Open Society University Network and Talloires Network Launch COV-AID in Response to COVID-19 Pandemic

April 14, 2020

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Jen McAndrew

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLEMass. (April 14, 2020)—The Talloires Network (TN), housed at Tufts University, and the Open Society University Network (OSUN) today announced the launch of the OSUN-TN Educational Partnership with a new project aimed at supporting universities engaged in the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic: Communities Of Virtual Alliance & Inter-Dependence (or “COV-AID”). 

The pilot phase of COV-AID consists of two parts: a six month webinar series entitled “Adapting to the New Reality: Civically Engaged Universities Offer Strategies and Hope;” and a Student Engagement Award.

The webinar series is scheduled to begin April 13, 2020 and will feature  leaders from civically engaged universities around the world, including presidents, vice-chancellors, rectors, faculty, staff, and students. The first webinar panel will feature Bard College and OSUN Chancellor President Leon Botstein, Universidad Veracruzana rectora and Talloires Network vice chair Sara Ladrón de Guevara, and Tufts University President and Talloires Network Chair Anthony P. Monaco.  

The COV-AID Student Engagement Award will bring students at engaged universities around the world together to critically reflect on the ways in which they are adapting to changes in, and contributing to, civic life. Through the development of an online, international community of practice, a diverse coalition of students will share strategies, form strong and lasting ties, work together to advance and adapt best practices, and cultivate hope during a time of uncertainty.

“Higher education has an important role to play in helping society respond to this unprecedented public health crisis.  Every day, I hear inspiring stories of student, faculty and staff innovation and commitment in the face of COVID-19—at Tufts, and on campuses around the world,” said Tufts University President Anthony P. Monaco. “I am delighted that this new partnership with the Open Society University Network will help institutions in the Talloires Network meet the rapidly changing needs of their communities in this challenging time.” 

“There was never a time when universities have been more important, both in terms of addressing student and community needs and preparing for the re-starting of civic and public life in the wake of COVID-19,” said Bard College president and OSUN Chancellor Leon Botstein. “I am very pleased that one of OSUN’s first major projects is partnering with the Talloires Network because the civic role of the university plays a central role in our vision for OSUN.”

“Higher education institutions deal with knowledge and are recipients of their communities’ confidence, therefore, we share the responsibility of communicating reliable information to face the pandemic,” said Sara Ladrón de Guevara, Universidad Veracruzana rectora and vice chair of the Talloires Network. “The OSUN-TN partnership gathers our institutions and thus broadens our capacities.”

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About Open Society University Network

OSUN is a new global network that connects teaching, learning and research across geographic and demographic boundaries, promotes civic engagement on behalf of open societies, and expands access of underserved communities to higher education.

About Talloires Network

OSUN and TN share a a vision of a global higher education system that engages all students in their communities and encourages the exchange of ideas and collective action to change the world. The Talloires Network is an international association of more than 400 institutions in 78 countries committed to strengthening the civic roles and social responsibilities of higher education. It is housed at Tufts University and chaired by President Anthony P. Monaco.