Universities with Hospitals and Labs

Mitch Daniels, the President of Purdue, has outlined a preliminary plan to reopen involving test, trace and supported isolation on campus.

We intend to know as much as possible about the viral health status of our community. This could include pre-testing of students and staff before arrival in August, for both infection and post-infection immunity through antibodies. It will include a robust testing system during the school year, using Purdue’s own BSL-2 level laboratory for fast results. Anyone showing symptoms will be tested promptly, and quarantined if positive, in space we will set aside for that purpose.

We expect to be able to trace proximate and/or frequent contacts of those who test positive. Contacts in the vulnerable categories will be asked to self-quarantine for the recommended period, currently 14 days. Those in the young, least vulnerable group will be tested, quarantined if positive, or checked regularly for symptoms if negative for both antibodies and the virus.

This paper provides details on transforming a university lab into a testing center. In essence, a major university with a hospital (which Purdue doesn’t have) should be able to do it technically but to work to reopen for students it probably has to be a university located outside of a major urban area. Here are a few possibilities:

  • Baylor University
  • Vanderbilt University
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
  • University of Virginia
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Utah
  • University of Alabama

Mitch Daniel also notes:

Our campus community, a “city” of 50,000+ people, is highly unusual in its makeup. At least 80% of our population is made up of young people, say, 35 and under. All data to date tell us that the COVID-19 virus, while it transmits rapidly in this age group, poses close to zero lethal threat to them.

which does seem to miss (ahem) an important group necessary for reopening.



I assumed he was referring to janitors. Or maybe cafeteria workers.

Pretty sure he was looking in the mirror.

Status-quo bias.

I just figured it was adjunct professors.

This could be a great tool for universities to get old, tenured professors who have retired on the job to actually retire.

"Meanwhile, the virus has proven to be a serious danger to other, older demographic groups, especially those with underlying health problems."

I.e. most faculty and staff

"We will consider new policies and practices that keep these groups separate, or minimize contact between them. ...They could include spreading out classes across days and times to reduce their size, more use of online instruction for on-campus students, virtualizing laboratory work, and similar steps."

More Happy Talk. We all want Universities to open and testing,tracing, and isolation protocols. But these desires are still just happy talk without real contingency plans for: what if cases overwhelm the university system? How do you maintain a closed system for staff, vendors and families over the long term of holidays etc.

Gil, why don't you find the person who reminds you most of little Jani von Neumann and ask him?

after you ask about all the effort the little fellow put into figuring out the potentials of nitrogen "igniting" - near zero effort, comparatively speaking, if the memoirs are accurate.
he was not that smart, to put so little effort into it,

remember, my young friends, the Chinese are a good-hearted people, and it was not the good-hearted Chinese people who inflicted this on us, it was ***international*** arrogance followed by CCP confusion and unprepared fear.

if you remember nothing I ever said, remember that.

"free linear algebra lessons" ---- no, that is not what you need....

anyway, look at 1919 after 1918, cheer up.

if that was cryptic, let me be helpful.

the ratio between what Jani von N, understood about the world and the reality the little fellow tried to describe was huge.

Everybody knows that, when they think about it rightly, even if Jani could have beaten them at chess, bridge, or in a Putnam competition.

Well, if he could have beaten you at all three, you probably think I do not know what I am talking about. But you are wrong, if that is the case.

"it probably has to be a university located outside of a major urban area."

Vanderbilt University doesn't qualify as being outside of a major urban area.

I think we can all agree Penn State would make the best guinea pig school. It's in the middle of nowhere and you're not going to miss either the students or the faculty if worst comes to worst.

Well as an Auburn graduate, I feel duty bound to heartily recommend the University of Alabama.


Now you're talkin' my language.

Auburn? No wonder your comments suck.

My comments suck for a whole lot of reasons. That may or may not be one of them. ;)

University of Utah is right in the heart of SLC. Is this not considered a major urban area?

Yes, as this and other comments point out, rather a strange list that Alex created, although we get his overall point.

Except for Minnesota, aren't most of the flagship and land grant universities between the Mississippi River and the Rockies, and north of Texas in small towns or at most very small cities?

Even within the Pac 12 conference, several of the universities are in small towns: Washington State Univ, both Univ of Oregon and Oregon State, and Colorado. And probably Arizona too, Tucson's not real large.

Daniels has a lot of dumb ideas about higher education but this might be workable. College campuses have hordes of outsiders traipsing in but with physical distancing, quarantining of sick students (who can watch their classes online), maybe it would work. Or even if it just sort of works, it could still be better than 100% online classes or postponing the academic year to the spring.

When having a meeting with a student, would it be better to meet in person -- but with 6 feet (probably 10 or 12 would be safer) of physical distancing, and both people wearing masks? Or to have a zoom meeting, where both can show their faces? In both cases the ability to have a real human conversation is compromised.

“Daniels has a lot of dumb ideas about higher education “. Please elaborate.


Less than one-quarter of the population received the swine flu inoculation, and the vaccine itself was associated with a paralyzing immune disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome, which caused more deaths than the virus it was supposed to prevent.

All medicines can cause side effects, including vaccines. Immunization programs like those for polio and smallpox are designed with that in mind, and with an aim toward protecting far more people than they harm. In the case of swine flu, there were only risks and no benefits, because an outbreak never occurred.
1976 Swine epidemic and mass immunization. Let us look up this immune disorder, but recognize the flu is a different virus family.

The exact cause of Guillain-Barré syndrome isn't known. The disorder usually appears days or weeks after a respiratory or digestive tract infection. Rarely, recent surgery or immunization can trigger Guillain-Barré syndrome. Recently, there have been a few cases reported following infection with the Zika virus.
In Guillain-Barré syndrome, your immune system — which usually attacks only invading organisms — begins attacking the nerves. In AIDP, the most common form of Guillain-Barré syndrome in the U.S., the nerves' protective covering (myelin sheath) is damaged. The damage prevents nerves from transmitting signals to your brain, causing weakness, numbness or paralysis.
But by 2014 what are they saying:

The role of cytokines in Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Lu MO1, Zhu J.
Author information
Cytokines play an important role in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases including Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS) and its animal model experimental autoimmune neuritis (EAN). In this article, we reviewed the current knowledge of the role of cytokines such as TNF-α, IFN-γ, IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12, IL-18, IL-23, IL-17, IL-10, IL-4 and chemokines in GBS and EAN as unraveled by studies both in the clinic and the laboratory. However, these studies occasionally yield conflicting results, highlighting the complex role that cytokines play in the disease process. Efforts to modulate cytokine function in GBS and other autoimmune disease have shown efficiency indicating that cytokines are important therapeutic targets.
Back to today, we are still not sure how this all plays. And that is the problem.

One very big difference with GBS and Covid is that GBS is not contagious through droplet/airbone contact, which is a different public health paradigm with respect to behavioral epidemiology. When administering any treatment, experimental, especially prophylactic, there is indeed a very large risk-benefit analysis to determine if the side effects are "worth it". I think ultimately the goal is to avoid something like a pitfall of side effects like a Pareto effect.

You missed the point of the post?

Sorry I’m not focused because I’m overwhelmed with all my gifts and being a mom

Scared boomers unable to teach online?

Are you arguing for every bio science student having a biomedical lab in their home, every manufacturing engineering student having machine tools, foundry, chemical refinery equipment in their family basement (much of this equipment is so heavy it needs concrete floors)?

None of the engineering I was interested in in my youth could be done by distance learning, first because the internet was two decades in the future, but only computer software engineering can be done at home even today. Try to fab a chip in your home, or build a rocket, or or an automated manufacturing line, or build tunnels faster.

There's a lot less of this productive use of university equipment and labs by undergrads than you think. I say this as a recent engineering grad from Purdue!

Labs are a product of the white patriarchy - they exist to further humiliate the marginalized underclass.

Listen to this EdR. I'm a product of the white patriarchy. I'm here to marginalize women and Blacks. EdR said so.


We can protect the most vulnerable and reopen the economy
Economy of scale effect. They really mean under sample the ARDS cases so they appear to be bunched up and handled by fewer hospitals. The effect is like Kling and PSST or Krugman and agglometarion. It seems backwards, but it makes the specialized clinics efficient. You do not have each hospital with ARDS staff waiting for the rare case.

This falls right out of the coloring process the Markov New method uses, coloring dots and doing agglomeration theory are the same thing, Krugman missed this effect, he was too early the math folks were not ready for him.

I feel for you, Alex. I'll be 55 in the fall and teach full time (non-tenure track) at Rowan U, so I see a lot of different undergrads in a week. But I support Mitch in his plan. I think that the young people in my classroom will likely have been exposed over the next 4 months anyway (young people socialize), so perhaps the danger is less than you might think. Would it be irresponsible to encourage them to go out and be sure to get infected well before August?

Actually, I'm mostly teaching in a big auditorium in the fall. I'll prop open the emergency exit to get more air flow (dilution/dispersion), and instead of telling them to sit close to the front like I usually do, I'll tell them to vacate the first 4 rows.

There is no studies that show age is a factor in this virus mortality. This is a fun house media mirror show and it is dangerous. People are rapidly losing trust in institutions. Libertarian populism is coming if responsible news sources don’t improve.

If you think this is a crank post please look for an original study that disproves it.

Mike, there may be a shortage of peer-reviewed journal articles, it that's what you mean, but the demographics of the death statistics make the age dependence pretty clear.

I don't need to disprove you; that's your problem; I can infer from the available data.

That's just a denial of reality. There are plenty of sources indicating that the death rate is strongly correlated with age.


in fact, that may even explain lower death rates in some poor countries


>There is no studies that show age is a factor in this virus mortality.

Right. The mean age of death for Wuhan Flu victims is in the 80s, but that doesn't mean anything. WE ARE ALL IN GREAT DANGER!!

Researchers from Britain analysed more than 3,600 confirmed COVID-19 cases as well as data from hundreds of passengers repatriated from the outbreak city of Wuhan.

They found that age was a key determining factor in serious infections, with nearly one in five over-80s requiring hospitalisation, compared to around 1 percent among people under 30."
I suppose you could argue "serious infections" isn't the same as mortality, but that seems like a fairly weak argument.

Mitch Daniels at Purdue has a big advantage in that his faculty is not unionized. Faculty unions will stand in the way of his sort of solution-based thinking at most universities. Unions always prioritize the needs of the faculty above those of the students.

"which does seem to miss (ahem) an important group necessary for reopening."

Maybe have the grad students do the teaching for the over 55yo professors.

"Maybe have the grad students do the teaching for the over 55yo professors."

So, pretty much status quo, then? ;)

Exactly. The prof can observe the class online and make points.

I suspect these noble efforts will be eclipsed by existing business contracts, especially among those institutions that aren't involved with ownership or controls of its suppliers, distributors, or "retail" locations to *control its value* and supply chains. Maybe less dependence on commercial resources of viral RNA could be a "buffer", albeit temporary one in a fluctuating market economy.

Texas Tech fits that bill too.

Dartmouth might work. Has a teaching hospital, a small but active engineering school, and not so many students. Definitely is remote.

I don't know about this. Students at some universities are suing the universities for what I understand is breach of contract: charging them full freight even though the campuses aren't open and only online classes are available. Now Purdue wants to use said students as lab rats. Some folks have been promoting Human Challenge (Drug) Trials, but Mitch Daniels wants to implement a College Student Lab Rat Trial. And I thought the days of the large universities were numbered: Goodbye, Columbus! It's amazing how when most people see catastrophe, a few see opportunity. Bill Ackman made $2.6 billion from OPM (other peoples' misery) from an investment of only $27 million. And he didn't use humans as lab rats, only suckers. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/opinion/coronavirus-hedge-funds.html

Yes, contract-driven...

Do we have any studies demonstrating students gain anything from a professor's presence in addition to their proximity to classmates? Until we can examine the credentials and GRE score of anyone making the claim professors must be physically present rather than telepresent we shouldn't rush into following any kind of concern about getting the elderly on campus tested.

“ which does seem to miss (ahem) an important group necessary for reopening.”

The personnel that sell spots to the children of Hollywood celebrities?

Baylor university in Waco, TX does not have a medical school. The Baylor College of Medicine is in Houston and is a separate organization.

Texas Tech would be a much better university in Texas. University of New Mexico should also be able to do it except for being more of a commuter school.

Oh good, they're going to test people w/symptoms... our experience shows that should only miss... 90% of cases.


i mean, if they test everyone w/o antibodies once a week or something then okay, that's a reasonable, if unwieldy plan that in concert w/social distancing might prevent most infections... testing the "symptomatic" could mean a lot of things but if it means "similar to the guidelines we use now" then please just set fire to all the money instead

Off topic for this post : Remdesivir is being elevated to standard of care. for the placebo groups. It's not clear cut evidence of a magic bullet by any means, but it's pointing in the right direction.
Given early in the treatment and in conjunction with an immunosuppressive drug such as Tocilizumab later in the treatment for the severe cases, this might really improve disease severity and death rates.

yep seems like every week we see another treatment show some promise

That there's no consensus here on whether to test (a) the symptomatic or (b) the asymptomatic may be reason for pessimism, but there's no consensus here on what caused the great depression or the great recession and that doesn't give rise to pessimism in the economics academy. Using college students as lab rats is based on the premise they are healthy and can take a little virus, but doesn't that imply that most will be asymptomatic and, therefore, the asymptomatic should be tested?

“ which does seem to miss (ahem) an important group necessary for reopening.”

I guess that's why that other school wanted to try the weird hybrid, of kids on campus and online instruction.

I say go fully online for a year. Maybe it won't be perfect. But some progress will be made. And any errors can be cleaned up later.

The University of Michigan is only slightly outside a major metro area (about 45 miles from downtown Detroit). The University medical center in Ann Arbor has been treating overflow patients from the three Detroit Metro counties where cases have been high. But UM's Covid numbers have been declining (it never opened its planned temporary field hospital) and the medical center is right next campus, so it would easily accessible to students. Also UM (unlike some other state universities) has yet to indicate that it's planning for online teaching in the fall.

New Imperial College model forecasting Ro for multiple countries. What does these numbers mean for both Bolsonaro and AMLO?

Top 3 Ro:
Brazil 2.81
Ireland 2.24
Mexico 1.90


The medical school associated with the University of Alabama is at UAB in Birmingham, not in Tuscaloosa. That's less than an hour away, but the logistics would be complicated and it wouldn't simply be a matter of directing a student across campus for testing/follow up.

Reopening colleges is a horrible idea. Instead of coercing students into risking their and the lives of their families, the federal government should authorize the accreditation of non- institutionally affiliated testing services so that independent self-directed learners can achieve accredited diplomas, degrees, and other credentials through stand alone testing services.

And all federal aid to colleges and universities should be limited to loans.

Why do I get the feeling you'd have the same opinion if there were no virus?

Schools, higher ed or K12, are documented as being vectors for increases in medically-assisted, acute respiratory infections (ARI). A rise in ARIs is correlated with the start of school. Residential universities are known for disease outbreaks, such as meningitis, Mumps, etc. And the younger the students, the more likely they are unvaccinated for childhood diseases.

Not just COVID-19, but any of those will force a campus closure under the current attitudes. And that means the students will have debt, but won't be getting the education they paid for.

Not to mention, outside of healthcare or sick household settings, the majority of super spreader events were social, work or religious group activities. Group singing, yelling, loud talking over noise, are features, but the primary was Prolonged, Close-Range, Face-to-face Conversations. That is the stock in trade of all schooling. Fifty minutes in a poorly ventilated classroom breathing in the spittle of others is good way to have an outbreak.

And this doesn't address the likely move toward majors that lead to jobs that are "essential". More students are going to want their degree to lead to a job where they are useful.

So your plan is to tell 20-year-olds to live with their parents, and have no contact with any other young person for 18 months? That's not a solution.

What are y'all worrying about? "It will include a robust testing system ..."

See? Robust! Can't fail.

then 85 new cases reported. Across Fresno, Kings, Madera, Mariposa, Merced and Tulare counties, there are more than 1,300 cases and 49 deaths attributed to the virus.

Fresno County, which counted 521 cases as of Tuesday afternoon.
Latest update fro the Ag valley.

Another state of my own. I* searched for the 1957 flu pandemic in Bakersfield, one of the hottest towns in the USA. The Flu broke out the winter before. I searched and searched the new archives and could not find one mention of it in the Bakersfield news sources. That Flu virus died out sooner than it could run across a very hot city. Heat does indeed make a difference, in my opinion. I will soon test the theory, it is getting hotter than hades around Fresno.

Syracuse University and Upstate Medical - adjacent campuses.
University of Rochester and its medical school.

The replacement of tenure track faculty with adjuncts shows how dispensable tenure-track faculty are.

Add Duke to that list.

"Universities with Hospitals and Labs": a university without Hospitals and Labs is scarcely a university.

A few have been pointed out already - it used to be common to put a university in the country and its medical college in a city - hence U of Georgia is in Athens (still not a considerable city) and the medical college is in Augusta, U of Texas in Austin and the medical college in Galveston, the university in Knoxville and the medical college in Memphis. You need a body of poor sick people to practice on in the medical college's hospital.

Students deserve refunds for the closures.

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