Our Weekend Roundup is released on Sunday mornings during the school year and features an engaging rundown of the news from the previous week in the form of a briefing. It also includes editors’ picks from other sections. Subscribe here to receive emails like this.
The University, originally projected to finish the year with a $126 million surplus, is now facing a $200 million reversal in consolidated budget due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sources of the disparity include changes to spring quarter financial aid and a decline in endowment payouts, according to the Stanford Board of Trustees.
Economic uncertainty and the lack of a definitive timeline for resuming in-person operations have slowed financial planning, but Provost Persis Drell told the Faculty Senate that the University needs to “prepare for perhaps the worst.” Though she said the budget outlooks remain uncertain, she noted that Stanford is asking all University units to prepare for “a 15% reduction in endowment payout and 10% reduction in general funds.”
On Wednesday, the University announced that it had asked the U.S. Department of Education to rescind its application for relief funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which would have granted Stanford almost $7.4 million in aid from the federal government. Stanford’s announcement, citing a desire to prioritize aid for smaller colleges and universities, came one one day after President Donald Trump criticized Harvard and other large institutions for seeking federal funding.
The study relied on antibody testing, in which the presence of specific antibodies confirms that a person either has COVID-19 or has recovered from the disease. Out of the 3,330 samples analyzed, 50 came back positive, indicating a crude prevalence rate of 1.5%. After adjusting by demographics and test accuracy, researchers’ preliminary findings estimated that between 2.49 and 4.16% of people in the county were infected as of early April.
But statisticians at Stanford and across the country are raising questions about sampling bias and statistical errors in the study’s design, including narrow confidence intervals in estimates and the potential for false positives. These factors, they contend, could make the results of the study less meaningful or even misleading, and criticism on Twitter has ranged from gentle to scathing.
Have an event you’d like featured in next week’s roundup? Let us know at [email protected].
Last week in “Humans of Stanford”
“I’m from a comparatively privileged background in Ecuador, but my parents immigrated from Colombia, and every year we go back to visit. During these moments, I live a very different lifestyle from the one here in the U.S. It just reminds me of where my family came from and how much they sacrificed. I’ve been able to see more impoverished conditions than most other people here, and this is part of the reason why I care about it more than others, I think. If anybody could see the things that I have, global poverty would matter much more to them.”
That’s all for this roundup. Though The Daily is suspending its print edition, we’ll continue to bring you updates on coronavirus, online spring and more through our email newsletters, social media platforms and our website, stanforddaily.com.