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Voices of Expertise & Experience: Insights to Inform Responses to COVID-19’s Impact on Financial Security and Higher Education

The TIAA Institute is publishing informed perspectives that can guide strategic planning and decisions arising from the pandemic. The authors of these briefs—who include Institute staff, Institute Fellows, and other subject matter experts—draw from existing Institute research and their expertise to share innovative ideas and insights on relevant financial and operational issues, related to both personal and institutional recovery.

In addition to the briefs, there are longer pieces that bring forward expert voices tapped through Institute interviews and discussions with leading thinkers. Topics include the pandemic’s effects on recent graduates, ways to promote financial security during increased market volatility, and how institutional leaders are confronting intensified operational and strategic challenges. New perspectives are added each month.


The following briefs reflect on how the COVID-19 crisis might influence academic workforce decisions and what institutions can do in response.

Does place still matter? The future of higher education depends on vibrant local communities

Nicholas Longo, Providence College

Deliberative pedagogy: Staging grounds for democratic renewal

Nicholas Longo, Providence College

Higher education leaders’ perspectives on impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic

TIAA Institute

COVID-19: What the pandemic might mean for mergers in higher education?

Ricardo Azziz, University at Albany, SUNY

COVID-19: Will the pandemic worsen U.S. higher education's excess capacity?

Ricardo Azziz, University at Albany, SUNY

The new normal: Higher education in a post-COVID-19 world

TIAA, EY-Parthenon

Reframing decision making in the current crisis

James C Hearn, University of Georgia

A pandemic opportunity? Reassessment of institutional patterns and practices

Herman Berliner, Hofstra University

The importance of equity-minded leadership during dual pandemics

Wil Del Pilar, The Education Trust

Can strategic alliances move higher education beyond its “Digital Dunkirk Moment” to build our next-generation learning infrastructure?

Michael K. Thomas, New England Board of Higher Education

How might faculty roles & engagements evolve in light of the global pandemic?

Adrianna J. Kezar, University of Southern California

What key considerations should guide redesigning the academic workforce?

Gregg Kvistad, University of Denver

How will COVID-19 affect faculty retirements?

Paul Yakoboski, TIAA Institute

Can the reluctant retiree phenomena be addressed?

Paul Yakoboski, TIAA Institute

How do faculty decide whether and when to retire?

Paul Yakoboski, TIAA Institute

Three key questions for higher education philanthropy in 2020 and beyond

Genevieve G. Shaker, IUPUI Lilly Family School of Philanthropy



These briefs consider how individuals prepare for, and navigate, financial shocks.

How has COVID impacted retirement readiness among healthcare workers?

Paul Yakoboski, TIAA Institute

Can households effectively mitigate COVID-19 portfolio risk?

Brent Davis, David P. Richardson, TIAA Institute

How can near-retirees limit the net worth impacts of COVID-19?

Brent Davis, TIAA Institute

Are Americans financially resilient to weather COVID-19?

Paul Yakoboski, TIAA Institute

How will the pandemic affect Gen Y financial planning?

Conrad Ciccotello, University of Denver