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Podcast: Alumni help lead universities through the pandemic

In this podcast, three alumni in senior roles at major universities discuss their plans.
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From left: Eric Labaye, Erin Hoffman Harding, and Rufus Black

It’s the time of year in many parts of the world when university students are making preparations to return to classes. However, COVID-19 has made that return far from routine. To find out how different academic institutions are approaching the return, we spoke with three alumni in senior roles at universities around the world: Rufus Black (MEL 00-08), President of the University of Tasmania; Erin Hoffman Harding (CLE, CHI 97-05), Vice President for Student Affairs at Indiana’s University of Notre Dame; and Eric Labaye (PAR, NYO 85-18), President of L’Ecole Polytechnique in Paris.

They spoke to us about how the pandemic has affected their schools, their plans for the return to classes, how they’re thinking about the physical and mental well-being of faculty, students and staff, and what changes to higher education they believe may last beyond COVID-19.

Here are the topics covered in the 28-minute podcast:

  • How COVID-19 has affected university life
  • Handling the return to classes: Virtual, in-person, or both?
  • Balancing the needs of students and staff with different health risk profiles
  • Caring for the mental health of students, faculty, and staff
  • Potentially permanent shifts and changes to higher education
  • How McKinsey experience influenced the problem-solving approach

Listen here, or see below for a transcript.

Audio 1

If you prefer to read the interview, you can access a full transcript

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