We Want You Back: Uncovering the Influences on In-Person Instructional Operations in Fall 2020

C2i Working Paper Series, No. 210101, February 2021

57 Pages Posted: 4 Feb 2021 Last revised: 2 Sep 2021

See all articles by Daniel Collier

Daniel Collier

University of Memphis

Dan Fitzpatrick

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - College of Literature, Science & the Arts

Madison Dell

Stanford University

Sam Snideman

Ball State University

Christopher Marsicano

Davidson College; The College Crisis Initiative (C2i) at Davidson College

Robert Kelchen

Seton Hall University

Date Written: February 3, 2021

Abstract

Institutional responses to COVID-19 are a topic of much concern. Emergent research has suggested that politics and polarization was more strongly linked, than was COVID-19, to institutions engaging in-person instruction for Fall 2020. This study used Structural Equation Modeling to test this trend. Based upon political polarization and dependency, we used data from the College Crisis Initiative (C2i), to test how state and county sociopolitical features, state and county COVID-19 rates, and state revenue losses influenced in-person instruction by September 9th, 2020. The accepted overall model, developed using the full sample, suggested that County Sociopolitical Features (r=.13) were the stronger influence on the decision, followed by Pandemic Severity (r=-.10) and State Sociopolitical Features (r=.09). In recognizing that institutional subsectors may be uniquely sensitive to these factors we tested our models using the following subgroups: 4-year public, 4-year private, and 2-year public institutions. State Sociopolitical Features (r=.17) were the only significant influence on 4-year public institutions. Whereas 4-year private and 2-year public institution decisions were influenced by both State- and County-Sociopolitical Features – these features were respectively 2x and 3x stronger than were state features. Finally, Pandemic Severity (r=-.09) only influenced 4-year private institutional decisions to engage in-person instruction but to a weaker degree than both levels of sociopolitical features. Overall, models suggest that COVID-19 was not a consistently strong factor for institutions when deciding in-person instruction and that sociopolitical features were more influential, including for 4-year private institutions – which illustrates a propensity towards remaining in favor with sociopolitical β€œin-groups.”

Keywords: COVID-19, Politics, Dependency, Institutional Decision-Making, Polarization, Higher Education, In-Person Instruction

JEL Classification: I19, I22, I23

Suggested Citation

Collier, Daniel and Fitzpatrick, Dan and Dell, Madison and Snideman, Sam and Marsicano, Christopher and Kelchen, Robert, We Want You Back: Uncovering the Influences on In-Person Instructional Operations in Fall 2020 (February 3, 2021). C2i Working Paper Series, No. 210101, February 2021, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3778772 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3778772

Daniel Collier (Contact Author)

University of Memphis ( email )

Memphis, TN 38152
Memphis, TN usa 38152-3370
United States

Dan Fitzpatrick

University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - College of Literature, Science & the Arts ( email )

Ann Arbor, MI
United States

Madison Dell

Stanford University ( email )

Stanford, CA
United States

Sam Snideman

Ball State University ( email )

Muncie, IN 47306-0340
United States

Christopher Marsicano

Davidson College ( email )

Davidson College
Box 7124
Davidson, NC 28035-7124
United States
28035-7124 (Fax)

The College Crisis Initiative (C2i) at Davidson College ( email )

Davidson College
Box 7124
Davidson, NC 28035-7124
United States

Robert Kelchen

Seton Hall University ( email )

400 S Orange Avenue
South Orange, NJ 07079
United States

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