Colleges in the 2021-2022 Academic Year & Coronavirus (Part 2)

Continuing the discussion from School in the 2020-2021 Academic Year & Coronavirus (Part 1) - #17939 by RosePetal35.

Previous discussions:

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Smith College, which did not invite any students back for Fall 2020, is inviting back up to 1830 students to campus for Spring 2021 out of 2600 total students. They believe that everybody who wants to come to campus will be able to; they expect 1700 students to opt for on-campus living & learning. If the number of students who want to come to campus is over 1830, they will have to prioritize, but they believe enough will opt to either take a gap semester or continue remote learning that there will be enough room on-campus for everyone who wants to come.


Princeton University, which didn’t invite ANY students back for fall semester (initially invited back first-years and juniors then shifted to all remote) is inviting all students back for the Spring 2021 semester.


I know quite a few professors read this thread so hoping they can help. My D, who is suppose to graduate in a few weeks, has gotten Covid and its been a week and she is still not well enough to write her final papers (none of her classes has exams). If she does not get well enough by the end of the semester to do so, do the professors give her an I , until she submits. ? Will the grade change and then she will graduate? Any advice? I am sure this is happening to other students as well who will get Covid around finals.

I would imagine it would depend on the professors and the school. Different professors might handle the situation differently. If they do give her an incomplete until she finished her work, there is probably a school policy of some sort regarding how incompletes are handled as it relates to graduation. She should reach out to her professors asap and explain the situation and ask what her options are. I teach for an online school and I am willing to work with students, especially in regards to covid, but I appreciate when students contact me when they first begin having issues so we can work out a plan together rather than hearing from someone that they’ve had problems for a period of time and are just telling me now that it’s a crisis.


she has been in touch with her professors , and was hoping by now she would be better . She already got an extension on one assignment. Will have to check the schools policy on incompletes due to medical , as I am sure there have been real sick kids on days with finals before.

@2ndthreekids - regarding the post on part 1 - ND has conducted 86,000 tests with 1770 positive. The math on that is 2% positive rate or 98% of the tests came back negative.

My son has way more COVID anxiety than I do. It has been drilled into their heads that they need to obey the rules. Is the scare tactic really necessary? Not sure.

I am not sure it is clear who is infecting who. Is the community infecting the student body or vice versa? After the lock down in late August, I would contend that more infections came from the community. I have no evidence to support/disprove either argument.

I feel the ND approach has been appropriate. How would more testing help? If roughly 98% of them will be negative.

If your D feels like she really cannot finish the papers by the date grades are due from the professors (usually about a week after finals end), then she should request incompletes asap so they are expecting it.

How many courses are involved? As her professor, I would suggest that she focus any energy she does have where it can have the most effect. That might mean at least getting one of them finished by the deadline.

Where I have adjuncted, a student could only get an incomplete if they were passing at the time they requested it, but I assume that isn’t a problem here. Once you get an incomplete you have a certain amount of time to finish for a grade or it defaults to a fail. I don’t know about graduation though, as I never had a student who was up against a graduation deadline needing an incomplete. If all she has to do is finish some papers, moving the graduation to Spring shouldn’t be too onerous.

one class is not an issue, and going into last week she had either an A or A- in all her classes. Its her thesis paper that is probably the most concerning. She is reaching out to her professors. She is searching for a full time job based on having graduated this coming month. I also wonder if a professor finds out a student is recovering from moderate Covid if there is a some leeway in the grading . This is related to school and Coronavirus, but this may need a new topic.

I feel like it’s totally relevant and it’s something I’ve been wondering anyway. What happens when a student gets Covid at college and gets too sick to attend/finish classes? What if it’s long-term? Seems like that should be addressed in the school’s covid plan directly.

Good luck to your daughter. That sounds stressful.


I think colleges are going to have to be generous with late withdrawals this semester. I anticipate a bunch of late requests. As a professor, I really can’t just pass everyone enrolled, no matter the level of their performance, as that degrades the value of the credit I am giving, and I don’t think it serves the students or the institution to pass a failing student, regardless of the (possibly well-justified) reasons. A passing grade should certify a certain level of mastery (even if just barely) and that level is outlined on the course syllabus. On the other hand, I have students who have just been overwhelmed this semester, either through illness of their own, or in their family, or just the sheer dragging depression and wearing anxiety about isolation and infection. I’ve felt it myself.

So I’m just going to write up a generic appeal letter to the Deans and Chairs asking for students to be granted retroactive withdrawals if they can’t pass my class because they have been ill or unable to function from stress. Our university has a pass/fail grading system in place. If they can’t get that D- (60%), I just can’t pass them.


Both kids are home and say they actually felt safer on their campuses, being tested twice a week. Now everyone in this house is a general population member. Add to that worries about exposures from part time jobs during break and medical things like (wisdom teeth extraction). They also feel extremely isolated/disconnected from peers.


The rationale for the early college closing was to mitigate the mass movement of people across the country over the holidays. As it is all the experts are still predicting a surge due to Thanksgiving. Not all Colleges have been able to afford intense testing. We didn’t want high numbers of asymptomatic students taking public transport home and infecting the vulnerable along the way.

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CU Boulder college of A&S is cutting 50 tenured professor positions through early retirement and highering instructors to replace them.

Based on a 7:1 ratio of pay but 3.3:1 ratio of numbers mentioned in that letter, it looks like tenure track faculty are paid a little more than twice what instructors are paid.

It looks like “instructor” is a specific title at CU Boulder, according to .

My understanding is Instructors make about $60k and tenured professors make about $150k, so your math is probably right.

Pretty sure we are going to start hearing about a lot of cuts. Need to keep an eye on that if you’ve got kids making decisions about where to enroll. I just read that U Vermont is getting rid of whole departments like classics and others I can’t remember.


Illinois Wesleyan starting their cutting this year.

If they have Government approval University of Michigan will begin Pfizer vaccine December 15th to the hospital workers and essential workers. Then professors etc are next phase (unless they meet criteria due to health issues). The goal is to have all University of Michigan Staff like professors done by summer. It’s a moving target so I am sure things will change. Can’t find the article but they have phase in steps.