Unsafe at Any Campus: Don’t Let Colleges Become the Next Cruise Ships, Nursing Homes, and Food Processing Plants

65 Pages Posted: 28 May 2020 Last revised: 20 Jul 2020

See all articles by Peter H. Huang

Peter H. Huang

University of Colorado Law School

Debra S. Austin

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: June 25, 2020

Abstract

The decision to educate our students via in-person or online learning environments while COVID-19 is unrestrained is a false choice, when the clear path to achieve our chief objective safely, the education of our students, can be done online. Our decision-making should be guided by the overriding principle that people matter more than money. We recognize that lost tuition revenue if students delay or defer education is an institutional concern, but we posit that many students and parents would prefer a safer online alternative to riskier in-person options, especially as we get closer to fall, and American death tolls rise. This Essay argues the extra stress of trying to maintain safety from infection with a return to campus will make teaching and learning less effective. While high density classrooms promote virus transmission and potentially super-spreader events, we can take the lessons we learned during the spring, and provide courses without the stressors of spreading the virus. We argue the socially responsible decision is to deliver compassionate, healthy, and first-rate online pedagogy, and we offer a vision of how to move forward into this brave new world.

Keywords: COVID-19, Legal Education, Higher Education, Remote Learning, Online Pedagogy

JEL Classification: I2, I20, I21, I23, I29

Suggested Citation

Huang, Peter H. and Austin, Debra S., Unsafe at Any Campus: Don’t Let Colleges Become the Next Cruise Ships, Nursing Homes, and Food Processing Plants (June 25, 2020). 96 Indiana Law Journal Supplement 25-65 (2020), U Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-16, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 20-30, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3612467 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3612467

Peter H. Huang (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

Colorado Law
401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States
303 492-4563 (Phone)
303-492-1200 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://lawweb.colorado.edu/profiles/profile.jsp?id=456

Debra S. Austin

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

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