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Today, Vice President Mike Pence led a discussion with higher education leaders from across the country to discuss the all-of-America approach to respond to COVID-19 and drive America’s phased economic revival.

Vice President Pence, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and White House Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx discussed best practices to get students back to school in the Fall.

They discussed guidance released by President Trump and the CDC which calls upon colleges and universities to develop, implement and maintain a plan to ensure the health and safety of students, faculty and staff. The Vice President thanked everyone on the call for their hard work in accomplishing this goal.

President Trump’s leadership and the efforts of the American people have saved lives, slowed the spread of the coronavirus and allowed states to begin opening up. These college and university leaders discussed possible options to re-open their campuses for students, faculty and staff safely and responsibly. Many participants on the call discussed working groups they developed on campus to provide data-driven strategies for re-opening. Participants discussed the importance of opening and maintaining research labs to assist with COVID-19 research, testing and tracing.

The discussion provided insight into a new chapter of re-opening America, and what colleges and universities are doing to meet their individual needs, aligned with state leadership. The Vice President thanked the group for their commitment to safely re-open their institutions, and indicated he looked forward to additional updates on progress in the near future.

Participants on the call:
  • President of Purdue University and the 49th governor of Indiana Mitch Daniels, Jr.
  • President of University of Texas- El Paso and the 24th Secretary of Air Force Dr. Heather Wilson
  • President of Hillsdale College Dr. Larry Arnn
  • President of Marquette University Dr. Michael Lovell
  • President of the University of Virginia James E. Ryan
  • Chancellor of the University of Alabama System Fess St. John IV
  • President of University of Florida Dr. W. Kent Fuchs
  • President of University of Notre Dame Rev. John Jenkins
  • President of Carnegie Mellon University Dr. Farnam Jahanian 
  • President of The Ohio State University Dr. Michael V. Drake
  • President of Stanford University Dr. Marc Tessier-Lavigne
  • President of Wake Forest University Dr. Nathan Hatch
  • President of Arizona State University Dr. Michael Crow
  • President of Hampton University Dr. William R. Harvey