Acknowledges ‘Erosion of Trust’

In a virtual town-hall event on Tuesday, Mark S. Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, acknowledged “an erosion of trust across the campus,” the Detroit Free Press reports. Schlissel is facing multiple crises on the campus, including a graduate-student strike in protest of working conditions amid the pandemic, criticism of Schlissel’s vote for the Big Ten Conference to not play fall football, and a looming no-confidence vote in his leadership.

The broadcast interview came one day after the university asked a judge to force graduate assistants to halt their strike, and one day before faculty members are set to take the no-confidence vote. “I need to do more communicating with different types of people to understand the collective vision,” Schlissel said at the event. “The thing I walk away from this with is the value of listening.”

Read more in the Free Press. Andy Thomason

5:02 p.m. Eastern, 9/15/2020

Day After Urging Quarantine, U. of Arizona Reports Daily High in New Covid-19 Cases

Read more from The Daily Wildcat, the university’s student newspaper. —Andy Thomason

4:57 p.m. Eastern, 9/15/2020

Is the Big Ten Poised to Reverse Its Decision Not to Play Fall Football?

1:02 p.m. Eastern, 9/15/2020

U. of Wisconsin Chancellor Says New Cases Are Likely, Defends Keeping Campus Open

Rebecca Blank, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin at Madison, wrote in a campus update on Tuesday that “significant case numbers” will continue to be reported in the coming days. Blank, who last week moved all classes online for at least 14 days amid a rise in positive diagnoses, said the university would expand its testing capacity in the next week.

She also defended her decision to open campus for the fall. She said, among other things, that students learn best in person; there has been no evidence of classroom transmission; “almost all our peer schools” also chose a hybrid model; and “regardless of how we delivered instruction, most of our students had plans to be in Madison this fall.” She added: “Our reasoning is that it is better for students to have some structure in their schedule with some in-person classes, lots of visible messaging about health protocols, and access to in-person testing.” —Andy Thomason

12:49 p.m. Eastern, 9/15/2020

LSU Football Coach Says Most of Team Has Been Infected

4:44 p.m. Eastern, 9/14/2020

U. of Arizona Urges 14-Day Quarantine Amid Rise in Cases

The University of Arizona is urging students living both on and off campus to undergo a 14-day quarantine in an effort to stem the spread of Covid-19.

According to Inside Higher Ed, the university’s president, Robert C. Robbins, called the recommendation a “last-ditch effort” that could be followed by more-severe steps. The university has reported 1,148 cases since the end of July. —Andy Thomason

4:21 p.m. Eastern, 9/14/2020

West Virginia U. President Apologizes for Not Wearing Mask

E. Gordon Gee, president of West Virginia University, publicly apologized after photos circulated that showed him not wearing a mask inside a CVS, The Daily Athenaeum reports. In his apology, Gee said he “did not keep my mask on for the entirety of my time in the store.” He added: “As I have asked you to do the right things, so must you expect me to do the same. I apologize for the error in judgment and commit that it will not happen again.”Students who don’t comply with the university’s mask mandate on campus face possible expulsion. —Andy Thomason

4:01 p.m. Eastern, 9/14/2020

23 Greek Houses at Michigan State Are Ordered to Quarantine

Twenty-three fraternity and sorority houses at Michigan State University have been ordered by the county health department to observe a two-week quarantine in the wake of rising cases in East Lansing, Mich., The Detroit Newsreports. “The surge in cases we have seen over the past few weeks is alarming,” said Ingham County’s health officer, Linda S. Vail, in a written statement. “I am disheartened to add that this outbreak is being fueled in part by a lack of cooperation and compliance from some MSU students, many residing in the properties now under mandatory quarantine.”Michigan State called off all in-person classes shortly before the semester began, but that hasn’t stopped students from living and congregating off campus. According to the newspaper, Covid-19 cases in the county have increased by more than 50 percent since late August, and most new cases are Michigan State students. —Andy Thomason

12:30 p.m. Eastern, 9/14/2020

College President Dies of Covid-19

Mark Ivester, president of North Georgia Technical College, died of Covid-19 over the weekend, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports. “With incredibly heavy hearts, we are so sad to say that Dr. Mark Ivester passed away last night around midnight after losing his battle to Covid-19,” the college wrote Sunday on Facebook. A local-news website, Now Habersham, reports that Ivester fell ill in early August. —Andy Thomason

12:13 p.m. Eastern, 9/14/2020

George Washington U. Reports Alarming Enrollment Decline

Update: After The Hatchet initially reported that George Washington had suffered a 24-percent enrollment decline, the university released numbers showing that the decline was just 7 percent.
George Washington University has seen an enrollment decline of nearly one-quarter since last fall, The GW Hatchet reports. The university’s president, Thomas LeBlanc, told a meeting of the Faculty Senate on Friday that about 9,100 students are now enrolled, down from about 12,000 last year. The university is operating primarily online this fall. LeBlanc said that the dip would translate to about $76 million in lost tuition revenue, and that a “second phase” of budget cuts would occur in the coming weeks. —Andy Thomason

6:28 p.m. Eastern, 9/13/2020

2 More Colleges Move Classes Online

The University of Wisconsin at La Crosse and Northern Illinois University have suspended in-person classes for at least two weeks because of increases in Covid-19 cases on their campuses. La Crosse, which issued a “shelter in place” order to students on Sunday, follows the flagship campus, at Madison, in moving to online instruction, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel notes.Northern Illinois, which blamed off-campus gatherings for the rise in Covid-19 cases, on Friday moved all undergraduate courses online and urged students to “limit in-person activities and interactions,” reports WMAQ-TV, in Chicago. —Mitch Gerber

2:32 p.m. Eastern, 9/11/2020

After Delayed Starts, 3 Campuses Proceed With In-Person Falls

Clemson University is beginning to move students in for the fall semester, more than a month after it decided to delay the start of in-person instruction by four weeks due to rising cases of Covid-19. The university’s president, James P. Clements, on Friday said that the delay had given the institution time “to develop a more comprehensive testing plan,” identify more quarantine space, and improve wastewater testing. In-person classes start on September 21.The announcement echoes decisions by Miami University of Ohio and Brown University to pursue in-person instruction after delaying it, rather than extending the period of remote learning. Brown, which began the semester online, announced this week that some undergraduates would be permitted to move in next week. Miami also said a phased move-in would happen next week. —Andy Thomason

6:23 p.m. Eastern, 9/10/2020

Cal State Will Be Online Again in the Spring

California State University, one of America’s largest public-university systems, will conduct instruction mostly online again in the spring semester, the chancellor, Timothy P. White, announced on Thursday. “This decision is the only responsible one available to us at this time,” White wrote.

Cal State was among the very first institutions of higher education to announce it would be primarily online this fall. According to White, making that decision in May allowed the university’s faculty to successfully plan for online teaching, yet didn’t put a dent in the system’s enrollment. White wrote that preliminary enrollment figures for the fall are “strong across the system, with a few exceptions.”

“This is quite gratifying,” he added, “and it will be to the great benefit of our future alumni and the state of California in the years and decades ahead.” —Andy Thomason

6:06 p.m. Eastern, 9/10/2020

U. of Minnesota Cuts 4 Sports

5:10 p.m. Eastern, 9/10/2020

U. of Michigan Strikes Intensify

A strike of University of Michigan at Ann Arbor graduate assistants over Covid-19 safety concerns intensified on Thursday as a group of student dining workers announced they would also walk off the job the following day. The action would follow a strike of about 100 resident advisers who sought safety protections and hazard pay.

The dining workers are asking for more-frequent testing of all staff members, more-lenient attendance policies until the group determines it’s safe to return to work, and “a clear and transparent sanitation plan which is consistently enforced by management,” according to the student newspaper, The Michigan Daily.

The union that represents the university’s graduate assistants, the Graduate Employees’ Organization, announced on Labor Day that members would strike. Since then they’ve been picketing — while socially distanced and wearing masks — over several demands, including randomized testing of students, better representation in pandemic decision-making, and time-to-degree extensions.

Faculty Senate members are scheduled next week to consider votes of no confidence in both the university’s reopening plan and President Mark S. Schlissel. “Staff, graduate students, undergraduate students, and faculty have exhausted all channels of communication to express their grave concerns about reopening plans,” states one of the no-confidence motions, “and President Schlissel has shown little substantial changes in policy in response to expressed concerns.” —Vimal Patel

1:59 p.m. Eastern, 9/10/2020

Va. Colleges No Longer Using Unproven Provider for Covid Testing

After a Chronicle article last month raised questions about Kallaco — an unproven new provider of Covid-19 tests — some colleges in Virginia are backing away from the firm. The College of William & Mary’s website now states that “we have changed labs until we have a clearer answer” about whether the tests had full FDA authorization. Although the college will no longer use Kallaco’s lab partner for its tests, Kallaco will still handle “shipping and logistics,” according to the website.

George Mason University, which also hired Kallaco for Covid-19 testing, recently announced that it had used up all of its Kallaco testing kits, and will not be ordering more. Read The Chronicle’s story from last month. —Michael Vasquez

11:53 a.m. Eastern, 9/10/2020

U. of Wisconsin at Whitewater Leader: ‘It’s Probably Too Late’

The University of Wisconsin at Whitewater’s interim chancellor told the Whitewater City Council on Wednesday that his university was “not far behind” the Madison flagship, referencing the campus’s decision to move classes online for two weeks. The Janesville Gazette reports that Greg Cook told city leaders, “I actually fear it’s probably too late. We should have done this over a month ago,” he said, seeming to cite Madison’s decision to move online. According to the university’s coronavirus dashboard, it reported 69 positive diagnoses among students this week. —Andy Thomason

11:37 a.m. Eastern, 9/10/2020

U. of Wisconsin Moves Classes Online for 2 Weeks After Outbreaks

The University of Wisconsin at Madison announced on Thursday that it would move classes online for two weeks after a series of Covid-19 outbreaks among students, the Wisconsin State Journal reports. The university will also quarantine all students in two of its largest dorms. “I share the disappointment and frustration of students and employees who had hoped we might enjoy these first few weeks of the academic year together,” said the chancellor, Rebecca Blank. The university has tallied more than 1,000 Covid-19 infections since the semester began last week. —Andy Thomason

5 p.m. Eastern, 9/9/2020

At Least 46 Outbreaks Tied to U. of Wisconsin

At least 46 outbreaks of Covid-19 have been tied to the University of Wisconsin at Madison, a county leader wrote to university officials on Wednesday. The Wisconsin State Journal reports that the Dane County executive, Joe Parisi, urged the university to increase testing and quarantine capacity, triple the number of contact tracers it employs, and consider sending home students currently living in residence halls. The letter was disclosed the same day that the local public-health agency advised anyone who lives or works in downtown Madison to “assume you were exposed to Covid-19.” —Andy Thomason

4:19 p.m. Eastern, 9/9/2020

Over 2,000 in Quarantine at U. of Tennessee

More than 2,000 people — a majority of them students — are in quarantine at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, and the count of active Covid-19 cases stands at 600, the university’s chancellor said on Tuesday, CNN reports. “Our case counts are going up way too fast,” said the chancellor, Donde Plowman, “and we will need more drastic measures to stop the upward trajectory.”

Also on Wednesday the university informed residents of one of its dorms that they would need to relocate to make room for isolation space for students who have tested positive. —Andy Thomason

4:11 p.m. Eastern, 9/9/2020

U. of Georgia Reports Over 1,400 Cases in One Week

The University of Georgia logged more than 1,400 student cases of Covid-19 last week, the university disclosed on Wednesday. According to The Red & Black, the university’s student newspaper, the new data bring the cumulative number of cases at the university to 3,045 since the start of the pandemic. —Andy Thomason

1:49 p.m. Eastern, 9/9/2020

Bradley U. Mandates All-Student Quarantine for 2 Weeks

Bradley University on Tuesday required all students to quarantine in their residences for two weeks, the president, Stephen Standifird, announced in a video message. Standifird said that the Illinois university had observed among students a concerning lack of compliance with safety protocols, and that more than 500 students were already in quarantine due to several dozen positive diagnoses. Students are allowed to engage in “only the most essential activities,” Standifird said, and all classes will be conducted remotely for the two-week period. Standifird said violations of the quarantine would “not be tolerated” and could result in disciplinary action. —Andy Thomason

1:17 p.m. Eastern, 9/9/2020

Universities Are Already Planning for Spring

Two universities said on Tuesday that they would stick with their current hybrid instructional plans into the spring semester as long as public-health conditions allowed for some in-person learning. The University of Connecticut told employees that it would use “a mix of virtual and in-person formats” for learning in the spring, according to the student newspaper, The Daily Campus. Similarly, Pennsylvania State University’s provost wrote in a message to the campus that it would continue its hybrid model into the spring. —Andy Thomason

1:01 p.m. Eastern, 9/9/2020

Football Game Postponed After 38 Louisiana Tech Players Test Positive

A Saturday football game between Baylor University and Louisiana Tech University was postponed after Louisiana Tech said 38 of its players had tested positive for Covid-19, CBS Sports reports. Louisiana Tech’s athletics director, Tommy McClelland, said a recent hurricane had complicated the program’s safety protocols. “It is obvious that the impact of Hurricane Laura in our community a few weeks ago really sparked our significant increase in numbers,” he said. —Andy Thomason

10:11 a.m. Eastern, 9/9/2020

Football Player at California U. of Pennsylvania Dies of Covid-19 Complications

Jamain Stephens, a defensive lineman at California University of Pennsylvania, died on Tuesday “after suffering from complications of Covid-19,” according to the high school he attended. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that Stephens, the son of a retired NFL player, was a senior and business-administration major at the university. In a news release, the university’s athletics director, Karen Hjerpe, called Stephens “a wonderful student with a smile on his face every time you saw him.”

In July the university’s athletics conference postponed fall sports in response to the coronavirus, and the university is operating remotely this semester. —Andy Thomason

4:37 p.m. Eastern, 9/8/2020

Indiana U. Reports Over 1,300 Cases of Covid-19

Indiana University on Tuesday said it had logged more than 1,300 cases of Covid-19 since August 22, the vast majority of which occurred on the flagship Bloomington campus. The university published the new data on its coronavirus dashboard and added that “predominantly those identified as positive are not getting very sick.” —Andy Thomason

1:24 p.m. Eastern, 9/8/2020

Over 700 Florida State U. Students Tested Positive in One Week

More than 700 students at Florida State University tested positive for Covid-19 last week, bringing the cumulative number of student cases to 839 since the start of August, the Tallahassee Democrat reports. The New York Times on Tuesday reported that the Tallahassee metro area currently registers the eighth-biggest spike in per-capita cases nationwide. —Andy Thomason

1:15 p.m. Eastern, 9/8/2020

University Spokesman to NYT: Can I Ethically Promote Reopening?

An anonymous submitter to The New York Times’s “The Ethicist” column posed an interesting question on Tuesday. Describing himself as “a communications director at a large public university,” the man said he felt his institution’s attempt to welcome more than 40,000 people back to campus was “the opposite of good public-health policy during a pandemic.” Is it ethical for him to continue in his job? Read Kwame Anthony Appiah’s reply. —Andy Thomason

5 p.m. Eastern, 9/7/2020

West Virginia U. Shifts Most Undergraduate Courses Online Until Late September

President E. Gordon Gee of West Virginia University announced on Monday that a majority of the institution’s undergraduate courses would temporarily move online. In a letter to the university community he wrote, “We have been transparent throughout our Return to Campus planning that if we determined the local public-health situation was deteriorating, the university would take swift and immediate action. The time has come to do so on the Morgantown campus.”

Except for courses in the health sciences that require in-person rotations, all undergrad courses will become online only on September 9. Gee added, “If we can reverse the trends and see our numbers improve, we will return to on-campus learning on Monday, September 28.”

2:20 p.m. Eastern, 9/5/2020

Northeastern U. Expels 11 Students for Gathering Inside

Northeastern University dismissed 11 first-year students for the fall semester after they were found gathered in a Boston hotel room in violation of health-safety protocols, the university announced. Some observers, reacting to the news that the students would not have their tuition refunded, criticized the university.

Northeastern has a lot at stake in curbing the spread of the virus: It has been very public about committing more than $50 million to ensure a safe reopening. — Jennifer Ruark

11:55 a.m. Eastern, 9/4/2020

Ohio’s Governor to College Students: ‘We Ask You to Be Careful’

Rising counts of Covid-19 cases at several Ohio universities are prompting concerns across the state. At Ohio State University, more than 1,000 students have tested positive since mid-August, The Lantern reports. At Miami University, which has now recorded more than 800 student cases, campus officials are attributing a recent spike to off-campus partying. And on Thursday, Ohio’s Republican governor, Mike DeWine, reported on Twitter that 78 cases had been traced to “multiple off-campus parties with students attending from several universities” in Cincinnati.

DeWine said at a news conference that colleges and universities are doing their best to limit off-campus gatherings, according to Cleveland.com. But he made a plea to students: “To our friends in college, we ask you to be careful. While all of us at your age thought we were invincible, you can pass this on.” —Brock Read

11:04 a.m. Eastern, 9/4/2020

Penn State Update: No, a Study Has Not Found Myocarditis in One-Third of Athletes With Covid-19

The statistic was striking: At a local school-board meeting on Monday, a Pennsylvania State University doctor reported that roughly one in three Big Ten athletes who had tested positive for Covid-19 also had myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle.

It was also erroneous. On Thursday the university and the doctor — Wayne Sebastianelli, director of athletics medicine — corrected that number. In fact, Penn State officials said in a written statement, Sebastianelli was citing “initial preliminary data that had been verbally shared by a colleague on a forthcoming study.” The published data, which await peer review, indicated that 15 percent of athletes who had contracted Covid-19 had heart inflammation. —Brock Read

2:06 p.m. Eastern, 9/3/2020

SUNY-Oneonta Sends Students Home After Outbreak

The State University of New York’s Oneonta campus will send its students home and suspend in-person operations, the college announced on Thursday. The decision followed an alarming uptick in cases of Covid-19 — at least 389 since the semester began less than two weeks ago. The move came the day after the college’s president, Barbara Jean Morris, said she did not think its fall reopening plan had fallen short. —Andy Thomason

1:57 p.m. Eastern, 9/3/2020

Indiana U. Encourages All Fraternities and Sororities to Close

1:54 p.m. Eastern, 9/3/2020

Fauci: Sending Students Home Is ‘Worst Thing You Could Do’

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, on Wednesday discouraged colleges that have seen Covid-19 outbreaks from sending their students home. “It’s the worst thing you could do,” NBC News reported him as saying. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection.” —Andy Thomason

1:47 p.m. Eastern, 9/3/2020

Penn State Official: One-Third of Athletes With Covid-19 Have Myocarditis

Roughly a third of athletes in the Big Ten Conference who tested positive for Covid-19 appear to have myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart muscle, the Centre Daily Times reported. That statistic came from Pennsylvania State University’s director of athletic medicine, Wayne Sebastianelli, who said at a meeting of the State College Area school board that MRI scans of the athletes had revealed that “30 to roughly 35 percent of their heart muscles (are) inflamed.” Sebastianelli said that revelation had contributed to the Big Ten’s decision to postpone the fall sports season in August. —Nell Gluckman

1:43 p.m. Eastern, 9/3/2020

Temple U. Flips Online After Uptick in Cases

Temple University will conduct instruction online for the remainder of the fall semester following an uptick in positive Covid-19 cases, the campus announced on Thursday.

In a letter, Temple’s president and provost expressed disappointment to students — who “told us loud and clear that they wanted to come back to campus” — but said the risks were too great to continue in-person operations. The university had previously suspended most in-person classes, but had said it hoped that suspension would be temporary.

The university is giving students incentives to leave the campus by refunding housing and dining charges for all who depart by September 13, according to the letter. —Lindsay Ellis

4:58 p.m. Eastern, 9/2/2020

Gettysburg College Confines Students to Dorm Rooms in Effort to Stem Spread

Gettysburg College on Tuesday night instructed all students who live on the Pennsylvania campus to quarantine in their dorm rooms until “at least the end of the week,” the Patriot-News reports. The move followed an alarming rise in Covid-19 cases on the campus. According to the newspaper, students have been told that they may leave their rooms only to get food, use the bathroom, or be tested for Covid-19, and that students who break the quarantine will be kicked off campus. All campus buildings have also been closed. —Andy Thomason

4:49 p.m. Eastern, 9/2/2020

U. of Illinois Steps Up Student Discipline After Rise in Cases

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, which has been lauded as among the universities best equipped to conduct a safe fall semester, is stepping up discipline after a rise in cases of Covid-19. The university said on Wednesday that after an initial and expected rise in positive diagnoses, “the numbers did not go down as predicted.” The university attributed the rise to “unsafe behavior by a number of undergraduate students” and said that in response it would be “intensifying discipline efforts and swiftly removing individuals who have created this risk for the campus and the community.”

The university, which has logged more than 400 new cases since the first day of classes, is instructing students not to socialize even in small groups for the next two weeks. Students who don’t follow the rules could face immediate suspension.

The institution has won praise for its immense testing capacity, more than 10,000 tests per day, allowing it to test all students twice a week. —Andy Thomason

2:11 p.m. Eastern, 9/2/2020

Iowa State President Reverses Plan to Seat 25,000 Fans at Football Opener

1:21 p.m. Eastern, 9/2/2020

Northwestern President Apologizes for Sudden Decision to Limit In-Person Learning

Morton O. Schapiro, Northwestern University’s president, apologized on Tuesday for the sudden decision last week to reserve on-campus activity for juniors and seniors, the Chicago Tribune reports. The decision, which barred most freshmen and sophomores from living or learning on campus, came just nine days before move-in was scheduled to begin. “I apologize for people who are so angry, and I understand that anger as a parent and as an educator,” Schapiro said. “In retrospect, I probably should have decided earlier in the week.” —Andy Thomason

12:58 p.m. Eastern, 9/2/2020

Half of Indiana U. Greek Houses Are in Quarantine

More than half of Indiana University at Bloomington’s Greek organizations have been instructed to quarantine following an increase in cases on the campus, the Indiana Daily Student reports. As of Wednesday, 23 fraternities and sororities had been directed to quarantine; earlier this week the university reported nearly 300 positive cases. —Andy Thomason

7:28 p.m. Eastern, 9/1/2020

James Madison U. Is Latest University to Flip to Online Instruction

Less than a week after classes started and 11 days after students moved in, James Madison University said on Tuesday it would shift to primarily online instruction through the month of September, with a possible in-person return on October 5. James Madison, a 22,000-student public institution in Virginia, has accumulated more than 500 coronavirus cases in the last week. Students living on campus were asked to vacate their housing by Labor Day.

5:21 p.m. Eastern, 9/1/2020

U. of Iowa Provost Urges Faculty Members to Be ‘Role Models’ on Eve of Planned ‘Sickout’

The University of Iowa’s interim provost in a Tuesday letter urged faculty members not to participate in a Wednesday “sickout” — in which instructors would call in sick — to protest the university’s in-person reopening, The Gazette reports. “I respectfully remind you that as role models, you have an obligation to deliver instruction as assigned, and to provide appropriate notice of absences due to illness,” wrote Kevin Kregel.

The university has seen hundreds of new cases of Covid-19 in recent days, totaling at least 935 as of Monday. —Andy Thomason

5:02 p.m. Eastern, 9/1/2020

U. of South Carolina Passes 1,000 Active Cases

The University of South Carolina at Columbia disclosed on Tuesday that there were 1,017 active cases of Covid-19 among its students and nine among its employees. Cases have increased roughly fivefold since this time last week, when the university’s president, Robert Caslen, said the rise in cases was potentially “unsustainable.”Andy Thomason

1:17 p.m. Eastern, 9/1/2020

Colorado College Flips Instruction Online, Citing Quarantined Dorms

Colorado College announced on Tuesday that it was moving all classes online temporarily and most of them online for the rest of the fall, citing the fact that it has been forced to quarantine entire dorms due to positive cases. The private liberal-arts college said in an email on Monday that “we can’t offer a quality residential experience to our students under these circumstances.” Positive diagnoses forced the college to place all three major dormitories under two-week quarantine at one point, The Colorado Sun reported. The college will now ask most students living on campus to leave their residence halls. —Andy Thomason

1:06 p.m. Eastern, 9/1/2020

Birx Urges College Students Not to Spread Virus

The White House’s coronavirus-response coordinator, Deborah Birx, urged college students to be tested for Covid-19, Wisconsin Public Radio reports. In an appearance on Monday in Madison, Wis., Birx cited the large gatherings that have sparked outbreaks on campuses nationwide and cautioned students against traveling over the Labor Day weekend.

“Please help us protect one another,” Birx was quoted as saying. “If you have gone to a large gathering, if you have gone to, let’s say, a fraternity house and there is a party and people didn’t have masks on, (it’s) more than likely you became exposed to the virus. Please go get tested. Please do not go home and spread the virus to your mom or your dad or your aunts and your uncles over Labor Day weekend.” —Andy Thomason

11:49 a.m. Eastern, 9/1/2020

Illinois State Logs Over 1,000 Cases Among Students

Illinois State University has reported that more than 1,000 students have tested positive for Covid-19, according to the campus NPR affiliate. The 1,023 positive diagnoses account for nearly 5 percent of the enrollment, and the university has seen a positivity rate of about 24 percent over the past week. A chemistry professor told the radio station that increased surveillance testing in the coming weeks should cause the positivity rate to fall. —Andy Thomason

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