Coronavirus enables elite universities to pull off the ultimate scam?

“Stanford cancels in-person classes due to coronavirus”:

In-person classes at Stanford University will be canceled beginning March 9th, as a faculty member has tested positive for coronavirus, and two students have self-isolated after “possible exposure.” Neither student has tested positive for the virus yet, according to a statement from the university, but Stanford provost Persis Drell said late Friday that the university will move some classes online “to the extent feasible.”

First the big research universities figured out that they could charge more than $50,000 per year in tuition for in-person classes taught by graduate students with a tenuous hold on the English language. Now they’ve figured out that they can charge $50,000 per year without having to deliver in-person classes at all!

How about our local universities here in Boston? Our class at Harvard Medical School has been moved online. The result is a terrible loss of efficiency. Helping small teams with SQL queries via Webex takes about 3X longer compared to wandering around a room and being able to look at the same physical screen. The core undergrad and graduate classes are Harvard are going to be moved online starting on March 23, after Spring Break is over (and students are being asked not to come back to campus). MIT is following a similar protocol (WCVB).

Meanwhile, despite coronavirus, the big issues of our day are still waiting to be resolved by our brightest minds. A poster cluster in Harvard Yard, afternoon of March 10, 2020:

My favorite poster above is the “when it all goes wrong” in an election context poster. Presumably this is defined by the wrong candidate winning and one learns that in a course titled “Bad things Deplorables do when you forget to take away their right to vote.”


6 thoughts on “Coronavirus enables elite universities to pull off the ultimate scam?

  1. Harvard has completely axed the post-break Spring semester. All students have been told to move out and not come back, and take their courses online. So this demonstrates that Harvard (along with Tufts, as of this morning apparently) can teach every course in the Spring catalog without having anyone be on campus at all.



  2. In many languages nouns including the names of foods have a gender — which presumably these three women will discuss.

  3. Professors are justifiably concerned, Corona only seems to kill old communists. Sending the kids home is a scam, in the end it will only harm the education industrial complex. When parents realize they don’t need to send their kids off at great expense to get edumacated. Everyone is a distance learner now. If the Ivies can do it, there is no excuse for any college to have resident students. Colleges are now free to fulfill their destinies and become full time sports franchises and all the non-athlete students can cheer from home.

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