Coronavirus Resources for Higher Education Boards

Resources to help you navigate the crisis.

The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, is a global health crisis that is rapidly evolving. This webpage provides resources about the special concerns of higher education governing boards to deal with the pandemic at their institutions. It is updated continually.

AGB recommends the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for general information and guidance related to the coronavirus threat in the United States. Contact local or state government health departments for additional guidance for your locale.

AGB Resources

Read this excerpt from Crisis Leadership for Boards and Presidents: Anticipating, Managing and Leading Beyond Pandemics, Disruptions, and Ethical Failures by Terrence MacTaggart (forthcoming, AGB) for insights on leading in a post-COVID-19  environment. (You may pre-order the book now.)

Get expert advice in a one-hour small group discussion (limit 20) facilitated by an expert on topics ranging from strategic and financial scenario planning, to revenue and enrollment growth, to communication strategies across public, private, foundation, HBCU, or medical/health institutions—all with a focus on challenges in an era of COVID-19. Sign up for one of the many “Ask the Experts” sessions offered.

Webinar on demand: “Crisis and Risk Management During COVID-19 (April 24, 2020)

Planning for Fall 2020

View this on-demand webinar, “Financial Planning During and Beyond COVID,” moderated by Chronicle of Higher Education journalist Eric Kelderman with four panelists including Shauna Rider Diggs, regent, University of Michigan and chair, AGB Board of Directors (September 9, 2020)

The College Crisis Initiative @ Davidson College features an interactive U.S. map with data on plans for academic instruction for fall 2020 either fully online, primarily online, hybrid, primarily in person, fully in person, TBD, or other for about 3,000 colleges and universities. (July 23, 2020)

The Chronicle of Higher Education has a searchable list of nearly 3,000 undergraduate colleges and their plans for reopening in fall, which they update regularly. As of August 23, reopening plans are: 2.5% fully in-person, 20% primarily in-person, 15% hybrid model, 27% primarily online, 6% fully online, 6% other, and 24% waiting to decide (August 24, 2020)

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics outlines seven principles to inform decisions about athletics and suggests additional resources in its “Guidelines and Considerations for Decisions to Reopen College Sports” (July 7, 2020)

Complimentary webinar July 8, 5 pm Eastern, “Reopening Colleges and Universities During COVID-19—Keeping Students and Communities Healthy,”  offered by the American Public Health Association and National Academy of Medicine, featuring the presidents of University of Arizona, Bowie State University, University of Miami, and California Community Colleges with a senior scholar from Johns Hopkins University (July 2, 2020)

Upcoming webinar: “How to Open Up Safely in the Fall?” (June 23, 2020)

Presidents of Arizona State University,  Purdue University, and University of Washington discuss plans to reopen this fall.

Read this NY Times article, “What will College Be Like in the Fall,” for information on what others are planning, (June 3, 2020)

AGB joined more than 75 higher education association in a letter to the US Congress requesting temporary and targeted liability protections related to the COVID-19 pandemic, (May 28, 2020). Read about liability concerns in, “Why the Fall Will Be a Liability Minefield,” in The Chronicle of Higher Education (May 29, 2020).

US Department of Education Resources for Higher Education Institutions

The CARES Act established roughly $14 billion in emergency funding for students and institutions. Institutions can find guidance for how to apply for this emergency funding on the Department of Education’s website here.

The Office of Postsecondary Education issued Guidance for Interruptions of Study Related to Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Government Loan Programs to Colleges, Universities, and Institutionally Related Foundations

As part of the federal government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has implemented several loan programs to assist institutions and institutionally related foundations.

US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Guidelines for Higher Education Institutions

The CDC has issued updated guidance on “Testing, Screening, and Outbreak Response for Institutions of Higher Education (IHEs).” (September 30, 2020)

The CDC issued updated guidance for colleges and universities for reopening, “Consideration for Institutes of Higher Education,” (May 19, 2020). The guiding principle is, “The more an individual interacts with others, and the longer that interaction, the higher the risk of COVID-19 spread.” The guidance is intended “to supplement—not replace—any state, local, territorial, or tribal health and safety laws, rules, and regulations.”

CDC Guidance on Student Foreign Travel
On March 1, CDC provided guidance to institutes of higher education (IHEs) for student foreign travel with the primary recommendation to “consider postponing or canceling student foreign exchange programs.”

CDC Media Telebriefing: Update on COVID-19 – (March 10, 2020). Access an audio recording and script.

Resources for Healthcare on Campuses

The American College Health Association (ACHA) has issued updates from their COVID-19 Task Force.

ACHA Guidelines Available

The guidelines, Preparing for COVID-19, (March 3, 2020), were developed by the ACHA COVID-19 Task Force with support from the American College Health Foundation, and aid college health staff and campus administrators in preparing for COVID-19 and related issues on their campuses.

COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Webinar (March 6, 2020)
ACHA, the Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I), and the National Consortium for Building Healthy Academic Communities (BHAC) partnered for this webinar (held March 6, 2020) on the current state of COVID-19, practical considerations for your campus, and more.

Additional Resources

National Conference of State Legislatures—See the section on “Higher Education” for highlights of state-level activities affecting colleges and universities.

National Governors Association—This site provides a state-by-state summary of policies relevant to COVID-19 related to health, education, and labor, but isn’t specifically about higher education.

Coronavirus: Practical Considerations for Your Campus. This webinar from National Association of College and University Business Officers and the American Campus Health Association, originally aired on February 27 and is now available for on demand access.

The Johns Hopkins University tracks confirmed cases, deaths and recoveries with its heatmap in real-time.

AGB Partner Resources

The latest Commonfund insights addressing the financial, policy and operational impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on nonprofit organizations can be found here.

Bank of America

Options and Opportunities for Giving in a Changed World
How individuals and nonprofits can direct their efforts toward coronavirus relief and eradication efforts.

Keys to Nonprofit Success in Complex Times
How nonprofits can make adjustments to their governance and fundraising practices in difficult economic times.

Investment Governance in Times of Volatility
Human experience, supported by behavioral finance research, teaches us that at times of market volatility the emotional side of investing can sometimes threaten to override the intellectual side. At times like the present, it is more important than ever to avoid making decisions driven by emotion that can, in the cold light of hindsight, seem ill-advised. As boards and investment committees meet to consider possible responses to the current market volatility, here are five recommendations that we hope will serve as a guide to better decisions.

Visit RNL for a suite of strategies and resources pertaining to enrollment amid COVID-19.

Baker Tilly’s Higher Education Coronavirus Resource Center

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The economic crisis ignited by COVID-19 is creating a tipping point for higher education institutions. To help you, we have prepared the following tools and suggestions for your consideration from across Aon solution lines. Higher Education Ideas to Impact your Bottom Line

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Support your campus through the Coronavirus crisis. Insights to keep you up-to-date on higher education’s COVID-19 response.

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How fundraising can step up to the COVID-19 challenge
College and university advancement teams are evolving their strategies to help their institutions persist through uncertain times. Here are five examples to learn from.

Navigating the Financial Impact of COVID-19 on Higher Education
The best and most concise description we have heard from higher education CFOs asked to describe their role has been, “I manage risk.” The COVID-19 pandemic and attending economic turmoil have made this basic role extraordinarily challenging. As colleges and universities look forward—and economic forecasts continue to sour—institutions need to prepare for a wide range of possible outcomes. This article outlines the risks facing higher education and the steps CFOs can take to help their institutions navigate these very uncertain times.

Dentons United States COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Hub
In response to the evolving COVID-19 pandemic, Dentons has a cross-practice COVID-19/Pandemic Client Special Situations Team (PSST) in the US to help navigate this fast-moving situation, drawing on the full scope of our global legal, policy and innovation capabilities.

AGB OnBoard Meeting Management

AGB OnBoard provides the right technical solution for your virtual boardroom to be effective, secure, and optimized for all board members – needed now more than ever.