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Fri Jul 10, 2020, 12:07 PM

"The Consensual Hallucination Phase" Of The Pandemic

ANDERSON COOPER: . . . I want to bring in Scott Galloway was a professor at the NYU Tisch School. Professor Galloway, when you look at the landscape for the upcoming fall semester, universities are all over the map and what they're doing, whether it's full in person instruction online, full online learning, how do you see this playing out?

SCOTT GALLOWAY, PROFESSOR, NYU STERN SCHOOL OF BUSINESS: So I think we're moving towards or I would say, we're exiting the consensual hallucination phase where we thought things would be somewhat back to normal. And right now you have a spectrum of Harvard going on online. Or a hybrid and then all the way to Purdue that still claiming they're going to welcome kids back to campus. A lot has changed, the curve, unfortunately has not been crushed much less flat and I think we're coming to the realization that there won't be any in-person classes.

I believe that over time, we will decide probably not to invite students to these small towns that I don't think are prepared for outbreaks. So I think slowly but surely we're headed towards a recognition that universities and academic institutions are the warriors against this virus. Not the spreaders or the enablers, and I think slowly but surely we're moving to an all online fall semester, Anderson


GUPTA: You've talked about Harvard going fully digital for their fall semester. And I know you say that the people are putting in their deposits now, paying their tuition and then are going to be told that they're going to be going digital, whatever it may be, but Harvard's classes, you actually compare it to Netflix, which is an association that I'm not sure any university wants to hear. What did you mean by that?

GALLOWAY: Well, somewhat snarky but there's some insight here. If you don't have the experience and you don't have in-person then, but effectively what you have is an institution that spends billions of dollars on content and then streams to you over broadband. And that looks, smells and feels somewhat similar to Netflix and Disney Plus, and we're charging you $120 a year and $80 a year. And now Harvard is effectively a streaming service charging $58,000 a year.

So a lot of the reason that universities have been so reticent to acknowledge that we're going fully digitally -- digital and fully online -- is a kind of- turns on this very ugly light that this 40 year party of academic institutions raising tuition and faster than inflation. The lights have come on, and it's pretty ugly in terms of the price value trade off. So I think a lot of us are coming to the recognition that, you know, universities become totally overpriced and a lot of families are now saying OK, I am not going to continue to engage in this trade off if I can have, if I'm only getting the certification, the education, not the experience, and unfortunately our industry is going to have to face the same economic pressures as every other industry and we haven't yet come to grips with that.

COOPER: I think I was in the hallucination phase when you first came on, Professor because I said you were with the Tisch School, I apologize. You're with the Stern School of Business at NYU. So I apologize for that.

GALLOWAY: No problem.

COOPER: Yes. But I love the phrase, by the way, the hallucination phase.


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