Universities are tasked with contact tracing collecting data, and enforcing distancing protocols as they follow health and safety recommendations

How technology is helping to keep campuses safe during COVID-19


Universities are tasked with contact tracing collecting data, and enforcing distancing protocols as they follow health recommendations

Bringing everyone back to campus safely and keeping them healthy once they’ve returned is the top priority for higher-education leaders at this time, and campus CIOs are heavily involved in this planning.

A Kaplan survey of admissions officers at more than 300 colleges and universities across the United States in September suggests that institutions have done only a fair job so far of reopening their campuses safely. When asked to grade their success as an industry, only 4 percent gave these efforts an “A.” Half rated their efforts as a “C” — and 10 percent gave a “D” or an “F.”

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“I think that too many tried to reopen in person without enough safety precautions in place. Too many students got sick, and then if those universities closed and switched to online, those students potentially spread the virus even more when they moved back home,” one survey respondent noted.

There are some notable exceptions — institutions that have taken creative steps to inform their campus community and reduce the spread of the virus as they’ve reopened. And technology has played a key role in these strategic initiatives.