News and Notes, Leads and Quotes from the June 4th Private Press Panel “The Real-World Challenge of Getting Back to Campus”



  • Ray Lefebvre, vice chancellor and CIO at University of Massachusetts, Boston
  • Ryan Seilhamer, assist. Director of mobile strategy & innovation, University of Central Florida
  • Kevin Walthers, Ph.D, superintendent/president of Allan Hancock College in central California
  • Matt Willmore, formerly the MobileND program manager at Notre Dame, now senior director at Modo Labs

Top Quotes

“Being a college president usually means that you're also the chief parking enforcement officer and things like that, I never thought I'd be the amateur epidemiologist.” – Dr. Kevin Walthers

“Obviously, we live in earthquake country, so we've planned, and planned, and planned for active shooters, and chemical spills, and earthquakes. We never planned for this.” – Dr. Kevin Walthers

“…our students really want to get back on campus and they seem willing to do whatever they can to get back on campus. So, we're not finding the majority of our students being scared, they really want to be back.” – Ryan Seilhamer

“…it's not I have two separate college experiences. I want to have one college experience that spans being on campus and being remote. And I think that's what will stick.” – Matt Willmore


  • UMass Boston is experimenting with “immersive reality” experience for students and faculty.
  • Allan Hancock College has a “cranium café” that allows real-time chat between students and staff.
  • UCF will require everyone on campus – students, staff and faculty – to wear a mask in the fall.
  • Modo Labs has launched a mobile experience for the Fall's new student orientation.


On schools preparing for fall:

Dr. Walthers: “We're taking ideas from grocery stores, and restaurants, and things like that as we go forward.”

“I can tell you the math doesn't work. I literally went into one of our classrooms one night and there were 30 desks in the classroom … [then I pulled out desks] until there was six feet of space between every desk and every direction, there were 10 chairs left."

Ryan Seilhamer: “…right now we're running on the assumption that the campus will be no more than 30% capacity, so we're doing some things. For instance, I think nearly every class is going to be offered in a hi-flex or a blend-flex model.”

On CARES Act funding:

Dr. Walthers: “There is a lot of talk about that being 50% for students and 50% for the institution [but] you have to make sure that money gets out to the students in a meaningful way or you're not going to get that institutional money.”

Meeting tech needs of students:

Ryan Seilhamer: “…one kind of thing that was interesting to us is webcams are incredibly hard to find and if they're able to find them, they're incredibly expensive. … So we literally went around campus and pulled every webcam we could find in every office out. We even had faculty and staff donate their personal webcams to students.”

Ray Lefebvre: “We did a fundraising campaign for our alumni for 200 Chromebooks. And we purchased those Chromebooks and had a Chromebook loaner program. So, I think you'll find that's a really financially responsible way to proceed to get technology into students' hands.”

Dr. Walthers: “… we're going to try to actually piggyback on the city's internet fiber ring ... The idea is to get a company that will drop lines to the students' homes, we'll pay for it and get a discounted rate for volume and for the fact that's going to give that company access to other residential homes as well.

“… we're talking about working with the local K-12 districts to get the school buses out in the neighborhoods and put wifi beacons on those.”

See the time-stamped video transcript here:  
See the video here:  

About Pando Public Relations

Pando Public Relations works with companies and organizations in K-12 education, higher ed, workforce development, and training. Contact us for access to experts on any of these topics, including educators, administrators, teachers, or the executives and technology experts from our client companies. 

Pando Public Relations
705 East Bidwell Street
Suite 2-318
Folsom, CA 95630