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Education’s Moment

I am frequently asked about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on WAICU-member colleges and universities. Generally, those asking are focused on the fiscal and economic impact.

This edition of the Independent includes a special insert outlining some of the serious, even threatening, fiscal challenges we face. In addition, it has to be acknowledged that, on the positive side of the ledger, a lot has been discovered; a lot has been learned. We learned about the virus, how it developed, how it is transmitted, the symptoms it produces, the treatments in progress, and the cures anticipated.

More than that, we have learned in a profound and deeply human way lessons about loss and recovery. Education is about more than facts. It also is about the societal, psychological, philosophical, and spiritual constructs we apply to these facts. It takes education to learn of the origins, spread, and treatment and/or prevention of the disease. It also takes education to make judgments about decisions between life and death, the allocation of scarce resources, and about balancing the competing claims of public health and the economy.

Truly, this is “education’s moment.”


Rolf Wegenke, Ph.D. President