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Monday, April 27, 2020

Reopening universities

Whether and how to reopen colleges and universities (and with them, law schools) has been the topic of discussion by Brown President Christina Paxson in The Times and Adam Harris and Graeme Wood in The Atlantic. Wood's suggestion that "colleges are more like cruise ships and retirement homes than they are like hardware stores and driving ranges" is sobering. As is the reminder that a law school with 500 students, like a small college, can more easily distance students than can a large university.

Posted by Howard Wasserman on April 27, 2020 at 05:10 PM in Howard Wasserman, Teaching Law | Permalink


According to a WSJ article, 20% of liberal arts colleges are facing closure.


Comments section is decidedly unsympathetic toward "diversity coordinators" facing unemployment.

Posted by: lurker5 | Apr 30, 2020 10:26:05 PM

The headline uses the word "reopening" -- who actually shut down completely? Can you name a law school that closed this semester?

Maybe what is closed is the perspective of some faculty.

This pandemic is a wake-up call to the traditional and inflexible. I feel for those who do not recognize and embrace this opportunity. If you think about it, a face-to-face classroom has extremely limited technology: a book, a professor, and one person speaking at a time, often shooting from the hip, during an intense and confined couple of hours a week. In contrast, an online class can have the same book and professor yet hold multiple, simultaneous, deeper discussions at all hours of the day or day of the week with students offering well-conceived paragraphs they are proud of instead of half-baked, nervous, spontaneous utterances in the moment. I have taught dozens of courses in various forms of distributed learning (and dozens more in a traditional face-to-face setting) and the distributed ones have been more successful because (a) we have more tools and time at our disposal, and (b) my focus is on the students' experiences rather than my own performance.

Posted by: Phil | Apr 29, 2020 7:59:27 PM

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