Much has surely changed for us all over the first part of 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted how we work, how we learn and how we plan for the future. Like you, the HighEdWeb Association has been closely monitoring the pandemic, and it’s clear that this ongoing crisis deeply affects all areas of our lives, both today and for months to come.
We have often said that you, the members of our community, ARE HighEdWeb. That is 100% true. That also means it is our job, as your Association, to sometimes make hard decisions that — for all their difficulty — are clearly the best choices to ensure our community’s health and well-being.
As much, the hard decision was made that the HighEdWeb 2020 Annual Conference will no longer take place in Little Rock, Arkansas, but will instead be held this October as a fully online / digital event.
We know this news may be disappointing; trust us, it was not an easy choice. Spending face-to-face time to connect and learn together is always the highlight of our year, too. We know, though, as we look at the information before us, this is the right call to make. In the interest of transparency, we considered a number of criteria in our decision making, including:
- Travel restrictions that significantly affect a large proportion of attendees.
- Projected length and timeframe of ongoing pandemic event.
- Federal, state or local government recommendations to cancel or significantly restrict access to public spaces or large events.
- CDC recommendations to cancel and/or severely limit in-person events.
- Financial impact for members and member institutions to attend an in-person event that requires travel.
So what does this all mean? What will HEWeb20 look like? Honest answer: the transition to online is still being mapped out, but as details firm up we promise you’ll be the first to know. What we *do* know is that this is a unique opportunity to come together and serve the excellence and connection of the Annual Conference in a whole new, digital format — and who better to make that happen than our incredible HighEdWeb community?!
If you submitted an HEWeb20 presentation proposal, hang tight — you should receive more information via email from our program committee very soon.
So let’s do this, HighEdWeb. Let’s stay apart together, and see what new and wonderful things emerge. In the meantime, thank you for your patience and understanding. Stay home, stay safe, be well.