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Lucie Lapovsky to Receive Donna Shavlik Award at ACE2016

American Council on Education - 3 hours 1 min ago
The award will be given at ACE2016, ACE’s 98th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, during the Women's Leadership Dinner. The Michigan ACE Network for Women Leaders in Higher Education also will be recognized.

Lawyer attempts first-ever class action lawsuit for college students accused of sexual assault

Inside Higher Ed - 5 hours 31 min ago

In a groundbreaking move, the first-ever prospective class-action lawsuit that would benefit students accused of sexual assault has been filed against a university, potentially reversing the outcomes of dozens of sexual violence cases.

Experts say the suit against Michigan State University is a clever legal maneuver that takes advantage of a significant ruling in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Judges determined in September 2018 that students accused of sexual assault, or their representatives, had a right to directly question their accuser, which legal experts said would reshape the notion of due process in these cases.

The lawsuit could theoretically challenge, even retroactively, the results of any campus sexual violence case that didn’t offer due process protections.

Advocates for accused students have long maintained that institutions disregard due process rights in investigating and adjudicating campus rape charges, ever since the Obama administration in 2011 released guidance around Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal sex antidiscrimination law.

Though these rules were popular among sexual assault survivor advocates for giving victims more protections, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos pulled them nearly two years ago and replaced them with regulations that have not yet been finalized. These regulations, and other rulings in the Sixth Circuit, have asserted that students are entitled to due process under Title IX.

“If those protections are inherent in law, all decisions made without those protections could be revisited by the courts as procedurally insufficient to meet due process,” said Brett Sokolow, president of the Association of Title IX Administrators. “The Sixth Circuit opened the door to this, and now it’s going to need to figure out how to clean up the mess.”

The lawsuit was filed by a male student, who is anonymous in the court filings and referred to as John Doe. He was accused of sexually assaulting his date to a fraternity party in February 2018. He sued Michigan State in December 2018.

The lawsuit states that Doe believed he and the female student were just friends after she rejected a kiss from him earlier that year. But at the party, the female student kissed him, giving him the impression that she was interested in him, the lawsuit states.

According to the lawsuit, Doe asked the student to return to his dormitory, and she agreed. Although Doe initially believed their sexual activities in his room were consensual, the woman “appeared uncomfortable and was shivering” after he started to initiate sex, the lawsuit states.

The female student left shortly after the encounter, and Doe thought that she regretted going home with him. But around 3 a.m., he received a text from a mutual friend saying that she was told that Doe forced himself on the student.

Several days later, the student with whom he had the sexual encounter reported the alleged assault to the Office of Institutional Equity. After an investigation, Doe was suspended from Michigan State for two years. The lawsuit alleged that investigators were biased and ignored conflicting statements from the female student.

The suit notes that Michigan State was already under scrutiny for mishandling sexual assault allegations by female students, which Doe suggested affected the outcome of his case.

Around the same time that Doe was accused, a scandal was unfolding at Michigan over the long-term conduct of Larry Nassar, a former team physician at the university and a doctor for the U.S.A. gymnastics team who was found to have sexually abused hundreds of patients, including Michigan State athletes. Officials were widely criticized for allegedly ignoring students’ complaints about Nassar’s conduct. (​Lou Anna K. Simon, Michigan State's former president, lost her job over the controversy and faces charges for possibly lying to police during the criminal investigation.)

At the time, the university was also under investigation by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights for potentially violating Title IX in its handling of complaints unrelated to the Nassar case.

“Determined to placate OCR, to avoid the potential loss of millions of dollars in federal funding, to restore its reputation, and to protect itself from future liability, defendants … launched a campaign to -- in its own words -- go ‘above and beyond’ even OCR’s demands, and to ‘drive cultural change,’ prosecuting female students’ sexual assault claims aggressively, proving its willingness to believe female students who claimed sexual assault, and convicting and punishing alleged assailants,” the lawsuit states.

Andrew Miltenberg, the lawyer representing the accused student, amended the complaint this month and requested class-action status. The court would need to be persuaded that enough current or former students accused of sexual misconduct may have been denied due process to justify them as a class. Michigan State could also request that the case not be classified as a class action. A spokeswoman for the university declined to comment.

Miltenberg, a managing partner at Nesenoff & Miltenberg, said his client is not asking for monetary damages, but rather that sanctions imposed on these students be reversed.

Several Michigan State students have approached his firm about flaws they perceived in their Title IX cases and problems with the university’s processes, he said. After researching the number of potential accused students and after the Sixth Circuit decision in September, Miltenberg said he believed the class action was possible.

Miltenberg said he believes “several hundred” current and former students could be affected.

The lawsuit includes statistics on sexual violence that universities must disclose under federal law. Michigan State fielded 86 reports of sex crimes in 2017, with similar numbers in 2015 and 2016. If the lawsuit was successful, the findings in all those cases could be overturned. These numbers may be inaccurate, however, because of the way incidents are reported -- a report of dating violence might also count as stalking, creating duplicates.

Miltenberg said he believes he will win the lawsuit and if he does, he hopes it would pave the way for similar class actions in other jurisdictions.

“We need a much more transparent, fair and equitable system that gives everybody the chance to be heard completely,” Miltenberg said.

The lawsuit’s success hinges on whether the right to cross-examination was a key factor in every Title IX case at Michigan, said David A. Russcol, a lawyer specializing in Title IX at Zalkind Duncan & Bernstein in Boston. Russcol reiterated that the Sixth Circuit has been strong on issues related to due process.

“It certainly does make it plausible that with the dozens of cases at Michigan State over several years, it could raise these issues,” Russcol said.

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Alaska president offers new plans following vote of financial exigency

Inside Higher Ed - 5 hours 31 min ago

Facing a massive and unprecedented 41 percent cut in state funding, the University of Alaska’s Board of Regents voted 10 to 1 to declare financial exigency, a move that will precede layoffs and program elimination.

The vote comes as a financial crisis looms over the state’s public higher education system -- the cut represents a loss of $135 million in funding. Moody’s Investor Service has already downgraded the credit rating of the system to BAA1 as a result of the cuts, citing a “high likelihood of a material reduction in the university's liquidity over the next year.” After the downgrade, the Board of Regents moved its meeting earlier, to Monday.

The cuts are a result of Governor Mike Dunleavy’s decision to veto parts of the proposed state budget affecting a number of public institutions in the state, in the hopes of moving more money to Alaska’s Permanent Fund, which provides a dividend to Alaskan citizens based on oil revenue. Many stakeholders in the Alaska system had hoped to lobby the state Legislature to override the veto, but their efforts were unsuccessful.

Additionally, the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, the university's accreditor, warned in a letter that due to the size and implications of the cuts, the university risked losing its accreditation status, a move “that could be felt for generations.”

Typically, financial exigency is used as a tool during times of extreme fiscal concern at universities to make reductions to faculty or programs at a faster rate. Financial exigency also traditionally allows colleges and universities to terminate long-standing or tenured faculty members.

“We are working diligently to move towards reduction,” University of Alaska at Anchorage chancellor Cathy Sandeen said at the board meeting.

Sandeen originally told Inside Higher Ed earlier this month that the estimates for how many faculty positions may have to be eliminated across the system “conservatively” came in at 700 positions.

Jim Johnsen, president of the Alaska system, also presented three possible structuring models for the university in the wake of the cuts -- which Johnsen wants the board to consider.

According to the presentation Johnsen presented to the regents, the first proposal would have one or more of the system's three campuses eliminated from the system. The benefit of this model outlined in the presentation was that the cuts would be contained and the other two campuses would remain largely unaffected. The downsides listed were that it denied access to many Alaskans, would have a large economic impact on the communities around the affected campus and that it would encourage “inter-university and regional conflict.”

Some of that inter-university conflict has already sparked up, ­with a Faculty Senate committee at the Anchorage campus authoring a report suggesting that the Fairbanks campus should absorb most of the financial pain.

The second option Johnsen submitted would proportionately divvy up the effects of the cuts to each university, asking all three campuses to reduce to its own unique “core.” Johnsen told Inside Higher Ed in an April interview that the system was unique in the sense that each campus within the system offered a distinct quality. The plan outlined the positives: it would be more equitable to each campus, could reduce duplicative programs and maintains some educational access for more Alaskans. However, the risks were that for each campus to endure such a large financial blow, each could risk accreditation and financial viability, as well as student choice.

The third choice was a recommendation for a “New UA,” which would include a single accreditation model with higher integration between programs, creating overarching colleges to extensively cover students in certain degree fields. For example, all three campuses have education colleges or schools, and the new model would create an overarching Alaska College of Education with a common statewide curriculum.

Johnsen listed the benefits of this approach -- again, duplicative programs would be eliminated, and it would decrease administrative bureaucracy and foster collaboration. However, the plan would require “substantive change in institutional accreditation and U.S. Department of Education approval, requiring time and significant effort.”

Toward the end of the meeting, some regents expressed concern at making such a large decision in a short span of time, but Johnsen said a proposal would have to be decided on soon in order to prepare properly. The board will meet again on July 30 to tentatively approve a plan to move forward.

“It’s a terrible situation we’re in, but I think we can move through it, and do it with speed,” Johnsen said.

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New presidents or provosts: Arden Boise Christian Brothers Iowa Valley Lesley Orange Coast Pfeiffer Texas Lutheran W&M

Inside Higher Ed - 5 hours 31 min ago
  • Peggy Agouris, dean of the College of Science at George Mason University, in Virginia, has been appointed provost at the College of William & Mary, also in Virginia.
  • Scott Bullard, interim president, senior vice president and dean of the college at Judson College, in Alabama, has been selected as president of Pfeiffer College, in North Carolina.
  • Debbie Cottrell, vice president of academic affairs at Texas Lutheran University, has been named president there.
  • Kristie Fisher, senior director of national associations and market engagement at ACT. Inc., in Iowa, has been chosen as chancellor of the Iowa Valley Community College District.
  • Carl Lygo, professor of law and founding vice chancellor of BPP University, in Britain, has been appointed vice chancellor and CEO of Arden University, also in Britain.
  • Jack Shannon, head of the Office of Strategic Alliances, Economic Development and Civic Partnerships and former vice president for advancement at Montclair State University, in New Jersey, has been selected as president of Christian Brothers University, in Tennessee.
  • Janet L. Steinmayer, president of Mitchell College, in Connecticut, has been named president of Lesley University, in Massachusetts.
  • Angelica Suarez, vice president for student affairs at the Southwestern Community College District, in California, has been chosen as president of Orange Coast College, also in California.
  • Marlene Tromp, campus provost and executive vice chancellor at the University of California, Santa Cruz, has been appointed president of Boise State University, in Idaho.
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Another gossip app hits college campuses. Will this one be better?

Inside Higher Ed - 5 hours 31 min ago

Despite their relatively short shelf life, the development of campus-based social media platforms isn't slowing down. Pop, the latest social media app to target students, is hoping to become the next big thing on college campuses.

Like other college social media apps before it, Pop takes elements of other social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Slack, and brings them together with the aim of creating a digital community.

The goal is to help students find each other, said Alex Kehr, the CEO of Pop. The app has only been launched on two college campuses so far, the University of California, Los Angeles, and the University of Oregon. Kehr says his team picked the colleges at random.

Pop didn’t start out with the intention of becoming a social media platform for students. It was originally an online marketplace for emoji, animations and GIFs called Sticker Pop. Its name was changed to Pop last February, and a group chat function was added. A couple of months later, the app introduced new location-based public groups called communities. Students can still buy stickers through the app through monthly subscriptions, and while sticker sales will continue to provide a revenue stream, they will no longer be the focus of the app, said Kehr.

You don’t have to be a student to join the UCLA or the Oregon Pop community, but you do have to be on campus and have an iPhone, explained Kehr. Once you’ve joined a community, you can talk to anyone else in that community. People create profiles and groups and send each other direct messages. There is also a page called “the wall,” where anyone in the community can post anything, which is similar to Yik Yak, the controversial anonymous messaging app that launched in 2013 and shut down four years later, but without the built-in anonymity.

Around 3,000 students on each campus are using Pop, said Kehr. And there has been promising retention over the summer, when many other college apps such as Yik Yak, After School and Yeti saw their usage plummet.

Over the next few months, Pop will launch on several other campuses, though the exact locations are still to be determined, Kehr said. The biggest limitation in scaling up is staff, he said. Pop employees closely monitor what is said in groups and on the wall to ensure the conversations are civil and don't include the racist and misogynistic comments and other problematic content that became pervasive on Yik Yak.

“It’s been really interesting to see into the lives of students at two different colleges,” said Kehr. UCLA students are worrying much more about exams and finances, he said, whereas Oregon students are just making plans to hang out. 

Kehr said he doesn't read students' private messages to each other, though technically there is nothing stopping him from doing so. On Pop's Twitter feed you can see snapshots of messages students' public posts -- most funny, some flirtatious. The app has already served a serious purpose, said Kehr -- after the recent California earthquakes, use of the app spiked as students were using it to check in on each other, he said.

Ricardo Vazquez, associate director of media relations at UCLA, said in an email that no one at the student affairs office had yet heard of the app, despite Pop using UCLA in its marketing materials. He did not say whether staff would be monitoring the app going forward.

“New social media applications are launched every day,” said Vazquez. “Due to the proliferation and fluctuation of these applications, and the changing needs of our students, as well as the changing nature of the technology they use, it is a challenge to anticipate what will achieve mass-market adoption by our students.”

Students at UCLA frequently launch their own apps and ask the institution for support in spreading the word to other students, said Vazquez.

“We attempt to do this in structured ways at campus events such as maker fairs, hackathons, etc., but the institution wants to protect students from excessive pitching and ads.”

UCLA does engage with students when applications and innovations start to impact campus life, said Vazquez. Recent topics of discussion have included e-scooter use, digital citizenship and online harassment.

While student social media apps like Pop aim to connect students, they can quickly become forums for rumors, bullying and hate speech. Kehr said his team was mindful of this when developing Pop and built in ways for users to report unacceptable behavior. So far, there haven’t yet been any reports, he said.

“Students are being really nice to each other,” he said.

Kehr said he learned from Yik Yak’s mistake -- there is no anonymity in Pop that would allow users to say whatever they want without accountability. But students don’t have to use their real names or even prove that they're actual students.

Danial Jameel, founder and CEO of Ready Education, a company that creates custom campus apps for institutions, said it’s likely that more apps like Pop will be popping up on college campuses.

“When you’re a young entrepreneur, you’re looking to solve problems around you -- that’s why so many apps and companies start at colleges,” said Jameel. But very few of them ever become successful companies, he said.

“This demographic is very fickle -- they have low loyalty to any one platform.”

Facebook launched at Harvard University 15 years ago and is now a multibillion-dollar tech company. But Jameel thinks it would be difficult to replicate that success.

“Facebook was a different era," he said. "Applying that same formula today isn’t going to work. Students will naturally ask why they need yet another platform.”

Before Ready Education became Ready Education, it was called OOHLALA. In its early days, the app launched on college campuses, guerilla-style -- without the knowledge of campus administrators -- similar to Pop. But Jameel soon realized that if he worked with colleges, he could engage more students.

Ready Education is just one of many companies working with colleges to create social media platforms and tools. Handshake is another app that works with colleges to connect students with campus career services and potential employers. Many others are pivoting into this space, with a mission to boost student success, said Jameel.

While launching an app on a college campus without the college’s knowledge might irritate student affairs staff, Jameel said he wouldn’t want developers to be prevented from doing this. 

"I'm all for regulation, but not stifling innovation," he said. 

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Judge rules Quinnipiac University Title IX lawsuit can go to trial

Inside Higher Ed - 5 hours 31 min ago

A federal judge will allow a trial in a sex discrimination lawsuit against Quinnipiac University to move forward. The lawsuit is part of an unusual case that involves university officials destroying their notes on the institution’s own investigations.

U.S. District Judge Janet Bond Arterton earlier this month declined to dismiss many of the claims made by an anonymous student, who was accused of verbally abusing and being physically violent toward two ex-girlfriends.

The student, referred to as John Doe in filings, alleged in his lawsuit that the university was biased against him when it investigated his purported behavior as a potential violation of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the federal sex antidiscrimination law. He also said the private university, which is located in Connecticut, adjudicated his case unfairly, by not providing him all of the evidence, among other alleged errors.

The judge’s order does not mean Doe will be successful in his lawsuit, only that his complaints will be evaluated by a trial court. But it reflects a growing trend of students accused of sexual violence winning legal cases while the federal rules around Title IX remain in flux. Almost two years ago, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos revoked guidance on Title IX from the Obama administration. Many credited the Obama-era approach with providing survivors of sex assault more protections, but the approach was unpopular among advocates for accused students. The Trump administration replaced the guidance with draft regulations that have not yet been approved.

Quinnipiac is alleged to have broken a contract around sexual violence -- in this case its own policies -- which could potentially infringe on state law. This is an emerging area of law: the idea of a conduct code being a contract between a student and his or her college or university, said S. Daniel Carter, president of Safety Advisors for Educational Campuses, which consults with colleges and universities on Title IX.

“Universities need to think long and hard and be introspective about themselves and make sure they adhere to having good sound policy in advance,” Carter said.

In June 2016, Doe’s girlfriend at the time -- Jane Roe in court records -- reported to the university she had argued with Doe and that he ended their relationship. She said she had been “accidentally struck” while Doe attempted to grab her purse and kick her out of his apartment. Roe noted in her report that the relationship had been “rocky” and that Doe previously had been physically abusive. She also said his ex-girlfriend -- known as Jane Roe 2 -- had warned her about his misbehavior. Both women were students.

Two university investigators interviewed the women, and after interviewing Jane Roe 2 opened up an investigation on her behalf, even though she never filed a formal complaint.

Ultimately, investigators found that Doe likely had violated university policy and engaged in dating violence and assault, among other infractions. Doe met with the investigators and said he had been treated unfairly because Roe’s witnesses were interviewed before him and she had more time to prepare her statements.

Doe met with administrators for several more months, claiming the investigators or the officials who would participate in his upcoming Title IX hearing were biased. He said one administrator had given “lenient discipline” for another student who assaulted Doe.

When the university tried to schedule a hearing date in March 2017, Doe sued, asking for a temporary restraining order, which was eventually denied. A month later Doe was found responsible for dating violence and other accusations, but he was given a relatively light sentence: a deferred suspension, meaning he would be suspended if he broke the rules again. He also was allowed on campus only for classes and was prevented from attending university-sponsored events. Doe later appealed, but the decision was upheld.

Doe said in his lawsuit that two officials destroyed their notes from two investigations -- one that occurred leading up to the initial hearing and the other from Doe’s appeal. Doe claimed they destroyed the notes after he sued for the restraining order. One of the officials was an attorney and the other was a former state trooper who should have known to retain the documents given the legal issues, Doe said.

The judge's ruling largely backed Doe's account.

“Defendants offer no explanation as to why the apparent destruction of hearing and investigation notes by officials who knew of the litigation hold was not at minimum negligent,” Arterton wrote in her ruling.

At the same time, around February 2017, Doe tried to get the university to investigate what he said was harassment against him.

During the investigation, Doe said Roe’s friends approached him about the ongoing probe, which he said was a breach of confidentiality of the process and a violation of the order that none of the parties involved with the case contact each other. In April 2017, Doe said Roe initiated a conversation with him at a restaurant and said she “fucking hated” him. (The university declined to investigate the alleged harassment by Roe 2 because she was no longer a student.) Roe was eventually cleared of the accusations by Doe.

Quinnipiac declined to comment for this story.

Doe is suing for violations of Title IX and state statutes, among other claims. His lawsuit says the university promised to comply with Title IX in its student handbook and that it would respond to Title IX complaints “equitably,” which Doe said officials did not do.

He’s also suing for “reckless and wanton behavior,” which is a more severe charge that has never been tried before in a Title IX case. The university noted this in its response to Doe’s lawsuit, but Arterton wrote that despite such a claim being unprecedented, it can be judged in a trial.

“While the court agrees that only a plaintiff's testimony how defendants acted might not suffice to establish defendants’ recklessness,” Arterton wrote, “it does not preclude the jury from making that assessment.”

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Chronicle of Higher Education: Knight Foundation Commits Nearly $50 Million to Study Impact of Technology on Democracy

Indiana, New York, and Yale Universities are among the 11 higher-ed and research institutions that will receive funds to explore “the most profound change to how we receive information since Gutenbe

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Chronicle of Higher Education: LSU Just Unveiled a $28-Million Football Facility. The Flood-Damaged Library Is Still ‘Decrepit.’

Critics say the renovated football building in Baton Rouge, La., reflects a broader problem of misplaced university priorities.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Morehouse Is Criticized — Again — for Its Handling of Sexual Misconduct

Two students at Morehouse College said last week that a staff member had sexually harassed and assaulted them.

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Chronicle of Higher Education: University of Alaska Regents Vote to Declare Financial Exigency

They call it sad but say they needed to take the step given the state’s budget crisis.

Edtech: SAM Labs raises $8.9m for int’l expansion

The PIE News - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 06:22

Coding and STEAM learning company SAM Labs has raised US$8.9 million this year in a Series A2 equity funding round to expand its global reach.

Originally launched with approximately $160,000 raised on Kickstarter, SAM Labs has secured a total of $19.8m in investments including this latest round of $8.9m.

“This latest investment will enable us to innovate further”

With technology education products in more than 4,000 schools already, the new funding will be used to scale operations and sales in the US, to supplement the company’s international presence, and to bring new education products to markets in the US and UK.

SAM Labs enables non-technical elementary and middle school teachers to deliver effective STEAM, coding, and problem-solving experiences to their classrooms through ready-to-use teaching kits.

Students learn while designing, writing, building and debugging programs, applying sequencing, selection, and iteration.

“This latest investment will allow us to bring our STEAM and coding experiences to even more schools and teachers and students in the US, which is our largest market, as well as across the globe,” said SAM Labs CEO and founder Joachim Horn.

“We measure ourselves on the following three metrics: increasing student engagement, increasing teacher confidence, and decreasing teacher workload – and this latest investment will enable us to innovate further to meet those important goals.”

This new fundraising round includes social impact and education specialist investors including Partners in Equity and Inventures Investment Partners.

The post Edtech: SAM Labs raises $8.9m for int’l expansion appeared first on The PIE News.

Indian ministry seeks work rights for int’l students

The PIE News - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 04:15

In a move further strengthening India’s bid to become an international student hub, the country’s Human Resource Development Ministry has put together a proposal that, if passed into law, will allow international students to work in certain fields while studying.

According to reports, the ministry has prepared a proposal for granting “limited work permit” to international students “in selected areas/segments” to increase their enrollment in higher education institutions in India.

“This has been one of the disincentives for international students”

The proposal follows a series of recent measures to revamp international education in the country, including a new online application portal for overseas students and an increase in universities offering courses on Indian languages and culture.

Fee waivers are also being offered to prospective students from 30 countries across Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe.

However, the Indian visa system currently does not allow work permits for international students.

“This issue will be relooked to allow limited work permit in selected areas/segments where there is an imbalance in demand and supply and shortage of trained or highly skilled human resources in India,” a ministry official said.

According to the Deccan Herald, the HRD ministry also wants change in the visa regime to allow paid internship for foreign students.

“This has been one of the disincentives for international students,” the official added.

It is expected that the HRD ministry will soon approach the Union Home Ministry with the proposal.

“International students come on student visas so they cannot work off-campus,” a public relations officer at the Indian Institute of Technology Bombay told The PIE News.

“We are yet to get any such directives from the ministry but we will comply with whatever the ministry [asks].”

India has the world’s third-largest higher education system, including over 800 universities and a capacity for 20 million students.

Earlier in July, India’s finance minister proposed to allocate Rs 400 crore (£46.6 million) to create “world-class institutions” to attract a greater number of international students.

However, concerns have been raised over whether India is ready for such an ambitious campaign.

The post Indian ministry seeks work rights for int’l students appeared first on The PIE News.

When a misleading op-ed in 'The Wall Street Journal' irks academics, it's time for a fact check on faculty work and pay

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 00:00

Hearing politicians mischaracterize and discredit faculty work is par for the course in academe. It’s much more surprising to hear someone with actual teaching experience do it. So professors shared a collective "WTF?" moment last week when Joseph Epstein, writer and emeritus lecturer of English at Northwestern University, published an op-ed in The Wall Street Journal stating that it’s not uncommon to make $200,000 per year for “essentially a six-month job, and without ever having to put in an eight-hour day.”

The premise of Epstein’s piece is that “if government is going to pay for college, at least it ought to try to bring down the cost,” and that he knows where to start cutting because he taught for 30 years. He doesn’t just attack faculty work -- Epstein also suggests reducing the salaries of university presidents by 90 percent, curing administrative bloat and slashing athletic coaches’ pay. But “at the tonier universities,” he says, “professors in the humanities and social sciences might teach as few as three or four courses a year, the remainder of their time supposedly devoted to research.”

Quoting an unnamed former colleague, Epstein calls faculty work a "racket." He himself later calls it a "sweet racket."

What the actual F???https://t.co/XiWIzotjty pic.twitter.com/apfXXXaYUP

— AAUP (@AAUP) July 19, 2019

Under proposed free higher education plans, then, Epstein says, “perhaps it would make sense to pay university teachers by the hour, with raises in the wage awarded by seniority. Surely they could not complain.” After all, he continues, “the two most common comments (some would say the two biggest lies) about university teaching are, ‘I learn so much from my students’ and ‘It’s so inspiring, I’d do it for nothing.’ A strict hourly wage for teachers, as free university education may require, would nicely test the validity of that second proposition.”

Source: The Wall Street Journal/Joseph Epstein

Among other things, Epstein’s essay ignores the structural shifts that have occurred since he began teaching -- most significantly the transition to majority-non-tenure-track work force. This means that many professors don’t make a salary at all, but are paid on per-course basis. (In this sense, he’s closer to his “strict hourly wage” reality than he thinks. But adjuncts say that the $3,000 they often get to teach a course vastly undervalues the actual work they do to plan it, teach it and be available to students taking it while staying current in their fields. And that shift, in turn -- along with public funding cuts -- has led to a greater overall workload for tenured and tenure-track professors.)

The essay also ignores the fact that the vast majority of even full-time professors don’t teach at “tonier” colleges and universities. And while it’s true that college costs continue to outpace inflation, professors’ salaries have stayed relatively flat. Last year, for example, full-time faculty pay rose about 2 percent. But adjusted for 1.9 percent inflation, it “barely budged,” according to the American Association of University Professors Faculty Compensation Survey. CUPA-HR’s annual survey said essentially the same.

Fact Check

But then there are the facts about how much full-time professors are actually paid, and how much work they do. Epstein says it’s “not uncommon” for professors to make $200,000 per year, but a more accurate statement would be that it’s not uncommon for professors to make that much at private, independent doctoral institutions. On those research-intensive campuses, the average salary for full professors (not assistant or associate professors) last year was $196,000, according to the AAUP. Associate professors on such campuses made $119,000 on average. Assistant professors made $105,000.

At public doctoral institutions last year, the average full professor salary was $141,000. Associates made about $97,000. Assistants made $84,000. Full-time instructors made about $63,000, while lecturers made about $57,000.

At master’s degree-granting campuses, across institution types, full professors made, on average, about $104,000 last year. Across ranks, the average full-time faculty salary at master’s institutions was $81,000. The numbers are nearly the same for baccalaureate degree-granting institutions, and they’re less at associate’s degree-granting campuses. Inside Higher Ed exclusively holds the AAUP’s searchable survey data here.

How much do academics actually work? It varies. And it’s fair to say that academic life entails more flexibility than some other fields. But 50 to 60 hours a week is a good estimate. A small research project at Boise State University in 2014, in which faculty participants tracked their hours, for example, found that professors work 61 hours per week -- more than 50 percent over the traditional 40-hour workweek. About 35 percent of Monday-to-Friday work was spent on teaching, including grading and preparation. Three percent of the workweek day was spent on primary research and 2 percent on manuscript writing.

Professors in that study worked 10 hours per day Monday to Friday and about that much on Saturday and Sunday combined. Just because professors aren’t “at work” doesn’t mean they’re not working. But one finding of that Boise State study is that professors do spend a lot of time in meetings: 17 percent. Much time was spent on email and other administrative-type tasks.

The 60-hour workweek also got a boost last year during a Twitter debate about faculty work.

I tell my graduate students and post-docs that if they’re working 60 hours per week, they’re working less than the full professors, and less than their peers. https://t.co/mapWtvmBWp

— Nicholas A. Christakis (@NAChristakis) February 4, 2018

John Ziker, chair of anthropology at Boise State and a researcher on the faculty workload project, said the Epstein’s op-ed is “crazy,” citing median full professor salary figures of about $100,000 at doctoral institutions with high research activity (as opposed to the highest “very high” research activity).

Esther Morgan-Ellis, an associate professor of music history and world music who serves as the orchestra director and a scholarship and audition coordinator at the University of North Georgia, said she’s “very happy” with her institution, where she enjoys unwavering support in all that she pursues from colleagues and her administration. But Epstein’s essay “really pissed me off.”

To start, Morgan-Ellis is a tenured associate professor who has worked at her institution for six years. And she just signed a contract for about $60,000. She’s currently working on a passion project, in the form of a university system grant-funded textbook. She plans on putting in 50 more hours. But even if she didn’t do any more work on the book, she’d average about $6.80 per hour on it (she does not get faculty paychecks over the summer).

Adrianna Kezar, a professor of higher education at the University of Southern California who studies the faculty, said Epstein’s essay “is almost absurd in its lack of accuracy,” starting with the lack of actual full-time salary data. And "the idea of getting paid hourly just to get a fair wage definitely resonates with adjunct positions," she said. "They honestly would be paid better if they got an hourly wage rather than a lump sum of $3,000 on average to teach an entire class."

Other studies of faculty productivity and work hours point to an average of closer to 50 hours per week, with some institution types showing even more, Kezar added.

Does history account for Epstein’s lack of accuracy here? Kezar said that hours were “slightly less 40 years ago, but never under 40 hours a week.”

Over all, Kezar said, the “myth that faculty somehow are making a lot of money is very problematic. I think the idea is that other professionals, like doctors and lawyers, make a lot of money so there’s an assumption that professors must, as well. Whatever the source, the facts are clearly there to say the contrary.”

Hans-Joerg Tiede, a senior program officer at the AAUP who has written about its history, said that "there may well have been a time when the overall economic condition of the faculty was better than it is today." Certainly, he said, "there was a time when the tenure system functioned better than it does today." But "I think working conditions and salaries have always featured wide differences between institutional types."

The main reason that "myths about faculty workload persist is that news outlets like The Wall Street Journal perpetuate them," Tiede said. "It’s certainly well documented that the sort of circumstances that the author describes are not anywhere near the norm."

Epstein declined comment on these and other critiques, saying, “I’ve already had my say.”

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Incoming Hampshire president Edward Wingenbach lays out his vision for rebuilding

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 00:00

Edward Wingenbach is entering a high-profile, high-pressure situation when he takes over as president of Hampshire College next month.

Wingenbach, who was named the next president of the private liberal arts college in Amherst, Mass., last week, already faces a ticking clock. The New England Commission of Higher Education will decide in November whether to continue Hampshire’s accreditation after a tumultuous year.

How the new president navigates the next few months will be closely watched by many of those concerned about the future of small private colleges. Hampshire finds itself under many of the same pressures bearing down on liberal arts institutions across the country, and it has become a closely watched case since those pressures exploded in dramatic fashion earlier this year.

Hampshire’s previous administration announced in January that it was exploring merging the college into another institution. Alumni rejected that idea, leading in April to the ouster of former president Miriam E. Nelson and resignation of former board chair Gaye Hill. But before the leadership changes were put in place, Hampshire had already locked itself into not admitting a full freshman class for fall 2019.

That leaves the college expecting to enroll this fall just 15 new students who had previously signed up for early admission or deferred enrollment, far fewer than the 300 new students who normally would make up a new class. That’s exacerbating the same pressures that led its former leaders to explore a merger in the first place -- budget stress and enrollment challenges.

Wingenbach, who held leadership roles at Ripon College in Wisconsin since 2015, argues Hampshire can leverage its unique history as an educational experiment in order to recover as the higher education landscape changes. He spoke by telephone Friday about the college’s situations and his plans for its future.

The following exchange has been edited lightly for length and clarity.

Q: What do you see as priorities after you start in a couple of weeks?

A: Hampshire is the essential institution of American higher education. It’s the place that has as its mission innovating and experimenting in ways that invent the future of higher education.

Many of the things that are now aspirational, high-impact practices that all of our colleges and universities are trying to do in various successful and unsuccessful ways -- most of those were pioneered at Hampshire and perfected at Hampshire. And so the role of Hampshire College at some level is to continue to invent the future of higher education and the future of student-centered teaching.

What is a priority for me is that Hampshire needs to, in a sense, recommit itself to that entrepreneurial spirit. A little bit of what’s happened here is, as often happens at institutions, you start to do a bunch of things well, and then you get attached to continuing to do them well, and after a little while they are not quite as innovative and exciting as they were at the start.

Q: Where could you could push those innovations?

A: I’ve got a whole series of ideas, and I’ve had conversations with people here on campus who have interesting ideas. I’m a little leery about exploring, in public, what those ideas might look like.

The faculty, the staff, people who are invested in Hampshire College, the students here at the college -- we have to map out what those ideas for innovation are going to look like, what kind of curriculum we’re going to embed here.

We need to be able to tell students who want to come and their families who want to come what experiment they are doing, and we also need to be able to speak with NECHE about that. So there are going to be some substantive answers to that question pretty quickly here, and I’m just leery about predetermining that.

Q: Effectively, what you’re talking about is making everybody feel they have a part in shared governance and a shared community. Is there a tension between shared governance and your tight accreditation timeline?

A: There really are three competing values in shared governance. There is participation. There is speed of decision making. And then there is the workload -- the work it takes to make decisions. If you’re willing to focus the work and energy of the community primarily on participatory shared governance for a period of time, you can be both democratic and move quickly.

I think Hampshire is in a position right now where it has to prioritize, as an entire community, the shared work of figuring out what it means to be an experimenting college in the 21st century. We have to do that work. That has to be our priority.

Everything else for the next several months has to be put, kind of, off to the side. We did that when I came to Ripon College in 2015. I came into an institution that was needing to reinvent its core curriculum in order to do something exciting that would attract more students but also because it needed to fit a curriculum that was much too large to a faculty that was shrinking and needed to shrink further.

And we managed to invent that new curriculum, one that Inside Higher Ed has covered, in four months, start to finish. But that’s all we did that semester. We met as a full faculty every week and put all of our committees behind that.

You can sustain that kind of engagement for intensive periods of time when something is really important. We’re going to have to do that here.

Q: How does that fit with recruiting new students? The Boston Globe reported you have 15 new students coming in for the fall. Anyone in enrollment management will tell you, you can maybe survive one year like that. Going forward, you just can’t keep taking such hits. How does your process fit with the need to recruit new students?

A: The first thing that’s important to say about that is we only have 15 students because there was a decision made not to take students who wanted to come here. When that decision was made, there were approximately 70 early-action students who had deposited. And the admissions office was on track to bring in a class of over 300 -- a typical-size class.

In the two months that followed that decision, the admissions office spent a whole lot of time dealing with angry or disappointed students or parents who really wanted to come to Hampshire College.

Had we been willing to take a class here, there would have been 300-plus people here this fall. So I have no doubt that we can get a class of 300-plus for the coming fall [2020]. People are interested in the kind of education that only Hampshire delivers.

Part of what we need to do is not just show people that we’re still here. We are a unique institution where, as a student, you can do things you can’t do anywhere else.

Q: The previous administration had what I’ll call a pessimistic outlook for the market and for the college’s prospects as an independent institution. It was set against a background where a lot of experts say it is not going to be a good decade for New England colleges. Are there steps you need to take to shore up finances or show folks that you’re going to be financially viable going forward?

A: Of course. One of the things we have to do is continue to fund-raise at the rate that we have been this year.

After the announcement by the previous administration that they were looking for a partner and not going to take a class, there was this just massive outpouring of support from alums and parents and people who just care about Hampshire College and didn’t attend here. There have been over $9 million in cash and pledges raised just since February, which is more than a year’s worth of normal fund-raising at Hampshire College. So we have to maintain that momentum and external fund-raising.

We also, though, have to adjust our cost structure. The problem that Hampshire College is facing isn’t and wasn’t that there aren’t enough students interested in attending Hampshire College. The problem that Hampshire was facing was an inability to imagine how to function within the means that they have.

There are a lot of places where the challenge is they can’t find enough students who want to come. And they can’t find students who have the means to attend. That is not Hampshire’s challenge.

Hampshire’s challenge is matching our expenses to the very stable level of student interest and revenue that is available to the college.

The short-term challenge is because we didn’t take a class this fall. That’s going to take four years to flow through. But four years from now, I have no doubt that Hampshire College will have more than 1,000 students and we’ll have a whole lot more external funding to support the work we’re doing.

Q: When you talk about aligning costs structures, does that mean faculty cuts or cuts elsewhere?

A: We have to build a budget based on our realistic expectations for tuition, room and board revenue, and other sources of revenue. And then work backwards from that to prioritize where we can spend our money.

Here is the size of college that we can consistently afford to be. How do we meet our mission within that? How do we prioritize together? How do we make those decisions? It’s like the innovation. I don’t want to get ahead of myself on that.

Q: Can you offer any sense of what size enterprise the college is likely to become?

A: I think the long-term goal here is a college that is somewhere around 1,200 students and maybe larger than that if there are enough students who are qualified and interested in the kind of experience we offer.

I think that student body needs to demonstrate the kind of diversity that is essential to Hampshire’s identity, and that needs to include socioeconomic diversity. We need to think about how we maintain access for students, particularly students who are potentially most likely to benefit from designing their own course of study being measured by faculty.

A lot of that depends on fund-raising, and so I think the goals that have been set publicly here, which include raising something like $100 million over the next five years and returning to a student size of about 1,200 -- I think those are reasonable goals, and we should strive to accomplish them.

Q: Did you examine any case studies of other colleges, or are you planning to call anyone up and ask how they navigated a similar situation to Hampshire’s?

A: There are places that are wrestling with these questions, including the institution that I’m coming from. In fact, I think there are more residential liberal arts colleges that are addressing and dealing with some version of the challenge Hampshire faces than aren’t.

What is distinctive about the situation at Hampshire and one of the things that I’m really excited about -- part of the reason I was willing to just jump into this -- what most small colleges who are facing financial challenges want and don’t have is something unique to offer to parents and students.

You hear a lot about value propositions and return on investment and standing out in a crowded marketplace and all of that kind of language. Hampshire doesn’t have to invent that. People know who we are. We know who we are. Nobody does anything like what we do. There’s a lot of excitement that can be harnessed around that, and so that’s a big advantage in trying to return to health, particularly when the drop in enrollment was self-imposed.

Q: Do you have any other thoughts on the broader market in the Northeast or nationwide? I talk to a lot of enrollment managers and consultants who are very concerned about what it looks like going forward.

A: It would be delusional not to be concerned about the marketplace, not just in the Northeast. Following 2026 there is a decline in 18-year-olds across the country. That’s acute in the Northeast.

Yes, it’s clearly a challenge. I think the thing about a place like Hampshire College is that in order to be a healthy and thriving institution, we only need to find 400 or 500 students a year across the country who want this incredibly unique opportunity. I think there are a lot more than 400 or 500 high school seniors who want to design their own course of study, ask their own sets of questions, engage in cooperative problem solving to deal with the big challenges of the world, in a place like Amherst, Mass., which is a great place for young people to spend four years.

Hampshire has all of the advantages to survive and thrive in that declining market.

Q: You have the Five College Consortium. Have you had discussions with any of its members?

A: Here’s another advantage that we have, apart from being an exciting place that has lots of colleges. That collaboration with the five colleges is really strong.

This fall, we’ve got a significant portion of our faculty who have taken visiting positions around the other four of the five colleges. And so we’ve been able, for the fall, to reduce the number of faculty that are full-time on the Hampshire College campus to a number that’s close to what we need to educate the 700 or so students that will be here this fall.

Mount Holyoke and Smith and Amherst and UMass Amherst have been really generous in finding full-time homes for many of our faculty who will still be available to our students to advise many of their independent projects and mentor them.

Q: Do you know how many faculty are doing that?

A: There are 19 right now that are full-time appointments across the other four colleges, which is a lot of people.

Q: What is Hampshire’s total faculty count?

A: Including the ones that are on leave, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of 100.

Q: Is the idea that they’ll come back to Hampshire?

A: That’s the model. These are faculty who have taken leaves of absence from Hampshire to take visiting positions at the other colleges while we restructure our curriculum and recover our student body size.

There is another piece. A chunk of our faculty who are at Hampshire have taken reduced loads, as well, during the coming year -- voluntarily. They volunteered to take reduced loads for this coming year and therefore, the reduced load reduced their compensation.

There was a lot of cooperative work done here by the faculty to try to make the finances manageable through this period. It shows a level of commitment that was really impressive.

Q: Did you want to mention anything else?

A: Hampshire will continue to be the place that is trying to invent the next thing in higher ed, and I think we’re going to come up with some really interesting ideas that we, unlike almost anybody else in America, can make real. We have the ability to innovate and experiment based on our mission.

Literally, the mission of Hampshire College is to be an experimental college to transform higher education, and I am really confident that we’re going to be doing really very exciting things that other people are going to be simulating five years, 10 years from now.

And Hampshire will go on to the next thing it can invent.

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Many point to highly politicized process in selecting new South Carolina president

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 00:00

The University of South Carolina has a new president -- marking the end to a long and controversial selection process with little consensus or agreement. However, there's one thing all sides of the debate seem to agree on: politics was at the heart of the process.

Lieutenant General Robert Caslen, a former West Point superintendent, will be the next president of the University of South Carolina after a split vote of the Board of Trustees -- a rare thing in a board’s selection of a new president -- with 11 voting yes, 8 voting no and one abstention.

It was a bumpy road for the president-elect to arrive in his new office. But on Friday, the trustees voted, with some exchanging long speeches over whether the scheduled vote should occur at all. Trustee Richard Jones Jr. spoke at length about his fear that if the board didn’t vote now on Caslen, they may never have an opportunity.

“One of my concerns is this man, this great man, will be gone if we do not offer him immediately,” Jones said. “To some, maybe that’s no big deal. But I think we would be losing an excellent, excellent leader.”

Along the way, Caslen was originally one of four finalists presented publicly by the board, and he became a clear favorite. However, faculty and students expressed their disapproval of Caslen for a variety of reasons, including comments he made blaming sexual assault on binge drinking, a lack of a research background, and for being one of the top choices to be President Trump’s national security adviser.

“This is the saddest day I can ever remember at the University of South Carolina,” one trustee, Charles Williams, said during a speech at the board meeting. “The damage is done. It’s just a matter of how much more damage there’s going to be.”

The board opened a new search while Caslen remained a top choice of the divided board. However, the Faculty Senate recently held a vote of no confidence against Caslen. Now, Caslen will have to build trust in his position as he prepares to take office, finding a way to work with the suspicious constituencies within the university.

“Just to see a blatant disregard of all that has happened,” statistics professor Bethany Bell said of the search process. “Thousands of people have signed petitions; 600 emails were sent in five days. It was eye-opening for me about how deeply political this is and was and how it goes beyond our Board of Trustees.”

Politics in the Process

One of Caslen’s most fervent supporters on his path to the presidency has been the state's Republican governor, Henry McMaster. It’s been reported McMaster called trustees throughout the process to lobby in favor of Caslen’s candidacy -- lending a polarizing aspect to the search that concerned many.

An ABC affiliate in South Carolina reported that Darla Moore, a billionaire and top donor to the university, sent a note to the chair of the board before the vote asking he “reject the rank political influence in selecting the next president.”

A “hot mic” incident also recorded a member of the board saying that students protesting the meeting were “from out of town.” Trustee Egerton Burroughs claimed in a statement that he had made the comments.

“I've heard some of that Kamala Harris crowd is there,” Burroughs was caught saying. “They got this thing all tied into the Democratic primary.”

Even Jones, one of Caslen’s staunchest supporters at the board meeting, pointed to politics playing a large role in the process.

“A lot has been said about this process being political,” Jones said. “It was political long before [the governor’s involvement]. There was a politicization of this issue when the first opportunity we had to vote came up. People were giving their opinions, as well you should.”

Christian Anderson, a South Carolina higher education professor, said board proceedings are not always this political.

“It’s unfortunate,” Anderson said. “We’d have to hit the archives to find a time the governor of South Carolina even attended a Board of Trustees meeting -- and suddenly Governor McMaster intervenes in this way? Greater political interference certainly seems to be happening with alarming frequency around the country, even if not always in the same way.”

Both Bell and Anderson said it would be difficult to build trust with faculty members after so many issues with the process.

“With the faculty the No. 1 thing he’s going to have to do is hire a great provost with the maximum possible input and participation from faculty,” Anderson said. “And then he’s going to have to let that person run the academic side of the house with a promise to safeguard academic freedom and let the provost and faculty work out issues related to curriculum and research.”

Caslen said in a Twitter post after his appointment that he understood the challenges the board faced in his selection.

“I will work tirelessly to listen to all of our students, faculty, staff, board members, and all our constituents to understand their concerns and issues, and I will actively seek their advice,” Caslen said in the tweet.

According to the South Carolina website, Caslen will officially take office later this summer. Caslen will be the 29th president of the university, replacing retiring president Harris Pastides.

“I hope you know that all of us … [the trustees], whether we’ve been pro or con or in the middle, we’ve tried to do the right thing,” Jones said. “It’s not easy.”

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Authors discuss sexual consent on college campuses in upcoming book

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 07/22/2019 - 00:00

Colleges and universities have taken major steps during the last decade to try to reduce sexual assaults. Part of this effort is teaching students about the concept of consent through campaigns and events. But most administrators don't have a holistic understanding of consent, say two Miami University professors, Theresa A. Kulbaga, an associate professor of English, and Leland G. Spencer, an assistant professor of interdisciplinary and communication studies.

In their upcoming book, Campuses of Consent: Sexual and Social Justice in Higher Education (University of Massachusetts Press), which is scheduled to be released in October, the duo critique campus policies on consent and discuss federal efforts on sexual misconduct (including the sex antidiscrimination law Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972).

The authors responded to questions via email.

Q: What do college and university administrators get wrong about the concept of consent on their campuses?

A: Most administrators take a narrow, legalistic and individualistic view of consent. This is partly the result of federal laws, partly the result of problematic cultural norms and partly the result of administrators’ tendency to prioritize minimum compliance and public relations over students and survivors. Most universities consider consent (and violence) in an individualist framework: as something that someone “gives” or “receives” in a moment. By contrast, we argue that consent is inseparable from the larger contexts of power and oppression that characterize rape culture in the U.S. and on college campuses. Moreover, many university administrators are, unfortunately, susceptible to misinformation about consent and violence when they (for example) use victim-blaming language to communicate with the university community or when they purchase a one-time online training program that is full of stereotypes about gender and sexuality or that erases the experiences of trans and gender-nonconforming students. These are all problems we discuss in our book.

We see consent as a central component of sexual and social justice. In the book, we examine how the concept of consent can illuminate not only sexual violence and inequalities, but also intellectual and emotional violence and inequalities.

Q: How can institutions improve training around consent?

A: One of our primary recommendations is to move away from a training model (with its troubling corporate entailments) and toward thinking about consent education as education. Best practices for teaching students about consent engage students in the topic relationally over the course of time and provide numerous opportunities for analysis, reflection and growth. Isolated, one-hour online trainings have limited utility, practically or politically. We also argue that consent education should specifically include the experiences of marginalized students. For instance, a number of consent programs segregate by sex and thus exclude nonbinary students and alienate many other transgender and queer students. Consent education should also resist victim blaming, gender stereotypes (such as the sexually passive woman) and other damaging myths about sexual violence.

Q: What degree of understanding do college students have around consent?

A: In both our research for this book and our everyday work with students, we feel encouraged about students’ level of interest in, and commitment to, consent. Students are often savvy when they analyze and reflect on personal experiences and cultural frameworks. On many campuses, student activism leads to more awareness and better practices around issues of consent and institutional responses to sexual violence. Student organizations dedicated to peer education offer some of the most robust and effective learning opportunities about consent.

On the other hand, we feel troubled by understandings of consent that mirror administrators’ individualistic framing. Anyone -- student, faculty or staff -- who understands consent as a binary in which one person “gives” and another “receives” consent has adopted an inaccurate understanding. Our book points toward the hope and possibility … [of] conceptualizing consent more broadly as a community commitment to respecting a spectrum of physical, intellectual and emotional boundaries. Individualist definitions of consent can easily reproduce rhetorics of blame for targets of sexual violence and inappropriately paternalistic expectations for bystanders.

Q: How does consent play into the recently proposed changes to Title IX? Are these new draft regulations a positive or negative step for the Education Department?

A: We are deeply concerned about Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’s announcement in September 2017 that universities are no longer required to follow a preponderance of the evidence standard in adjudicating suspected cases of sexual assault and can now use a much more difficult to prove clear and convincing evidence standard. This announcement, like DeVos’s statements about gender-based violence on campus more generally, was accompanied by familiar arguments about how the futures of accused young men are ruined by overzealous Title IX staff, feminist faculty and regretful or revengeful women students. This focus on the bright futures of accused students -- along with the accompanying rhetoric about due process that has supposedly been eroded by antiviolence efforts -- is regressive, misogynist and against proven best practices. Therefore, we see the Education Department’s revisions to Title IX to be a negative step -- no question.

At the same time, however, the current administration’s efforts to take us backward are not new or unique. Historically, antiviolence activism -- which has been led by women of color, queer and trans people, and feminist movements -- has met with resistance and entrenchment of regressive views. For example, the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, which we critique in Chapter 1 of the book, was passed in 1993 as part of a conservative wave of paternalistic laws that attempted to “protect” young college women by requiring universities to report crime to their parents. The Clery Act has had decades of negative impact on higher education’s response to sexual violence.

Q: If you could wave a magic wand, what practice or myth would you want to eliminate about consent on campuses? Why is this so important?

A: We would wave our wand to eliminate victim blaming on college campuses, especially the overzealous focus on whether a student was drinking when they were assaulted. You might think that victim blaming only happened in the past, but our research found it everywhere. Colleges and universities, parents and guardians, and even training programs designed to educate students about consent focus on drinking -- especially underage drinking -- as a supposed “cause” (or “risk factor”) of sexual violence. No! Drinking does not cause violence. A sense of entitlement and disrespect of another person is what causes violence. And being of legal age makes absolutely no difference at all in incidents of assault.

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Australian ELICOS holds steady as visitors boost numbers

The PIE News - Sun, 07/21/2019 - 17:19

Australia’s ELICOS sector closed out 2018 in more or less the same overall position as the previous year but a changing student cohort signals underlying rebalances, according to full-year market figures from English Australia.

In 2018, ELICOS student numbers increased 1% to 179,300 and student weeks saw a small decline of one-tenth of a per cent, due to changing source markets and visa types used to study in Australia.

“We saw a larger increase in the volume of visitor visas”

“The average weeks are down, and we saw for the Asia Pacific relatively flatter student [numbers]… particularly from China,” explained EA chief executive Brett Blacker.

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“We saw a change in the demographics of the Americas, too; more Colombians, less Brazilians. The Brazilians tended to study a longer duration as well, and so there’s a bit of impact out of the change.”

While the combined decrease of total weeks and increase of student numbers saw the average length of stay shorten slightly to 13 weeks, economic impact continued to build, reaching $2.35 billion.

Based on responses from CRICOS-registered ELICOS providers, the figures add to those previously released by the Department of Education and Training in March, which showed ELICOS enrolments just surpassed record levels to 156,400.

English Australia figures include students on additional visa types from study, and Blacker said growth was pushed by visitor numbers, which increased 8% compared to a decrease in student visa numbers of just over half a per cent.

Overall, visitor visa holders increased to 23% of all ELICOS students, taking market share from both the study and working holiday visa categories, which Blacker said also contributed to the small decline in student weeks.

“We saw a larger increase in the volume of visitor visas and on average students study much less in terms of the period of study,” he said.

By source regions, all but Europe increased, with the Middle East and Africa leading growth at 9%, albeit of far smaller base. The Asia Pacific, meanwhile, saw a mild 1% increase and Europe experienced its second consecutive double-digit percentage decrease, down 11%.

Blacker told The PIE News external factors were having the most significant impact on European numbers considering Australia as a study destination.

“There was a period where we had growth [from Europe], and that was when most of the Brexit factors were in place. If anything, we were just taking some of the market share at that time from the UK,” he said.

“We’ve seen that trend some time, and it will continue; it’s the economics of it”

“At some point, there was going to be an equilibrium.”

Blacker added more students were choosing to undertake ELICOS studies at home before going overseas for tertiary education, in a bid to reduce overall costs.

Kadi Taylor, head of strategic engagement and government relations at Navitas, agreed with Blacker’s observations, adding that while students were choosing to remain within their home country for English language studies, Australian providers were still benefiting.

“More often than not, students are studying with top quality Australian providers delivering in China, Vietnam, and other key markets,” she said.

“We’ve seen that trend some time, and it will continue; it’s the economics of it. The student can stay at home a bit long but still get that preparatory English language base and then come onshore.”

Changing market demands have also resulted in providers looking to new revenue streams, Taylor said, and the English language study groups market was seeing substantial growth both for ELICOS and as a taster for other levels of study overseas.

Year to April figures from DET indicate onshore ELICOS student numbers will continue modest growth for 2019, up 1% from the previous year.

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