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Campus Technology Insider

Podcast: Inside University of Kentucky’s Pandemic Response Team

Campus Technology Insider Podcast

The Campus Technology Insider podcast explores current trends and issues impacting technology leaders in higher education. Listen in as Executive Editor Rhea Kelly chats with ed tech experts and practitioners about their work, ideas and experiences.

Inside University of Kentucky's Pandemic Response Team

The fall semester is beginning, and we are finally starting to see reopening plans play out at colleges and universities across the country. Of particular interest are those that are pursuing an in-person campus experience. Will students comply with social distancing measures? Can the inevitable COVID-19 cases be managed and contained? Unfortunately, some institutions are already finding out that in their case, the answer is no. The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for example, was the first to switch back to fully online, after just one week of on-campus classes and a growing number of COVID-19 clusters.

Eric Monday

Dr. Eric Monday

For this episode of the podcast, I wanted to find out how the pandemic decision-making process works. I spoke with Dr. Eric Monday, who is executive vice president for finance and administration at the University of Kentucky, and also the chair of UK's Pandemic Response Team. He has extensive experience in crisis management, going back to when he assisted with Louisiana State University's response to Hurricane Katrina.

At the time of this recording, UK had about a week of in-person classes under its belt. As of August 22nd, it had tested more than 22,000 students, with a positivity rate of just 1.1%, and the university recently embarked on phase 2 of its testing and retesting plan, focusing in on specific campus populations at higher risk of exposure to the virus. So, no sign of flipping to online yet.

I asked Eric about how UK's Pandemic Response Team is structured, what types of data they monitor, what kinds of challenges they have been working through, and how they are approaching contingency planning.

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About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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