New Survey of College Faculty and Staff Finds Divide Around Campus Reopening, Masking and Vaccine Mandates
WATERTOWN, Mass., Sept. 14, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Nearly two-thirds of college campuses are on track for a full reopening this fall, but less than half require vaccines for students or faculty, according to a national survey of higher education professionals released by Liaison International, the provider of the widely-used technology platform that has processed more than 2.5 million college applications across more than 1,000 colleges and universities. As new variants of COVID-19 continue to throw plans for the fall semester into doubt, faculty and staff continue to express concern and uncertainty about campus reopenings and COVID-19 policies, but 71% feel ready to shift to work or teach virtually if campuses switch to virtual operations and classes.
"The long-term impact of COVID-19 on higher education is yet to be determined, but this important research gives us a glimpse into how colleges and universities, in various regions around the country, are moving forward," said George Haddad, founder and CEO of Liaison. "It remains to be seen which approach will be most effective in managing the lingering effects of the pandemic, but clearly there is a sense of optimism as campuses move into the new academic year."
The report surveyed more than 900 faculty and staff members at U.S. colleges and universities to gauge the perspectives of higher education professionals on a range of issues related to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic during the 2021-2022 academic year. Faculty and staff identified keeping a regular schedule (53%), communication with coworkers (42%) and concerns around last-minute enrollment and course registration (43%) as the top challenges they are seeing this semester.
Other findings from Liaison's COVID-1 Impact study include:
"Faculty and staff have shown a remarkable degree of resilience and adaptability despite the prolonged uncertainty around campus operations, instruction and student enrollment," said Dr. Joshua Schwartz, a professor at SUNY Schenectady and Montgomery County Community College. Dr. Schwartz, who is also a staff member at Liaison, co-authored the report with Nicole Hunt, Liaison's product marketing specialist. "These findings suggest that faculty and staff continue to be concerned about the personal and professional impact of COVID-19, but also feel surprisingly well-prepared to teach and work in a remote environment as we enter the next phase of the pandemic."
Conducted between August 4 and August 20, 2021, Liaison International fielded the survey using an online survey questionnaire sent to faculty, staff and administrators at 3,106 higher education institutions across the United States with 901 responses. The respondents included both full- and part-time faculty and staff: 45% of survey respondents were faculty, 21% were support staff, 10% were advisors or counselors, 20% were directors or assistant directors and 2% were vice presidents or executive directors.
About Liaison International: Through a powerful combination of technology and services, Liaison helps over 31,000 undergraduate, graduate and postbac programs across more than 1,000 campuses achieve their recruitment, admissions, enrollment and student success goals. Liaison's solutions include its Centralized Application Service (CAS), TargetX and Othot as well as the Enrollment Marketing Platform (EMP), SlideRoom and Time2Track.
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