COVID-19: Mitigating Risk and Liability for a Fall Reopening



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Is your institution prepared to navigate the liability and risk that accompany reopening in the fall?



If you’re a higher ed leader preparing to reopen campus in the fall, you are likely concerned with what the liability implications could be for your institution. What happens if a student gets sick—can the institution be held responsible? What happens if an employee of the institution does not follow COVID-19 protocols? How can you set proper expectations with students, parents, faculty, and staff about what they can expect for the fall 2020 semester?

In this virtual training, you’ll hear from three presenters about practical steps you can take at your own institution to help mitigate risk and promote compliance with safety procedures:

  • Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D., Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine
  • Nancy Conrad, Esquire, Chair of the Higher Education Group at White & Williams LLP
  • Karen Robinson, Senior Advisor at the Equity Research and Innovation Center at the Yale School of Medicine

You’ll have the opportunity to participate in a Q&A with our presenters and you will leave with a checklist of steps you can take right away.


Who Should Attend

Many institutions are preparing for a fall 2020 reopening that is anything but straightforward due to COVID-19. This training is designed for institutional leaders who want to learn practical steps they can take to mitigate risk and liability for their institution in light of these circumstances.

The Academic Impressions Online Learning Experience

Intentionally Designed
Online Learning

Our virtual trainings go far beyond just replicating PowerPoint presentations online: these experiences are intentionally designed to give you the kind of robust and dynamic learning experience you’ve come to expect from Academic Impressions. These trainings provide you with an active learning environment and an online space where you can explore ideas, get inspired by what your peers are doing, and understand the range of possibilities around a certain topic. You will leave these sessions with practical solutions that you can take back to your team or task force.

What you will get:

  • A dynamic, interactive, and high-touch virtual learning experience designed to engage and set you up for growth
  • Seamless online face-time, networking, group work, and Q&A opportunities from the comfort of your own workspace
  • Practical takeaways and hands-on knowledge
  • Guidance from vetted subject matter experts
  • Unlimited access to all recorded online sessions


August 5, 2020

11:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Eastern


COVID-19: Overview of the Current State of Affairs

11:00 - 11:10 a.m.
To set the stage and provide grounding for the conversation, we’ll first give a brief overview of the current state of the COVID-19 virus. With a focus on North America, you will learn about what the prevalence and spread of the virus looks like currently and how this impacts the risk of contracting it.


The Impact of COVID-19 on College Campuses

11:10 - 11:30 a.m.
Based on the current state of prevalence, spread, and risk factors around COVID-19, we now turn to the implications for institutions of higher education from a risk/liability standpoint. You will learn the different types of claims that can be filed against colleges and universities upon reopening in the fall. We will consider potential claims (such as breach of contract, negligence, etc.) and briefly discuss the elements of the claims and the defenses.



11:30 - 11:35 a.m.



Mitigating Risk Through Best Practices

11:35 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
We’ll walk you through a checklist of practical, concrete steps you can apply to your campus to mitigate risk and safeguard against potential claims. You’ll hear examples of best practices and procedures to adapt to your campus community. Themes will include:

  • The efficacy of informed consent and waivers
  • Communication with parents, students, employees, and faculty
  • Policies to revise or revisit
  • Recommendations around training for frontline employees and students




12:30 - 12:35 p.m.



Group Activity: Application Through Scenarios

12:35 - 1:00 p.m.

We’ll give you time to practice applying what you have learned by working in small groups around a hypothetical scenario. For example, what if students who have committed in writing to abide by mask-wearing and social distancing rules end up not following these rules? How will you respond, and what are the potential liabilities for your institution within that response?

We will reconvene as a larger group at the end of the exercise and you will share key takeaways.


Portrait of Arthur Caplan

Arthur L. Caplan, Ph.D.

Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor of Bioethics, NYU Grossman School of Medicine

Arthur is currently the Drs. William F. and Virginia Connolly Mitty Professor and founding head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU School of Medicine in New York City. Prior to NYU School of Medicine, Arthur was the Sidney D. Caplan Professor of Bioethics at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine in Philadelphia, where he created the Center for Bioethics and the Department of Medical Ethics.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Nancy Conrad

Nancy Conrad, Esq.

Chair of the Higher Education Group at White & Williams LLP

For more than 25 years, Nancy has represented colleges and universities in matters related to faculty, staff and students. She understands the unique challenges that exist on campus and is recognized for her depth of experience in analyzing and problem-solving controversial matters. She has litigated tenure-related disputes, academic integrity matters, student conduct cases and staff terminations.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.

Portrait of Karen Robinson

Karen A. Robinson

Senior Advisor at the Equity Research and Innovation Center, Yale School of Medicine

A career path starting in the White House and navigating the worlds of Operative National Politics, Public Policy, Investment Banking, Loss Mitigation/Risk Management solutions and Academia, has resulted in the contrarian leadership of a group of subsidiaries that focus on the consequences of social economics, health care, and public policy.

Read Speaker's Full Bio.


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