The Reporters Roundtable

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - We often refer to the "higher ed system" in the U.S. But it's not really a system and it's mostly controlled by the states. On the latest reporters' roundtable, Jeff and Michael welcome higher ed reporters from California, Michigan, and Mississippi.

Listen Now!

Listen wherever you get your podcasts.

Join our Newsletter

Get notified about special content and events.

Jeff Selingo (00:10):

So Michael, we often use the word system to describe higher ed, but it's hardly a system at all. In fact, it's mostly focused on institutions states, and then of course, private colleges and universities in those states.

Michael Horn (00:21):

That's right, Jeff. And as a result, when we focus too much on how the national press covers higher ed, we miss the nuances and localities and regional differences. We're seeing that for example right now, and how COVID is impacting higher education. So today we welcome three regional higher education reporters to help us understand what's happening on the ground in higher education in three very different places in the United States.

Sponsor (00:50):

This episode of future, you was made possible by support from Nelnet campus commerce, to read their latest study on improving retention, visit campus and by the bill and Melinda gates foundation, which is proud to support the work of the post-secondary value commission. Because the question, what is college worth deserves answers learn more at post-secondary, subscribe to future you wherever you get your podcasts and follow us on Twitter at the handle future you podcast. And if you enjoy the podcast, please leave us a five star rating. So others can discover the conversations we're having about higher education,

Michael Horn (01:32):

I'm Michael Horn.

Jeff Selingo (01:33):

And I'm Jeff Selingo. Like a, one of those popular episodes of future you in the last two seasons has been when we had higher education reporters on the broadcast in season three, it was from the trade press. And then last year we had three national higher education reporters on. So we wanted to mix it up a bit today by going into the states. My second job at the Chronicle was as a state reporter in the late 1990s, when there were so many newspapers with higher education reporters and indeed like many national reporters, we used to use those local reporters as tip sheets. We would read the local newspapers to figure out when we would want to go to a state to cover a higher education issue. And in many ways I got to be friends with a lot of them because when I would fly into a place to help me understand what was really happening, we'd have coffee or dinner or breakfast or something. And it really helped me put something into the national context when writing for the Chronicle. Unfortunately, I don't think that's the case anymore. There were so many fewer regional papers now covering higher education. In many places, don't even have one higher education reporter. And it's unfortunate because it's so critical to what's happening on the ground as we'll hear today.

Michael Horn (02:43):

You're absolutely right, Jeff, but I will say you have done a good job of curating a great group of folks on the ground in the states to give us just that perspective that you described. And so we're thrilled to have with us today Teresa Watanabe from the Los Angeles times, David Jesse from the Detroit free press and Molly Minta from Mississippi Today. Welcome everyone.

Jeff Selingo (03:05):

So before we discuss how some national higher education issues are playing out in your states, I want to start to talk about some of the stories that you've been writing lately. So Teresa let's start with you in California because the state is long been held up as an example for other states because of its master plan for higher education, but in, in recent years, well, maybe a lot longer than that, it hasn't been much of a, an exemplar. One issue of course, is you have a growing and more diverse population. And thus there was a lot of questions about access to the community colleges, to the Cal states and to the UCS. And you see recently announced that it emitted its largest and most diverse class ever, but at the same time, there was a huge space crunch. And I was interested to see an interview that you recently had with the new chair of the university of California board of Regents, where she floated the idea of expanding. And I was really interested in it because it's a pet issue of mine because most of the selective institutions in the U S have remained pretty small for a long time. So, so what's being discussed in terms of alleviating demand for seats, not just in the university of California system, but in the entire state. And is it going to gain any traction?

Teresa Watanabe (04:20):

Well, this is a huge issue, Jeff there's a lot of really good work being done to expand access to college, including dropping the standardized testing requirements. But the problem is that California has not increased capacity to the same extent. So you had record applications, no appreciable increase in seats and therefore a lot more competition and heartbreak for students who didn't get into their campus of choice. The good news is that the new chair of the board of regions Cecilia Estolano has made expanding enrollment capacity a top priority. And it's also something that state legislators are focusing on. As Solano's talking about putting everything on the table, including educational hubs, where you see could possibly share facilities, coursework, and even faculty with higher education partners and the legislature has pledged some significant enrollment funding for next year to add 15,000 seats that you see an Cal state plus a $2 billion fund that the two systems can use to create or expand off-campus satellite sites. They've also pledged funding for UCLA, UC Berkeley and UC San Diego. So they can reduce out-of-state and international students who pay more tuition to make more room for Californians. And then, you know, of course, campuses are also trying to get their students through to graduation more quickly to open more seats. And everyone is talking about expanding online offerings.

Michael Horn (05:50):

Yeah, it's a lot of movement there and I want to turn to other movement that's occurring also in Michigan and David, obviously two big well-known universities, nationally and Michigan state, and the university of Michigan, both having been rocked by scandals with doctors and sexual abuse of students. Larry Nassar, of course at Michigan state and Robert Anderson at university of Michigan and at Michigan state, the fallout was the president resigning at the university of Michigan. We've seen a lot of discussion about the legacy of Michigan's late and renowned football coach Bo Schembechler. And I'm curious though, beyond those immediate impacts more about the impact on the university as a whole, because we've seen at other big universities like Penn state, USC, UNC, and others, they tend to survive these massive scandals without much of an impact. At least it appears on enrollment research, faculty, even fundraising scandals, though, that probably would take down smaller and less well endowed universities. And so I'm curious, what have you seen as the impact on Michigan state and the university of Michigan from these scandals?

David Jesse (06:58):

I don't think, as you mentioned that either of these scandals will take down the universities, both of them were too big. The university of Michigan has a $12 billion endowment, right? It's hard to,

Michael Horn (07:10):


David Jesse (07:13):

Hard to run through that pretty quickly, but I think what you're seeing is some attitudes. So at Michigan state, there's a real skepticism about the leadership there that maybe wasn't there beforehand. And then as people rise up the ranks of that leadership, they're asking, well, what was your involvement around this? What is your transparency? What is your plan for making sure some of those issues of communication and letting the board know and talking to students, what's your plans for handling that? And so you see that a little more there than you saw in the previous years at the university of Michigan with Robert Anderson, it's really an interesting thing going on because the current administration had nothing to do with when he was there. He, you know, he was gone in 2002. There's no, there's not even board members left. Right. There's, there's just not people around in leadership positions.

David Jesse (08:14):

And so I think there, you're seeing a big discussion around mythmaking in who is Michigan and what does it mean to be an alum of this school? You mentioned, but like, you're right, he's this legend, there's all these myths around him. And so it was that sort of is being peeled back. You're seeing people really struggle with, well, this Bo the Smith that I knew that was this football coach means one thing, but these are my teammates. These are the football players I cheered for. And, and for today's students, they didn't even cheer for them. It's, you know, their, their dad cheered for them or, you know, their, their cousin was here. And so, but I still think so that's kind of what I think will happen at U of M over the next couple of years is just that, what does it mean to be a quote unquote, they like to call themselves, you know, a Michigan man, you know, a Michigan woman, what does that really mean? Hmm.

Jeff Selingo (09:12):

Well, David, you mentioned the boards in Michigan. And one of the things I always found fascinating about Michigan is it's one of the only few states in the country where public university regions are elected. And, and it really takes the power out of the hands of the governor for these political plums that they get to give out. And in so many states and in Mali, what a move to you because in Mississippi, the state's institutions of higher learning board often refer to as the IHL board has, has been often referred to there. I remember even going back to my days of covering this at the Chronicle as a, as another branch of government, that's just how much power they have, right. They oversee obviously a huge higher education system that employs over 27,000 people educates almost a hundred thousand students. And typically these boards operate in the dark in a lot of states. And unfortunately it's because there's not enough higher ed reporters out there following them, but it's been in the news a lot lately there because first in reading your coverage it's been missing some members. And then at a time where there's a national focus, particularly on, on historically black colleges and universities has been really responsible and people are asking a lot of questions. It seems for the historical underfunding and lack of attention to HBC use in, in Mississippi. So what's, what's at play right now with, with that board.

Molly Minta (10:33):

So like you mentioned, the IHL board in Mississippi is comprised of gubernatorial appointees. So here where the Republican party has a lot of power. That means that these points, these who are typically businessmen are lawyers they have conservative political connections and they probably form those connections at one of the five predominantly white institutions and Mississippi. So the, like these kinds of folks they not only make up the majority of the board that they also tend to hold the most powerful positions on the board. And they're really able to kind of steer it like steer the ship in favor of the predominantly white institutions and a great example, or maybe not great. But in Mississippi we have this case commonly referred to as the air settlement, it's basically a historic civil rights case that said the state was violating 14th amendment by underfunding, the three HBC use part of that settlement sort of like optional part of the settlement in a way was that the IHL board was supposed to raise funds for a private endowment for those three HBC use around 30,000,020 years after that settlement.

Molly Minta (11:53):

They've only raised about 1 million.

Jeff Selingo (11:56):

It says it all right. Yeah. So before we move on to some other national stories that are playing out, I wanted to ask about a few other stories that, that caught our attention. And, and Theresa, you, you mentioned standardized tests because in the sat, of course in the act of been getting a lot of national attention during the pandemic, because so many colleges when test optional and, and we know the university of California is not taking the sat or act no count at all because of a lawsuit, a settlement. So I'm just kind of curious how has this playing out among the faculty there who had recommended in a report a few years ago to keep the test, and there's all this speculation because as California goes, so does the rest of the country. So I think there's a lot of interest in the rest of the country about whether California might really develop an alternative test, which I know has been talked about, or is that just kind of rhetoric and may not really happen?

Teresa Watanabe (12:51):

Yeah, it was an enormous controversy when that report came out. And there was a lot of anger among faculty members over how the whole issue was handled. They felt really rushed to try to produce that report. There was huge division on the faculty committee itself with some supporting a continuation of the tests and others say, no it's racist and unfair and it needs to be dropped. And then the faculty committee was also not happy that their work was simply dismissed by the board of Regents. And some of them felt it was more of a political decision rather than a research based one. But that said there is efforts to look for an alternative test. They've pretty much ruled out creating one from scratch because the estimates were that that would take nine years to develop and cost millions of dollars.

Teresa Watanabe (13:47):

So no one is going for that option. What they're looking at now is trying to repurpose a statewide assessment that's used for all 11th graders and seeing if that is a possibility, but there's also big issues with that as well. You know, when I talked to you, the admission directors this year, they all seem pretty happy with not having a test. They said it really made little, if, any difference in how they were able to assess applicants, UC Berkeley is very strongly opposed and they barely, they really believe that they can select their class without the use of any standardized tests. So, you know, my guess is that you see majors go forward without a test, and if they end up using one, it will be some repurpose and of the high school assessment.

Jeff Selingo (14:36):

Yeah. And I think that's just going to be a huge impact on the rest of higher education, because I think what a lot of our, you know, just in terms of talking to our listeners we know for example, that, you know, a lot of California students apply elsewhere, right? They apply out of state. And if they don't have to take the test for, you know, the university of California, they're going to say, well, why do I have to take the test for fill in the blank college in another state? And so this is why I think every college leader, and of course the act and the college board, which owns the sat, is really looking closely at this to make sure to see what happens because it's gonna be

Michael Horn (15:17):

Jeff. It's interesting just listening to this because all these questions have had political ramifications and they always say politics is local, right. But they have national ripple effects. And, you know, I'm thinking also, David turning to you in terms of Michigan, like a lot of states right now in the Midwest and Northeast, there's a lot of small struggling colleges, right? And this has been a recurring theme of, of mine. And on future, you, and you've been taking a deep dive into small liberal arts colleges across the Midwest for a Spencer education fellowship at Columbia journalism school and talking about the challenges that they face their place in the overall higher ed system, the relationships to the small towns that they're often found in and how critical they are for the local economies. And I'm curious, the headlines from your reporting that you found that might be different from, or at least shed a greater light on the national narrative that many of these colleges are in trouble. And I'm also curious how the pandemic has factored into that financial picture for them. I think,

David Jesse (16:17):

I think you mentioned the one, the going in, I wasn't prepared for, and that's the tie between a town and a small college. Generally speaking, a lot of these small colleges are in rural areas and in a way they act as a quasi public college. Right? And so this is where the you're going to go and watch the theater production, right. And you're going to go to a lecture and the local school's going to have their, their commencement there and write all that public stuff. There's also in a lot of these small towns, this college has actually propped up to the local community. I'm thinking of Albion, right? Where the college owns, we showed about 70% or so of the downtown, like literally owns it. And so, and they're doing it in an effort to, to bring that downtown up. But if they're not there, not only is there not that base of employment and all that stuff that you'd normally think of, like the downtown, here's the biggest property owner, that's now it's now out of that.

David Jesse (17:23):

So I think that connection is, is key to really think about like, why should I care? Whether Jesse you, a small private school makes it or not, you know, it's not like my public taxpayer dollars are going there largely that I think that's why people should care about that. I think the other thing to think about is, you know, certainly they're struggling a lot, but there are a few that are doing well, right. That do see growth. And those are the ones that are really have a sense of who they are in a sense of mission. And you're going to see some further reporting on that for me here in the, in the coming weeks of who's actually growing in, in, in these areas.

Jeff Selingo (18:10):

Yeah. It's, it's interesting David, because COVID also not only battered institutions, but pattern students as well as we know obviously mental health issues wellbeing of students, but also retention and graduation. We know from national student clearinghouse data that retention has taken a big hit. Roman has taken a big hit at, at a lot of colleges and, and, and Molly, we, we talk a lot about access and equity in higher education right now. And a big issue is where the financial aid dollars are going in, in higher ed. And you've reported recently that Mississippi is spending almost half of its financial aid budget on programs that go to students who would go to college otherwise. And what's interesting to me and I, when I was at the Chronicle, I do a lot of reporting on state-based financial aid programs. And particularly in these states that have higher proportions of low income students, it always seems that their money goes to not those students, but students who don't necessarily need the money. So who's getting left behind in these, in this formula

Molly Minta (19:10):

And Mississippi it's working class students of color primarily. So if you look at the numbers, there was around 26,000 students, Mississippi who got aid last year, about 45 million, two thirds of those were white. So that's not proportionate at all to who lives in Mississippi. And only around 20% came from people or families that make less than 30,000 per year. So the poorest families and this is interesting because it's kind of, Mississippi has one of the three main financial aid programs it's called the help grant and it's supposed to cover well it covers all four years of college and it's tailored specifically for students who need financial aid to go to college. And the health grant is sort of, it has bloated in recent years, it's sort of responsible for most of the funding yet only around 4,000 students actually get it. And one of the other, I guess, sad ironies of this is that there's a cutoff. If you come from a, if your family makes more than $39,500 a year, you don't get any aid from the help grant. So there's also, you know, if you like truly, if you come from a family that makes $39,600, you just fall right off a cliff. Yeah.

Michael Horn (20:39):

And of course, this relates to a larger question across the country, in terms of the students who've been quote unquote missing from higher education over the pandemic and so forth. And we'll, we'll take a quick break right here. But when we come back, we'll tackle some of those national storylines and how they're playing out locally. That's next on future. You

Speaker 1 (21:03):


Sponsor (21:04):

Did you know that 25% of students carry an unpaid balance from one term to the next, that means roughly one quarter of your students could be in danger of going to collections, but there's a way to support them. Nelnet campus commerce recently shared a study that outlines the best ways higher ed institutes can get past do students back on track to learn more. Our listeners can download a free copy of their white slash retain that's campus,

Jeff Selingo (21:46):

So welcome back to the future. You, and let's move on to some of the national headlines and see how they're playing out in your states. And of course the big one that we can't get away from, it seems even here in the fall of 2021 of course is COVID. We really thought, I think many of us thought life on college campuses would be a little bit more normal by now. But that's not necessarily the case in now because of the Delta variant. And I want to start with you Molly, because like in many states, and I think this is particularly a trend in the, in the south, like, is that COVID and mandates whether that's masking or vaccines on campuses has really become just this political issue. So what's happening there around masking vaccines, just COVID in general in higher education.

Molly Minta (22:32):

So this is the big story right now. So are all of our college campuses, do you have masks mandates sort of came following after the department of health, put out some like new guidance for the colleges. But I think what you're really seeing is that the the presidents of all the universities are not, they're not necessarily being proactive. They mandated the masks after the state department came out and said, we really encourage you guys to do this. And a similar dynamic is happening with the COVID vaccine and questions around requiring that. So for months, the precedents have been saying that they won't mandate the COVID vaccine unless the IHL board does. They even went so far as to say that they believed legally, they didn't have the power to mandate the vaccine unless the IHL board went ahead and did it first.

Molly Minta (23:31):

So there was a couple of weeks of reporting that I did showing actually, no, that's not the case. They do weekly have the power to require the vaccine if they want to. But then recently the IHL board voted not to require the vaccines at all. So the presidents aren't going to do anything. It seems and then you have kind of these two, like worrying, maybe that's not the wrong word, but opposing factions. You have the faculty who have been very outspoken asking for mandates specifically at university of Mississippi and Mississippi state. You have these groups who tried circulating petitions and getting resolutions through the faculty senates. But then you also have this very loud group of parents, primarily on Facebook who are very against any kind of mandate. In fact, they wish that there weren't even mask mandates on campus.

Jeff Selingo (24:29):

This is why so many people don't want to be a college president these days. So what's happening in what's happening in California and in Michigan, let's start in California.

Teresa Watanabe (24:38):

Well, here on the left coast, things are very different. As I'm sure you guys all know both the UC and Cal state systems move forward quickly to require vaccinations in order to enter campus and those vaccination rates. I know some of the UC campuses that have started up, they're already over 90%. And as a result, the COVID case rates are, are, are very low, even though they have returned to campus. But like everyone, we're going to be keeping a very close eye on what the back the in-person back to school looks like. We'll keep an eye on the COVID case rates. How many students actually come back? Who are they and what are their experiences? I mean, one interesting little difference is that the Cal state systems 23 campuses have a higher rate of students opting in for online instruction.

Teresa Watanabe (25:33):

Whereas at UC there's a lot more students who just want to get back into their dorm life in their campus life. And so it we're, we want to dig into that and see why are more Cal state students wanting to stay online? Is it because they've got more work responsibilities or family responsibilities, or maybe they, you know, don't want to commute to a campus? We're not sure. And then we're also going to be looking at how campuses deal with faculty who are resisting directives to teach all in-person and want flexibility to offer more online offerings and how they will help students who have fallen behind during the pandemic. Catch-Up. So there's just a whole ton of issues that we'll be looking at

Michael Horn (26:16):

Theresa before David jumps in and on the Michigan front I'm I'm. I was struck by your story about just how high those percentages are in the Cal state system of teaching online. And that follows their actions in many ways last year as well. They were one of the first systems to go all online and be very upfront about that. It didn't seem to have as negative repercussions on enrollment, as many expected. I'm just curious what you anticipate that like, and your own theories about how it might play out over the course of the year.

Teresa Watanabe (26:50):

So, you know, we sort of think that in terms of talking to Cal state students, you know, a lot of them have told us that they prefer online instruction because it's just, it's cheaper for them to not have to spend money to, you know, commute to a campus. A lot of them, they tend to have lower income levels than UC students. So it's likely that they are needed to help, you know, have jobs to contribute to the family household, or maybe they have to do babysitting. But then that creates a whole nother set of issues because all the research shows that online instruction is not as effective. And one of the things that we've heard from faculty is that cheating and academic integrity has really become an issue because there's so much more cheating now with online classes and the faculty are kind of just wondering what to do about that. So it's going to be, it's a whole interesting set of issues.

Michael Horn (27:49):

Yeah. It's going to be fascinating to dig in there. David, I want to turn to you. And as you answer about all the COVID storylines that you're following, I'm also curious from your vantage point, a place like the university of Michigan, how they've done during the pandemic, because relative to a lot of other institutions, they had actually invested a lot in online learning and innovation before the pandemic. And so my guess is that they were better positioned to address some of the issues that Teresa just brought up. But I'm curious what you've seen.

David Jesse (28:18):

Yeah. I think not only were they better positioned, but I think there was a broader push for earlier last year because the infrastructure was there. So instead of necessarily having to start completely from scratch, you saw faculty who may have been involved in helping set up some of this stuff, or maybe they've they taught a sample course or did it some stuff, you know, beforehand. And so as it started, as they talked about what to do to go online or to stay in person last year, I think there was more, there was that more of that push right away from faculty who maybe were a little more comfortable than even some of the other schools here in the state where the faculty was like, I don't know how, you know, how am I gonna, how am I going to do, how am I going to do this?

David Jesse (29:02):

How am I going to take this class that I've taught for 15 years and turn it into an online class? What, what is this going to do? How am I going to run discussion, et cetera? I think, you know, and then kind of broad picture here in Michigan. Most of our colleges have some store form of vaccine mandate. Some are completely everybody who is a student or faculty member. Others are, if you're living on campus, you have to, you have to be here, you have to be vaccinated. So there's some, some difference. I haven't heard of a massive push. I think some of that, I was talking to a president at a small school the other day who has a, who has a mandate who said, we're not getting the pushback on the stuff from students, as much as we thought we were as much as we had last year when we put some stuff in place, because they'd been through this. Like they know, especially some of the students who have been in college. And so they know what it's like to be told, Hey, you're stuck in your dorm room for 10 days or right.

Jeff Selingo (30:00):

And they don't want that.

David Jesse (30:01):

You gotta, you know, they don't want that or you gotta go or, you know, even when it gets out of hand and they're like, okay, now you got to go home for the rest of the semester. And so I think there's this want, especially among students to be on campus and to be around my friends and to have what you mean. We kind of think in our head as a traditional college experience, that they're willing to put up with some of this stuff because they know kind of what's, they've been through that other stuff and they really didn't like it. And so if they can do something to kind of limit that, they're a little more willing to do that.

Jeff Selingo (30:36):

Okay. So we are getting into the home stretch here on this episode of future use. So I'm just going to do a lightning round here. Am I going to, we're going to do a lightning round of a bunch of quick questions that we love to get your, your take on, on, on your beats and on a, on a few other stories in in higher ed. So we're going to do this in four minutes or so. So first, what are some of the other big stories for the fall? What are other themes topics that you anticipate your, your be focusing on this year beyond perhaps the ones we just talked about? Let's go Molly, Teresa, and then David very quickly.

Molly Minta (31:11):

So the air settlement that I mentioned earlier that is ending next year. So think part of this fall is going to be spent sort of looking at what are the ramifications of that. And also what kind of progress has been made over the last 20 years.

Teresa Watanabe (31:29):

I'm really interested in looking more at admissions and enrollment capacity, but also I'm really interested in looking at the impact of the absence of the sat this year. And so I think early next year, we'll be getting better data as to you know, whether that made a difference in encouraging the application and enrollment of more low income students. And also the impact that, that may have on a greater emphasis on advanced placement tests. So even though you don't have sat anymore, there's now going to be probably a greater emphasis on AP. And will that have the same equity issues that the sat had?

David Jesse (32:10):

I think one of the big ones is what we've kind of mentioned already. And that's enrollment right here in Michigan like in some other places, but particularly in machine, we have a number of colleges that are really struggling even before the pandemic. Demographics tell us that we're, we're going to keep going with smaller, a smaller student pool. And so what happens not among Michigan, Michigan state, those schools, but we have a number of regional universities that are really struggling. And so how does enrollment play out there? It's perfect.

Michael Horn (32:39):

I want to stay with the enrollment picture for each of you and just focus in on what the enrollment picture looks like at community colleges in your state, because we know enrollments, particularly from low income and minority populations declined quite a bit during the pandemic, which was different from pastor sessions at community colleges. And I'm curious what you all are seeing for the fall.

Teresa Watanabe (32:59):

Yeah. California community college enrollments have declined. And we have just reported a major story about lots of fake bots that are applying to community colleges, probably for financial aid fraud. And so once we sort out that picture, it may be that the enrollment numbers are even lower than we thought.

David Jesse (33:22):

I think it's much of the same, right? It's, it's down. There's no question about it. And I think that gets into the issues of, you know, why it is when normally when you're going through tough economic times, you would see an upswing at community colleges. And I think the community college leaders here in Michigan are a little baffled as to why they don't have more students on campus. Yeah.

Jeff Selingo (33:44):

Two quick, two more quick things. First we keep hearing this is going to be a new normal, right? In so many parts of our lives. We're never going to work the same shop, the same and quote unquote, learn the same. Right. So do you feel like for the schools that you've cover that they're kind of thinking differently about their model when things do go back to some sort of normal, or do you think whenever things get back from a health perspective that it's going to be higher ed 2019 all over again, David, why don't we start with you and then Theresa, and then Molly,

David Jesse (34:14):

In some ways it's going to be the same. We already see this, right. There are 110,000 people in Michigan stadium for the first football game. There'll be 110,000 in the football stadium for the second game, right. That's just not gonna, that's not gonna change right. That there's tailgates all over the place. You can't walk anywhere in Ann Arbor on game day without, without, so that's going to stay the same, I think, where you're going to see it as some of these smaller regionals. And then the small liberal arts we were talking about is they consolidate some operations. And then they think about a college president told me at a small liberal arts college, you know, he just finished a campaign. They raised all the money. They normally would. They wanted to raise and he didn't have to spend 160 days on the road going to California to hold a dinner for alumni to, to shake hands and kiss babies. And he did it all on zoom and you know, what it worked and then they got, so I think you'll see more of that type of stuff going on of using some of that technology and then targeted strikes at a fundraising enrollment so that they might not be an admissions person, might not be on the road every day, but going, you know, I'm just going to, I'm going to go to the big feeder schools and then we'll do the rest virtually

Jeff Selingo (35:24):

Great Theresa Molly quickly.

Teresa Watanabe (35:26):

I think that the online capacity is, is going to be the new normal. And it will also dovetail into this enrollment crunch that we're talking about. So everyone is talking about, we are definitely going to ratchet up our online instruction and as David was saying online, everything, and that will help possibly allow campuses to admit and educate more students.

Molly Minta (35:54):

Yeah, I think also to echo what David is saying we're seeing a lot of like the IHL board, for instance most of the trustees zoom in to the meeting, they don't show up in person. But in terms of instruction, I would say that this is a, B campuses have effectively gone back to pre pandemic. I was just at Mississippi state yesterday and it was like hoards of students all across

Michael Horn (36:22):

Fascinating to see how, how every place swings back differently. Last question, as we wrap up really quickly, what's the story that we should all be talking about. That we're not Theresa, let's start with you then Molly and David.

Teresa Watanabe (36:34):

Well, I'm not sure people aren't talking about this, but one thing I really want to do is take a deep dive, I think, into the K 16 pipeline, because I keep hearing from faculty members that their college students are coming. So under prepared, they can't write a grammatically correct sentence or figure out a basic math problem. This starts in K-12. And there's pressure in that K-12 system to promote students even without then having the skills to do so. And it's creating more pressure on colleges to catch them up. So I really want to see, you know, for instance, why the Cal state system, which takes the top one third of students in California still can only graduate 31% of their students in four years.

Michael Horn (37:17):


David Jesse (37:20):

Ah, that's funny that Teresa, that you mentioned that that was mine. What is this? Cause I hear the same things you do. And I wonder what it's going to be like for students coming out of high school now who also have been online and haven't had that in-person and is that going to lower that? Or are we going to start to actually see a need for an increase in remedial education at the college level because of the effect of COVID on the high school career

Michael Horn (37:44):

And Molly take us home.

Molly Minta (37:47):

Sure. So I think that the conversations we were having around racial equity in 10 years sort of ended too quickly and I'd like to see us talking more about that.

Michael Horn (37:58):

That's a good list. We're going to have to keep track of all of that on future you, but for now, David, Molly, Teresa fascinating conversation, fascinating to see what you're tracking in the states. And thank you so much for joining us on future. You

Wherever You Listen to Podcasts