Reopening College Campuses During COVID-19

​​This podcast is a short series focused on reopening college campuses this fall as COVID-19 cases continue to surge in many regions of the country. Hosts Philip Rogers and Sherri Hughes talk with college presidents and chancellors and other members of the higher education community about how to ensure campuses are safe and workable for students—or about making the decision to remain all-online. They unpack monitoring, testing, tracing, cleaning, teaching and learning, responding to the needs of faculty and staff, intercollegiate athletics—and the all-important question of how you get students to social distance in dorms, at parties, and everywhere they go.

Part of ACE Engage Conversations. Sign up at to listen to past episodes.


​​​​​​​​Part 10: David Wilson, President of Morgan State University

Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic this election season, Morgan State University President David Wilson says it’s even more important to prepare students for civic engagement and active participation in voting. In this bonus episode of our series, hosts Philip Rogers and Sherri Hughes ask Wilson about how he encourages students on his own campus to engage in the political process and discourse and how other leaders can prepare their students, campus, and community for life after this election.

Part 9: ACE President Ted Mitchell

​Ted Mitchell joins hosts Philip Rogers and Sherri Hughes to wrap up the series, summarizing what they've heard from their guests and other higher education leaders and looking at the changes they've seen in reopening strategies and outcomes over the past three months. The fall 2020 semester has taken on many different forms depending on the context of the institution, and one thing all Engage Conversations guests have made clear is that when it comes to the mode of education delivery during COVID-19, one size does not fit all. Mitchell and the hosts discuss the challenges to leadership and decision-making structures, the importance of looking at who your students are and how to help them succeed, the need to protect and advance the gains in equity and access over the past 20 years in the midst of this crisis, and more.

Part 8: Jeff Elliott, Director of Product Management at Jenzabar

In the scramble to move online during the early days of the pandemic, most colleges and universities already had systems in place to deliver at least some courses electronically. But replicating the rest of the myriad processes that institutions rely on—as well as the organic experiences that are so important for college students—was not easy. Jenzabar's Jeff Elliott talks with Sherri Hughes and Philip Rogers about the challenges campuses have faced as they work to improve all of their systems and bring the student experience into this new world, as well as some of the more promising solutions.

​Part 7: Roslyn Clark Artis, President of Benedict College​

The campus of Benedict College, a private liberal arts HBCU with 2,100 students, has been open for the fall semester since early August. President Roslyn Clark Artis shares why she believes remaining all-online was not an option, how to help students succeed in the current environment, and the dual impact of COVID-19 and the protests for social justice over the past months.

Part 6: Clayton Spencer, President of Bates College

Bates College President Clayton Spencer discusses how COVID-19 has impacted the value proposition of liberal arts colleges. She also explains the key elements of Bates' fall reopening plans and shares her primary concerns and leadership lessons from the return to campus. (Recorded Aug. 11, 2020)

Part 5: Rolando Montoya, Interim President of Miami Dade College​

​​​​Rolando Montoya, interim president of Miami Dade College, explains the challenges of reopening community college campuses in an area with spiking coronavirus cases. He also describes the institutional changes the college made to academic delivery to support student and faculty success.​ (Recorded Aug. 6, 2020)

Part 4: Andy Brantley and Susan Norton of CUPA-HR

Andy Brantley, president and CEO of CUPA-HR, and Susan Norton, vice president for human resources at Augusta University and CUPA-HR Board chair, take a closer look at the higher education workforce during COVID-19. They also examine the challenges of shifting online or transitioning faculty back to an on-campus environment and the necessity of addressing workforce inequities. (Recorded July 28, 2020)

Part 3: North Carolina State University Chancellor Randy Woodson

Randy Woodson talks with hosts Philip Rogers and Sherri Hughes about protecting the health and safety of the "Pack"—the top priority for NC State as it moves into the fall semester. Among his advice for fellow higher ed leaders: use your institution's values to guide your actions, make the best decisions you can at the time, then pivot when needed. (Recorded July 16, 2020)

Part 2: Timothy White, Chancellor of the California State University System​​​​​

Cal State—the largest university system in the country with 480,000 students—was the first institution to announce it would be holding all classes online during the 2020 fall semester. Chancellor Timothy White talks about the rationale behind this decision, along with what the university is doing to support students, faculty, and staff, and how they plan to make sure students have a vibrant and engaging educational experience despite the distance. (Recorded July 9, 2020)

Part 1: Crystal Watson and David Long

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security explores how new policy approaches, scientific advances, and technological innovations can strengthen health security and save lives. JHU senior scholar Crystal Watson and David Long, founder and managing partner for Tuscany Strategy, discuss how they partnered to design a free toolkit to help institutions manage their campus during COVID-19, including how to safely reopen. (Recorded June 18, 2020)


This podcast series is generously supported by Jenzabar.

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