Your Higher Education Marketing Link of the Week… Boston University: Transparent COVID-19 Recovery Planning… 10 April 2020

Boston University Outlines COVID-19 Recovery Issues & Plans, including possible delayed campus opening until January 2021

Boston University Coronavirus newsJust about every crisis management expert recommends getting as far out in front of a critical issue as possible with honest public communication. But the world is replete with examples of organizations that favor happy talk (or no talk at all) over realism.

Boston University, on the other hand, offers a detailed report on activities started now to estimate and deal with problems inherent in re-opening the campus in the fall. That includes the possibility that the problems might be serious enough to delay opening campus facilities for the usual educational and research activities until January 2021.

Major “up front” news here is the possibility of a opening delayed by “public health practices” until January. No doubt every school is planning for the fall. Few are saying in public that reopening might not happen until 2021.

The desired goal of course is to open in the fall as BU strives to learn “what actions are needed to bring academic, research, and residential programs back to campus for the fall semester in ways that are guided by the best public health practices.”

Also important is the acknowledgement that “budget” will be a major issue for BU, as it will be for most colleges and universities. The decision makers here are on a “Augmented Budget Committee.”

“The overall effort will be coordinated by an Augmented Budget Committee, led by Brown and Morrison, and the financial impact of all proposed actions will be analyzed by a Contingency Planning Committee, chaired by Derek Howe, vice president for budget, planning, and business affairs. The Augmented Budget Committee will make decisions, with five working groups planning details in distinct, but interconnected domains:”

5 Working Groups

  • Remote and Online Working Group
  • Graduate Professional Programs Working Group
  • Univergraduate Programs Working Group
  • Research Working Group
  • Student Residential Life Working Group

Limitations for all colleges

Initial annoucement of the work about to start included attention to limitations on meeting sizes in two areas that every college might have to consider: (1) class rooms, and (2) dining facilities. To those we can add sports, including basketball and ice hockey events.

Transparency in the future?

Let’s now see what information is presented to the public as the Working Groups develop plans. In the best of possible worlds, BU will present the major issues and proposed solutions that the each group presents to the Augmented Budget Committee.

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See how one univesity presents recovery issues and activities to the public at “University Outlines COVID-19 Recovery Plan.”

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