Author: Eric R. Terzuolo

COVID-19 Will (Finally) Force American Universities to Reinvent Themselves

The COVID-19 pandemic’s full impact on higher education isn’t easy to predict. But it’s certain to extend past short-term decisions about whether to hold in-person classes during the coming academic year. Many universities may well be forced to lower tuition rates, as students balk at paying full freight for classes conducted by Zoom. As New York University business professor Scott Galloway put it in a magazine interview back in May, university officials who imagine that they will be able to charge last year’s rates for an even partly virtual experience are existing in a state of “consensual hallucination.” The phrase gave me a chuckle. But this is no laughing matter. Trustees of George Washington University, where I’ve had the pleasure of both studying and teaching, signaled their sense of urgency in a May 18th email blast to the entire university community, wherein they described the COVID-19 crisis as “an existential threat to all institutions of higher education.” The trustees called on the administration to look “beyond minor changes,” and bear in mind that “the status …