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DCU announces partnership with FutureLearn

The PIE News - 14 hours 42 min ago

Ireland’s Dublin City University and FutureLearn have announced a global strategic partnership to enable the university to offer a range of short and longer accredited courses aimed at working professionals and global learners.

The courses will cover a wide variety of subjects from Artificial Intelligence to FinTech and will help to meet the global demand for lifelong and micro-learning opportunities from reputable universities.

Over 45,000 learners from 136 countries have already participated in DCU’s suite of online Irish Language and Culture short courses, Fáilte ar Líne, on the FutureLearn platform.

“Career-long, flexible learning is more important now than ever”

The announcement of the global partnership was made at the “Leading Learning Futures Forum” held at DCU on 12 June and attended by professionals across the education and technology sectors.

Announcing the initiative, DCU president Brian MacCraith said the partnership further strengthens the university’s commitment to increasing educational opportunities and supporting a culture of innovation in learning.

“By delivering a wide range of flexible, technology-enhanced programs, we can ensure DCU remains at the cutting edge of education’s digital revolution,” he said.

CEO of FutureLearn Simon Nelson added that FutureLearn’s mission is to transform access to education “at all stages of life.”

“Career-long, flexible learning is more important now than ever before as only by upskilling, and in some cases reskilling, can we hope to successfully navigate the ever-changing professional landscape,” Nelson added.

“Our global strategic partnership with DCU will help us address these challenges head-on. We’re delighted that DCU shares our commitment to lifelong and micro-learning, and… we are really excited about the opportunities this partnership will offer our global community of learners.”

Mairéad Nic Giolla Mhichíl of the Ideas Lab, DCU added that the future of work is changing rapidly, and working professionals need opportunities to learn how to respond to the challenges of flexibility, access and relevance.

“We are also excited about what we can learn from global learners and how we can improve the design and support of digital learning on a global scale,” she said.

The post DCU announces partnership with FutureLearn appeared first on The PIE News.

Two new bills take different approach to protecting U.S. research from foreign threats

Inside Higher Ed - 16 hours 49 min ago

Two bills introduced within the last month seek to address foreign espionage targeting academic research as Congress continues to pay more attention to this issue and collaborations involving China and Chinese nationals in particular have come under increased scrutiny.

The Protect Our Universities Act, introduced Tuesday by Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, would require students from China, Iran and Russia to undergo background screening before participating in designated “sensitive research projects.” An interagency task force led by the Department of Homeland Security would be charged with maintaining a list of sensitive research projects funded by the member government agencies.

Hawley plans to introduce the bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act, which is currently being marked up in the House and Senate. He said in a statement that American universities are “key targets of espionage and intellectual property theft by not only China, but Russia and Iran.”

“For too long, these countries have sent students to our universities to collect sensitive research that they can later use to develop capabilities that threaten our national security,” Hawley said. “This bill takes much-needed steps to ensure our research stays out of the hands of foreign adversaries who are proactively rooting for our failure.”

Members of Congress, the White House, national security agencies and federal science agencies have all significantly stepped up scrutiny of foreign research links over the past two years, with much of the scrutiny focused on China.

Speaking to the Council on Foreign Relations in April, Federal Bureau of Investigation director Christopher Wray described China as posing a bigger threat than any other country. “China has pioneered a societal approach to stealing innovation in any way it can from a wide array of businesses, universities and organizations,” Wray said. “They’re doing it through Chinese intelligence services, through state-owned enterprises, through ostensibly private companies, through graduate students and researchers, through a variety of actors, all working on behalf of China.”

The increased scrutiny has raised concerns about racial profiling of Chinese students and scholars and about a chilling effect on collaborations with Chinese institutions. One Chinese American scientist fired by Emory University for allegedly failing to disclose Chinese funding and ties is publicly disputing the charges against him. Bloomberg Businessweek published an article last week about the resignation of a top cancer epidemiologist from the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center and the targeting of ethnic Chinese scientists for extra scrutiny.

Higher education groups say they share the government's concerns about safeguarding U.S. research, but they warn that taking an overly restrictive approach will harm U.S. science, which is highly international.

Tobin Smith, vice president for policy at the American Association of Universities, said he thinks the Protect Our Universities Act proposed by Hawley takes the wrong approach to addressing these issues.

“It ignores that we have mechanisms already in place to safeguard research,” Smith said. “Those mechanisms are classification, export controls and what we call controlled unclassified information. It seems to us that this would create a new category of sensitive research projects, which is very vague and hard to understand. Historically, National Security Decision Directive 189, issued by President Reagan in the '80s, said the primary mechanism for control of information should be classification system, and to the maximum extent possible fundamental research should be kept open.”

“This bill would require background checks of individuals who would be working on fundamental research that is intended to be published and made accessible to the public,” Peter McPherson, the president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, said via email. “International students already go through a visa process. Creating another process would unnecessarily complicate research projects that will ultimately be published online and viewable across the world.”

Both AAU and APLU support a different bill, the Securing American Science and Technology Act, or SASTA, which was introduced in late May by Representative Mikie Sherrill, a Democrat from New Jersey and chair of the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight.

A number of major higher education and scientific associations have endorsed SASTA, as have dozens of research universities, who wrote in a joint letter that the bill takes “a proactive and sensible approach to safeguarding federally funded research and development from growing threats of foreign interference, cyberattacks, theft and espionage.”

The bill would direct the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy to establish an interagency working group “to coordinate activities to protect federally funded research and development from foreign interference, cyberattacks, theft or espionage and to develop common definitions and best practices for federal science agencies and grantees, while accounting for the importance of the open exchange of ideas and international talent required for scientific progress and American leadership in science and technology.” It also would establish a new National Science, Technology and Security Roundtable to encourage information exchange between academia and federal security and science agencies on these topics.

“There are serious and legitimate concerns about academic espionage at our universities,” Sherrill said in a statement. “That’s why we’re proposing a unified approach to protect research without creating overlapping or contradictory federal requirements. We have to get this right. We must protect our innovation and research while maintaining the international engagement and demonstrated value foreign students bring to our institutions of higher learning.”

AAU’s Smith said that SASTA has been included in the current House version of the NDAA, which appears poised to be the vehicle through which legislation affecting science and security issues will be advanced.

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Roosevelt U students take to social media to complain about a professor of theater they say has long been "abusive"

Inside Higher Ed - 16 hours 49 min ago

This article contains explicit and potentially offensive terms that are essential to reporting on this situation.

The floodgates opened at Roosevelt University’s Chicago College of Performing Arts this month, with numerous students and alumni complaining on social media that a professor and longtime associate dean there had harassed them or their peers and had otherwise been "toxic."

Additional concerns have been raised about the climate within the college for underrepresented students.

Questions remain as to how the alleged behavior went unchecked, if it did, and when the university became aware of the allegations. Multiple students have said that more formal complaints against the professor, Sean Kelley, went nowhere or were dropped by the university.

Kelley did not respond to requests for comment. The university says it’s investigating the allegations.

Complaints about Kelley began to appear on social media after one former performing arts student, Netta Walker, wrote a lengthy public Facebook statement upon receiving a local Jeff Award for her work in Chicago-area theater. Walker, who is black, wrote that the fine arts program at Roosevelt is “abusive.”

“This university taught me that I was less than my peers in the following ways: they did not cast me, they chose white male-dominated seasons, they deliberately did not try to utilize me, they refused to cast outside both the racial and gender binaries, and taught exclusively white theatrical history,” Walker wrote. “This program is still heavily run by white men, and has not changed any of these practices.”

Walker said she didn’t care if her post upset her former professors or broke her ties with the college.

“I’m already comfortable not claiming the institution, and it seems they feel the same in regards to me,” she said. “I refuse to stay silent about the brainwashing that students are faced with daily.”

Tatyana Sampson, a college alumna, then started an online petition targeting Kelley, in particular. Kelley has “for years” been “known for his inappropriate sexual harassment and behavior towards many of the young men” at the college, she wrote, sharing a photo of an allegedly underage person that Kelley had liked on Instagram. “It is not our job as students to have to fight this, our primary job is learning; but when other higher ups neglect to do anything I find it my duty, as an alum, to say something.”

Next, student Laney Yancey shared her own Facebook post about her experiences studying under Kelley.

“Going to acting school for me, was, and continues to be, a dream. I am from a small town in Kentucky, and have always longed for my college days when I could learn more and more about this art form that has given me a deeper purpose in this life,” she wrote. While her first year delivered on part of that dream, it also “opened my eyes to deep systematic issues that exist [within the college]. These issues had me often feeling enraged, deeply saddened, and confused.” Kelley, in particular, “has created and perpetuated a toxic culture and has been a figurehead in abusing his power in an environment that should be founded on trust, safety, and vulnerability.”

Roosevelt’s performing arts school is a conservatory-style program. And conservatories are known for their intense, demanding and sometimes unconventional teaching methods. But the behaviors that Yancey and others have described go beyond unconventional or demanding.

In Yancey’s acting class alone, she wrote, Kelley allegedly said that she and a classmate “looked like we would have great sex.” While preparing Yancey for a scene, Kelley also allegedly “screamed until he was red in the face, while repetitively calling me bitch. Both of these instances were in front of an entire classroom of my peers.” He allegedly told Yancey that she was a “walking counseling center” when she asked for help with a scene and, in another instance, “threw a chair, slammed several cabinet doors, and then used the exact words of, ‘Slap that cunt,’ while ‘coaching’ a male student in his scene with a female student.”

To other students who also shared their experiences in posts or comments on social media, Yancey said, “I am so proud of all the voices that have been vigilant in posting their own experiences. We do not live in a world where men in power get excused anymore.”

Kelley has not commented publicly on the allegations against him and did not respond to requests for comment over several days.

The college on its Facebook page said, “Please know that the university is now aware of the allegations and is in the process of investigating them." It added, “Please know that the university takes complaints very seriously and also that the university strictly prohibits retaliation.”

Roosevelt “values every member of its community, including current and former students, faculty, and other staff,” the college also said. “It is important to us that these matters be investigated promptly and thoroughly, and that members of our community feel comfortable voicing any and all concerns. We will provide updates on these matters when/as we are able.”

The post provided contacts to make formal complaints. Some students have complained that the contacts don’t yield responses. Others have asked if the university is also investigating the climate concerns raised, beyond Kelley specifically. Some also say that the university was previously notified about Kelley, directly, but did nothing.

Nicole Barron, university spokesperson, also said that the university recently became aware of the allegations on social media and takes them “very seriously.” She confirmed that Roosevelt is investigating but declined additional comment, including as to whether Kelley is on leave.

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Texas legislation contrasts with DeVos take on campus sexual misconduct

Inside Higher Ed - 16 hours 49 min ago

Last fall, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos released a proposed Title IX rule that many observers said would lead to fewer reports of sexual misconduct on college campuses.

The state Legislature in Texas, however, has taken a starkly different approach. In the legislative session that wrapped up last month, lawmakers passed a flurry of bills that will put new pressure on colleges to address campus-based sexual harassment and assault.

One demands that colleges provide more resources to students and survivors of sexual assault. Another requires institutions to annotate a student’s transcript if they are asked to leave campus for a nonacademic reason.

The third, and perhaps most consequential, would add new criminal penalties for campus officials who fail to report sexual harassment or misconduct to their institution’s Title IX coordinator -- to the consternation of civil libertarians and some survivor advocate groups. They would face a misdemeanor and termination by their institution. Colleges would also have to compile and publicly disclose those reports. Institutions that fail to do so could also face fines of up to $2 million from the state’s higher ed coordinating board.

Texas governor Greg Abbott, a Republican, signed all three bills into law over the past week after each of them passed both statehouse chambers by wide margins. The mandatory reporting legislation passed without a single no vote.

The approach of that law in particular is being criticized by civil libertarians, who said it defines harassment in an overly broad manner and threatens due process. Advocates for sexual assault survivors, however, said the punitive approach to accountability is misguided and doesn't address the substance of the problem on campuses.

No state has gone so far as to demand reporting of sexual misconduct on campuses. And lawmakers in other Republican-dominated states have advanced bills over the past year to restrict colleges' response to sexual assaults or to reflect the proposed Trump administration rule.

The new campus reporting law also tees up a potential conflict with requirements outlined in regulations crafted by DeVos, who is expected to issue a final rule later this year.

“There isn’t any question that this is a distinct path from the approach taken under Obama and DeVos,” said Peter Lake, director of the Center for Excellence in Higher Education Law and Policy at Stetson University.

Under guidance issued by the Obama administration, colleges were expected to investigate complaints where they “reasonably should” have known about misconduct. In practice, that meant instructors were expected to report incidents they became aware of. But the proposed Trump administration rule says colleges only are liable for looking into incidents when they have an “actual knowledge” of misconduct. Students would have to report to an official like a Title IX coordinator with clear formal responsibilities. But a disclosure to a professor wouldn’t put a college on the hook for an investigation.

The new law in Texas goes the other direction.

The Baylor Effect

Campus sexual assault became a hot-button issue under the Obama administration, which pushed colleges to seriously address misconduct for the first time. And DeVos’s decision to roll back federal guidance issued in 2011 and 2014 and to craft new federal regulations on campus-based sexual misconduct has helped elevate the issue for many state legislators.

In Texas, however, the Baylor University sexual assault scandal that eventually led to the ouster of Baylor’s head football coach and president provided a special impetus for lawmakers to take tough action on campus sexual misconduct.

A 2016 report produced by the law firm Pepper Hamilton assigned much of the blame for mishandling of sexual assaults by Baylor football players to former president Ken Starr. Starr, the report said, failed “to provide consistent and meaningful engagement with Title IX.” A series of stories by ESPN found that the university had sought to keep quiet a number of physical and sexual assaults committed primarily by football players.

The transcript notation law was crafted in response to another Baylor case, in which a former fraternity president withdrew from the university after he was accused of sexually assaulting another student at a party in 2016 and later transferred to the University of Texas at Dallas. The student, Jacob Anderson, faced sexual assault charges but pleaded to a lesser charge of unlawful restraint.

After a public uproar over Anderson's case last year, UT Dallas president Richard Benson complained that the university had no knowledge of the accusations against Anderson at Baylor.

A version of the campus reporting legislation introduced in the previous legislative session would have added criminal penalties not only for campus officials, but also for student employees who fail to report sexual misconduct. College groups did not actively oppose the legislation and higher education leaders are examining their institutions’ policies to ensure they comply.

“It is critical that the public, including students and parents, are aware of any potential safety threats occurring on campuses,” State Senator Joan Huffman, the law’s author and a Republican from southeast Texas, told her colleagues during the session.

But advocates on campus misconduct issues fault the legislation for potential negative consequences and failures in its broad approach.

Joe Cohn, legislative and policy director at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, called the Texas campus reporting law “egregiously problematic.”

“This is a perfect recipe to create an environment that is devastating to both campus free speech and due process,” he said.

FIRE had urged Abbott to veto the legislation. 

Cohn said the law uses an overly broad definition of sexual harassment that's at odds with the more narrow definition adopted in the Trump administration's proposed Title IX rule. And he warned that attaching criminal penalties would lead campus officials to report minor incidents to protect themselves from individual liability.

The law directs colleges to designate officials with whom students could speak confidentially about sexual misconduct. But Cohn and other critics said that doesn’t mitigate broader concerns about the language.

Laura Dunn, who founded the nonprofit SurvJustice and was instrumental in the crafting of federal guidance under the Obama administration, said she wasn’t opposed to accountability measures for campus officials who fail to report misconduct.

“It’s really going to come down to how schools implement it,” said Dunn of the mandatory reporting requirements. “It definitely provides an incentive for schools to have very significant training.”

But other survivor advocates rejected the approach of the legislation.

Jess Davidson, executive director of End Rape on Campus, said the campus reporting and transcript notation laws are solutions produced by well-meaning individuals who don’t understand potential unintended consequences of the policy changes. Adding more accountability for individual officials and institutions won't seriously address sexual misconduct without broader changes to policies and resources for survivors. Those policies could include more training for first-year students, due process for alleged victims and accused students, and accommodations on campus for survivors.

“We can’t just assume that if we add more accountability things will change,” she said. "We know reporting rates are extremely low. That's because so many pieces of the system are broken.”

Ashka Dighe, a University of Texas sophomore and vice president of the campus chapter of It’s On Us, a national organization that seeks to end sexual assault, said she was impressed with the bipartisan focus on tackling campus sexual assault during the legislative session.

“The overall goal of the bill was to protect survivors and prevent instances of sexual assault from happening,” she said. “I just think the way they approached this should have been different.”

Rather than adding criminal penalties to hold employees responsible for reporting misconduct, Dighe said the Legislature should push colleges to provide more resources to students who experience assault or harassment.

The American Association of University Professors has opposed mandatory reporting requirements, including in comments submitted to the Education Department on the proposed Title IX rule last year.

“These kinds of policies have a strong negative impact on faculty members in particular because of the negative effects on the teaching and advising relationship they have with students,” said Risa Lieberwitz, general counsel at AAUP.

Adding a criminal penalty for campus officials only exacerbates existing problems with the policy, Lieberwitz said.

Survivor advocates found more to like in the approach of another new law authored by State Senator Donna Howard, a Democrat from Austin, would mandate that colleges craft policies dealing with sexual harassment and assault, as well as dating violence and stalking. They would also have to lay out a process for reporting allegations and accommodations for victims. Davidson said by making small tweaks to various parts of the college system, the law could increase reporting without including tough penalties for individual campus officials.

Cohn of FIRE said that legislation also used overly broad definitions of harassment and said the procedural protections in the legislation were too sparse.

But Davidson said the law would have a positive impact by focusing on student experiences on campus rather than just an institution’s response to misconduct.

“Criminalizing school employees is not the kind of accountability we’re seeking when everything else in the system is set up to make it harder for survivors to report,” she said.

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Author skewers campus culture wars in new book

Inside Higher Ed - 16 hours 49 min ago

Politicians (mostly conservative) have perpetuated a narrative of college students, even before the election of President Trump. They have depicted campus activists as "snowflakes," overly sensitive, irrational and unbending in their beliefs. It is a depiction that has caused lawmakers to zero in on college campuses in a new way. Trump himself signed an executive order barring federal funds to colleges that do not meet free speech obligations.

Panic Attack: Young Radicals in the Age of Trump (St. Martin’s Press), the first book from Robby Soave, a rising young libertarian author and editor for Reason -- a libertarian publication -- does little to dispel these myths. The book is out this week.

In Soave's view, many of the causes for which these students fight are being marred by unnecessary infighting and political correctness, or with sexual assault issues and overreach by the federal government in telling institutions how to adjudicate such cases.

Soave delivers blazing critiques of progressive student activists -- their fondness for "trigger warnings," for instance, which he writes can be invoked regarding virtually anything uncomfortable. He said in a recent interview with Inside Higher Ed, though, that his intent is not to portray the situation on college campuses as a “crisis.” Rather, Soave said, he is trying to help moderate-to-center Democrats identify warning signs. Soave said he hopes these liberals will see the scenarios unfolding and will step in before free speech rights are further “trampled,” to ensure due process in college sexual assault proceedings is restored and no longer disregarded in “kangaroo courts.”

Soave said he was inspired to write about these issues following a series of incidents in 2015. The first were the racial protests at the University of Missouri at Columbia that exploded into the national forefront, and the second involved two Yale University professors. Nicholas A. Christakis, and his wife, Erika, resigned from their positions as head and associate head of Silliman College following an email Erika sent to students questioning whether Yale should be policing offensive Halloween costumes.

After he started writing about higher education more, Soave said with his libertarian background he was concerned by the language students were using in some cases -- particularly those attending elite colleges -- that seemed to suppress the views of those with which they did not agree. He said he was worried by the fact that some students consider free speech "harmful."

This manifested in a number of ways, in Soave’s opinion. He continually refers to the faults with intersectionality in his book, not as a concept generally but how it is applied to activism, he said.

For instance, if feminists do not consider a black woman’s view or a transgender woman’s view, then they are not “being intersectional” and can be excluded from the movement, Soave said. He identifies the Women’s March as an example of this conflict among feminists, in which certain advocates were angry more women of color and trans women were not involved in organizing it.

This unwillingness to hear out certain opinions is much more evident in Soave’s free speech chapter, though. Here, he discusses how the Free Speech Movement, which originated at the University of California, Berkeley, originally benefited liberal activists. He questions why students do not seem to support the concept of free expression.

He said that students seem to believe that free speech -- and in students’ views, offensive speech -- can actually inflict harm and jeopardize safety. Soave runs through some of the more significant shout downs of controversial speakers, namely Charles Murray, a social scientist many view as racist, who was drowned out at Middlebury College in 2017.

Soave also discusses how the anti-fascist movement, commonly referred to as antifa, has encroached on campuses in violent ways. This was most notably the case at Berkeley, where outsiders who subscribed to antifa caused widespread destruction, literally setting part of the campus ablaze when Milo Yiannopoulos, the former Breitbart editor, attempted to speak there in 2017.

Though Soave does note that many of these perpetrators were unaffiliated with the campus, the image he creates of Berkeley is particularly unflattering and consistent with conservatives who feel that free speech is being suppressed. Soave links the students to this behavior, saying they did not want Yiannopoulos on the campus.

In the interview, Soave acknowledged that the Berkeley students were the ones who were not violent -- but that didn't matter -- "they still didn't want him there," he said. Soave does not note that the administration publicly stated that Yiannopoulos had a right to speak on campus and devoted resources to trying to make that possible

Soave said he does not want to promote “absolute alarmism." He does not feel free speech has reached a crisis point (Soave disagrees with the Trump free speech order) but he also believes what is happening on college campuses might “trickle into” workplaces, such as media companies and elsewhere. Soave pointed out that The Atlantic swiftly cut ties with Kevin Williamson, a longtime National Review staffer and arch-conservative, following 2018 backlash against his public statements. Most notably, Williamson posted on Twitter that abortion should be treated like homicide and those who seek abortions should be subject to the death penalty, preferably, in Williamson's view, by hanging.

Soave is unclear where this crisis attitude comes from -- he said he does not believe, as some other pundits do, that liberal professors are brainwashing students. On the contrary, Soave said in his research he found that professors are terrified to broach certain subjects in the classroom for fear of running afoul of the more outspoken progressive students who might take exception to their lessons, even in an academic sense. But he does maintain that some disciplines are more “activist oriented,” such as gender studies and those that study other races.

“I have tried to convince conservatives that I think the liberal professor theory is wrong,” he said.

Soave is more harsh and absolute in his criticism of the Obama administration's rules around Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which were largely credited with providing more protections for sexual assault survivors. While Title IX practitioners have continued to defend Obama’s guidance around the federal sex antidiscrimination law, saying that the guidelines were strong but institutions may have misinterpreted them, Soave wholeheartedly does not support them. In the book, Soave writes that he does believe sexual assault "is all too common, on campus and off."

"The debate is over the size, scope and shape of the problem," Soave wrote. "With activists often taking the most extreme position that patriarchal forces systematically oppress and violate women, particularly women who are, for identity-based intersectional reasons, extra susceptible to marginalization."

He said that the guidance, which came in the form of a Dear Colleague letter in 2011, caused institutions and administrators to overstep and has resulted in some truly farcical Title IX cases. Obama’s guidance was rescinded by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, who offered new draft regulations that have yet to be approved by the department. They largely undo the Obama rules and give more latitude to colleges and universities in investigating and adjudicating such matters. Soave said that he’s not particularly optimistic that administrators will change much of anything around Title IX -- in fact, they are likely to double down on their practices given the public’s sensitivity to sexual assault.

Soave said (without data to back this up) that the adjudicators who sit on Title IX panels have a natural bias and tend to side with those accusing others of sexual assault.

“Automatically believing the victim and the application of that mind-set to these cases is disastrous,” Soave said.

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Campus security officers work to inform freshmen on crime prevention

Inside Higher Ed - 16 hours 49 min ago

Living on campus and away from home for the first time, many college freshmen are susceptible to crimes like burglary and theft. But on some campuses, security personnel are trying to help students learn crime-prevention tactics early on.

In recent years, many campuses have started or expanded programs to prevent sexual assault of students. But the crimes many will experience relate to theft, which is why some colleges are stepping up programming on the issue.

According to data from the National Center for Education Statistics, there were 6,716 reported burglaries in campus residence halls and 5,299 reported in other areas of campus throughout the U.S. in 2016. There were also 1,106 total on-campus robberies. (Robbery is when an assailant induces someone to hand over their property, while burglary is when someone steals property while the owner is away.)

With all these in mind, some universities are working to ensure students have all the tools necessary to avoid theft when they arrive on campus.

At Winston-Salem State University, a historically black college, crime-prevention learning is incorporated specifically into a required freshman classes, taught by a campus police officer.

“Like many college campuses, larceny is the most reported offense on campus,” Winston-Salem spokesperson Jay Davis said in an email. “This includes students leaving or misplacing student ID cards. To address this issue, WSSU’s Police and Public Safety are taking a layered approach.”

The issue of stealing wallets -- not just in the hopes of finding cash but credit cards as well as student and government IDs for the purpose of identity theft -- has become an increasing trend at universities, according to John Ojeisekhoba, campus security chief at Biola University in California. Ojeisekhoba said along with increasing issues of identity theft, stealing wallets with student IDs can allow criminals swipe-in access to areas of campus where they can find more valuable items to steal. Consumer Reports found there was a 20 percent increase in reported identity theft among college students in 2017.

“The trend coming up is mostly wallets, because you can go easily to any store and use someone’s card,” Ojeisekhoba said. “From a student’s single wallet, there are financial gains -- if there’s money or a card in the wallet, if there’s someone’s ID, that’s icing on the cake for identity theft. Bad guys also know students keep their student ID card in their wallets. They can come back to the campus, access more areas and steal more stuff.”

In 2017 Ojeisekhoba was the recipient of the National Clery Compliance Award for his efforts at Biola. As at Winston-Salem State, Ojeisekhoba said informing students early is key to crime prevention, as freshmen are often targets.

“We do things in different phases,” Ojeisekhoba said. “The orientation information is generic but also has in-depth details. For the orientation, we cover the current crime trends on college campuses.”

At Winston-Salem State, the freshman experience is littered with moments of learning about crime prevention. In addition to the mandatory class, Davis said students periodically break into smaller sessions about crime prevention during the weeklong freshman orientation prior to the start of classes.

As Ojeisekhoba prepares for the arrival of a new freshman class, he plans to keep them up-to-date on the growing issue of bike theft, which he said is on the rise due to the ease with which bikes can be resold. Ojeisekhoba even tested as many available bike locks he could find on the market in order to determine which would be best for students to use and determined that a metal U-lock is preferable. Biola will now hand out 200 free U-locks to students who agree to register their bikes with campus security.

Ojeisekhoba said in his experience, informing students early on about crime trends at their university poises them to be more successful at crime prevention.

“Sometimes we’ll have events in dormitories to make sure we’re reaching freshmen beyond the orientation,” Ojeisekhoba said. “It’s helpful for us and for them to use this medium to educate freshmen.”

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Chronicle of Higher Education: Tensions Remain Over Status of Stanford’s Press

In late April, the university pulled back from cutting a subsidy and financially dooming the press. But with potentially dueling committees examining its operations, the future remains murky.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Disinvited Speakers Get a Platform to Talk About Being Denied One

Colleges have rescinded invitations, or tried to do so, to more than two dozen controversial speakers this year. Here’s what some of them have to say about it.

Chronicle of Higher Education: ‘These Cuts Have Real Consequences’: A New Study Surveys the Damage of State Disinvestment in Public Universities

The study concludes that less funding for the institutions is bad news for low-income students, general research, and state work forces.

San Diego State U lays off all full-time ESL instructors

The PIE News - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 09:23

San Diego State University laid off its 12 full-time ESL instructors, a program director and an assistant program director in May in response to what the institution describes as a “rapid change” in the nature of access to higher education.

The university’s ESL courses will continue to run, and the American Language Institute will not close, as new part-time teachers have been recruited.

Sources with knowledge of the situation told The PIE News that teachers had little forewarning of the termination of their contracts, and many had worked at the institution for more than 20 years.

“We grieve for the loss of our careers”

Aware that there would be layoffs due to declining enrolment numbers, instructors were somewhat shocked to find they would all be losing their jobs.

“Obviously, the ESL market in the US is experiencing a considerable contraction,” a former instructor explained.

“We are not oblivious to the fact that layoffs are occurring elsewhere. In addition, we do not argue that no layoffs were necessary.”

Former teachers are reportedly unhappy about how the layoffs were handled and suggested that they were “unnecessarily callous and lacking in transparency”.

According to the institution, demand for international professional education has significantly increased, and the college is evolving to match as the landscape of that demand has changed.

“In particular, international learners are increasingly seeking just-in-time, professional, and cutting-edge programs that align with the needs of the global workforce, and English-language learning programs need to adapt to increasingly integrate with that model and modern demand,” a spokesperson for SDSU said.

“Such a change in demands contributed to a number of personnel changes within the College of Extended Studies at the end of the spring semester.”

SDSU will continue to offer its ESL courses and the American Language Institute has not closed, the spokesperson added, but former teachers fear language tuition at the university will now not meet expectations.

“As of this semester, the ALI at SDSU has no full-time instructors,” a source told The PIE.

“All the classes are now taught by part-time, hourly instructors with no benefits and at a lower rate of pay.

“Furthermore, the fact that the ALI had to hire new instructors and bring back former instructors to teach this semester offers evidence that this was just as much about completely eliminating full-time jobs with benefits as it was about declining enrolment,” they said.

As a university-based, non-profit organisation, the ALI’s instructors are required to have a master’s degree and at least two years of experience in a university-based program, former teachers have said.

“One expects a professional, appropriately educated, experienced cadre of full-time instructors to form the core of the organisation,” one teacher added.

“That cadre might need to be smaller in response to declining enrolment, but it needs to be there nonetheless to provide leadership, mentoring, institutional knowledge, and stability.”

Prior to losing their jobs, teachers wrote a letter to the dean of the College of Extended Studies, in which they argued layoffs would “lose many decades of knowledge and experience that will not be available when the [international student] numbers begin to rebound”.

In the letter, instructors offered to take short unpaid leaves during periods of low enrolment, reduce their working hours, increase administrative tasks and work on low-cost marketing ideas to increase the college’s revenues.

In response, teachers said they received a very brief email from the dean acknowledging the letter.

After instructors were laid off, they sent another letter to the president of SDSU detailing how they had been instructed to clean out desks and cubicles, following a morning meeting.

They had been locked out of their computers, emails had been shut down and key cards had been deactivated, they explained.

“We grieve for the loss of our careers, but we grieve even more for the loss of our respect for the SDSU community that we served and supported for so many years,” instructors wrote.

As of yet, former teachers have said they have heard no reply.

“All the classes are now taught by part-time, hourly instructors with no benefits and at a lower rate of pay”

According to SDSU, CES will continue to operate and its four ESL programs will merge into a single course this summer “to help students feel more closely connected to their peers and to provide greater diversity in the classroom”.

“The college will continue to have a strong international presence and focus on English language learners and adult learners in countries around the world. The American Language Institute is placing a greater emphasis on offering a broader range of programs to serve international learners,” the university stated.

CES has also created an additional position to focus on evolving international strategy.

However, for those teachers who are no longer employed at the university, the future appears bleak.

As one former instructor highlighted, “it is June, we are unemployed, and we are wondering what we will do next with our lives. It is jarring, to say the least.”

The post San Diego State U lays off all full-time ESL instructors appeared first on The PIE News.

U.S. Department of Education Blog | Ed.gov: The Public Service Loan Forgiveness Help Tool

Chances are that you’ve at least heard of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program, but do you know if your loans qualify? How to apply? If not, we’re here to help! First, what is PSLF?

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CGACC signs cooperation with Philippines

The PIE News - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 05:42

A joint statement on education cooperation was signed between the US advocacy group Centre of Global Advancement of Community Colleges and the Philippines’ Commission on Higher Education during the NAFSA conference.

The meeting was led by CGACC executive director and CEO Zepur Solakian and CHED’s chairman J. Prospero E. De Vera III.

“We are hoping to demystify the concept of community colleges and communicate the benefits”

On the CGACC team, representatives of several community colleges across the US attended the meeting, while the CHED was accompanied by a delegation including Embassy and institutions’ representatives, and vice consul Darell Ann R. Artates.

The attendees discussed how the cooperation could take shape in the future, focusing on education collaboration and two-way mobility of staff and students.

For Solakian, it was also a chance to advance recognition of community colleges on the global stage.

“We are hoping to demystify the concept of community colleges and communicate the benefits of studying in one of our institutions – the higher middle class in the Philippines would be very much attracted to this area, particularly some subject areas such as nursing,” she said.

Solakian explained that CGACC is communicating with the CHED group to kickstart the partnership.

The ideal way to go, she explained, would be forming two committees: one at the leadership level, aimed at fostering institutional partnerships, and the other at the international student level, focused on student mobility.

During the meeting, De Vera explained that the Commission had increased funding for internationalisation “very aggressively” over the past two years and explained that the Philippines have collaboration agreements with Canada and the UK on education internationalisation.

“In the US we are exploring where we can go. This exploratory meeting is crucial,” he said.

Lifelong learning is another area US community colleges, with their strong ties with industry, could lend their expertise on, attendees discussed.

Online delivery was another talking point, which De Vera said the Commission is encouraging universities to invest in to maximise technology in the delivery of education and increase access to higher education.

“Open distance learning is a strategy to increase access… I am sure there are many universities in the Philippines who would be interested in that,” he said.

 

The post CGACC signs cooperation with Philippines appeared first on The PIE News.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Can a Health-Insurance Model Bring ‘Equitable Access’ to the Textbook Market?

With plans for a single, across-the-board book fee and deep discounts from publishers, a university aims to lower costs and equalize access to course materials.

Can a Health-Insurance Model Bring ‘Equitable Access’ to the Textbook Market?

With plans for a single, across-the-board book fee and deep discounts from publishers, a university aims to lower costs and equalize access to course materials.

YOLO wellbeing and safety app launches in NZ

The PIE News - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 02:48

A new wellbeing app that aims to help international students adapt to their studies in New Zealand while doubling as a safety and welfare notification system has been launched.

YOLO, which touts itself as “safety and wellbeing in your pocket”, is an app that brings together information for international students to improve their cultural understanding of their new study destination.

“The conversation pieces that international students tend to have is very different from domestic students”

“I started realising there’s a number of issues that international students grapple with, and many of them are issues that relate to culture,” sad YOLO co-founder Arthur Chin.

“I wanted to create an app that focusses on wellbeing that actually helps students to settle in the country and feel more engaged in the host environment as well.”

Chin said that during researching for the app, he came across several pieces of literature that found a link between high engagement of international students and better academic results.

Speaking with The PIE News, he added pastoral care should encompass all facets of study life, and that international students needed as much help in understanding how to set up a bank account as they did for connecting with domestic students.

“The conversation pieces that most international students or most Asian international students tend to have are very different from the Kiwi domestic students,” he said.

As well as providing overseas students with culturally relevant information, YOLO also doubles as a safety and emergency app, allowing students to notify designated friends or family of their location or to contact emergency services directly.

“You might be in a library until about 10 o’clock at night and leaving for home… you might want to send a notify location, just to let your trusted contact know where you currently are,” Chin said.

He added that many international students did not seek out services contact numbers until needed, and that YOLO would remove the need to find the correct contacts in case of emergency.

In 2017, New Zealand launched its wellbeing strategy, which emphasised cultural awareness and inclusion.

The post YOLO wellbeing and safety app launches in NZ appeared first on The PIE News.

Student debt cancellation pushes to mainstream of higher ed debate

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 00:00

As the for-profit Corinthian Colleges chain began to collapse in 2015, tens of thousands of borrowers were left with student loans they had no prospect of repaying. Debt activists turned to a novel solution -- they said they wouldn't repay the loans and argued the federal government should clear the student debt.

That campaign resulted in debt relief for thousands of former for-profit students until the loan forgiveness process became the subject of a regulatory rollbacks under the Trump administration. When it began, debt forgiveness was considered an extraordinary solution to a unique problem related to the for-profit sector.

Four years later, though, automatic debt cancellation for every student borrower is being taken seriously as potential policy to address the $1.5 trillion in outstanding federal student loans.

Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat, said last week she would introduce legislation to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for 42 million borrowers, mirroring details she outlined in a presidential campaign proposal estimated to cost about $640 billion.

And Washington-based think tanks are issuing new publications looking into the potential benefits of broad debt cancellation.

Where the 2016 presidential campaign pushed free college onto the national agenda, candidates and policy makers are getting pressure now to take a position on solutions for current student borrowers struggling to repay their loan debt. An idea that was previously relegated to the political fringes -- canceling student debt -- is gaining new momentum. That’s a reflection of just how many borrowers have student debt that is a major concern, observers say.

“Demands previously regarded as laughably unrealistic are now part of mainstream political discourse” thanks to grassroots efforts of student borrowers, said Ann Larson, an organizer with the Debt Collective, the activist group that began pushing for loan forgiveness in response to Corinthian’s collapse.

Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont independent, is the only other candidate for the Democratic nomination to endorse massive student debt cancellation. But Warren's plan has reshaped the debate over higher ed in the Democratic primary.

Student debt is even drawing the attention of philanthropists and corporate brands. Billionaire investor Robert Smith's announcement that he would pay off the student debt of the entire Morehouse College Class of 2019 created new buzz around big solutions for student debt. It also highlighted the extent to which African American borrowers in particular struggle with student debt burdens.

Even corporate brands are looking to build marketing efforts on the issue, where a few years before they might have offered tuition assistance or free college courses to employees. Fast food chain Burger King last month announced it would pay out $250,000 in student loan payments to customers who use the company’s app. And bargain beer brand Natural Light said in January it would give $1 million for student loan payments.

Student organizers with the Debt Collective pushed the Obama administration to grant debt forgiveness to defrauded students who attended for-profit colleges through a provision of federal law known as borrower defense to repayment. That resulted in more than half a billion dollars in debt cancellation for students before the process ground to a halt under Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

Warren was perhaps the biggest champion of debt cancellation for defrauded borrowers in Congress. She took then Education Secretary John King to task in 2016 over the pace of relief for former Corinthian students. Her presidential campaign proposal, though, made the case for canceling debt on a much wider basis. The $1.5 trillion in student debt, she argued, amounted to a failed experiment to offload the burden of financing higher education onto students and their families.

Other Democratic candidates have rolled out policy platforms promising to fix the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program or allow student borrowers to refinance their loans at lower rates. But none have generated buzz like the Warren debt plan. Some polling has found that a majority of Democratic primary voters support the plan.

The proposal has also taken criticism from those who say it isn't targeted enough to borrowers most in need of assistance, that it's too expensive or that it isn’t fair to those who have already paid off their student loans. Warren's proposal would provide debt relief on a limited basis to borrowers with incomes of $100,000 or more. Less than half of borrowers in the top income quintile would receive full student loan forgiveness, compared to more than 80 percent of borrowers in lower income brackets, according to analysis from the campaign.

An analysis from the Brookings Institution, though, found that the proposal would be regressive, because the highest-earning households would receive the most benefits in dollar terms.

But Marshall Steinbaum, a professor of economics at the University of Utah, said arguments that the proposal is regressive understate the extent to which lower-income borrowers increasingly struggle to manage their student loan burdens. They also rely on outdated views of who holds student loan debt, he said, when a college degree has increasingly been a requirement to compete for good-paying jobs.

"Having student debt used to mean you were relatively privileged," he said. "Now it's the case that having student debt, at least among younger cohorts, means you're relatively deprived."

New Focus of Progressive Policy Groups

Steinbaum was the co-author of a 2018 paper from the Levy Economics Institute at Bard College that called for the federal government to wipe away all $1.5 trillion in federal student loan debt, arguing it would stimulate the overall economy. That paper acknowledged that the largest loan balances are held by the highest earners but said that the degree to which student debt is held by high earners has diminished. Steinbaum said it's clear that there's been a shift in the policy discussions over the past year.

"The public is obviously interested in this. And because the public is interested, some policy makers are interested in at least exploring it," he said. "Then you've got the people supposedly responsible for formulating policy dragging behind to keep up with the changing political balance."

Other progressive policy shops -- the kind of places that generate many of the policies candidates run on -- have started to study broad debt cancellation more seriously as well. The Aspen Institute in April issued a paper assessing broad student debt cancellation. And in the past two weeks, Demos and the Center for American Progress have released separate papers examining the potential impact of debt forgiveness along with a range of other potential policies to assist student borrowers.

Both papers examined the equity implications for several potential policies designed to assist current student borrowers, including total debt cancellation, targeted debt relief, reform of various repayment options and student loan refinancing.

Mark Huelsman, associate director for policy and research at Demos, said the idea of loan forgiveness is politically salient for many voters because it addresses an issue they are dealing with today. The Warren proposal would also extend debt forgiveness on federal student loans to individuals who attended private and for-profit institutions, where free college plans address costs at public institutions.

“There was a pretty robust push for bold solutions on college affordability and expanding what was possible from a policy standpoint,” Huelsman said. “It’s taken a little longer to coalesce around a solution for outstanding student loans.”

One reason for that development is an evolving understanding of challenges with loan repayment among researchers who track student loan debt.

“There was an assumption that the student debt problem was concentrated among those at for-profit colleges or predatory programs. Or it was seen as a problem with repayment and not necessarily with debt itself,” he said. “That has shifted over the last couple of years.”

Ben Miller, vice president for higher education at the Center for American Progress Action Fund, said new federal data on loan repayment released in recent years have revealed the extent to which even many borrowers who completed degrees struggle to repay student loan debt. Federal data in 2017 showed, for example, that nearly a quarter of black college graduates who entered college in 2003-04 defaulted on their loans within 12 years. Just 6 percent of white borrowers defaulted over the same period.

The various policy proposals from Democratic candidates would have particular benefits for specific groups of borrowers, the two papers found.

“Our hope is that policy makers understand that whatever their given solution is, that it should truly match the problem,” Miller said. “Circumstances for borrowers vary, so the right answer is probably a combination of these tools.”

Tiffany Jones, director of higher education policy at the Education Trust, said the growing focus on solutions for current student borrowers shows a recognition that there are challenges at every part of the higher ed system -- from unaffordable college costs to challenges repaying loans. But she said figuring out how those choices would affect different kinds of borrowers should guide how those solutions are crafted.

“The first step is asking the question, ‘Who is going to benefit?’” she said.

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Professor says his course proposal on conservative thought was rejected because of diversity rule

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 00:00

Bruce Gilley, a professor of political science at Portland State University, said an international “hate mob” tried to silence him following the 2017 publication of a controversial essay in which he defended aspects of colonialism.

Now Gilley says his own institution won't grant permanent status to a course he designed on conservative political thought because it doesn’t meet a new diversity standard.

Such a standard is a kind of “political litmus test,” Gilley said recently, recalling that colleagues advised him to play the game in seeking permanent course approval: keep his head down, explain how the class advances diversity, equity and inclusion, and then teach as he saw fit.

“I’m at a stage in my career, however, where I don’t want to play these games anymore,” Gilley said. “It’s wrong.”

So in his application for permanent status, Gilley wrote that the combined advanced undergraduate and graduate-level course would contribute to the diversity of ideas on campus.

More specifically, Gilley wrote in the diversity section of his application that the course “contends that fixed group-based identities are both logically and empirically problematic for political communities.” His course would “pay particular attention to the diversity of ideas in a pluralistic society and the variety of voices and learning perspectives that come with this.”

As to how the class would promote “culturally responsive” teaching, Gilley wrote that it would be about “the diversity of intellectual, personal, individual and character-based (rather than group-based) characteristics” of students.

Ideological diversity is of course a goal on college and university campuses. And it’s an increasingly popular response to what Gilley and others call the diversity “agenda.” But some say it's offensive when offered up as an alternative to diversity, equity and inclusion efforts in that it erases the lived experience of historically marginalized people and minimizes the effects of structural racism.

Asked about that, Gilley said diversity is a "reasonable" ideal. But diversity of ideas is “logically much more important than diversity of skin pigmentation or genitalia because it speaks to the human condition and what shapes how we think,” he said.

Gilley further said it’s “cultural Marxism” to attribute “goodness” or “badness” to people based on their ideology, and that doing so “threatens the very idea of the university.”

The course description for Conservative Political Thought 485-585 says that conservatism is an “approach to political life that emphasizes prudence, tradition and incremental change.” For that reason, reads the syllabus, “it is sometimes described as a practice of politics without a theory. Yet there is a large body of normative and analytical political theory in the conservative tradition.”

The purpose of the course is to “consider the main theories of conservatism and how they have been applied to political practice,” it says. “An emphasis will be placed on understanding the internal logic and the different strands of conservative political thought and the ways that it has responded to contemporary challenges.”

Gilley’s syllabus includes various introductory readings, several weeks of Edmund Burke, and one week each on European, British, American and black conservatism. It ends with readings on conservatism and public policy. Many colleges offer similar courses.

Portland State's response to Gilley’s application disappointed him.

"At this time there are concerns about the diversity questions as they have been answered," read the minutes of an April meeting at which it was discussed by faculty members from across the university who review course proposals.

Gilley said he was asked to try again but that he didn’t change the course or application in any substantive way.

Last month, he heard from a curriculum coordinator that the proposal was denied by the faculty Graduate Council "because the responses to the diversity perspectives and engagement sections did not support the university commitment to access and inclusion, particularly in regards to providing accommodations to students to the standard set by the Disability Resource Center." There were additional concerns about a missing librarian's statement on resources for the course, which Gilley described as a kind of technicality, easily remedied. He attributes the rejection to his take on diversity.

Gilley has already taught the class twice. The university says he needs permanent status to teach it more than three times. Gilley says he will still teach the class with a temporary course number, and that he’s already scheduled to do so in 2020.

But the denial of a permanent number means that the course can't be included in formal tracks of study, he said. By extension, fewer students will probably end up taking it. And it keeps the department from offering the most well-rounded political philosophy education possible, he added. Students might still learn about conservative political thought, but they'll do so through a liberal lens.

Portland State says that its faculty curricular councils have approved some 340 courses since diversity perspective and engagement guidelines were made part of the course review process in 2016-17. Gilley’s is the only one not approved under the criteria.

Many colleges and universities have in recent years mandated that students take a course or two with a diversity focus. Many colleges also have made diversity, equity and inclusion formal parts of their faculty hiring, review and promotion policies. But far fewer institutions have moved to require that all permanent courses consider diversity, equity and inclusion.

Chris Broderick, university spokesperson, said via email that both the undergraduate and graduate curriculum councils are subcommittees of the Faculty Senate, "which has the authority to approve courses under the shared governance model at Portland State."

The university enrolls 28,000 students from diverse backgrounds, ethnicities and ages, with many first-generation college students, international students, LGBTQ students, veterans and those with disabilities, Broderick said. “That is one of the reasons the faculty graduate and undergraduate councils consider how diversity and inclusion are relevant to course approval. Does the curriculum reflect diversity? Is the instruction plan inclusive?”

In a humanities course, both questions apply, he said. “If it is a science or technical course, the second question is the relevant one.”

Broderick said that Gilley disagreed with the very premise of addressing diversity in his course proposal, but that he can still resubmit it.

Jon Shields, associate professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and co-author of Passing on the Right: Conservative Professors in the Progressive University, said Gilley’s syllabus “assigns a nice sample of some of most prominent and thoughtful conservative intellectuals.”

It also brings out the “intellectual breadth of the tradition by highlighting its many currents, Burkean and libertarian, British and European, American and African American,” he said.

Shields added, “There are places where one can take such a course, but they are depressingly few. The conservative intellectual tradition is one that few students are exposed to in college.”

Andrew Latham, a professor of political science at Macalester College, teaches a course on conservative and liberal political thought every other semester. Latham said what while Macalester is a "very progressive,” liberal college, he believes liberal students take the course because they’re interested in how "the other side" thinks.  And the few conservative students who enroll "understand their political philosophy a bit better” as a result.

Latham said he enjoys administrative support for his course within the context of a liberal arts education, and that he tries hard to make it inclusive. His syllabus includes some of the same readings as Gilley’s. "The focus of our inquiries will be upon topics such as 'how should I lead my life?' (ethics), and 'how should we lead our lives together?’ (politics),” Latham’s syllabus reads. Secondary course goals include “familiarizing students with the various ‘languages’ or ‘idioms' of conservative and liberal political thought” and “helping students understand the great political debates between conservative and liberals." The course ends with a paper on "why I am/am not a conservative,” which Latham said was his favorite to read.

Gilley said departments are the ultimate experts in what constitutes a strong course. Asking an outside committee to judge it against standards such as diversity is a dangerously “open door.”

“Where does it end?” he said.

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Study finds falling appropriations will negatively affect degrees awarded by public universities

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 00:00

A new study finds that states that cut appropriations for higher education see declines in the numbers of bachelor's and doctoral degrees -- with a negative impact on the state's work force.

The study, published as a white paper by the National Bureau of Economic Research titled “Public Universities: The Supply Side of Building a Skilled Workforce,” was written by John Bound, a University of Michigan economics professor; Breno Braga, an Urban Institute research associate; Gaurav Khanna, a University of California, San Diego, economics professor; and Sarah Turner, a University of Virginia professor of economics and education.

The study, according to Braga, found that a 10 percent decrease in state appropriations over time at a public research institution leads to a 3.6 percent decrease in bachelor's degrees awarded. A 10 percent decrease in state appropriations also lead to a 7.2 percent decrease in Ph.D. degrees completed.

“A big highlight that is consistent with other research that has been done is that money matters,” Turner said of the results. “Spending of public universities’ state appropriations impacts degree attainment both at the undergraduate level and at the doctorate level at research universities, and enrollment more broadly at the nonresearch public universities.”

Braga said the research was conducted by comparing institutions across various states where state funding was going up or remaining the same versus states where it was being reduced.

“A couple states like Michigan, Wisconsin or Pennsylvania -- there was a significant decline in state appropriations over the past 25 years,” Braga said. “So we looked at states where the same thing didn’t happen -- Texas or New York State, for example.”

The study also focused on the different methods public research institutions adopted in order to fill the void left by the falling appropriations: many universities began recruiting more out-of-state students, increasing fund-raising or raising tuition. Some institutions recruited more international students, who pay higher fees. However, nonresearch public universities struggled considerably more, according to the study, to replace lost state funding. Those institutions aren't able to recruit nationally or internationally or to raise large sums of private money the way flagships can.

Data showed that at research institutions, as state appropriations declined, in-state tuition was increased while out-of-state tuition remained relatively the same, indicating a higher demand for these types of students who, at the undergraduate level, are typically willing to pay more than in-state students.

Turner said in instances where the lost funding could not be replaced by a new source, there were typically two types of blows to the institution: a reduction in institutional and student support services, as well as instructional resources.

However, Turner said for Association of American Universities public institutions, this frequently didn’t lead to the institution spending less on expenditures per student, while at the broader group of research institutions the study found a 10 percent decline in state appropriations led to a 1.6 percent decline in overall expenditures.

At nonresearch universities, Turner said there’d be a 3 percent decline in total percentages, which goes again into losses for institutional support and instructional resources.

“All institutions are raising prices,” Turner said. “But the price increase in dollar terms tends to be more selective at AAU institutions, and that also is accompanied by a change in the composition of students, which is how those institutions are able to make up for the lost revenues.”

Robert Kelchen, an assistant professor of higher education at Seton Hall University, said the study was an indication that students felt the effects of falling appropriations most, and leaves universities struggling with how to serve in-state students.

“When public colleges see drops in funding without finding methods to replace the lost funding, students can’t get the resources they need,” Kelchen said.

Kelchen also pointed to another issue regarding international students, who are often recruited to help fill these holes in appropriations. Kelchen said international students have been increasingly recruited by other English-speaking countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, flattening out U.S. recruitment of international students.

One of the most significant factors in the study is the effect reduced appropriations has on a state’s work force as degrees awarded decline in the relevant states.

“At the doctorate level, degrees are negatively tied to state appropriations changes, so there’s a labor force affect,” Turner said.

However, Turner said the results were mixed on whether falling appropriations had a negative effect on a university’s research output.

Turner said there are numerous concerns should trends on decreasing appropriations continue, especially on research.

“You run the risk of both eroding the research capacity at the research universities, and then there are declines in resources at the broad-access institutions,” Turner said. “Those declines are likely to reduce the quality of the programming at those institutions. Ultimately the takeaway is that will have negative effects on the supply of skilled workers in the labor force. A simple way to say this is money matters.”

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Colleges award tenure

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 06/18/2019 - 00:00

Bowling Green State University

  • Dilum De Silva, natural and social sciences/mathematics
  • John Dowd, media and communication
  • Virginia Dubasik, communication sciences and disorders
  • Robert Green, computer science
  • Andrew Gregory, earth, environment and society
  • Nicole Kalaf-Hughs, political science
  • Steve Koppitsch, marketing
  • Liuling Liu, finance
  • Nermis Mieses, music performance studies
  • Lucas Ostrowski, theater and film
  • Hyun Kyoung Ro, higher education and student affairs
  • Farida Selim, physics and astronomy
  • Anita Simic, earth, environment and society
  • Fei Weisstein, marketing
  • Philip Welch, public and allied health

Northeastern Illinois University

  • Rachel Adler, computer science
  • William Adler, political science
  • Sunni Ali, educational inquiry and curriculum studies
  • James Ball, health sciences and physical education
  • Kimya Barden, educational inquiry and curriculum studies
  • Katherine Bird, mathematics
  • Rachel Birmingham-Hoel, justice studies
  • Emily Booms, biology
  • Lewis Gebhardt, linguistics
  • Matthew Graham, mathematics
  • Elisabet Head, earth science
  • Joseph Hibdon, mathematics
  • Aimee Hilado Villalpando, social work
  • Nabil Kahouadji, mathematics
  • Hardik Marfatia, economics
  • Laura Tejada, counselor education
  • Dilek Yunlu, marketing and management

Trinity College, in Connecticut

  • Katherine L. Bergren, English
  • Elizabeth D. Casserly, psychology
  • Tamsin Jones, religious studies
  • Isaac A. Kamola, political science
  • Michelle Kovarik, chemistry
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Student One launches third Brisbane location

The PIE News - Mon, 06/17/2019 - 18:09

Purpose-built student accommodation provider Student One has continued to build upon its Brisbane base by opening a new 901-bed residence within the Queensland capital’s CBD.

The AUS$177 million residence sees Student One open its third location within Brisbane and deliver on plans to establish itself within the city before expanding elsewhere.

“We tend to find there’s a lot of demand from students who really want to be where the action is”

“It was always the intention from the very beginning to establish a strong foothold in Brisbane,” said Student One chief executive Tim Weston.

“It was a commitment we made probably four years ago, that the intention was to have three properties. That was a very clear goal that we had.”

Comprised of dual 23-storey and 25-storey towers, the new residence sees Student One expand its offering to 2,400 student beds throughout Brisbane’s CBD.

Speaking with The PIE News, Weston said his company had targeted sites within the city centre rather than inner suburbs after research indicated most students were looking for centrally located accommodation options.

“Traditionally, a lot of students have wanted to live on campus, and that was the way accommodation was originally set up, particularly by universities,” he said.

“Students nowadays have to fund their accommodation a lot of the time, they have to fund their education, they need to get jobs, they’re looking for a [particular] lifestyle.

“We tend to find there’s a lot of demand from students who really want to be where the action is.”

Weston said the company would now look towards other locations, adding their market research had indicated PBSAs worked best within Australia’s major capital cities.

“Our goal has always been to expand, to build the brand… but we’re not going to rush into it. We’ll assess opportunities as they come along,” he said.

A recent report from Savills found Australia had a full-time student-to-bed ratio double that of the US and more than triple that of the UK.

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