Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, February 20, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Richard Veit, an anthropologist at Monmouth University, offers a historical profile of Point Breeze, the lavish garden heDoes the "he" refer to Joseph Bonaparte, as it says in the hed, not Richard Veit? sb brought to life on his New Jersey estate. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:00am

Illinois's new governor, Bruce Rauner, this week proposed a $387 million cut to the state's higher education budget. About $209 million of that will come from the University of Illinois -- that's nearly one-third of the system's state subsidy. 

"A budget cut of that magnitude would substantially harm our students and the people of Illinois by most severely impacting the university’s core education and research missions," Robert Easter, the president of the three-campus system, said in a statement. He promised to vigorously lobby against the cuts. While the governor is a Republican, Democrats have the majority in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly.

Illinois is one of the few states to see dramatic increases in higher ed spending in the last few years, but none of the money has gone into the classroom -- instead, the state has been ponying up hundreds of millions of dollars to fund a broken pension system.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:00am

William Mitchell College of Law, a free-standing institution, and the law school of Hamline University will merge, the institutions have announced. Both are located in St. Paul. The combined law school will be known as Mitchell|Hamline School of Law and "will be an autonomous, nonprofit institution governed by an independent board of trustees, with a strong, visible and long-lasting affiliation to Hamline University," said a statement from the Mitchell law school. An analysis in MinnPost noted that both law schools have been seeking more students, but that many experts believe that the Minnesota legal education scene has more law schools than it may need.


Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 4:29am

The University of California System has pushed back a planned 5 percent tuition increase from the summer quarter to the fall quarter, The Sacramento Bee reported. The move comes amid discussions between system officials, who say the increase is needed, and Governor Jerry Brown, a Democrat who wants the increase to be abandoned. University officials have indicated that with more state support they might not need the tuition increase. “We are doing this as a good-faith gesture, optimistic that the ongoing negotiations will bear fruit,” said Janet Napolitano, president of the university.


Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:00am

A California judge has cleared the way for the City College of San Francisco to seek a reconsideration of its accreditor's decision to revoke recognition, The Los Angeles Times reported. The decision had been expected based on a preliminary ruling last month by the judge.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:00am

The New York Times and CIG Education Group on Wednesday announced the media organization's latest ed-tech initiative: NYT EDUcation, an online platform that will offer everything from college preparatory courses to continuing education for adult learners. The Times has for years debated its role in a market trending toward digital, most recently and prominently in a leaked innovation report. The courses offered through NYT EDUcation will draw on the "authoritative content and intellectual breadth of The New York Times," the media company said in a press release.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:00am

Learning management system provider Instructure is inching closer to an initial public stock offering, and on Wednesday the company announced it had raised another $40 million in investor funding. The company, which develops the Canvas LMS, will use the funding to expand its presence in the corporate learning management system with Bridge. To date, Instructure has raised about $90 million in investor funding.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 4:26am

The Center for American Progress is today releasing a new paper on how to provide, as the paper's title says, "College for All." The paper says that a variety of changes in policies should enable all high school graduates to receive support up to the level of tuition at a public college or university in the state. Students who attend private colleges would receive the equivalent amount toward their expenses. Students at community colleges would receive support sufficient to cover the full costs of attendance.

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:00am

A mapping project by the City University of New York takes a stab at figuring out how diverse its students are compared to the neighborhoods that surround the system’s two dozen campuses.

A researcher at the Futures Initiative, a new CUNY project meant to look at teaching and learning across the system, found the diversity of the student population tends to match that of neighboring communities. About 80 percent of CUNY students come from New York City. The analysis compared campus demographics to the demographics of neighborhoods within a mile of the campus.

Cathy Davidson, the director of the Futures Initiative, said the findings give her a sense of the “texture of who lives in a city” that other demographic research might not. She also suggested in an interview that the data refute “click bait” articles that suggest CUNY is turning away from enrolling a diverse student population.

The research does, however, show that several of the colleges that have received that criticism -- notably in a controversial and heavily corrected piece in The Atlantic ­-- are whiter than their surrounding neighborhoods.

CUNY’s map of itself does not measure changes over time or establish whether the students actually came from the neighborhoods surrounding their campuses.

Some researchers of diversity, including Roger Worthington, a University of Maryland professor who edits the Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, note that other, more complex research looks into diversity by exploring not just demographic percentages but also how included students feel. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015 - 3:00am

The Big 12 Conference announced a new policy for diagnosing and managing concussions Wednesday, requiring member institutions to follow guidelines released in July by the National Collegiate Athletic Association and giving full autonomy to medical staff in deciding when an athlete can return to play.

“Our membership has developed a comprehensive diagnosis and management policy that asserts the unchallengeable authority of medical practitioners in overseeing the welfare of our student-athletes in this very important area,” Bob Bowlsby, commissioner of the Big 12, said. “This policy goes beyond what was approved during the recent N.C.A.A. Autonomy Governance, and puts all associated protocols where they belong: in the hands of trained medical staff.”

The policy approved during the Power Five conferences' autonomy rule-making session last month was much contested, as it did not give medical staff the final say in concussion protocols and whether a player could return to the field.


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