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Podcast: Emily Oster and the Role of the Public Intellectual

FutureU podcast hosts Michael B. Horn and Jeff Selingo chat with Emily Oster; Royce Family Professor of Teaching Excellence and Professor of Economics at Brown University, about reopening schools and colleges, the dynamics of being a public intellectual on a university campus, and how she deals with criticism.

Oster, who has spent the past few months tracking data on Covid-19 cases in K-12 schools, was also on the reopening committee for Brown.

"Higher ed is in some ways more complicated and some ways less complicated than K-12 schools, " Oster says. "Higher ed is a high risk environment because of the mixing with the community, the age of the students....It's also the case that higher ed institutions have lots of resources" to deal with the crisis. Brown, for instance, has had some success with "a huge amount of testing and a huge amount of restrictions," she says.

Listen to the podcast

This podcast is created and produced by higher education experts Jeff Selingo and Michael Horn.  Selingo, a FutureEd senior fellow and former editor of The Chronicle of Higher Education, is special advisor and professor of practice at Arizona State University, and a visiting scholar at Georgia Tech’s Center for 21st Century Universities. Horn is chief strategy officer for the Entangled Group, an education investment firm,  and a senior partner at Entangled Solutions, an education consulting company.  Selingo and Horn can be contacted here. Future U is supported by the Academy for Innovative Higher Education Leadership, a partnership between Arizona State University and Georgetown University, and by Entangled Solutions.
Photo courtesy of Allison Shelley/The Verbatim Agency for American Education: Images of Teachers and Students in Action
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