On Tuesday, Harvard University announced they’d be moving all courses and events online, in an attempt to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

Former Massachusetts Secretary of Education and Harvard graduate professor Paul Revile joined Boston Public Radio on Thursday to discuss the school’s decision.

"This is devastating for a lot of the students,” Reville said. “Many of the students I teach are only here for a year, and a quarter of their year now are not going to be able to be on campus.”

He said that students will still be involved, if only remotely.

"We’ll be doing courses and they’ll be getting educational support in a technical way,” he said.

Harvard isn’t the only university to cancel in-person classes. UMass, Columbia, Princeton, and others took similar measures this week.

When asked why other schools are holding out, Reville joked that “this is the disadvantage of living in a Democracy.”

"These are very tough calls to make because there’re profound implications,” he continued, striking a more serious tone. “Not least of which we haven’t been discussing… what are the financial implications of all this? And the disruption that it creates in people’s lives."

Reville is a professor at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, where he also runs the Education Redesign Lab. His latest book, co-authored with Elaine Weiss, is "Broader, Bolder, Better: How Schools and Communities Help Students Overcome the Disadvantages of Poverty.