Episode 22: Thinking Through an Uncertain Fall


​​​​​​​​​​Aired June 1, 2020

As we enter the unofficial start of summer, all eyes are on if and when colleges and universities will welcome students back to campus this fall. ACE Senior Vice President Terry Hartle joins co-hosts Jon Fansmith and Sarah Spreitzer to discuss what higher education institutions need to support reopening and how Congress can help.

Episode Notes

Here are some of the links and references from this week’s show:


 Read this episode's transcript

Jon Fansmith: Hello, and welcome to dotEDU, the higher education podcast from the American Council on Education. It has been a little while since I've actually been on this podcast, but I'm Jon Fansmith, a Director of Government Relations here at ACE. And I am joined by my infrequent co-host, but perpetual colleague, Sarah Spreitzer. Hey, Sarah.

Sarah Spreitzer: Hey, I mean, where have you been, Jon? What have you been up to?

Jon Fansmith: I-

Sarah Spreitzer: It's not like you've been busy at all.

Jon Fansmith: Well, I think we're going to talk a little bit about what I've been doing for the last few weeks, but much to the consternation of our producers. I keep dropping out about 20 minutes before we're due to record, so ... And how have you been doing Sarah? I think I know personally, but maybe the listeners want to know.

Sarah Spreitzer: I mean, great. I mean, it's going really, really well. I'm looking forward to continuing to work from home, and looking forward to that amazing summer when all of my kids' camps have been canceled.

Jon Fansmith: Mm, yeah.

Sarah Spreitzer: And I'm thinking about making them junior lobbyists, and putting them to work, with teaching them how to read legislation, and maybe write up a few summaries.

Jon Fansmith: You should at least-

Sarah Spreitzer: Not really sure-

Jon Fansmith: Yeah, test their skills a little.

Sarah Spreitzer: If that's legal under the Department of Labor. Yeah, yeah. [inaudible 00:01:14]-

Jon Fansmith: I mean, give them a few small issues to work, maybe some offices that are off a committee?

Sarah Spreitzer: Definitely. I mean, I'm thinking maybe Census, I can unload on them, a few other issues.

Jon Fansmith: Sarah and I both share two small children we've been teaching from home for the last few months, so-

Sarah Spreitzer: Well, we don't share the same children.

Jon Fansmith: No, that's true. That's an important qualifier, Sarah.

Sarah Spreitzer: Two separate sets of children.

Jon Fansmith: That's right. Two separate families.

Sarah Spreitzer: Yeah.

Jon Fansmith: Normally, we would continue making this sort of witty and incisive banter back and forth. But we are joined today by a third colleague of ours at ACE who I can tell is eager to jump in on the conversation. It is Terry W. Hartle, the Senior Vice President of Government Relations and Public Affairs at the American Council on Education. And welcome to the show, Terry.

Terry Hartle: Thanks, guys, glad to be here.

Jon Fansmith: Sarah has already referenced the fact that we've been a little bit busy of late, and I think the people listening to this podcast, and certainly our members, are aware of the great amount of work that the Government Relations unit has been doing at ACE here.. But I thought Terry, just as a way to frame our discussion, we've obviously been very focused on coronavirus, the federal government's response to it. A lot of that is driven by what we're hearing from our members and the concerns that they have. Can you just start us off a little bit by giving a quick summary of where things stand, and particularly where things stand as to our members, and what they're thinking about now, and what they're thinking about for the fall?

Terry Hartle: Sure. Well, all colleges and universities have suddenly found themselves facing an immediate cashflow crisis as a result of the coronavirus. And partly this was a result of the cost associated with suddenly closing institutions, particularly for those institutions that had to refund room and board charges. Nationwide, we estimated, total refunds of room and board charges of $8 billion, just by themselves. But those institutions have also encountered significant new expenses, particularly institutions that moved online, usually discovered pretty quickly that they needed to enhance their ability to do so very quickly, and oftentimes, expensively. Deep cleaning campus facilities, the cost of mothballing campus buildings that wouldn't be open, increased security costs, these all played havoc with institutional budgets. Their revenues went down, and their costs went up. And that's sort of what we're looking at for the fall, is a great deal of uncertainty. We have already, by virtue of surveying college and university presidents, estimated the total revenue loss for all colleges and universities, just by virtue of the closure in early to mid-March, being somewhere in the vicinity of $45 billion. That doesn't count the additional costs they face, nor does that factor in the changes that they might be seeing in their budgets in the coming academic year.

Jon Fansmith: Yeah, that estimate is just for what we've seen so far, right? It's not looking forward in what the impact of a new academic year will be?

Terry Hartle: That's correct. It is revenue loss in the last academic year. It doesn't count increased costs, nor does it forecast what the revenue loss will be in the coming year. I can tell you, when we ask college university presidents in the survey, what they anticipated their revenue losses would be in the coming year, they almost universally indicated that they feared their revenue losses would be greater than what they had already seen this year. So, what you then---

Jon Fansmith: Yeah. I was just going to add to that. One of the things, when we were putting those numbers together, I think we made a very conscious estimate to use very conservative numbers that we had a strong rationale and strong data for. One of the things I know I personally have been shocked by is subsequent surveys of our members, national surveys, other data points, really underscore just how conservative that $45 billion, $46.6 billion, this exact number estimate was. That when you actually start to add up all of these things, including things, even just keeping it to the things we accounted for, we really were somewhat low in what we thought the impact would be. It's much more dramatic.

Terry Hartle: If anything, we erred on the side of being conservative. Yes, you're absolutely correct.

Sarah Spreitzer: Well, and I don't think those estimates took into account either the kind of decisions that institutions are going to have to make in the fall, like having dorms at 25% capacity, or figuring out where to put the students, if they can only have so many people in a dorm, how to test students, as they come back to campus, and the cost for that, those types of things.

Terry Hartle: No, it was all looking back at the last academic year and the amount of revenue that they lost. Obviously, Sarah, the point about dorms being at 25% or 50% of capacity, that's probably factored into the estimates that the presidents were making about the coming fiscal year, coming academic year, but they weren't reflected in the $45 billion that you have just mentioned.

Jon Fansmith: And I think that's actually, it's an interesting transition to the next element of the discussion, which is, this was an estimate of the impact that has happened to institutions since the coronavirus. And in fact, the Congress did pass a large supplemental appropriations bill, about $2.2 trillion of spending called the CARES Act. About $15 billion in that bill went to higher education, half to students, half to institutions. The $45 billion ask we put forward for the next supplemental, and since we put forward that request, there has been some action by Congress to put another supplemental forward. And that's in the House. Do you want to talk a little bit about what the House has done, Terry?

Terry Hartle: Sure. The House of Representatives was very anxious to initiate the next supplemental spending bill in response to the pandemic. The first four spending bills had begun in the Senate. The House wanted to put its mark on this plate. So a couple of weeks ago, the House introduced, and very quickly passed, a $3 trillion measure designed to provide enormous amounts of assistance to state and local governments and to individuals to help them weather the economic crisis that the country is facing. But included in that package was a modest amount of money for higher education, $37 billion, most of that to go directly to institutions, to give it to students and to their selves, as they needed to address revenues that have been lost, and costs that had been occurred. Part of the reason that we think the House did this was because, in implementing the CARES Act, the first higher, the first supplemental bill that included funding for higher education, well, the Department of Education had a pretty uneven record. They implanted a couple of parts of it pretty well. There are a couple of parts of it that simply have not been implemented very well. And we think that the result was that in the HEROES Act, the bill that just passed the House, Congress wants to take authority away from the department, and push the money down into the hands of institutions, to give it to students and to address institutional needs. That bill passed the House on a party line vote. It was not a terribly big margin.

Jon Fansmith: Not even full party line. It was only about nine votes' difference.

Terry Hartle: Yeah, there wasn't even a full party line. The Democrats had about nine votes to spare, not very many, given the size of their majority. Of course, the Senate and the White House and the Republicans in the White House immediately pronounced dead on arrival. But that was largely acting out a part. Everyone knew that Congress will at some point turn to another supplemental appropriation bill. And so, there's a certain amount of political gamesmanship going on. The Senate has not really done very much. Going forward, but we expect that next week, when the Senate gets back and starts working again, that they will start looking at what to do in the next supplemental bill. One of the big fights is clearly going to be over the desire of the Democrats in the House to put a lot of money into state and local governments. About $900 billion is allocated to the state and local governments in the House bill, versus the Senate's interests, Senate Republicans' interest in providing some sort of a liability waiver to enable businesses, which would of course include colleges and universities' to reopen without fear of frivolous lawsuits. Democrats have essentially said, "We don't want that." But I think the tradeoff is going to be money for state and local governments versus some sort of liability waiver for businesses.

Jon Fansmith: And it's interesting, because you see some of the public messaging around this is Senate Republicans talking a lot very publicly about liability protection, and not just for institutions of higher education, but for broad spectrum of businesses and other organizations, and at the same time saying, "We have no appetite for another large spending bill. We want to wait and see about more spending." Versus the House, where I think, yeah, as you've identified, liability issue is a much more difficult path with the Democratic leadership in the House. Do you have any thoughts? I mean, we've talked about this, but you've talked about, they'll have to do a supplemental that doesn't really jive with what we're hearing from the Senate is. Do you have a sense of whether they actually will do it, and will there be a growing sense of urgency?

Terry Hartle: They'll do another supplemental. The question is how big it will be and what will be in it. I suspect the first week in June, next week, when we get to the Friday and we get the unemployment report, it's going to add quite a boost to the efforts of Congress to enact legislation.

Jon Fansmith: Now, people are expecting a 20% higher unemployment rate, which-

Terry Hartle: And keep in mind, many, there are a number of Republicans running for re-election in very tight races. And they are very anxious to show that they are doing something to try and offset the huge economic hit that the country has just taken. I think a lot of-

Jon Fansmith: Especially in the Senate, where the margin's already relatively small, that takes on even greater significance.

Terry Hartle: I think a lot of Republicans are betting on a V-shaped economic slump, very steep decline, equally steep recovery. Most professional economists are saying, "Not so fast. The economy will recover, but it's not going to recover anything like the rate it went into decline." So I think the Republicans are pretty quickly going to get around to enacting another supplemental, maybe before the 4th of July recess, perhaps, if not before the 4th of July recess, just shortly after that recess.

Sarah Spreitzer: Well, and it's also interesting, because we're seeing the pressure being brought to bear by the White House on businesses, and including colleges and universities, about reopening as quickly as possible. And I think the business groups are really negotiating on those issues of liability. They want to get the economy back up and running, but the question is they want, they also want protections.

Terry Hartle: Well, that's a great point, Sarah. Yes, college universities are fundamentally businesses. We have employees, we have customers, we offer a product. We don't usually think of ourselves that way, but we are, and we're a very large business. So about two weeks ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee had a hearing on liability. And it was an old-fashioned Senate hearing. That meant they pick the witnesses in a bipartisan fashion and they represented all parts of the political spectrum. But one of the witnesses was Lee Tyner, General Counsel at TCU in Fort Worth, Texas. He talked about some of the liability concerns that colleges and universities have. The concern, quite simply, is if someone comes onto our campus, be it a student, an employee, a visitor, and is taken, contracts the virus, but to what extent can colleges and universities be sued? Well, normally the question is, did you follow accepted procedures to secure the campus and fight the virus? Unfortunately, we don't have widely accepted procedures, and institutions and state local governments are sort of making this up as they go. So I think when the Senate gets into this liability issue, they will not only provide some sort of a liability waiver for businesses who act appropriately, but they will probably define in the law what acting appropriately means in terms of safety of people who come into the place of business.

Sarah Spreitzer: Well, and we know that the White House has been interested in engaging with at least some institutions of higher education regarding their plans in the fall. And in fact, I know that there was that meeting with the Vice President a few weeks ago, and we know that they have an additional meeting coming up, I think next week, or at least this week, when this podcast broadcasts. And I think that that our presidents will likely be raising these issues with the White House.

Terry Hartle: Yeah, you're absolutely right. The White House did hold a meeting with about 15 or 16 college and university presidents. It was chaired by Vice President, Mike Pence. The Vice President doesn't do things that aren't important to the administration. So this is one of those issues that's clearly on their radar screen, and they've committed themselves to holding another meeting, which should be held the first week in June. Whether it's actually held that week or not, we don't know, I haven't heard anything about invitations. But in the same vein, this coming week, first week in June, the Senate HELP Committee is going to hold a hearing on reopening colleges and universities. It's a hearing that will feature several college and university presidents, at least two of whom have already announced that they want to reopen their institutions. And they will talk about the full range of things that they're going to have to address as part of having students, faculty, and staff back on campus. So they will be talking about cleaning and tracing, and testing and social distancing. And they will certainly also be talking about concerns about frivolous lawsuits, therefore, liability. So this issue is of considerable concern to colleges and universities. We're going to hear about it until we see the next supplemental. And I'm pretty sure that there'll be a significant provision in there that will be of great interest to all businesses.

Jon Fansmith: I think that's a great place that, sorry, Sarah, I'm going to just say, we're going to take a brief break for a few moments, and then we'll come right back. And welcome back. I very rudely cut off Sarah right as we went to commercial break. I was just responding to the very demanding producers we have, who are very much harsh taskmasters about this podcast. So I'm sorry I cut you off, Sarah. What were you about to say?

Sarah Spreitzer: Yeah, I was, I was just going to add, I don't know about you two, but when I have my socially distanced visits with my neighbors, the number one question I get from all of them, is whether or not colleges are going to reopen in the fall, because they want their college-age children out of the house. They're kind of done after having three months of having them at home. And so, everyone is asking-

Jon Fansmith: They thought they were done with them already, so ...

Sarah Spreitzer: Yeah, and everyone is asking, "What's going to happen in the fall?" And so, I think, that that is something that everybody's hearing concern about.

Terry Hartle: Well, absolutely right, Sarah. I know from talking to college and university presidents and speaking with the ACE Board, now that the number one question on all college and university campuses right now is, "What will we do about the fall? Will we be able to reopen on time and on schedule?" All college universities want to reopen on time, and as fully normal as possible. Whether they'll be able to do that or not will depend an enormous amount on the course of the pandemic and the communities where the institutions are located. So what works for a school in New York City, say NYU, may not work for, let's say, Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa. Institutions are going to differ in how they do this. The Chronicle of Higher Education says some 700 colleges and universities have already announced that they plan to open in the fall, key word, "plan." Our recent survey of college and university presidents found that 58% said they would be making a decision after Memorial Day. Well, the fact is, we know that some schools are talking about reopening. They're talking about their decision process. They're talking about the policies and procedures that they will put in place, so they can reopen, but a lot is going to depend on the course of the pandemic. If it continues to diminish, that's obviously very good news for reopening institutions. If we see a bounce back, if we see a second wave, that's very problematic. But what's interesting is how many schools are thinking about reopening in different ways this fall. Any school that reopens in the fall of 2020 is going to reopen differently than they did in the fall of 2019. So there'll be a lot of attention to distancing. We're hearing a lot of schools say they're going to move just to single occupancy rooms in the residence hall, to increase social distancing. We've seen some schools announce that they will start their fall semester early, in hopes of concluding before Thanksgiving, and avoiding a second round of a coronavirus that might come back with the flu season next winter. We're seeing some schools that will go to a hybrid model, have some of the students online, some of the students in residence. It's a very poorly defined hodgepodge of steps that institutions are taking. But what they're trying to maximize is, they're trying to maximize safety for students and staff, and maximize the extent to which they can do the things that would be expected on a college or university campus any other fall. It's a very difficult balancing act.

Jon Fansmith: Yeah, I was actually talking to a friend who works at a large public institution, and she was saying that some of their plans for the fall involve dividing their campus into a number of independent zones. And then all of the students in that zone go to classes together, go to the same cafeteria, stay in the same dorms, they don't go to other zones on the campus. And then the campus would staff IT people, groundskeeping people, all those people would be specific to one zone as a way of having seven or eight micro campuses within their campus. And just as a recognition that it's almost inevitable with that many people, that there might be a further outbreak, but at least you can put in place ways to minimize it. But, I think the point's well taken. There's no real consensus on what's the right way to go. And I think schools are trying to work very hard to figure out what might be right for my campus, even if that's different than for the campus down the road.

Terry Hartle: I think you're absolutely right. This is an unprecedented situation. There's nothing like this in living memory, and college universities are going to have to put it together on the fly. So will many other businesses that are going to reopen, and they'll have to deal with things like a distancing. But college universities are no different. Except in our case, an awful lot of our ability to deal with distancing will depend on young people, who sometimes are very good about observing rules and policies related to distancing. And other times, particularly if alcohol happens to be involved, they're a little less careful. So distancing is a key component in any mitigation strategy, but we are very dependent on students to make sure that it's effectively carried out. That's one of the big questions any institution that reopens for the fall is going to have to address. Will your students observe whatever protocols you put in place? Obviously, if they do, it increases chances of a smooth reopening considerably.

Jon Fansmith: Yeah. I saw some comment, and as we record this, there's been a flood of videos of crowds of people at beaches and other resort places. And someone's comment was if, "When states are mandating a lockdown, we can't keep this from happening, how are college presidents going to keep students from congregating in unapproved ways if schools reopen?"

Terry Hartle: That's exactly right. They're going to do the best they can. Obviously, one of the things that we haven't talked about in this discussion, with respect to reopening, is that schools will have to reopen in a way that is consistent with the directives of local and state authorities. It's hard to imagine a state that's had a lockdown situation for colleges and universities reopening. Just looking today at the requirements in the District of Columbia for phase one and phase two, the Mayor of the District of Columbia has laid out four different phases to reopen the city. Hard to imagine colleges and universities reopening in either phase one or phase two just because of the limitations that are placed on people in groups of more than 25 getting together. So it's, this is going to be something that people will be making up as they go along. With luck, they'll get a lot of it right, but there'll be some things that won't go right. Which of course brings us back to that question of how liable are you, if you in good faith tried to do the right thing, but it didn't work out as you anticipated. And boy, that's going to be a big challenge.

Sarah Spreitzer: So I think, not only are students anxious to have us reopen and the parents of those students, but I think more and more, Congress is also looking at our institutions as the major employers in our communities or in our regions, or even within our States. And so, Terry, you and I have been working on the loan programs that were included in the CARES Act, specifically the Main Street Lending Program, and the Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program. And trying to figure out a way, working with Congress, to make sure nonprofits and specifically our institutions of higher education are eligible for those programs. And I think that there's a growing recognition within Congress about the importance of the nonprofits to the state and local economies, as they're trying to address those high unemployment numbers, and just strengthening the economy.

Terry Hartle: Yeah. Well, as I mentioned earlier, all college universities are facing a major cashflow crisis as a result of the revenues lost by, and costs increased by, the pandemic. One of the ways to help colleges and universities, particularly financially stable institutions, offset those revenue losses and increased costs is by giving them access to relatively low interest loan capital to tide them over, until they get another wave of revenue in the fall, and in the spring, with tuition dollars and room and board funds. The loan programs that Congress created in the CARES Act really didn't include colleges and universities. It was noticed fairly quickly that institutions of higher education were excluded. And Sarah, you're absolutely right, there is a lot of interest on Capitol Hill in trying to address that, both in terms of Small Business Administration's paycheck protection program, as well as the Federal Reserve's Main Street Lending Program. The House bill that they passed would make institutions of higher education explicitly eligible under both of those programs. And that's one of the major elements that we hope we can obtain in any Senate legislation related to the supplemental. So it's a big area for colleges and universities. It's an important priority for all of us at ACE and our sister associations, in terms of advocacy.

Jon Fansmith: And just one sort of, I want to be respectful of your time, Terry, because I know, not just Sarah and I, but you have a lot going on right now. We touched a little bit on this, about when we're talking about what to look forward to the fall. And there's a lot of aspects to that. Obviously, the liability protection, the procedures institutions will use, but one of the things where we started was the financial impact on institutions, and one of the big numbers we looked at was declining enrollment. I think a lot of people tend to think, "Well, this is a Great Recession, much like the Great Recession of 2008-2009 was." And in that period, enrollment surged. Lots of people who'd been laid off went back to school. As you know, that's not what we're predicting the fall. It's not what we're hearing from members. Can you just talk a little bit about what we expect from enrollment in the fall?

Terry Hartle: Sure. Since the end of the Second World War, every economic downturn has meant an increase in college and university enrollments. Higher education enrollments are countercyclical. When the economy goes down, college and university enrollments go up. It makes perfect sense. People who lack skills often go to college to get an education, or to enhance their skills, in hopes of improving their position in the labor market. In this fall of 2009, the year after the Great Recession began, college university enrollments increased by a million students. We're not thinking that that's going to happen again this time, for two reasons. First, because of the suddenness and severity of the economic downturn. We've seen 38 million people lose their jobs over the last two months. That's an unprecedented large number of people losing their jobs. Many of those people who have lost jobs undoubtedly were planning on sending a son or daughter to college in the fall, or to enable them to continue their education in the fall. Parental job losses have a very unfortunate way of undermining the ability of people to continue their postsecondary education. So we think that the suddenness and severity of the downturn is going to complicate people spending the money to go to school. I think-

Jon Fansmith: Actually, I was going to say to that point, I saw one survey where they asked high school seniors who are planning to go to college in the fall, whether they were planning to do that. And 10% said they'd already made other plans. When they asked parents of high school seniors about how confident they were, that their kids were going to go to school, it was about 22% said, "We're thinking of changing those plans now." So the parents are in many ways more concerned than the students are.

Terry Hartle: Well, and complicating the economic situation, all the people that have lost jobs, savings that have been wiped out, and so on, complicating is a safety factor. Will families feel safe with a son or daughter on a college or university campus hundreds of miles away? Or would they rather have them at home? Will students, who usually are pretty anxious to get away from Mom and Dad, think, "Maybe for a semester, I'll just go to the community college. Or maybe I'll just hang out with my friends and get a part time job. I can always start school in January?" So we are assuming that we will see an enrollment decline in the fall, for the first time, a significant enrollment decline, for the first time in a very long time. Enrollments in higher education have been gradually declining over the last five years. Partly because the economy is strong, partly because of a declining birth rate in some parts of the country, the shortage of 18- to 22-year-olds. So we've been seeing slight enrollment declines, we fear, that we will see more enrollment declines this fall. It will not be evenly distributed. In some parts of the country, think New England, Upstate New York, the Rust Belt, the Great Plains, the Upper Plains, demographic trends have been working against higher education for a considerable period of time. That's going to hurt institutions in those areas. But if you're talking about California, Texas, Florida, some of the schools I've talked to in those areas are seeing, if anything, increases in enrollments, or projected increases in enrollments. And they're feeling very confident about the fall, regardless of what happens. So it's too soon to tell, but I can tell you that there's more uncertainty about fall enrollment in the fall of 2020 than at any other time in the 40-plus years I've spent working on higher education policy. We just don't know what's in store.

Sarah Spreitzer: And Terry, I think all of those concerns are actually doubled, tripled, quadrupled, when you look at enrollments for international students. Because you also have to take into account the fact that we still have travel bans in place. We still have our consulates closed in other countries, so they can't process the student visas. And so there's much more uncertainty with whether or not we're going to be able to get our international students back in the fall.

Terry Hartle: Absolutely right, Sarah. Thanks for raising that point. We are predicting a 25% decline in the number of international students, again, a function of the fact that the country has tightened its admissions requirements for people who want visas to study in the country. The number of international students has been sliding slightly for the last several years. But recently, US consulates and embassies abroad have stopped conducting visa interviews. In addition, there continues to be rumors as we record this, that the Trump administration is thinking about taking further steps to restrict access to visas that are used by a foreign students, particularly foreign students from China. We don't know how that'll play out, but it's certainly an area of enormous uncertainty. Obviously, there are some institutions that have an awful lot of international students. There's some institutions that have very few. So if the number of international students declined, just like everything else we have talked about, the impact on colleges, universities is going to differ enormously. But we are just looking at a very uncertain fall opening, just a couple of months away.

Sarah Spreitzer: Well, and to loop back to where we started the conversation about how universities are planning to reopen in the fall, or what their plans are for the fall, we've also heard on the international side about universities doubling down on their space that they might have in a foreign country, so that they could offer courses on the ground to their international students, or perhaps start with online courses so that they could come later in the fall, and just trying to incorporate more options for those international students,

Terry Hartle: Right. It's not that many institutions that can do that, but certainly that's something that schools are looking at. The modern college or university runs on money. And for most colleges universities, the vast majority of their income, vast majority, comes from tuition and fees, and in many cases, room and board. If students don't come, if they don't enroll, our colleges and universities will suffer very dramatically, very quickly. So institutions are looking at every possible way to help ensure that students return to campus in the fall.

Jon Fansmith: So, Terry, I think that's a good place to transition and start to wrap up a little bit. But before we do, most of the people who listen to the show are college and university leaders. As we look forward at this moment in time entering into June, as we're recording this, what are some sort of key takeaways that a college president, a college leader would be looking for, that should be paying attention to? What are ways maybe they can interact with what we're doing here at ACE? What would your recommendations be for them?

Terry Hartle: Well, I think one of the key issues for college and university leaders is the extent to which they need support from the federal government to enable them to keep their operations fully functioning. The decision that the Senate and later, a conference committee between the House and Senate make, about providing student and institutional aid to campuses before the fall, is going to be a very important decision for many institutions. Similarly, questions about institutional liability, whether or not there is a liability waiver that is made available to businesses, that includes higher education institutions, I think will have a great deal to do with the amount of comfort that any business, including a college or university can have, as they think about reopening in the fall. And finally, as I've mentioned, because so many institutions are facing a serious cashflow crisis, any sort of a federal loan program that provides low interest capital to tide colleges and universities over until we reach some semblance of a new normal, would be very important. So I think what happens in Washington in the next six weeks to two months is potentially very important for the short and the long term future of colleges and universities and for their students. So I think many institutional leaders will be paying as much attention as they possibly can, given all the other array of impossibly difficult things they're having to deal with on the college campus right now.

Jon Fansmith: All right, thank you, Terry. And that does wrap it up for us today. Thank you for making the time to join me and Sarah. I say that slightly laughingly, because we spend a lot of time together these days. For the listeners, I should be clear, socially distanced from our homes, we're in constant communication. We are not physically together, but we are spending a lot of time together. And I think one of the things that I often say to people on this podcast is just express my appreciation for what I learned from them. I haven't really learned a lot from you, Terry, just because again, we're talking every day, but I always am amazed and impressed by your ability to take big issues and put them in a way that even the meanest of understandings can comprehend. So thanks again for joining us. Sarah, thank you for joining us and taking the time today, and particular thanks to Malcolm, Audrey, Laurie,, and Carly, our producers who do their very best to make us sound cogent and professional on this podcast. If you are interested in subscribing, which we highly recommend, you can find more information about the podcast at acenet.edu/podcast, as well as on Stitcher or any of the other podcast platforms you use. I want to thank everyone again for listening. Hope you're staying safe, being well, and we'll catch up with you later.

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