Recent higher education news has been dominated by the ire of college and university officials at students failing to social distance, contributing to clusters and causing campuses like UNC Chapel Hill to close. Following a gathering of first-year students on the Quad, Syracuse University students received an e-mail from the Dean of Students accusing them of being “foolish” and “reckless.” J. Michael Haynie, Syracuse’s Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Innovation went one better, using the word “selfish” four times in his e-mail to students. Other universities are threatening students to try to change their behavior. “Do you want to be the person responsible for sending everyone home?” demanded Penn State’s President in an e-mail to students?
The broader context is that universities spent months