Survey: Higher Ed Presidents’ ongoing response to the COVID-19 crisis

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In April, Inside Higher Ed and Hanover Research surveyed 187 presidents at colleges and universities to see how their priorities have evolved after one month into their COVID-19 response. A similar survey was conducted in March.

Top concerns

In the survey, presidents were asked about their level of concern with potential short-term and long-term issues at their institution in regard to COVID-19. Below are the top 5 issues about which they were very or somewhat concerned.

Top 5 short-term issues

  1. Mental health of students (91%)
  2. Disproportionate impact on students from low-income backgrounds (87%)
  3. Accelerated rates of student attrition (84%)
  4. Short-term unbudgeted financial costs (86%)
  5. Mental health of students (87%)

Top 5 long-term issues

  1. Decline in overall future student enrollment (90%)
  2. Inequitable impact on underrepresented students (90%)
  3. Overall financial stability (88%)
  4. Ability to afford to employ staff & faculty (81%)
  5. Decline in alumni/donor giving rates (56%)

Challenges with remote learning

The survey found that over the course of a month, presidents were having fewer challenges at their institutions ensuring academics standards remained high, having technology support available, and training faculty less familiar with digital delivery.

You can download a copy of the report, Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis, Part II: A New Survey of College and University Presidents, here.

Additionally, the editors of Inside Higher Ed held a webcast discussion about the survey’s results. You can view the recording here.


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