English Language Feeds

Chronicle of Higher Education: NYU Scholar Accused of Harassment Assails Rush to Judgment as Sign of ‘Sexual Paranoia’

The florid, campy emails she exchanged with a Ph.D. student were typical of how she speaks, and reflected her role as a mentor, Avital Ronell said in a rare interview.

Chronicle of Higher Education: What an Art Historian Learned From the Football Team

Mentoring athletes in McDaniel College’s Division III program has changed Gretchen McKay’s perspective on the challenges today’s students face — and even how she teaches.

Chronicle of Higher Education: No More Yardsticks for Accountability. Just You Do You.

What if accreditation went more like this: "You tell us what you're trying to do here, and you show us that you're doing it"?

read more

Chronicle of Higher Education: Strain on Maryland Leadership Grows Amid Fallout From Football Player’s Death

The university’s president, Wallace D. Loh, had rejected a recommendation to give sports doctors autonomy from the athletics department, The Washington Post reported.

IH Melbourne to open its doors in October

The PIE News - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 07:55

The second-largest city in Australia is getting its own International House language centre, the fifth in the country.

IH Melbourne will open its doors on October 1, led by the same team behind the IH centres in Sydney city, Bondi and Darwin, and in partnership with the Australian Learning Group.

“Our agent partners have been asking us to open in Melbourne”

“Melbourne is the second most popular destination in Australia for international students,” Tim Eckenfels, executive director of IH Sydney, Bondi, and Darwin told The PIE News.

“For the past 3 years, many of our agent partners have been asking us to open in Melbourne.”

The school will offer General English, IELTS and Cambridge test preparation and speaking and pronunciation courses from the start.

The centre will also host programs provided by the IH Business College from November 5, running courses in Project Management, Business, Marketing & Communications, and Leadership & Management.

The school, located in Melbourne’s central business district, has capacity for over 350 students and Eckenfels anticipates interest will be high.

“The response from agents following the announcement of IH Melbourne / IH BC Melbourne has been impressive. Applications began arriving within one week of the announcement,” he said.

“Based on current enrolments and from our experience opening IH Bondi and IH Darwin, we anticipate opening on October 1st with 40-plus English students, and continue to grow rapidly.”

Eckenfels purchased IH Sydney in 2012. Part of the opportunity of the purchase, he said, was to expand throughout Australia.

In January 2017 IH Bondi opened, in Sydney’s popular beachside neighbourhood, followed by IH Darwin in January 2018.

The long-term plans will see Eckenfels and his team expanding further within Australia, while keeping an eye on opportunities in Asia.

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Greystone College and ILSC Business College to merge

The PIE News - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 04:36

Vocational training providers Greystone College and ILSC Business College are to merge, according to parent company, ILSC Education Group.

The move will bring ILSC Business College’s three Australian branches under the new global Greystone College brand in a strategic move to streamline its vocational training offerings, ILSC has announced.

Greystone College, which has been the operating brand in India and Canada, will offer 40 nationally and internationally accredited vocational programs.

“It’s a conscious shift to adapt to the expectations of a more globalised mindset and demographic”

“A more global outlook not only represents our strategy moving forward, it also represents our diverse student body, and strengthens our position in the international education industry,” Paul Schroeder, CEO of ILSC Education Group said.

“It’s a conscious shift to adapt to the expectations of a more globalised mindset and demographic.”

According to ILSC, the move will present “a more comprehensive option for students”.

An expanded and more diversified range of qualifications will be available in Business, Marketing, Project Management, Leadership, Hospitality, TESOL & CELTA, and Interpreting and Translation.

ILSC Education Group is also hedging its bets on demand for vocational training growing in the future: Greystone College is adding to its Canadian locations in Toronto and Vancouver by opening in Montréal in October.

Students will now have the opportunity to study at Greystone College in seven locations worldwide. Other locations will include Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and New Delhi.

“They’ll gain a competitive edge, graduating with a qualification and educational portfolio recognised in the international market,” Schroeder added.

The two college brands have between them provided education to over 14,000 students over the last 15 years, Schroeder added.

ILSC Education Group announced it would close its ILSC-San Francisco and ILSC-New York language schools in February.

Its GlobalFoundations division planned to rapidly expand university partnerships in the US, ILSC said at the time.

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CBIE calls on federal government to invest in outward student mobility

The PIE News - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 03:58

The Canadian Bureau for International Education has submitted a proposal to the Ottawa parliament calling on the government to invest CA$10m to support outward student mobility.

The long-term goal, in line with the Global Education for Canadians report, would be to see a quarter of all Canadian students undertaking periods of  government supported mobile study by 2028.

CBIE called on the federal administration to support a minimum of 100 opportunities per key region, per year, to help finance studying abroad for academic credit. The council recommended a five year program to begin with.

“We recommend that the government initially invest $10 million in a five-year program allowing Canadian high school, college and university students to take advantage of international learning programs,” Larissa Bezo, CBIE Interim President and CEO told The PIE News.

“The next generation of Canadian leaders will require international experience”

“Most educational institutions offer learning abroad opportunities, but the overall uptake is low.”

A “very limited” number of Canadian students currently access international education experiences during their studies – 3% per year, or about 11% of undergraduate students over the course of a degree.

In the submission, CBIE referenced the success of other countries through programs such as ‘100,000 Strong’ and ‘Generation Study Abroad’ in the US, the ‘Proyecta 10,000 /100,000’ in Mexico, the New Colombo Plan in Australia, the EU’s Erasmus program and the UK Strategy for Outward Student Mobility.

Developed with input from members and stakeholders across the industry, the document is a response to the consultation launched by the House of Commons Standing Committee on Finance on the priorities for the 2019 budget.

Stakeholders were invited to submit evidence on how the government can support economic growth “in the face of a changing economic landscape.”

Low outward student mobility is an important issue for many industry stakeholders in Canada and a frequently debated topic. Director of internationalisation at Memorial University of Newfoundland Sonja Knutson for example recently told The PIE that she was concerned the country doesn’t take the issue seriously enough.

“CBIE, along with other key stakeholder groups across the sector, believes that Canada urgently needs to cultivate students with open minds and global competencies that can help to advance Canada’s diplomatic and trade relationships abroad,” Bezo explained.

“The reality is such that the next generation of private and public-sector Canadian leaders will require international experience, intercultural understanding and skills to excel in tomorrow’s inter-connected and interdependent world.”

The Global Education for Canadians report has served as a rallying point for key stakeholders to advocate for strategic investment in outward student mobility, Bezo explained, and she anticipates advocacy on this topic will continue in the future.

However, there is a sense of urgency to the submission, which insists on the need for a swift coordinated action and strategic investment, explaining that Canada is lagging behind its competitors in a “race” the country “cannot afford to lose.”

“Business as usual is not an option,” the document reads.

“The time for action is now. CBIE would welcome a catalytic investment in learning abroad as part of the next federal budget,” Bezo explained.

The submission also focuses on the need to widen access to an international education experience for students from all backgrounds, citing evidence that educational mobility often produces he greatest results for students from disadvantaged background.

It also recommends that access to funds and international education opportunities should be made available across the full spectrum of education, for K-12 and beyond.

“Business as usual is not an option”

“Funding should not be exclusively for postsecondary students, as it is often too late for individuals at this stage on their education path to make the necessary personal arrangements or pull together required financial resources,” the submission warns.

Randall Martin, executive director of British Columbia Council for International Education, told The PIE that he thinks the government will agree with the recommendations in principle. However, if the federal government is not able to fully meet the funding recommendations, other sources can be tapped into.

“[Funding can come from] a coordinated approach with and supported by the government to tap into the private sector, especially the multi-nationals benefitting from a globally-literate workforce,” he explained.

But beyond funding, there are other factors that have slowed down Canadian students’ participation in international education, Martin explained, and that need to be addressed.

He said study abroad experiences need to be integrated in the core curriculum, and appropriate messaging needs to be delivered to families explaining the value of an international experience for personal and academic development.

Ease of academic credit transfer and flexibility of education programs are other areas worth investing in, Martin added, as different systems may cause students to delay graduation if they choose to study abroad for a period.

Universities Canada’s own pre-budget submission also called for support for outbound student mobility in the 2019 budget, a spokesperson told The PIE.

The organisation advocated for the same national target set in the Global Education for Canadians report, and recommended the government supports 15,000 Canadian postsecondary students per year go abroad within five years, rising to 30,000 per year within 10 years.

“Only 11% of Canadian university students take part in international study over the course of their degree, and at the moment Canada does not have a plan in place to increase these numbers,” the spokesperson explained.

 

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ACE Releases Paper Exploring Intersection Between College Instruction and Student Outcomes

American Council on Education - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 02:30
​Effective college instruction leads to engaged and successful students who are more likely to be satisfied with their education and earn a postsecondary degree, finds a paper released today by ACE.

DTU hopes to solve housing crisis

The PIE News - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 01:44

The Technical University of Denmark is building a residential complex of 312 studio apartments catering to international students in north Copenhagen.

Plumbing and underfloor heating is installed into the prefabricated buildings, which will then be delivered to DTU’s campus in Lyngby. The buildings are expected to be ready for their first residents by early 2019.

“Lack of affordable housing is a challenge for Danish and international students”

Mikael Hyttel Thomsen, director of the Housing Fund DTU, said the project does not solve the lack of student accommodation, but is a “small step in the right direction”.

According to Thomsen, DTU can by law not finance or build student houses, and therefore established Boligfonden DTU, a foundation seeking to build for international students, guests and staff related to DTU.

“Affordable housing in the Greater Copenhagen area is difficult to find as it is in any other capital and major university cities,” he told The PIE News.

“There are of course individual preferences, but it is our perception that students don’t care whether they live on campus or in the city as long as the transport to and from campus doesn’t exceed 30 minutes.”

There is a general lack of affordable housing for both Danish and international students in the vicinity of the university’s campuses, he said.

“Boligfonden DTU continues its indefatigable work to increase the amount of affordable and suitable housing in a radius of 30-minutes from DTU’s major campuses.”

Construction time is optimised as the buildings are made prior to arriving on site, but are still a “good and solid product that can handle the Danish climate,” according to Thomsen.

He added that housing on campus represents only small percentage of overall housing, and much of the accommodation for international students are located in residential areas off-campus.

Boligfonden DTU previously teamed up with Danish pension fund, PensionDanmark, in 2016 to build affordable accommodation for Danish and foreign students on the university campus.

“Lack of affordable housing is a major challenge for both Danish and international students. Boligfonden DTU work is to remedy a subset of the housing problem for international students and guests who do not have a network in Denmark,” Thomsen said.

In 2017, 874 exchange students and 728 international MSc students were admitted to DTU, according to its website.

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Goucher College says it's eliminating liberal arts programs such as math, physics and religion, in attempt to keep costs down

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 00:00

Goucher College is the latest institution to announce a series of program cuts following an academic prioritization process. Majors and minors in math, music, physics, religion, Russian and elementary and special education are being phased out, as are majors in studio art and theater, the college said this week. Book studies, German and Judaic studies will also be eliminated as stand-alone majors.

All current and incoming Goucher students will be able to graduate with their intended major under the current program, but the changes take effect thereafter.

In an all-campus memo, President José Antonio Bowen said that Goucher will do "everything we can to keep disruption to a minimum, but it is imperative that resources are allocated in ways that best support as many students as possible."

There “is no financial crisis; in fact, after a very thorough review this summer, the Standard and Poor's retained its ‘A-’ bond rating for Goucher,” he added. “Raising costs and continuing to increase the number of options per student, however, is no longer a possibility. We are determined to offer the best education for a price more people can afford.”

This is not the first time that Goucher has undergone an academic program prioritization process, or a metrics-driven evaluation of degree tracks to make decisions about funding and resource allocation. But it is the first time such an evaluation at Goucher has resulted in the elimination of so many programs, and especially programs that are considered part of any liberal arts college’s mission.

Yet Bowen in his message said that Goucher remains grounded in the liberal arts.

“Despite many competitors shifting away from a traditional liberal arts model,” he said, “Goucher remains almost uniquely committed to being a modern liberal arts college. We have long resisted the temptation to adopt more of the vocational programs currently in vogue with segments of the American public. Any new programs we offer will be interdisciplinary and in the liberal arts tradition. We have chosen this path carefully and strategically.”

Bowen said Goucher will continue to offer “robust math and physics courses to prepare students for careers in science, computer science and medicine, but very few students were interested in them as stand-alone majors.” The college has plans for a new Science Research Center, and construction of “much-needed new lab space for biology, chemistry and environmental science” will begin next year.

As for the arts, Bowen said that they’ll be an “essential pillar of the liberal arts at Goucher.” But the vast majority of the students who participate in theater, music and art activities on campus “do not actually major in those fields.”

“We may even add more activities, opportunities, and ensembles, based upon student interest,” he said. “Dance is one of the largest majors on campus, and we have recently seen increased interest in film, digital art, and creative writing.” Individualized majors remain an option.

Some remain skeptical about Goucher's stated dedication to the liberal arts. A group of alumni and others criticized the college on social media.

A number of professors in the affected departments did not immediately respond to requests for comment Thursday. Ann Duncan, professor of religion and chair of Goucher’s Academic Policies Committee, referred questions to comments she made to Goucher’s student newspaper, The Quindecim, in May. She described the prioritization process at the time as intended to be faculty led, but set in motion and ultimately decided by the college’s Board of Trustees. Duncan also told the newspaper that the prioritization process was complicated by an ongoing revision to the general education curriculum, which was passed by the faculty under the assumption that there would be steady staffing numbers.

“Faculty are incredibly excited about the new curriculum and the creativity and interdisciplinarity it allows,” Duncan said. “We passed this curriculum with a certain sized faculty and with even the promise that we might be able to grow a little.” Now, she said, “there are a lot of positions that have not been filled and we may be losing some positions.”

Sometimes colleges make major program adjustments because they’re struggling with enrollment. But that doesn’t seem to be the case at Goucher, based on a review of recent enrollment figures. In 2008, there were 360 incoming first-year students. Last year there were 420, and this year there are expected to be 439. The college started allowing video admissions in 2014. Its admit rate was 79 percent in 2017, with 15 percent of those enrolling, according to College Navigator.

Stephanie Coldren, spokesperson for Goucher, said that this year’s incoming class will be one of the biggest ever. She described the degree track changes as part of an “ongoing, faculty-led program prioritization process to strengthen the entire academic program and support the evolving interests of our students.”

Referring to the new curriculum, Coldren said that Goucher last year launched an “innovative and highly-praised new general education curriculum and this fall we will continue that process by looking at how we can enhance some majors, reconfigure or create other majors, and gradually phase out others.”

Bob Atkins, CEO and founder of Gray Associates, a higher education strategy consulting firm, said his group was not involved in the Goucher decision (the college is not a client). But typically, he said, colleges make Goucher-style changes because costs are rising as revenues decline. “Colleges are constrained across the board by students’ ability to pay, and increasing skepticism about the value of higher education.”

The more virulent strain of skepticism that scoffs at the liberal arts and attempts to “limit the academic agenda to something vocation-oriented” is misplaced, and worse, Atkins said. But even students and parents who are committed to the ideals of higher education wonder how degrees without “obvious links to jobs” will pay off.

Regarding Goucher, Atkins said it’s important to differentiate between majors and courses offered. Majoring in drama to become an actor may not lead to more than waiting tables, he said. But taking drama courses and learning to speak in front of a crowd will benefit students in any major in their eventual careers.

Using publicly available data, Atkins said that general math at Goucher -- one of the programs to be cut -- led to four degree completions in 2016. That means an entire major was supporting perhaps 12 students, or very few even for a relatively small college such as Goucher.

“It’s a tough decision; I wouldn’t want to make it,” Atkins said. “But when there’s actually no program in the first place? It’s not a cut if no one’s majoring in it.”

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Rutgers study: Pay doesn't affect students' major choice

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 00:00

If college students knew how much money they’d make after graduation -- even if it's less than they thought -- would they still choose the same major?

Probably, according to a new report.

Michelle Van Noy, associate director of Rutgers University's Education and Employment Research Center, along with Alex Ruder, a nonresident visiting scholar at the university’s Heldrich Center for Workforce Development, surveyed more than 4,900 undergraduates, a range of students from freshmen to graduating seniors, at the institution's three campuses in New Brunswick, Camden and Newark, N.J.

The survey asked students to pick from six broad fields: business, education, health, humanities, social science and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). Then students were shown either the median salary in the field they picked, a range of pay and information on job security in that chosen field, or no data at all.

After students viewed the salary information, researchers asked them to estimate their future salary, as well as the likelihood that they would pick a major associated with that field.

The researchers found that being presented with salary data didn’t seem to affect whether the students would choose a major. Students who weren’t shown the data were about as likely to pick a given major as those who were, even if the salary was different than what they initially thought it would be.

Information on job security also did not seem to influence their decision.

“Students’ choice of major is a highly complex process influenced by many factors, and this information on earnings alone is likely to be insufficient to substantially sway students’ decisions,” the researchers wrote.

The results are specific to just Rutgers, the flagship public university of New Jersey. The percentage of students answering the survey generally matched Rutgers' demographics, with one exception: the percentage of women at the university is 52 percent, while 66 percent of survey respondents were women (and a total of 6,140 students filled out the survey, but only 4,900 completed it).

A similar survey of Duke University undergraduate men found that their knowledge of average earnings is not always accurate, and that better knowledge of pay would lead a small portion of students -- about 7.5 percent -- to change their majors.

In the new study, Van Noy and Ruder also found that showing students their earning potential lowered their expectations for how much they would make, especially among students in STEM and business fields. The researchers believe that the high-paying jobs in these fields cause students to form “pie-in-the-sky” conceptions about potential pay.

The students who viewed the median salaries in STEM and business ranked their potential salary roughly $10,000 lower than those who got no data on pay -- for instance, a typical business major who got no pay data pegged a starting salary at about $75,550 annually, versus one who saw the median salary ranking pay at $65,450.

Many students hold "higher-than-realistic views" of potential future earnings in these fields, the researchers wrote -- and viewing national data on earnings and employment "served to lower these expectations.”

They also warned that students’ "optimistic expectations about earnings in these fields may be cause for concern to the extent that these perceptions lead students away from other fields that they may prefer and may be more lucrative than they think."

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NYU scholarships cover medical school tuition as doctors' debt continues to raise concern

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 00:00

As worries persist about high medical education costs and new doctors shouldering staggering debt loads, leaders of the New York University School of Medicine on Thursday announced new full-tuition scholarships for current and future students.

The scholarships cover M.D. students at the NYU School of Medicine, where the sticker price is $55,018. About 440 students across all classes will be covered at a total cost of $24 million annually.

NYU has for years been working to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in endowed funds necessary to pay for the scholarships. It is not the first prominent institution to announce a medical school affordability initiative in recent memory, but its new program stands out for its high level of funding, its scope and because it has been in the works for quite some time.

“We were planning this for 11 years,” said Dr. Rafael Rivera, associate dean for admissions and financial aid at the NYU School of Medicine. “This is not an issue that’s solely NYU’s problem. We hope medical schools across the country will figure out additional ways of addressing it.”

Several other medical schools have taken significant steps to cover medical school costs in recent decades. In 2008, the young Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University said it would pay tuition for its 32 entering students. Today, the college -- which remains much smaller than NYU -- provides full scholarships covering tuition and fees for all students.

The University of California, Los Angeles, in 2012 announced a merit-based scholarship that covers the full cost of attendance for in- or out-of-state students. That scholarship covers almost 20 percent of entering medical students every year.

NYU’s uptown rival, Columbia University, announced in April the launch of a new scholarship program for students at its college of physicians and surgeons. That program, for students who qualify for financial aid, replaces loans with scholarships. About 20 percent of students were expected to demonstrate enough need to receive full scholarships under that program. Columbia reported launching its program ahead of schedule after donors quickly built upon a $150 million scholarship fund endowment gift announced in December.

The NYU scholarship is expected to cover more students than those efforts.

“This effort is unique, and it’s big,” said Julie Fresne, senior director of student financial services and debt management strategies at the Association of American Medical Colleges. “How this particular offering from NYU is different from other ones is this offers a tuition scholarship for every single student, regardless of whether or not they’re the top two academically in the class or the top two who have the most financial aid.”

NYU will need about $600 million in endowed funds in order to support its full-tuition scholarships into the future. The university has raised about $450 million toward that goal, and leaders are confident in continued progress after they were able to raise $240 million in the last nine months alone.

“We’ve been pretty deliberate and focused on making sure that we could do this,” said Dr. Robert I. Grossman, dean of the NYU School of Medicine and CEO of NYU Langone Health. “We’ve had amazing donors, philanthropists, et cetera, who actually believe this is a very significant issue and problem. Through their generosity, we are solving that problem.”

The already steep cost of a medical education has continued to rise in the United States in recent years. Tuition, fees and health insurance increased for most students by about 3 percent in the 2017-18 academic year, according to statistics compiled by the medical colleges' association. Charges at private institutions averaged $57,000 for residents and $59,000 for nonresidents. Charges at public institutions averaged about $36,000 for residents and $60,000 for nonresidents.

High costs have for years stoked concerns about how debt affects aspiring doctors. Leaders worry some of the best and the brightest students, particularly those from poor and immigrant communities, are dissuaded from attending medical school at all. Others fear that the need to pay for medical school dissuades many of the students who do attend from pursuing practices in fields where they are most needed, like primary care or pediatrics, and from locating in poor regions where doctors are scarce. Instead, they worry, the current economics of medical school effectively encourage students to enter high-paying specialties and set up practices in wealthy regions.

AAMC statistics make clear just how heavy the debt burden is on doctors: three-quarters of the class of 2017 had debt. Among those who had borrowed, median indebtedness rose 1 percent, to $192,000. About half of students, 48 percent, borrowed $200,000 or more -- and 46 percent planned to enter a loan forgiveness or repayment program.

Those who attended private institutions owed more than the class as a whole, although a slightly lower percentage, 72 percent, borrowed. Those who had borrowed to attend private institutions posted a median debt of $202,000. More than half, 57 percent, owed $200,000 or more. About a fifth, 21 percent, owed $300,000 or more.

NYU’s new scholarship will not cover costs besides tuition -- like living expenses, fees and health insurance. The university still expects first-year students to have costs totaling about $27,000.

But leaders say about 10 percent of each class will receive merit scholarships covering the full cost of attendance. While many students will still have to pay costs associated with their medical education, leaders say it is important that none will have to worry about tuition.

It will be worth watching how the already highly rated NYU School of Medicine’s admissions metrics change under the scholarship. The medical school has no plans to expand its class sizes beyond current levels. So it could very well become an even more sought-after seat for price-conscious students.

Medical education is difficult and has in many cases shifted away from an inpatient setting, making extremely large classes unrealistic, Grossman said. NYU’s goal is to “produce the best medical education we can for our students.”

While many hope lower costs will lead to more general practitioners, covering the cost of tuition isn’t necessarily an attempt to encourage any particular student to choose any specialty, according to NYU leaders.

“What we’re doing is providing freedom of choice,” Grossman said. “The freedom of choice enables students who, by and large, are committed and altruistic to go with their passion. If they want to do primary care, they’re not going to be burdened by debt.”

NYU touts other efforts designed to make medical school more affordable, like an accelerated three-year curriculum, which it decided in 2013 to offer. The idea is that doctors can begin practicing earlier with less debt.

“We talked about two ways of reducing debt,” Rivera said. “One is decreasing the cost of attendance for any given year, like we’ve done with the tuition-free initiative. The other is to shorten medical school.”

It’s possible that NYU’s new scholarship and some of the other recent scholarships announced at other medical schools are the start of a renewed effort to cover medical school costs. But it’s not that simple. It will remain expensive for institutions to educate future doctors, and not every medical school has the fund-raising expertise, history or deep donor pool needed to raise hundreds of millions of dollars in endowed funds for comprehensive scholarships.

“I would like to hope that there’s an ongoing momentum,” said Fresne, of the AAMC. “I think most schools would love to be in this position. Perhaps they will look to NYU as a model of how to make something like this happen. But, again, it takes a lot of pieces coming together to be able to make something like this happen. Some schools have larger endowments than other schools that may be newer and not have as far of a pool of alumni to call upon.”

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White House tell-all from Omarosa Manigault Newman blasts DeVos

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 00:00

In her just-released White House memoir, Omarosa Manigault Newman paints herself as the biggest champion of historically black colleges in the Trump administration.

But that cause wasn’t backed by everyone on Trump’s team, according to her telling. And her chief nemesis in that mission was none other than Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Manigault Newman, a longtime confidante of President Trump and graduate of two HBCUs, served as director of communications for the White House Office of Public Liaison until a messy departure in December. Since then, she’s criticized the president and the administration in a series of TV appearances in the run-up to the release of her memoir, Unhinged: An Insider's Account of the Trump White House.

She’s called Trump a racist and writes in the book that he frequently undermined her careful planning and preparation with thoughtless gaffes. But DeVos, whom she calls "woefully inadequate and not equipped for her job," emerges as her real adversary in her quest to promote HBCUs. The Trump administration, for its part, is denying the claims in the book.

The Trump White House is historically unpopular among African Americans but made it a point early on to court historically black colleges, partly at the urging of Manigault Newman, who earned degrees at Central State University and Howard University. Some HBCU leaders were still angry over their dealings with the Obama administration and ready to turn the page with a new president, even one with a toxic brand among many of their supporters. But the efforts of administration officials to build a rapport were damaged early on by verbal and visual missteps.

Trump, in a breakfast marking the start of Black History Month last year, displayed a stunning ignorance of Frederick Douglass, the 19th-century abolitionist. And weeks later DeVos referred to black colleges as "pioneers of school choice," a phrase that drew immediate criticism as tone-deaf and ill informed. As black college leaders pointed out, HBCUs were established because, for decades, segregationist policies shut black students out of other higher ed institutions.

But Manigault Newman felt personally sabotaged by the fallout from the now infamous visit of black college presidents to the Oval Office last year, describing the incident as being “tackled by my own teammate at the one-yard line.”

In the lead-up to President Trump’s signing of an executive order moving the White House Initiative on HBCUs from the Education Department to the executive offices, a group of presidents from black colleges was invited to the Oval Office for a brief meeting and photo op. That visit soon became best known for an image of Kellyanne Conway kneeling on a couch with her shoes off while the college presidents posed with Trump several feet away. (Conway had been standing on the couch to take a photo before that moment.)

"The next day the headline was about Kellyanne barefoot in the Oval and not about the historic meeting with HBCU presidents in the Oval Office. It was historic because in his eight years in office Obama had never invited all the presidents to the White House. But that point was lost because of Kellyanne," Manigault Newman writes.

Later, she complains, she was forced to fall on her sword and take responsibility for the offensive image that had gone viral after the meeting.

Just as Manigault Newman takes credit for organizing the White House meeting, she says she was the driving force in the administration behind the restoration of year-round Pell Grants, a policy change that will benefit many low-income students of color. Manigault Newman went directly to the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney, she writes, to push for the change. (The reinstatement of year-round Pell had long had bipartisan support in Congress and was included in a budget deal last year.)

Where Manigault Newman was on a mission for increased funding for HBCUs, she says DeVos has a different agenda -- one she thinks student protesters just don’t understand.

With many still upset by her comments linking black colleges to school choice, DeVos was booed last year throughout a 20-minute commencement address at Bethune-Cookman University, a historically black college in Daytona Beach, Fla. But she was unfazed by the reaction, Manigault Newman says.

“She said, ‘They don’t get it. They don’t have the capacity to understand what we’re trying to accomplish.’ Meaning, all those black students were too stupid to understand her agenda. I said, ‘Oh, no, Madam Secretary. They get it. They get it, and they aren’t happy about you or your goals.’”

Manigault Newman says the DeVos agenda, “in a nutshell, is to replace public education with for-profit schools. She believes it would be better for students, but the truth is, it's about profit. She's so fixated on her agenda, she can't give any consideration to building our public schools, providing financing for them, particularly their infrastructure needs.”

When Manigault Newman later reported to Trump that she was left behind at her hotel by the DeVos team on that trip, she claims the president referred to his education secretary as “Ditzy DeVos” and promised to push her out soon.

The Education Department didn't respond to requests for comment, but Liz Hill, a spokeswoman for DeVos, told Politico this week that Manigault Newman is "a disgraced former White House employee … peddling lies for profit. The book is a joke, as are the false claims she’s making about Secretary DeVos."

Manigault Newman also says DeVos was behind efforts to cancel the White House HBCU Summit last year. Some members of Congress and college leaders had called for the event to be postponed -- many of them disturbed and angered by Trump’s response to white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Va., in which one neo-Nazi drove his car into a crowd of protesters, killing activist Heather Heyer. Trump had equivocated over who was responsible for the violence, saying there were “good people” on both sides of the protests.

Despite skepticism from allies in the HBCU sector, Manigault Newman insisted the summit should go on as planned. But DeVos was the biggest voice within the administration pushing for the event’s cancellation, she claims. Manigault Newman writes that she convinced White House chief of staff John Kelly to let the event go on over DeVos’s objections, although the summit was eventually pushed back until later in the fall.

“I heard from a member of the HBCU staff that DeVos was livid that the event was moving forward,” she said.

Manigault Newman claims DeVos attempted to shut down the event by announcing that it was off and then canceling the conference hotel, costing the federal government $75,000. She arranged to hold a scaled-down event at the White House instead.

The alleged foot dragging by DeVos included refusing to give opening remarks to the new class of HBCU all-stars, a group of undergraduate and graduate students selected each year to act as ambassadors of the White House initiative on black colleges. But Bill McGinley, the head of cabinet affairs, told DeVos she had to give the remarks, according to Manigault Newman.

"To the dismay of all the forces working against me, I had one person in my corner -- President Trump," she writes.

It was one of the few unambiguous high points for Manigault Newman in her White House tenure since Trump’s inauguration parade. Before the festivities, she helped secure the funding for the Talladega College marching band to attend and participate. That decision drew serious blowback for the school, but Manigault Newman appeared on Fox News to promote a GoFundMe fund-raiser for the band that eventually raised more than $600,000.

“I was cheering and filled with pride for them. Every one of those students was like me,” she writes, reflecting on the parade. “They’d gone to an HBCU for experience and opportunities and because of our efforts, they were here, and standing tall. I was just so proud of their determination and resilience. Despite all the protests and forces working against their coming to D.C., they’d made it. And now the eyes of the world were on them.”

Books and PublishingEditorial Tags: Trump administrationHistorically black collegesImage Source: Getty ImagesImage Caption: Omarosa Manigault NewmanAd Keyword: OmarosaIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: College: Bethune-Cookman UniversityHoward University

Duke will leave empty the spot in its chapel that previously had statue of Robert E. Lee

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 08/17/2018 - 00:00

A year ago, in the wake of the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., set off by white supremacists, Duke University removed from its chapel a statue of Robert E. Lee.

The statue was one of 10 at the entrance to the chapel. It was seen by many as an affirmation of the Confederate cause. The removal of the statue left open the question of what to do with the empty space created by the decision.

On Thursday, the university announced that the spot will remain empty.

Vincent E. Price, president of Duke, said that the idea came from Reverend Luke Powery, the dean of the chapel, who said a year ago that the empty space could represent “a hole that is in the heart of the United States of America, and perhaps in our own human hearts -- that hole that is from the sin of racism and hatred of any kind.”

Price wrote in a statement, "I have concluded that Dean Powery’s suggestion is the right one, particularly when combined with the placement of a plaque in the foyer of Duke Chapel that explains why the space is empty. It will provide a powerful statement about the past, the present and our values."

DiversityEditorial Tags: DiscriminationIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: College: Duke University

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