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States add restrictions to tuition-free college plans

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 01:00

For years, many states -- believing that a postsecondary credential is a necessity to succeed in the economy -- have moved toward making the first two years of college tuition free. But a growing number are attaching requirements and conditions to tuition-free plans that worry advocates for low-income students.

Minimum grade point average requirements are common. And several free-college programs now mandate that students major in certain subjects, take drug tests or enroll full-time to be eligible.

Mississippi, for instance, is considering a bill that would restrict free tuition to career and technical education programs. And Kentucky's free community college program is limited to students who seek certificates in five state-identified industries with worker shortages -- health care, advanced manufacturing, transportation and logistics, business services and internet technology, and construction.

"We would prefer states enact the most universal possible free college programs," said Morley Winograd, president of the Campaign for Free College Tuition. "But we're also cognizant that [they are] enacting free college tuition for different reasons and therefore they are likely to arrive at a different legislative solution to address, in the legislation, the problem they're trying to solve."

The details of each initiative play out differently state by state, he said, and depend on the economics, goals and politics of each region.

"It's a reflection of why they think they're giving out the benefit," Winograd said. "Some legislators and voters are doing so because they want everyone to have an opportunity for an education that is necessary to a successful economic life, but others are thinking of it as a particular tool or weapon to improve their economic development prospects."

It's understandable that states would want to direct their students to industries where they know there are shortages or potential for future growth, Winograd said. But it can be difficult for many high school students to know which career they want to pursue or if they will have the ability to pursue those careers.

In defending his state's free tuition program, New York governor Andrew Cuomo addressed criticism about its residency requirement by asking, "Why should New Yorkers pay for your college education and then you pick up and you move to California?"

Martha Kanter, a former under secretary of education in the Obama administration, now leads the College Promise Campaign, another advocacy group. She said state lawmakers manage their free-tuition programs aggressively for the same reason they created them.

"Political leaders around the country are frustrated that not enough students are graduating, the progress isn't fast enough and it takes too long to move students through the process," said Kanter.

The harder question, she said, is how states and systems can help students who are working full-time take more credits and be successful, which requires covering transportation, childcare, textbooks and more.

"It's a balancing act," Kanter said. "If you put requirements of high [grade point average] and full-time, you're going to have more success and fewer students participating. The more selective you are, you probably will see better outcomes from the research."

Requirements for Colleges

Sometimes states have added requirements to tuition-subsidy programs that are aimed at colleges rather than students.

California, for example, last year passed a law to make the first year of community college tuition-free for first-time students. That program joins roughly 50 local tuition-free initiatives in the state, as well as the rebranded California Promise Grant, formerly known as the Board of Governors fee waiver for low-income students, which makes community college tuition-free for approximately one million of the state's 2.1 million community college students.

The California College Promise program places requirements on community colleges that want to participate -- colleges must partner with K-12 school districts in an early college commitment program as well as use the state's guided pathways project.

Not everyone is happy about California's approach to free college, however.

"We believe all of higher education should be tuition-free," said Dean Murakami, a professor of psychology at American River College and president of the Los Rios College Federation of Teachers, a faculty union. "But this program is now going to get those students who are middle and higher income. It targets a population that is not that vulnerable, and we have a concern there. We're paying for rich people to come in. And is supplementing their fees a good usage of the money at this point?"

California governor Jerry Brown's budget, released last month, would allocate about $46 million toward the Promise program.

"We think there are better alternatives," Murakami said. "We can use that to help vulnerable, low-income students."

Murakami said those dollars could be better used to help students with homelessness, the cost of textbooks, transportation and childcare, or food insecurity, which are issues at-risk community college students face even when tuition is free.

Eloy Ortiz Oakley, the community college system's chancellor, said in a letter to the institutions that even with the fee waiver and the statewide Promise program, "the struggle to lower the full cost of attending college has only scratched the surface, because attending a California community college is still far from free."

Those communities and institutions in the state that have been raising money or working with local leaders to create Promise programs will have the flexibility now to use those funds to offer a second tuition-free year, or cover books, supplies and other expenses for low-income students because of the statewide Promise, he said.

Most faculty members don't see a problem with the early commitment program, which educates families on college opportunities, financial aid and offers preparatory courses. But some institutions may not be prepared to participate, he said.

As for guided pathways, those are decisions made on the local level by individual campuses and academic senates, Murakami said, adding that the law's conditions weren't included in early discussions with faculty leaders.

"What they're doing here is they're coercing colleges and districts to be part of guided pathways and early commitment programs because if they're not, they can't get the funding to help these students," he said.

But colleges have to move beyond incentivizing access and toward incentivizing completion, Oakley said in an interview with Inside Higher Ed.

"We want true access for students," he said, "to make sure the reforms we put in place lead to greater outcomes for students."

A couple of colleges may be challenged by the requirements, Oakley said, but all 114 have notified his office that they intend to participate.

The Push for Full-Time

The California program would only benefit students who attend community college full-time. That requirement, which other states also have included, has been criticized by free-college advocates.

"I wish everyone could take 15 units in a semester, but that's not possible if most students are working full-time," Kanter said. "The easy thing to do is put more requirements on students. The hard thing is making sure they get advising, mentoring and mapping schedule."

However, Winograd said, he views attendance or completion requirements differently from postgraduation residency rules, for example. Both New York and Rhode Island's programs include residency requirements.

"It's one thing to get kids into college," he said. "But it's ultimately not the end of the challenge unless we get them to complete their education."

Winograd points to former president Obama's national proposal for free community college, which would have required participating students take at least 12 credits a semester.

In New York, in order to qualify for the state's tuition-free program, which also applies to four-year institutions, students must take 30 credits a year. A postgraduation residency requirement also asks recipients to live and work in the state for the length of time they participated in the scholarship program.

"We would not be supportive of something that required people to work in the state if there is any kind of labor mobility that would be restricted," Winograd said.

Tennessee has received wide acclaim as the first state in the country to offer free community college, through the Tennessee Promise. But Bill Haslam, the state's Republican governor, recently called for a requirement that students complete 30 credits a year to maintain the scholarship.

Officials in Tennessee are optimistic that encouraging students to pursue full-time status will help raise graduation and retention rates. An end-of-the-year report from Complete Tennessee revealed that the state still struggles with community college completion, with three-year graduation rates averaging 20 percent in 2016.

"We focused a lot on access and made gains on the college-going rate," said Samantha Gutter, education policy adviser in the Tennessee governor's office. "But our completion rates in Tennessee are not where we would like them to be."

The six-year graduation rate is 26.3 percent for the state's community colleges and 56.8 percent for undergraduate programs at universities. The state wants to increase the percentage of adults with a certificate or degree from 40.7 percent now to 55 percent by 2025.

"This is truly 30 [credits] in 12 [months]," Gutter said. "We want to set the bar high, but also give them the flexibility to complete within a year and get them on track. We're hearing from the critics, but this is a research-based practice."

Research showed a positive impact on students in Indiana after they received a financial incentive under the state's 15 to Finish initiative.

The completion requirements in Tennessee wouldn't apply to adults in the state's Reconnect program, which is tuition-free for nontraditional students. And the state is asking colleges to create ready-made guides that build in the 30 hours for students.

If students can't complete 30 credit hours, the scholarship isn't revoked, Gutter said, but lowered by $250. And because the Promise is a last-dollar scholarship, those students who receive Pell Grants wouldn't see a dramatic change.

There's one additional safeguard. Students who received college credit in high school through dual-enrollment courses, International Baccalaureate or Advanced Placement could apply that credit to meeting the full-time requirement, Gutter said.

But, she said, the state isn't broadcasting those safeguards directly to students.

"Even students who come from a disadvantaged background can rise to meet these expectations," she said, adding that, on average, Tennessee Promise recipients take 13 credits a semester.

Drug Testing in West Virginia

West Virginia's free college program mandates that graduates remain in the state for two years. And the Legislature also is considering a requirement for tuition-free recipients to take a drug test at their own cost.

The proposal drew the ire of free-college advocates like Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University, who tweeted, "Let's be clear: the people pushing 15 to Finish, tying financial aid to credits, are the same people imposing work requirements on the social safety net and drug testing free college. These are no leaders."

Let’s be clear: the people pushing 15 to Finish, tying financial aid to credits, are the same people imposing work requirements on the social safety net & drug testing free college. These are *not* leaders. https://t.co/N84nwSuoMV

— Sara Goldrick-Rab (@saragoldrickrab) February 2, 2018

But Winograd said the proposal is a political compromise.

"The way to secure the votes needed was to assure that people who are breaking the law wouldn't be a recipient of this benefit," he said. "It is worth noting the provision passed the Senate unanimously. Democrats and Republicans in West Virginia voted for the idea."

Kanter said the country is moving in the right direction on free tuition and hopes the added requirements don't restrict access for students.

"I'm still holding the flag of college for all, and we need a more educated country," she said. "There is a lot of lost talent, and the more restrictions politicians put on Promise programs or need-based aid, like if you add more drug testing … what will it do for the population you're there to lead and serve? I'm hoping politicians learn from research and listen to the research and don't pick the easiest things based on money."

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Why the University of Groningen canceled plans for branch campus in China

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 01:00

The University of Groningen had grand plans for a branch campus in China. One of the oldest and largest universities in the Netherlands, Groningen planned to create a broad research university in the northeastern Chinese city of Yantai that would eventually enroll 10,000 students across a range of bachelor's, master's and Ph.D. programs. In 2015, the university signed a tripartite agreement with its partner institution, China Agricultural University, and the city of Yantai, which agreed to cover construction and renovation costs for the campus and to cover budget deficits. Groningen would have joined a small number of Western universities -- including Duke and New York Universities in the U.S. and the Universities of Liverpool and Nottingham in the U.K. -- with a full-fledged branch campus in China.

It was not to be. Groningen’s board announced late last month that it would not proceed with plans to offer Groningen degrees in Yantai, citing “insufficient support” for the plan from the University Council, an elected body composed of half faculty and staff members and half students. In the case of the China campus, the council did not just serve in an advisory or consultative capacity: instead it had what a university website describes as “the right of consent to the definitive decision to found a branch campus in Yantai.” University Council members explained that their consent was required for the university to gain final approval from the Dutch government to grant degrees in Yantai under the terms of a new law on transnational education.

University Council members said the reasons for their opposition varied, with some opposing the campus due to concerns about restrictions on academic freedom in China and others having more practical objections to the specifics of the plan. A report from a University Council commission charged with evaluating the business plan for the campus describes a number of practical concerns, including worries about the adequacy of the budget, which was to be subsidized by the local government, insufficient support for the Yantai campus among faculty in two of the six programs that would initially be offered there, and the lack of a clear exit strategy.

According to the commission report, withdrawal from the 30-year agreement was only possible due to a situation of force majeure, breach of contract or by mutual agreement, and a potential exit scenario after four years could only occur in the case of mutual agreement or through an arbitration decision from a court in Hong Kong.

The commission largely sidestepped the hot-button issue of academic freedom, devoting just a paragraph to noting that there are different views on the matter and asking readers to judge for themselves.

Ultimately, the report concludes that "there are a number or risks that have not been sufficiently thought through" while the benefits to Groningen were, for the most part, "difficult to quantify." Among the benefits that were discussed in the report were new resources and possibilities for research and for student mobility, as well as a potential rise in Groningen's international recognition and position in university rankings.

"The commission supports internationalization but sees too little added value in setting up a branch campus, relative to existing initiatives, to justify the efforts that the branch campus entails," the report states.

The head of the commission, Olaf Scholten, a professor of nuclear physics, said he concurred with the commission’s conclusions. Scholten said that his additional worry was that the university would not be fully reimbursed for the time its faculty and staff spend on the Yantai campus, with potential negative effects for the education and workload in Groningen. He acknowledged that this is a soft argument -- he cannot prove it will be a problem -- but the possibility concerns him nevertheless.

"The thing that worries me is that in order to achieve this, there’s a large flow of money going from the local government into this branch campus. My concern is that the reimbursement that the University of Groningen can receive from this would be under pressure," he said.

Bart Beijer, the chair of the University Council’s nine-member Personnel Faction and a policy officer in educational affairs, where he deals mostly with quality assurance and elearning, said it had become clear that the majority of council members opposed the plan. For some, he said, academic freedom and human rights issues were the main reasons, while others had doubts about the benefits for education in Groningen and the level of faculty support for the project.

Beijer said that he was not personally among those who opposed the plan. “Unlike the others I was prepared to wait a few months for a better plan,” he said. But he had a number of worries. These included “the risk of underestimating the workload for Yantai back in Groningen,” “the lack of benefits for the educational programs in Groningen” and “the continuous costs to keep up the quality of the programs in Yantai. Although it was said that Yantai would pay these costs, the budget as it was known to us looked insufficient.” Beijer said he was also worried about “the lack of support by those (two out of the six programs planned to start in Yantai) who had to do the most of the work.”

Henk-Jan Wondergem, a member of the University Council and chairman of the student party Lijst Calimero, similarly said insufficient faculty support for the project was a decisive factor in his party -- which has five members on the council -- coming out against the campus. “The most important reason was the fact that the same degrees were offered in Yantai and in Groningen, and we did not have the confidence with the plan that was there that the quality of education could be ensured, which threatens the value of the diplomas in Groningen here,” he said. “That had to do with a lot of technical underlying factors, relating to the budget, reacting to how much staff will come from Groningen to Yantai, and how soon new staff would be hired by Groningen in China.”

Wondergem also said the student party was concerned about issues related to academic freedom and plans to appoint a Chinese Communist Party secretary to the Yantai campus board. In a November statement, Groningen’s president, Sibrand Poppema, said that the university would protect academic freedom and independence and that the Communist Party representative on the board would have no control over programs. A memorandum of understanding between Groningen and China Agricultural University on the establishment of Yantai Groningen University states that “in accordance with the higher education laws and regulations of China and the Netherlands, academic staff and students at Yantai Groningen University shall enjoy academic freedom and an autonomous and independent academic environment.”

“In the end, I think it really boils down to if you are going to have a really intensive intercultural cooperation, how much of your own values are you willing to give up,” Wondergem said. “That’s a really personal choice. For us we said we think offering our degrees, our diploma from a Dutch university which is 400 years old under a university which is run by a party secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, is just too far. It’s just a step too far. It crosses a line that we do not want to cross.”

By contrast another student party, the Student Organization Groningen -- which also has five representatives on the University Council -- was in support of the Yantai campus. “We saw it as a very positive and interesting opportunity for the university,” said Zeger Glas, the chairman of the party. Glas said he saw benefits “in terms of international reputation and recognition -- which could lead to an influx of more and better students, more and better staff and research funds” as well as “opportunities to study in a high-quality program in China.”

“We found those advantages were definitely weighing up against the disadvantages or risks that we would take when we would set up the campus,” Glas said.

Joost Herman, a professor in globalization studies and humanitarian action and head of Groningen’s Department of International Relations and International Organization -- and a strong supporter of the Yantai campus plan -- criticized the University Council for “only seeing obstacles and not seeing opportunities.”

“U Council has basically focused on the practicalities of the implementation of these four bachelor of science programs that will be the first ones on offer at the campus in Yantai, and in my opinion, the ones with real experience in China, academic experience, were simply not consulted.” Herman argued, in effect, that the Council focused in fine detail on practical questions of implementation “while missing out on the bigger picture.” (Scholten, the head of the University Council’s commission on the Yantai campus, said the “University Council has consulted several experts inside and outside the university with experience in China” and that as such the commission did not repeat the exercise. The commission’s charge, he said, was primarily to examine the business plan for the campus.)

“What disturbed us,” Herman said, “was U Council, wonderful colleagues who normally give advice to the Board of Directors, due to political pressure they were catapulted into this position of co-decision, whereas normally they are in a kind of advisory role. I do believe that strategic decisions that have effects for the next 20 to 30 years should be at the level of the board.”

“By not going there we now completely cut off the possibility of influencing the next generation for the next decades to come who will be the rulers, so to speak, of Chinese society,” Herman said. “We are throwing away an enormous opportunity to make an effect, to make an imprint.”

Spokespeople for the University of Groningen did not respond to multiple requests for interviews with the president, Poppema, or another senior administrator. In a statement about the decision not to offer Groningen degree programs in Yantai, Poppema left open the door for other future activities there: “In the near future we will investigate, together with the faculties and degree programs, which other forms of collaboration are possible in Yantai,” he said.

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New presidents or provosts: Cabrillo CCNY Cheyney FAMU Indiana State Middle Georgia Silver Lake Tulsa UConn

Inside Higher Ed - Fri, 02/23/2018 - 01:00
  • Jon Anderson, professor of management and former deputy provost at the University of West Georgia, has been selected as provost and vice president for academic affairs at Middle Georgia State University.
  • Vincent Boudreau, interim president of the City College of New York, has been named to the job on a permanent basis.
  • Robert B. Callahan, vice president for administrative, enrollment and student services at Mount Mercy University, in Iowa, has been chosen as president of Silver Lake College of the Holy Family, in Wisconsin.
  • Deborah J. Curtis, provost and chief learning officer at the University of Central Missouri, has been appointed president of Indiana State University.
  • Craig H. Kennedy, dean of the College of Education at the University of Georgia, has been selected as provost and executive vice president for academic affairs at the University of Connecticut.
  • Larry Robinson, interim president of Florida A&M University, has been appointed to the job on a permanent basis.
  • Eunice Tarver, interim provost of Tulsa Community College's Northeast Campus, has been named to the job on a permanent basis.
  • Aaron A. Walton, interim president of Cheyney University of Pennsylvania, has been appointed to the job on a permanent basis.
  • Matthew Wetstein, assistant superintendent and vice president of instruction and planning at San Joaquin Delta College, in California, has been selected as president/superintendent of Cabrillo College, also in California.
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Chronicle of Higher Education: Education Dept. Knew of Whistle-Blower Complaint Before Easing Restrictions on For-Profit College

A letter from the president of the Accrediting Council for Colleges and Schools shows that the department was warned that Northwest Suburban College may have been in violation of Title IV rules. 

GEMS to open four new UAE schools in 2018/19

The PIE News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 11:16

GEMS Education will open four new schools in the UAE for the 2018/2019 academic year in “direct response” to the increased demand for high-quality education across the Arabian Peninsula.

Two British schools will open in Dubai, an IB-candidate school will open in Abu Dhabi and an Indian curriculum GEMS school will be launched in Sharjah.

“Our expansion plans are in direct response to the increased demands for high-quality education in the UAE”

GEMS Vertus School will be located in the Al-Waha region of Dubai and will offer the National Curriculum for England. Initially open to students from Foundation Stage to Year 8, fees will range from Dh34,000 to Dh42,500 (£6,647 to £8,311).

GEMS Founders School Mizhar will be located in Al-Mizhar near Midriff, Dubai, and is modelled after GEMS Founders School in Al Barsha. It will offer the National Curriculum for England to students from Foundation Stage to Year 8, with fees ranging from Dh22,000 to Dh29,000 (£4,296 to £5,663).

GEMS will also open a new Indian-curriculum school in the Juwaiza’a area of Sharjah for students from kindergarten to Grade 5. the Indian-curriculum school will have growth in the older grades.

In Abu Dhabi, GEMS will open a new international curriculum school on Al Reem Island. This new IB-candidate school will cater to students from kindergarten to Year 5.

Each of the four schools will expand by adding more grade levels over the years.

CEO of GEMS Education Dino Varkey said: “Our expansion plans are in direct response to the increased demands for high-quality education in the UAE.

“These additional schools and campuses will provide even more families with the opportunity to access great value for money schools.

“Each new school will be built to ensure that students are learning in environments that allow our experienced educators to nurture each of their individual talents,” he added.

The post GEMS to open four new UAE schools in 2018/19 appeared first on The PIE News.

Chronicle of Higher Education: What If Teaching Evaluations Happened Later?

If the true measure of an education is difficult to gauge right away, then maybe it makes sense to wait to ask students what they got from a course.

Canada coddles counterfeiters

Economist, North America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 08:47

“LOUIS VUITTON” handbags for the price of a sandwich. “Rolex” watches that cost as little as a T-shirt. You would not expect to find such obvious fakery at a suburban shopping mall in Canada. But deals of this sort are available at the Pacific Mall in Markham, near Toronto, according to the office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR). Its latest report on “notorious markets”, published in January, lists the three-floor mall alongside the Silk Market in Beijing, Tank Road in Delhi and El Tepito, an open-air market in Mexico City, as places where people can buy counterfeit goods. It is the first time a Canadian bricks-and-mortar outlet has appeared in the report, which has been published since 2011. “Requests for assistance from local law enforcement have reportedly gone unanswered,” the report complains.

The United States has long alleged that its northern neighbour is soft on piracy, allowing vendors to sell goods and cultural products that infringe trademarks and copyrights of...

Ricardo Anaya, Mexico’s young hopeful

Economist, North America - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 08:47

IT TAKES guts to challenge both Andrés Manuel López Obrador, a messianic, silver-tongued populist, and the residual political machine of Mexico’s governing Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI). Ricardo Anaya is as daring as he is ruthlessly ambitious. Having forged a coalition of his own conservative National Action Party (PAN) and two small centre-left outfits, Mr Anaya argues that the presidential election on July 1st is now a two-horse race between himself and AMLO, as Mexicans call Mr López Obrador, the long-standing front-runner. Several opinion polls support that contention. The question that will hang over Mexico during the next four months is whether, in his sharp-elbowed ascent, Mr Anaya has made too many enemies to unite the disparate majority that dislikes AMLO and thus win the presidency.

On the face of things, this is AMLO’s election to lose. Mexicans have rarely been so gloomy or wanted change more. The PRI government of Enrique Peña Nieto is unpopular. Although it achieved...

Rhodes expands scholarships to global students

The PIE News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 08:41

Rhodes Trust has opened up its scholarship program to students from every country with its introduction of two Global Scholarships.

The prestigious Rhodes Scholarships are for postgraduate applicants to study at the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom.

The addition of the two new scholarships bring the total number of awards to 100. The remaining 98 are awarded to particular jurisdictions. The trust plans to increase from two Global Scholarships to more over the coming years.

“[We] do not feel constrained by who Rhodes was as a person…  our mission [is] to find incredibly talented people”

Charles Conn, CEO of the Rhodes Trust and warden of the Rhodes House at Oxford, commented, “As an organisation based in Oxford, we are very excited to be able to now offer the opportunity to British students to join the Rhodes community for the first time since the Scholarship program was launched in 1903.”

“Students from regions such as Latin America and elsewhere who did not previously have access to a route to a Rhodes Scholarship can now also join our international network,” he added.

The scholarships were originally limited to countries named in Cecil Rhodes’ will, but as more funding became available the trust opened the program to more jurisdictions and regions around the world.

Scholarships were first available for students in China, East and West Africa, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Palestine, Singapore, Syria and the United Arab Emirates. With the introduction of the two Global Scholarships, students from every country are permitted to apply.

Sir John Hood KNZM, Chairman of the Rhodes Trust, said that diversity is paramount for the program.

“Without different viewpoints and ideas, we will not answer the world’s most complex questions,” he said. “We are proud that we are able to announce a truly global offer to today’s courageous young leaders all around the world. I am extremely thankful to our supportive donors, who have enabled our expansion and helped us achieve this goal.”

Despite his death in 1902, Cecil Rhodes has not left the public eye. In 2015, students at South Africa’s Rhodes University protested and demanded the removal of his statue from their campus, arguing it remained symbolic of imperial rule.

The current leadership of the Rhodes trust and Rhodes House at Oxford see this move as distancing the modern scholarship from its creator. Charles Conn said the organisation “do not feel constrained by who Rhodes was as a person… we believe in our mission to find incredibly talented people who will change the world for the better, they’re just as likely to be found in Indonesia as in Ohio”.

Notable Rhodes Scholars include Notable alumni include former US President Bill Clinton, former Prime Minister of Canada John Turner, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and US media personality Rachel Maddow.

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DIFC teams up with Levant to drive int’l student recruitment

The PIE News - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 03:50

Ireland’s Dublin International Foundation College has joined forces with Istanbul-based Levant Education to establish a dedicated Regional office in Istanbul to promote DIFC’s Foundation pathway programs across Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Azerbaijan. 

In 2017, Levant launched its Higher Education Regional Office service, and with a number of international clients interested in the model, DIFC has become the first to put pen to paper.

“Higher education recruitment is an intensive and complex activity requiring local market knowledge”, explained David Mitchell, Levant Education’s founding director.

“We feel there is more energy towards Ireland because it’s a cheaper destination compared to the UK”

“So having an office and dedicated team on the ground will vastly improve DIFC’s ability to service agents and students in this region.”

Ireland has seen a significant increase in the number of language students arriving from Turkey in particular, and factors including EU membership, post-study work visas, quality and value money make studying at university in Ireland an attractive option for international students.

Levant provides partners with a product manager in-country, working from the Istanbul office and able to manage agent support and marketing campaigns locally, in local languages.

The product manager is trained in close liaison with the partner, works to recruitment targets and reports to the HERO director and the HERO client college.

DIFC offers foundation programs for international students in Dublin and Cork, working closely with Irish HEIs as well as UK universities.

Students studying Health Sciences, Business & Management, Engineering & Technology, and Sciences at DIFC have gone on to study at top universities in Ireland, the UK and globally, and are guaranteed a university placement upon successful completion of the program.

DIFC president and CEO Diarmuid Moroney said he is enthusiastic about the link up.

“The HERO service provides recruitment reach and marketing support in a challenging but fascinating region in the coming years. DIFC is experiencing significant growth and with ambitions to open a third centre in Galway over the coming year, we felt it was important to explore potential new marketing opportunities,” he added.

The service reflects a growing trend in higher education recruitment, as third parties provide marketing and recruitment services ‘white labelled’ for HE providers. 

Regarding the move to collaboration with Irish institutions, Mitchell told The PIE News that Ireland’s economic and political situation made it an easy choice.

“Having an office and dedicated team on the ground will vastly improve DIFC’s ability to service this region”

“We feel there is more energy towards Ireland because it’s a cheaper destination compared to the UK, and value for money which is sellable in the market,” he said, adding that “the fact that it is remaining in the EU and it offers post-study work visas, Ireland ticks all of those boxes.”

Though the headline deal with DFIC is the first agreed partnership, Mitchell makes clear than several organisations are responsible for Ireland’s steady rise as a study destination, and Levant will continue to work with them to ensure the relationship remains strong.

“MEI has helped Ireland to become a good destination for language students… But the awareness of it is something we have to work on. We will continue to work with Enterprise Ireland to see if there is more we can do to promote Ireland as a destination,” Mitchell told The PIE News.

In the UK, UniQuest has developed a white label service to boost onshore university enrolment, while Study Group has begun offering white labelled enquiry conversion in partnership with THE’s university rankings.

Visitors to DIFC’s website from Turkey, Iran and Azerbaijan will be referred to the Istanbul Regional Office, which is outsourced to Levant Education.

DIFC’s HERO in Istanbul has also begun to build an agent network, training counsellors on product and visa matters, and promoting study in Ireland.

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ACE Names LaMarr A. Smith and Justin Darnall 2017 Students of the Year

American Council on Education - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 02:30
LaMarr A. Smith, a health claims representative and business student from Buffalo, and Justin Darnall, a Marine veteran and aspiring aerospace engineer from Denver, will be presented with the honor at ACE2018.

Higher ed group seeks key role in alternative credential landscape

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:00

Major employers will be invited to have their internal training programs evaluated for academic creditworthiness under a new digital credentialing system led by the American Council on Education.

The initiative, launched today, will see ACE team up with the digital credential provider Credly to help people put a value on skills they have learned outside college courses.

Through a $1.5 million grant from the Lumina Foundation, ACE will work with employers to assess which skills and competencies employees can derive from work-based training programs, and how much college credit these are worth.

Employees who complete these training programs will be provided with shareable digital credentials to help them demonstrate what they know and what they can do. An official machine-readable transcript will also be provided that can easily be shared -- if and when the workers choose to do so -- with colleges and universities for academic credit.

While making it easier for working adults to enter postsecondary education is what many college officials might care most about, that's not the sole driver behind the new effort. The digital credentials offered through the initiative can also be used as third-party verified résumés when employees seek new jobs.

Valuing learning that happens outside colleges is not a new endeavor for ACE. Forty years ago, it launched the College Credit Recommendation Service, which helps people get academic credit for exams and training that are not part of degree programs. This new initiative will build on the success of the service, but will be useful not only to workers thinking of getting a degree, but also to those looking for recognition of their skills.

Ted Mitchell, president of ACE, said in a news release that the initiative’s focus on digital credentials is “about creating a new language for the labor market” and not just nudging people who may have no experience of postsecondary education to pursue college degrees.

“We’re fostering collaborations between employers and institutions that reflect the reality of today’s adult learners, and our shared responsibility in creating more seamless pathways from employment to education, and economic opportunity,” said Mitchell.

Ryan Craig, the managing director of investment firm University Ventures, said that the ACE initiative fits in with the emergence of a “competency marketplace” that places less focus on “pedigree and degrees” and more focus on ability.

By working with Credly, ACE and the Lumina Foundation are recognizing that “it’s imperative for the future health and well-being of the sector that higher education set the direction,” said Craig.

But Sheryl Grant, director of research at the Community Success Institute and former director of badging research and alternative credentials at HASTAC at Duke University, said the announcement was “not really surprising.”

“This looks to me like it is supercharging a lot of the efforts that these organizations are already making around prior learning assessment, competency-based education and organizing credentials so that they have value to outside organizations,” said Grant. She noted, however, that all the organizations involved were well placed to succeed with the initiative because of their expertise in these areas.

Louis Soares, vice president for strategy, research and advancement at ACE, agreed that the initiative was building on a lot of things that ACE was doing already.

“The project will help us develop a sustainable and scalable platform to continue that work,” he said. He noted that the companies ACE already works with to evaluate their training programs have expressed “an increasing desire to document competencies -- we’re trying to keep pace with that.” ACE has worked with large companies like McDonald’s and Jiffy Lube, as well as smaller organizations.

Jonathan Finkelstein, founder and CEO of Credly, said he anticipated the scale of the initiative would be big. Credly began working with ACE last year and has seen heightening demand for digital credentials, even from people who aren’t intending to get a college degree any time soon, said Finkelstein.

“Employers who subject their training programs to third-party review are recognizing that they need to project to employees (and the talent that they would like to attract) that they are the kind of place that places a premium on upskilling and ongoing training and professional development,” said Finkelstein.

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How did a professor's stray email linking to an 'Inside Higher Ed' article result in a letter of reprimand?

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:00

We’ve all had our digital mishaps: sharing a link from the wrong web browser tab in a professional email, or sending a text that autocorrect has made nonsensical.

Most such mishaps end with an embarrassed apology and a note to self to check twice before clicking “send.” Sheldon Pollack’s did not. The professor of law and political science at the University of Delaware has been formally reprimanded by Matthew Kinservik, vice provost for faculty affairs, for sending the wrong colleague a link to an Inside Higher Ed article with the word “penis” in it.

Pollack, a longtime Delaware professor and former president of the Faculty Senate, says he also narrowly escaped mandated counseling recommended by the university’s human resources office.

“This is an outrageous violation of academic freedom and free speech,” Pollack wrote in a draft appeal of the reprimand he prepared for the Faculty Senate’s Faculty Welfare & Privileges Committee and shared with Inside Higher Ed. “This administrative action is arbitrary and capricious. The ‘unprofessional’ action that Dr. Kinservik deems to be a violation of university policy and professional ethics is protected speech.”

Here’s what happened. In May, Inside Higher Ed published a news story about an Alan Sokal-style hoax article that somehow made its way through the peer-review process and was published by Cogent Social Sciences. The bogus paper, called the “The Conceptual Penis as a Social Construct,” argued that the “conceptual penis is better understood not as an anatomical organ but as a social construct isomorphic to performative toxic masculinity.” You get the picture.

Chuckling, Pollack forwarded a link to the news story to a male colleague who is a good friend, as well as his own son, with the message “I always wondered why I felt emasculated on university campuses of late. This article explains why.” But instead of his friend, he says, his email program autofilled the contact for a female colleague with similar initials, with whom he had recently corresponded about a promotion and tenure issue.

The female colleague, whom Pollack did not name, responded by telling Pollack his email was inappropriate and asking what he meant. Pollack wrote back that he was sorry and explained he’d sent the note accidentally. “It is a story about an academic satire that someone published that I thought Jeff would appreciate,” he said, referring to his friend and intended recipient. “Guess you didn’t,” he added.

Six months later, Pollack says, the female colleague formally complained about the matter, along with another personnel-related issue (that Pollack did not disclose because he said it related to a confidential promotion decision about another colleague).

Earlier this month, after having reviewed the complaint, Kinservik sent Pollack a formal letter of reprimand, which he described as a corrective action and his duty under the university’s unlawful harassment policy.

“Sending this email with this message and a link to the IHE article, even by mistake, and including a comment that can only be regarded as gender-based bias, even as a joke, is unprofessional and represents a misuse of university email and shows poor taste and poor judgment,” Kinservik wrote.

Pollack says the university’s human resources department also recommended that he attend sexual harassment counseling as a result of the incident, but that Kinservik ignored that recommendation.

“Yes, it is hard to believe,” Pollack wrote in his appeal to the senate. “The vice provost of faculty affairs has issued his Letter of Reprimand to me for ‘unprofessional’ behavior consisting of sending this totally innocuous email to a colleague … Using the word ‘emasculated’ in an email is not a violation of university policy, and it certainly cannot be punished by the [Delaware] administration. It is neither ‘gender-based bias’ nor prohibited speech. The text of my email was not unprofessional, although my email skills were obviously amateurish.”

If the corrective action sticks, he said, “it will be a sad commentary on the current state of academic freedom and free speech (or the lack thereof) on the University of Delaware campus.”

For the record, Delaware’s Faculty Handbook says professors have ethical obligations “that derive from common membership in the community of scholars.” Professors “do not discriminate against or harass colleagues,” it says. “They respect and defend the free inquiry of associates. In the exchange of criticism and ideas professors show due respect for the opinions of others. Professors acknowledge academic debt and strive to be objective in their professional judgment of colleagues.”

The handbook further defines unlawful harassment as that which goes “beyond the mere expression of views or thoughts (spoken or written) that an individual may find offensive. The conduct must be sufficiently serious to unlawfully limit an employee's or student's ability to participate in or benefit from the activities of the university. Further, prohibited conduct must be evaluated from the perspective of a reasonable person in the alleged victim's position, taking into account all of the circumstances involved in a particular matter.”

Kinservik declined comment, saying the dispute was a “personnel matter.”

Pollack is, of course, appealing the corrective action with the senate and has filed a grievance with his faculty union, which is affiliated with the American Association of University Professors. He told Inside Higher Ed that the incident is a reflection of several “unfortunate trends on university campuses,” including increasing administrative control of academic affairs and what he called “a serious decline in respect for academic freedom and free speech.”

All professors must already be very careful about what they say in class, he said via email, “lest they offend a student or colleague. Now, the word ‘emasculated’ is deemed hate speech and ‘gender-based bias.’ I want to hear how the vice provost explains that.”

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Evergreen State cancels 'Day of Absence' that set off series of protests and controversies

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:00

The annual Day of Absence at Evergreen State College took place for years without much notice outside the campus. That changed last year, when controversy over the event led to protests, counterprotests, threats and national debate. And that may be the last such day at Evergreen State.

A spokesman for the college confirmed that the institution will not hold the event this year.

The spokesman provided this statement: "With the fall 2017 arrival of the college’s first-ever vice president/vice provost [for equity and inclusion], Dr. Chassity Holliman-Douglas, the college is moving forward in the planning of a new equity symposium to be held this year. The symposium is not a replacement of Day of Absence/Day of Presence, but rather an opportunity for the Evergreen community to design a robust new equity event from the ground up." Asked to confirm that there would be no Day of Absence in addition to the symposium, he said that there would be no Day of Absence.

The Play and the 2017 Controversy

The Day of Absence was based on a 1965 play of the same name by Douglas Turner Ward. The play is about an imaginary Southern town in which all the black people disappear one day. The idea behind the play is that societies with deeply racist ideas in fact depend on the very people they subjugate.

For many years at Evergreen State, minority students and faculty members have observed a Day of Absence in which they met off campus to discuss campus issues and how to make the college more supportive of all students. Later a Day of Presence reunites various campus groups. While some have objected to the way the Day of Absence worked previously, it was the 2017 version that brought scrutiny on campus and national attention.

Last year, organizers said that on the Day of Absence, they wanted white people to stay off campus.

Bret Weinstein, a biology professor, posted a message on a campus email list in which he objected to the proposal to ask white people to avoid campus.

"There is a huge difference between a group or coalition deciding to voluntarily absent themselves from a shared space in order to highlight their vital and underappreciated roles (the theme of the Douglas Turner Ward play Day of Absence, as well as the recent Women's Day walkout), and a group encouraging another group to go away," Weinstein wrote. "The first is a forceful call to consciousness, which is, of course, crippling to the logic of oppression. The second is a show of force, and an act of oppression in and of itself."

Weinstein went on to say he would be on campus on the Day of Absence and would encourage a similar stance by white people being asked to stay away. People should "put phenotype aside," he said. "On a college campus, one's right to speak -- or to be -- must never be based on skin color."

That email was widely shared, promoting threats against Weinstein and calls from student activists for Weinstein to be fired. While the college did not do so, he said repeatedly that Evergreen failed to forcefully defend his right to express his views.

Weinstein soon said that it was unsafe for him to be on campus, and he sued Evergreen for $3.85 million on the grounds of "hostility based on race," alleging that the college "permitted, cultivated, and perpetuated a racially hostile and retaliatory work environment … Through a series of decisions made at the highest levels, including to officially support a day of racial segregation, the college has refused to protect its employees from repeated provocative and corrosive verbal and written hostility based on race, as well as threats of physical violence." Weinstein and his wife settled the suit, agreeing to resign their faculty positions in exchange for $500,000.

Weinstein did not respond to a request for comment on the end of the Day of Absence. Nor did the First Peoples Multicultural Advising Services, which is listed as the contact for Day of Absence on the Evergreen website.

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Adams State president responds to criticism

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:00

The embattled president of Adams State University, Beverlee McClure, is negotiating her departure from the institution, hounded by accusations she bullied staffers and failed to remedy the university’s enrollment and financial woes.

But McClure, in an interview with Inside Higher Ed, maintains she is the victim and was subject to relentless online attacks by a former university employee, Danny Ledonne, who set up a blog, Watching Adams, dedicated to the failures of Adams State.

In the interview, McClure said that operating under the backdrop of Ledonne’s constant digital warfare -- which she claims is sexist -- became a daily stressor. Ledonne criticized her constantly and dredged up “private” photos from Facebook, she said. McClure had, at a 2016 Halloween party, mockingly dressed as an obese plumber, which some faculty members and the public have said was in poor taste and inappropriate for a college president.

McClure said she requested that she be placed on leave to avoid distraction. She said the Board of Trustees started mentioning in October that she might leave the university -- she said she could not explain their reasoning other than the trustees wanted someone to focus on the “internal,” when McClure’s push has been fund-raising and winning greater support from lawmakers. McClure declined to comment further, citing potential litigation between her and the board, though she said she hopes “it doesn’t come to that.”

Never before in her career has she dealt with someone like Ledonne, said McClure, who before her hiring in 2015 was president and chief executive officer of the New Mexico Association of Commerce and Industry, the statewide chamber of commerce.

“It takes its toll,” McClure said. “It took a toll on the institution. It’s unfortunate. I will say this, too -- I consider myself a confident, successful woman, concerned about cyberbullying. Truthfully, if telling my story helps one other woman in this situation -- a public official -- that needs to be the focus.”

Ledonne worked at the university for four years in its mass communications program. His contract expired in 2015 and he was not picked for the next job he applied for there. He is perhaps best known as the creator of Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, a role-playing video game in which the user re-enacts the 1999 Columbine High School shooting. Players act as the gunmen, complete the massacre and then must toil through levels of hell before defeating Satan.

He sued the university after McClure had him banned from campus. She said in the interview she had been told of reports of Ledonne harassing people on campus, particularly women, though she said she could not provide details of his behavior for fear it would reveal his targets’ identities. Ledonne would also attend employee meetings despite no longer working there, she said. Ledonne has argued against McClure's accusations in depth on his blog, claiming they weren't truthful.

On the advice of the state attorney general’s office, McClure barred Ledonne from campus, though the ban was later lifted after his lawsuit, which was backed by the Colorado branch of the American Civil Liberties Union. Ledonne still writes his blog, most recently focusing on the Board of Trustees voting to place McClure on leave, in which he once again referenced the Halloween costume.

McClure said she was regretful but also defended the costume, saying other guests at the party found it “funny” and she was later contacted by local plumbers who said the same.

She said she never intended to offend anyone and that men attended the party dressed in full drag. Never did she publicly address the photos when they first emerged because the university didn’t want to “validate” what Ledonne was doing.

“At the time, in that context, folks at that party found it funny,” she said. “It wasn’t until Ledonne took it, spun it and made it negative that people jumped on the bandwagon. I just see this happening -- it’s a story across the country -- that social media will do this kind of thing, particularly to women. It’s cyberbullying.”

The Halloween party was hosted by Chris Gilmer, Adams State's former vice president for academic affairs, who left the university last year amid an apparent dispute with McClure. In negotiating his resignation, Gilmer received the rest of his salary and some money related to benefits, and he published a statement in which he acknowledged McClure had been accused of homophobia and creating a hostile work environment.

His agreement with the university forbade him or his husband from speaking ill of McClure, who said in her interview legally she could not talk much about Gilmer, though she did say his husband had become a “co-editor” of Watching Adams, Ledonne’s blog.

Ledonne’s supporters influenced the state chapter of the American Association of University Professors’ Colorado Conference, McClure said. Colorado’s AAUP wrote to Inside Higher Ed with concerns over “mismanagement” of Adams State, arguing that professors were intimidated by McClure and her administration to the point they met off campus and used outside email accounts to communicate.

McClure said she had invited the AAUP to campus to help address some faculty concerns and perhaps diversify the staff, with an eye toward adding more women.

Adams State has been plagued by the typical problems of a small public institution. Enrollment has continually slipped, with roughly 1,570 students enrolled in the spring 2018 semester. It also remains on probation by its accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission, after HLC identified problems with Adams State's distance-learning courses.

McClure stressed that when the commission visited in November, it found that Adams State had met its standards once again and she anticipated the university would be removed from probation once the accreditor meets in June.

She also touted that during her tenure, the university restructured its debt, enrollment of minority students jumped and the graduation rate among Hispanic students -- who make up a large portion of the university's enrollment -- has climbed.

Asked if any of the criticism of her performance as president was justified, McClure said, “I don’t believe so.”

She said she has no relationship with the trustees any longer but wishes them and Adams State well.

“I think I did particularly well to elevate the reputation of Adams State in context of how someone was trying to destroy it,” McClure said.

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Achieving the Dream colleges find graduates report higher well-being

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:00

NASHVILLE -- Most community colleges don't view graduation rates alone as a measure of success. For many of them, transfer and job placement are equally viewed as successes.

But a new survey from Gallup shows that there are other ways, particularly after graduation, to measure the success of two-year colleges.

The report, "Measuring What Matters," surveyed more than 5,700 community college graduates from 15 Achieving the Dream colleges from five states and found those ATD institutions were outpacing other two-year colleges when it came to the reviews of alumni on how the institutions helped them get better jobs and have better financial, social and community well-being. Gallup also surveyed more than 2,500 associate-degree holders from non-ATD institutions to compare. The report was released during Achieving the Dream's annual conference.

For instance, the survey found:

  • 48 percent of graduates from Achieving the Dream colleges reported liking what they do each day and being motivated to achieve their goals, compared to 35 percent of graduates from other community colleges.
  • 32 percent of graduates from ATD colleges reported having a healthy financial well-being and can manage their economic life, compared to 19 percent of graduates from other two-year colleges.
  • 47 percent of graduates from ATD colleges reported having strong and supportive relationships in their lives, compared to 36 percent of graduates from other colleges.
  • 39 percent of ATD graduates reported liking where they lived, feeling safe and having pride in their communities, compared to 30 percent of other graduates.

Achieving the Dream works with community colleges on a number of initiatives that include engaging adjuncts, building guided pathways and increasing equity and completion.

"A lot of the earlier student success work zeroes in on completion and primarily associate degree completion, as if that was the end point," said Karen Stout, president and chief executive officer of ATD. "But what we're learning is that completion is now a progression measurement … this survey points to some additional elements around well-being and thriving that are also important measures of how successful we are in constructing student experiences on our campuses."

The national survey results also included data from ATD member El Centro College in Dallas, particularly in how students felt connected to the college as alumni. The college's graduates reported that El Centro professors had a lasting impact in their lives, said José Adames, president of the Texas college.

Adames said he wants to share the survey with not just the college's marketing department, but El Centro's career and technical education programs, foundation and community members to find out if the results reflect other graduates' opinions and to show the college's value to the community.

"The engagement piece is critical … it reinforces our long-term focus on the first-year experience," he said, referring to how faculty at the college help students make decisions from the moment they enter campus.

The report also found that students of color who graduated from ATD colleges showed similar well-being rates to white students. Hispanic and black alumni, at 52 percent and 51 percent respectively, reported having an "excellent" experience at their community colleges, while 47 percent of white and 46 percent of Asian alumni reported the same.

Over all, nearly nine in 10 ATD graduates reported having a "good" or "excellent" college experience.

Northern Virginia Community College "has been a part of ATD for 10 years, and we have moved away from completion and just getting a degree to changing their lives," said George Gabriel, vice president of the Office of Institutional Effectiveness and Student Success Initiatives at NOVA. "It's not about bragging or recruiting. This shows that community colleges are doing our share, and maybe more than our share, in making good citizens and contributing to the community."

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British universities object to extra charges for articles that are more than 20 years old

Inside Higher Ed - Thu, 02/22/2018 - 01:00

Publisher Taylor & Francis has dropped plans to charge extra for access to older research papers online, after more than 110 universities signed a letter of protest.

The latest renewal of British universities’ deal with Taylor & Francis, which was agreed in principle at the end of January but is yet to be signed, for the first time covered papers published only in the past 20 years. Papers published in a one-year window between 1997 -- seen as the year that the digital academic publishing era began -- and 1998 would have been placed in a “modern archive,” and universities would have had to purchase access to this as a separate package.

Significantly, the 20-year span of papers included in the main deal, known as the “front file,” would have moved forward in time with each advancing year.

This meant that the number of papers in the modern archive would get larger every year and costs could escalate. In 2023, for example, universities would have had to pay for access to papers published between 1997 and 2003 as a separate package.

Universities that had previously licensed particular titles into perpetuity would still have had access to those papers at no additional charge.

In an open letter, head librarians from more than 110 British and Irish institutions, as well as representatives from Research Libraries UK; the Society of College, National and University Libraries (SCONUL); and the Irish Universities Association, warned that the new policy “will increase administration activities and costs substantially.”

The move would create “confusion and annoyance” for customers, says the letter, which adds, “Diminishing this coverage [to older articles] is opportunistic and potentially profiteering within a sector which is recognized to enjoy substantial profit margins at present as it greatly monetizes the outputs and inputs of publicly-funded research.”

Richard Parsons, chair of SCONUL’s content strategy group, told Times Higher Education that the new policy “is a line beyond what is fair and reasonable.”

“It gives the publisher another route to earn money from their collections. Collectively librarians consider this unfair and not in the ethos of partnership,” said Parsons, director of the Library and Learning Centre at the University of Dundee.

“After 20 years those articles suddenly disappear even though academics have been reading them before that and these are the people who produced the articles.”

Negotiations on Irish universities’ next deal with Taylor & Francis are ongoing.

In a statement issued Feb. 19, Taylor & Francis said that it had decided not to implement the new policy and that it would reinstate historic access as part of the main subscription.

“We apologize for the concern that the new policy generated, this was resolutely not our intention,” the statement said. “Taylor & Francis is committed to remaining a long-term partner not just to researchers and librarians, but to all those that participate in the scholarly process.”

Following the issuing of the statement, Parsons said that library directors “will be generally very welcoming of this development.”

“We are pleased to see the importance of partnership and consideration shown to the sector,” he said. “All were expressing concerns on behalf of readers, and easy access to scholarly publications needs to be both the focus of the publishers and librarians. We will welcome the opportunity to work further with Taylor & Francis to enhance and sustain the access to scholarly publications for University students and staff.”

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Chronicle of Higher Education: Embattled President of Adams State U. Says She’s the Victim of Bullying

After pushing for a fiscal turnaround, Beverlee J. McClure has had dog feces thrown at her home, her name tagged on pornographic websites, and her leadership pilloried online.

Chronicle of Higher Education: College Board President’s Letter, Prompted by School Shooting, Sparks Criticism

Was this the right time, critics asked David Coleman, to hail the value of the AP Program or to grade the views of a survivor of the recent high-school massacre?