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tag: COVID-19

Blog Post
August 31, 2022

The Importance and Risks of Institutional Borrowing

New Report with TIAA Institute

While student loan debt has ballooned to over $1.7 trillion, institutional debt, or money colleges and universities borrow as organizations, is frequently overlooked as a significant factor in higher education finance. With support from the TIAA Institute, Ithaka S+R examined institutional borrowing practices. Specifically, we examined how periods of crisis and financial strain impact the decision to borrow and identified institutional characteristics linked to growth in debt levels during the 2008 Great Recession.
Research Report
August 30, 2022

Borrowing During a Time of Crisis

Examining Institutional Debt During the Great Recession and COVID-19

Although a great deal of attention is paid to student debt, colleges and universities have increased their institutional debt substantially over the past several decades. While institutional borrowing is an important tool colleges can use to meet strategic goals, unchecked or irresponsible debts can undercut a college’s ability to adequately serve students. Ithaka S+R conducted a mixed methods study, with the generous support of the TIAA Institute, to better understand how institutional borrowing decisions are made during periods of crisis.
Blog Post
July 21, 2022

Gearing Up for the Ithaka S+R National Library Director Survey

This fall, Ithaka S+R will be fielding the sixth iteration of our Library Director Survey. While we ran a special cycle of the survey in 2020 to track pandemic-related decision-making among academic libraries, as well as changing perspectives on diversity, equity, inclusion, accessibility and anti-racism, this upcoming survey marks the return to our triennial cycle, established in 2010.  The Library Director Survey 2022 examines the strategic and leadership perspectives of…
Blog Post
July 20, 2022

The Many Faces of Meetings

A Taxonomy of Emerging Models for In-Person and Hybrid Conferences

Scholarly conferences are at a crossroads. The pandemic has made it clear that virtual meetings are not only possible, but make conferences more accessible to a broader, and more diverse audience. At the same time, the pandemic has clarified the unique value that in-person meetings offer due to their capacity to leverage physical proximity to promote social engagement, networking, and serendipitous interaction that foster the generation of new ideas. As organizers begin to shift their…
Past Event
April 19, 2022

Assessing the Evolution of the Community College Library Mission

Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration

Join us on Tuesday, April 19 , from 2-3:00 PM, for the third webinar in our Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration series. Assessing the evolution of the community college library mission Thursday, April 19, 2022, 2:00-3:00 PM (ET) REGISTER The past two decades have seen dramatic changes within the academic library community. Many libraries have expanded partnerships, both within their community college and with the wider community. More recently, upheaval…
Past Event
April 5, 2022

“When in Doubt, Go to the Library”: Navigating the Community College Ecosystem

Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration

Join us on Tuesday, April 5, from 2-3:00 PM, for the second webinar in our Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration series. “When in doubt, go to the library”: Navigating the community college ecosystem Tuesday, April 5, 2022, 2:00-3:00 PM (ET) REGISTER Community college libraries are a key part of the academic and student services ecosystem and contribute broadly to student success through their provision of scholarly resources and technologies. A…
Blog Post
March 11, 2022

Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration

Announcing Three Upcoming Virtual Convenings

In 2019, Ithaka S+R began a three-year IMLS-funded research initiative to help community colleges and their academic libraries more effectively support their students. The initiative, known as Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystems (CCASSE), involved two surveys, one of academic and student affairs leaders and one of library directors, to identify trends shaping student support and perspectives on the impact of COVID-19, as well as a series…
Past Event
March 22, 2022

Emergency and Emerging Technology Programs at Community College Libraries

Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration

Join us on Tuesday, March 22, from 2-3:00 PM for the first webinar in our Conversations on Community College Library Strategy and Collaboration series Emergency and emerging technology programs at community college libraries Tuesday, March 22, 2022, 2:00-3:00 PM (ET) REGISTER During the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, many community college libraries stepped up, developing new programs and technology lending services to assist students who would otherwise not have access. These libraries…
Blog Post
March 10, 2022

A Preliminary Analysis of Debt Forgiveness Programs

The COVID-19 pandemic spotlighted the ever-increasing amount and crushing effects of student debt, including debts owed directly to postsecondary institutions. In an earlier report, Solving Stranded Credits, we estimated that roughly 6.6 million students owe over $15 billion in unpaid balances to colleges and universities in the United States. The weight of institutional debt can leave students feeling defeated, forcing many to avoid pursuing postsecondary education altogether. On a national scale, these debts…
Blog Post
March 1, 2022

How to Navigate Remote Learning when Teaching with Cultural Heritage Materials

When the COVID-19 pandemic reached the United States, instructors had to adapt quickly to new teaching and learning environments. For those instructors who teach with cultural heritage materials, the shift to remote learning was even more complex. They had to discover new ways to incorporate archives, museum collections, special collections and place based learning within restricted learning environments, and often they had to contend with uneven levels of access to adequate technology while doing so. Through these challenges,…
Research Report
March 1, 2022

Teaching with Cultural Heritage Materials During the Pandemic

Cultural heritage materials can offer rewarding learning opportunities and impactful experiences for students across a variety of disciplines, especially in the humanities and social sciences. These learning opportunities create important historical and/or cultural context within a discipline, allowing students to deepen their engagement with a discipline, or see themselves, perhaps for the first time, as a scholar. However, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the attendant move to online instruction at many colleges and universities, disrupted pedagogical practices and the ways that…
Blog Post
December 9, 2021

Charting a Path Forward for Academic Conferences

Announcing the Cohort for Our Project on the Future of Scholarly Meetings

Conferences and meetings are among the most venerable and vital services scholarly societies provide to members. They serve as gathering places for communities and important venues for scholarly communication. They are also essential to many societies’ financial models. The global pandemic has accelerated existing pressures on academic conferences, forcing societies to adopt virtual and hybrid formats. It has become clear that these new modalities have tangible benefits to members and the potential to reach new constituencies, but financial…
Blog Post
October 18, 2021

The Future of Scholarly Meetings

Announcing a New Cohort Project Funded by the Sloan Foundation

The COVID-19 pandemic forced scholarly societies to reimagine one of their signal offerings: academic conferences. In response, societies experimented  with virtual and hybrid meeting formats on a scale that was difficult to imagine before March 2020. Societies have emerged from these experiments with an equal measure of worry and cautious optimism about the potential of these new forums to replace or supplement the traditional annual meeting.  With generous funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Ithaka…
Research Report
October 18, 2021

COVID-19 and the Future of the Annual Meeting

In February 2020, the Biogen conference in Boston, Massachusetts, became one of the first superspreader events in the United States—one now linked to perhaps 300,000 cases of COVID-19. By mid-March, in-person conferences, a staple of scholarly communication and community, came to an abrupt halt. For the many professional societies for whom a conference is a core offering, the necessity of charting a new path for their annual meeting was among the most difficult organizational challenges created by the pandemic. As…
Blog Post
September 13, 2021

What Does It Mean to Be Successful as a Student During a Pandemic?

Centering Student Experiences

Ithaka S+R has long explored how students define their own success and how academic and student support services can most effectively advance that success—and our work on these issues has only ramped up during the pandemic. When it became clear that the pandemic was here to stay, students had to face dramatic shifts to their learning, a staggering amount of communication and newly-implemented policies from their institutions, and new expectations on what it means to be a…
Blog Post
September 9, 2021

How Can the Library Best Support Student and Institutional Success?

Perspectives from a National Survey of Community College Library Directors

For the past three years, Ithaka S+R has explored how student-facing service departments—including academic libraries—are organized, funded, and staffed at community and technical colleges across the country. As part of this ongoing IMLS-funded Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystem (CCASSE) research initiative, we surveyed community college library directors this past February. Today, I’m pleased to announce the publication of our findings from that national study. In Library Strategy and Collaboration Across the College Ecosystem…
Research Report
September 9, 2021

Library Strategy and Collaboration Across the College Ecosystem

Results from a National Survey of Community College Library Directors

How can the library be best positioned to continue enabling student and institutional success? The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystem research initiative seeks to examine how student-facing service departments—including academic libraries—are organized, funded, and staffed at community and technical colleges across the country. In February 2021, we surveyed 321 community college library directors to provide the community with a snapshot of current service provision, leadership perspectives on the impact of COVID-19, and challenges faced in making decisions and…
Blog Post
August 26, 2021

Staying Connected Through the Power of Technology

Centering Student Experiences

At the onset of the pandemic, higher education institutions across the country rushed to bolster digital infrastructure, to maintain both instructional continuity as well as academic and financial advising, so that students could stay enrolled and graduate. Many institutions also rapidly developed new services to accommodate student technology needs through device loaning programs and Wi-Fi partnerships, typically led by the library as gleaned through a series of roundtables conducted with library directors earlier this spring. While the initial investments…
Blog Post
August 16, 2021

Building Community During the Pandemic and Beyond

Centering Student Experiences

The Community College Academic and Student Support Ecosystem initiative began in 2019 as part of the Ithaka S+R research portfolio focused on understanding, measuring, and increasing student success at community colleges through a variety of departments and service providers. We have had the great fortune to work with a group of outstanding student advisors from across the country who contribute unique and vital perspectives as we shape recommendations…
Blog Post
August 2, 2021

Leading Community College Libraries During the Pandemic

Library Directors Share Their Experiences 

Community colleges and their students have faced enormous challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. Two-year colleges serve especially diverse student populations, including a high percentage of students of color, first-generation students, working students, and student parents, many of whom have been disproportionately impacted by the social, economic, and public health effects of the pandemic. Community colleges have made considerable efforts to meet student needs, despite having fewer resources than most four-year colleges and universities…