On Wednesday, UVA announced its intention to switch fully to online classes for the “foreseeable future,” amid the current COVID-19 outbreak.
The announcement comes just days after a back alley, midnight interaction between UVA President Jim Ryan and Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, in which Bacow attempted to peer pressure Ryan to make the switch.
“All the cool kids are doing it,” Bacow whispered into Ryan’s ear Monday night. “And you want to be a cool kid, don’t you? You want us to keep pretending you’re a ‘Public Ivy,’ don’t you?”
Bacow’s mildly threatening tactics are likely a result of online backlash from Harvard’s decision earlier this week to send all students home in the span of just five days.
Witnesses claim Bacow also called UVA a second-rate institution and told Ryan that UVA “was my safety school.”
“The whole Ivy League hates you,” Bacow purportedly said. “We all think you’re a loser. Do you want us all to keep thinking you’re a loser? You’ll never be great and good. In fact, if you don’t make your students go home, I’ll make sure you never become the #1 public university in the country.”
There are unconfirmed reports that Duke University’s president was also present for the altercation, and received similar pressure from Bacow.