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How higher education leaders tried to stave off disaster in 2020

Universities have tallied a number of successes this year as they've built out their infrastructures and rearranged their operations to serve their students remotely. But despite those successes, a number of existential threats linger for higher education. Revenues are dwindling as student rosters thin out and universities must serve an evolving ecosystem of non-traditional students, like older adults. Rachel Fishman, deputy director for education policy research at the think tank New America, said if things continue as they've been going, there will likely be widespread layoffs of faculty and staff, possible tuition increases and even campus closures. “It feels like a very slow moving crisis in a way,” Fishman said. Betsy Foresman has the story.

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New tutorial website for university faculty will explain remote-teaching tech

A technology support center for higher education faculty now under development is to be launched later this month by the University of Kansas, the University of Central Florida and the nonprofit education research and development organization Center for Applied Special Technology. The Center for Innovation, Design and Digital Learning will support higher education faculty as they continue to deliver instruction to students online during the pandemic and help universities and colleges better use digital tools as they invest in online instruction. The virtual support center will house videos and articles explaining how to use a range of technologies, from creating an editable PDF to designing a website. Betsy has more.

Senators ask online testing companies to address bias and privacy claims

Six Democratic senators last week asked three leading online exam companies to address claims their online online proctoring and remote-testing products violate student privacy, and are possibly biased against people of color and people with disabilities. Similar letters were addressed to the executives of Proctorio and ProctorU, which are also widely used to administer tests online. Online proctoring has been used by many schools during the pandemic to maintain the academic integrity of online exams. Read the full story.

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