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Chronicle of Higher Education: Who Can't Get Overtime Pay? Online Instructors, for One

A fact sheet released by the U.S. Department of Labor on Monday clarified the types of employees on college campuses that are exempt from earning overtime. 

Qualification recognition needs work in APAC

The PIE News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 06:53

The Asia Pacific Association of International Education has called for more work to be done to support mutual qualification recognition across the region and increase research opportunities and mobility.

Speaking at the association’s recent conference in Singapore, APAIE president Sarah Todd said that while arrangements such as the Tokyo Convention, which recognises qualifications between some countries within the region, was helping to improve mobility, there was still further work needed.

“We’re increasingly seeing universities across the APAIE area recognising short-term mobility”

“In Europe, there is more portability of qualifications because they have an approach as a union,” she told The PIE News.

“In the Asia Pacific… we’re still nowhere near as cohesive… in terms of credit transfer and total recognition of degrees.”

According to Todd, differences between higher education systems in each country, as well as language barriers and a large geography, left question marks on how a student could be mobile while still ensuring they were completing a relevant qualification, recognised in their home country.

“We cross hemispheres as well as crossing East-West, so defining the Asia-Pacific if you wanted to talk about higher education, there is no one-system that reflects all of us equally,” she said, adding that as the workforce changes in the future, getting qualification recognition right now was even more crucial.

“That is a challenge for universities around the world, but I think particularly in the Asia-Pacific where you have this diversity and these developing countries and less developed countries, we may not have a common view over that.”

As part of that recognition process, Todd pointed to evolving pedagogical models which incorporate activities outside the classroom.

“We’re increasingly seeing universities across the APAIE area recognising short-term mobility,” she said.

“Maybe it’s doing an internship or maybe it’s doing humanitarian work. But how do we then integrate back into the student’s academic program – that’s the big challenge for universities… and for students as well to think about the program they’ve been on.”

She added that APAIE was also seeking to include more delegates and members from within the region to participate in those conversations and ensure the association was not one “only the wealthy and well-developed universities and staff… can benefit from.”

The 2021 APAIE conference was awarded to Auckland during this year’s conference after the host city pledged to help bring more South Pacific delegates to the event.

The post Qualification recognition needs work in APAC appeared first on The PIE News.

China outbound student numbers at record high

The PIE News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 05:01

China’s outbound student numbers are showing little sign of slowing down, with the Chinese Ministry of Education recording a total of 608,400 study abroad students in 2017. This is the first time the number has exceeded the 600,000 mark and represents an 11.7% increase on 2016 figures.

According to a MoE statement, the number of ‘sea turtles’, or students returning to China after studying abroad, also increased in 2017 – up 11.9% to 480,900.

“China will remain the world’s most important source of international students in the foreseeable future”

This brings the total number of Chinese students who finished their studies abroad and return home to 80%,  the same as the 2016 figure.

The data also revealed that in 2017, there were 541,300 students studying abroad at their own expense, which accounted for 88.97% of the total, while 31,200 students were supported abroad by the state.

Taiwanese academic and researcher Sheng-Ju Chan told The PIE News that the reason for the upward trend in outbound students is twofold.

The main reasons are economic growth and cultural expectation,” he explained.

“The former is related to the improved economic condition of the average family in China. Along with the rise of the middle-class, more families are able to sponsor their young generations for such overseas adventures.

“The latter denotes the strong motivations of Chinese traditions in pursuing greater educational opportunities. Having a higher degree at well-known universities overseas means better opportunities with upward social mobility.”

“Trump’s policies have played a role in making more and more people come back”

Academic principal at Beijing Kaiwen Academy Shiny Wang told The PIE that President Trump’s policies are among the reasons for the significant number of Chinese students returning home after their studies.

As the hottest destination, the US has attracted thousands of students from China, said Wang.

“I’ve found that Trump’s policies have played a role in making more and more people come back [to China]…as well as the competition for jobs and visas issues. 

“Students believe there are more opportunities for them to find jobs and develop [themselves] if they come back rather than staying overseas.”

The continuing rise in overseas Chinese student numbers will come as welcome news to many educational institutions, particularly in the UK where almost one-third of non-EU students are Chinese.

However senior analyst for British Council’s SIEM East Asia division Kevin Prest warned that a dependence on Chinese student numbers brings its own risks.

“Over the longer term, Chinese universities are getting better, the number of available local university places (and especially postgraduate places) is increasing, and the number of Chinese students graduating from high school is decreasing,” Prest said.

However, Chan said that it is unlikely that demand for university places in China among Chinese students will overtake the attractiveness of overseas study any time soon.

“Though some students might choose to stay with improved universities in China, others would consider overseas destinations because of employment prospects, living environment and even permanent migration,” he told The PIE.

“I predict that the numbers of outbound students will stay at the similar or even higher level for a while because an overseas choice is based on the push factors of Chinese society and pull incentives of hosting countries.. and the tightening political atmosphere right now [in China] propels the outgoing students.”

The post China outbound student numbers at record high appeared first on The PIE News.

Australia: economic value continues double-digit growth

The PIE News - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 02:43

The value of international education to Australia’s economy has continued its meteoric rise, again surpassing record levels to reach $32.2bn for the 2017 calendar year, according to the latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The latest estimate sees export credits jump 22.6% from 2016, the largest single percentage increase since 2008, in which growth jumped an at the time unprecedented 21.4%.

“International students are drawn to Australia because they know they’ll get a world-class education, global alumni networks, a great student experience and lifelong friendships with our country,” Universities Australia acting chief executive Catriona Jackson said in a statement.

“We’ve seen this movie before… a bubble that burst a loss of some billions of dollars”

“Over the past decade, Australia’s world-class universities have added chapter after chapter to our international education success story. It’s in the interests of all Australians that this continues.”

Made up of $31.6bn in direct revenue through international students’ tuition fees and living expenses and $600m in third-party services, the 2017 value is also almost more than double that of 2012. That year a perfect storm of restrictive visa changes, a expensive Australian dollar, and student safety concerns strangled the flow of students.

While the figure is welcomed by a market that is trepidatious – student numbers also surpassed record levels in 2017 but with limited diversity in sector or source country – much of the growth can be attributed to the ABS’ changed methodology which now uses the more detailed International Visitor Survey to understand direct student spending.

The ongoing double-digit growth in both economic value and students numbers is also being seen as a cause for concern.

“There are some signs of a bubble,” Australian MP Julian Hill said in parliament in February.

“In any sector, you do have to worry when you see – year upon year – growth of 10%, 10%, 12% and now 16% in the last 12 months. We’ve seen this movie before, back in 2007, 2008, 2009, when we saw a completely unsustainable growth in the sector, a bubble that burst a loss of some billions of dollars.”

“Many of us expect a slowdown in 2018”

Nicole Brigg, deputy vice-chancellor international of ‎Macquarie University, however, said that while the sector overview revealed worrying levels of growth, delving deeper revealed most consistency.

“It’s important to note that most of the growth is concentrated in the top four Group of Eight universities,” she told The PIE.

“Outside of that group I would say the growth is actually at lower, more sustainable levels.”

Brigg also said that it was expected 2018 growth would slow down to more reasonable levels, due to updated work rights and ongoing political disagreements.

“Many of us expect a slowdown in 2018, caused by the tighter management of the skilled migration program by the Commonwealth Government – as it makes its assessment around labour market needs, and possibly the coolness in the Australia-China relationship, which we would expect to improve as the many strong supporters of the Australia-China relationship stand up to be counted,” she said.

Australia hosted 624,001 international students in 2017, its highest ever number and a 12.7% increase from 2016.

The post Australia: economic value continues double-digit growth appeared first on The PIE News.

Caution greets private universities twinning requirement

University World News Global Edition - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 02:00
New private universities will not be allowed to operate in Egypt unless they have collaboration agreements with institutions rated among the top 50 universities in the world, according to Egyptian ...

Universities work to offer complete Wi-Fi coverage on campus

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 00:00

Gaming consoles, tablets, smart speakers, minifridges that text you when you run out of beer -- these are just some of the internet-connected items students are now bringing with them to their residence halls.

Not every device is for entertainment, however -- phones, tablets and laptops might (at least sometimes) get used for academic purposes.

But with so many Wi-Fi-enabled devices, colleges are struggling to keep up with students’ expectation that wireless internet should be free, fast and everywhere.

“We used to hand out a thousand ethernet cables each year; now students don’t need them,” said Christopher Waters, chief information officer at Elon University. The institution is midway through converting all its residence halls to wireless only.

Instead of bringing two or three wireless devices with them to college, students are now bringing eight or nine, said Waters. “When students come to campus, particularly at private institutions, they expect Wi-Fi to be ubiquitous.”

With such high demand for bandwidth, how can institutions avoid scenarios where students trying to work are slowed down by their neighbors playing video games? At Elon, the institution has created two Wi-Fi networks -- one for primary devices like mobile phones and printers, and a second just for smart devices and gaming consoles.

Keeping up with the latest Wi-Fi standards is a constant challenge, said Waters. Elon has tried to update its network in phases as the campus has grown, thinking about what future needs might be. Performing a campuswide upgrade on Elon's 636-acre campus could quickly become an "unwieldy" project, Waters said.

Josh Piddington, vice president and chief information officer at Rowan College at Gloucester County, a community college in New Jersey with a 266-acre campus, said that he had taken a similar approach -- updating Wi-Fi space by space to avoid a campuswide overhaul.

Prior to 2010, Piddington said, Wi-Fi at Rowan was spotty. Now every building has Wi-Fi, but with more students using multiple wireless devices, heavy-traffic areas such as the cafeteria have experienced high demand.

Classrooms, too, have had issues, said Piddington. As more students bring laptops and phones to class, internet speeds go down. The college recently upgraded the Wi-Fi in its nursing auditorium after doubling the size of its nursing class, at a cost of around $3,000 for new wiring and hardware. “As a community college, we negotiate hard on those costs,” he said.

At some of the largest institutions in the country, however, Wi-Fi upgrades can run into millions of dollars. Last week Ohio State University’s Board of Trustees approved a $18.6 million campuswide update.

The project will improve and expand Wi-Fi access across Ohio State's 1,777-acre campus. Inside buildings, the number of wireless access points will increase from 10,000 to 23,000. In outside areas, access points will increase from 32 to 1,000. The upgrade has garnered significant media attention, because it will also bring Wi-Fi to the stands of the Ohio Stadium, which seats over 100,000 fans.

The update is not a case of athletics over academics, stressed Diane Dagefoerde, deputy chief information officer at Ohio State University. “This is a comprehensive strategy. It’s about creating a seamless experience across campus,” she said.

The University of Michigan’s Ann Arbor campus also embarked on an ambitious multimillion-dollar Wi-Fi upgrade five years ago. The $24.5 million project is now nearing completion. “What we really wanted was wall-to-wall, basement-to-penthouse coverage,” said Andy Palms, executive director of information and technology services infrastructure at Michigan.

The project started with the library, followed by heavily used public spaces, then the rest of the academic, residential and research buildings on campus. Though the focus has been on interior spaces, Palms said it had become clear in the last year that students also want Wi-Fi outside.

The upgrade at Michigan has required meticulous planning. In some areas the wired network had to be extended, and new wireless access points needed new power supplies. Work had to be done with minimum disruption to the campus, and working in heritage buildings (which are numerous at Michigan) was expensive. But the university estimates that it won't need to upgrade the network again for another five years, and next time it will require much less work and cost half as much.

Unlike Ohio State, the University of Michigan doesn’t have any immediate plans to put Wi-Fi in the stands of its stadium. The university has done tests, but they didn’t go very well. Because the stadium is partially underground, with no tiered structure to attach Wi-Fi access points to, the work would be disruptive and expensive -- likely in the range of several million dollars. The Sports Business Journal has reported that many college football stadiums face similar challenges.

Chad Kainz, an educational consulting director and principal strategist at Blackboard, said that it is difficult to talk today about a quality student experience without also considering the digital experience that an institution offers.

“Fifteen to 20 years ago, we were investing in wired networks and ‘ports-per-pillow,’” he said. “Now we don’t talk about ports anymore -- we think about Wi-Fi coverage, wireless bandwidth and equitable access.” He added, “Wi-Fi on campus is as essential as light and water.”

Meeting students’ expectation that they’ll be able to stream Netflix shows or tweet at football games is important from a recruitment perspective, but Kainz notes that Wi-Fi is also essential to many teaching and learning experiences.

Students might have data plans on their phones, but they often don’t have the bandwidth to access the digital content that many of their classes require, said Kainz. “If students and faculty struggle with fundamental access to what they need for learning and teaching, the student experience is adversely impacted and diminished.”

Joretta Nelson, senior vice president at Credo, a higher education consulting firm, said that investments in technology are important to signal to prospective students and their families that an institution is progressive and aware of students’ desires. But she agreed that keeping student learning at the center of investments is vital, particularly if resources are scarce.

Improving the digital learning experience was a key motivation for the Ohio State upgrade, said Dagefoerde. The university recently launched a Digital Flagship initiative that will see each student receiving an iPad Pro that will form an integral part of their learning. “It can’t happen without a robust Wi-Fi network,” said Dagefoerde.

Amy Novak, president of Dakota Wesleyan University, said investments in Wi-Fi at her institution have been driven in part by student survey feedback. Students living in residence halls were asked if they would be willing to give up cable TV subscriptions for better Wi-Fi. Around 90 percent said yes. “I was surprised by the strength of their response,” said Novak.

Like Dagefoerde, Novak said the investments Dakota Wesleyan makes in Wi-Fi are about meeting student expectations, but also adapting to changing pedagogy. Students register their attendance in class via Wi-Fi and take online polls in class. And faculty are working with digital textbooks and communicating with colleagues via Skype. “Wi-Fi is an integral part of our institutional strategy,” said Novak.

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Labor Department answers questions on academic employees and overtime

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 00:00

The Labor Department answered some outstanding questions about academic overtime pay last week, putting such compensation officially out of reach for adjuncts teaching online, among other workers.

The department has already determined that adjuncts who teach face-to-face classes are generally not eligible for overtime. But questions remain about online or remote instructors and postdoctoral fellows who do work other than teaching, for example.

While higher education’s largest association for human resources professionals lauded the guidance, faculty groups said it was more of the same for chronically underpaid part-time instructors.

“I’m not surprised at all,” said Rudy Fichtenbaum, president of the American Association of University Professors and a professor of economics at Wright State University. “This is just a continuation of that rolling back [of protections for workers] and making sure that adjuncts continue to revive the same shitty pay they’ve been getting.”

The federal Fair Labor Standards Act requires that nonexempt employees receive minimum wages, as well as overtime pay for working beyond 40 hours per week. Professors, as historically salaried professionals whose primary work is teaching, are exempt from the act -- meaning they don’t get overtime. Yet many faculty advocates have pointed out that adjuncts now do much of the teaching across academe but lack the benefits and pay typically afforded to their full-time counterparts.

Moreover, faculty advocates say, lawmakers and administrators alike underestimate how much time adjuncts dedicate to teaching by looking at the number of hours they log in the classroom alone. There are papers to grade, student emails to monitor, lectures to prepare, advising and more, all outside classroom hours. Many adjuncts are in fact working “overtime” but not compensated for it.

The Obama administration sought to address some of the criticism of the labor standards act in 2016, not by lifting the controversial teacher exemption but by doubling the salary threshold for the so-called white-collar overtime exemption for executive, administrative and professional workers, to about $47,000 annually or $913 per week. The administration said millions more workers would have been eligible for overtime with the change, but the idea proved controversial with employers -- colleges and universities among them. Many institutions said they wished they could pay their employees more, but that doubling the salary threshold in one leap threatened their financial stability. A federal judge blocked the rule just before it was set to take effect.

New Exemptions

A new overtime rule proposal is expected later this year from the Labor Department. In the meantime, academic institutions and workers continue to have questions about who is eligible for overtime. Some institutions have asked if online instructors or those who work remotely are exempt, based on the teaching exemption. Many have also asked if postdocs who primarily do research or work other than teaching are eligible for overtime, as the Obama-era rule said they were not covered by the teaching exemption. Rather, it said they were professional employees subject to the new salary threshold for exemption from overtime.

To answer such questions, the Labor Department published a new fact sheet on the applicability of white-collar exemptions to common academic jobs.

A teacher is exempt, the fact sheet affirms, if their primary duty is teaching, instructing or lecturing to “impart knowledge” at an educational institution. That includes professors, instructors and adjunct professors, it says.

And, clearing up some long-standing ambiguity regarding online learning, the department said faculty members who teach online or remotely also may qualify for the exemption.

“The exemption would therefore ordinarily apply, for example, to a part-time faculty member of an educational establishment whose primary duty is to provide instruction through online courses to remote non-credit learners,” the department wrote. “The exemption could likewise apply, for example, to an agricultural extension agent who is employed by an educational establishment to travel and provide instruction to farmers, if the agent’s primary duty is teaching, instructing or lecturing to impart knowledge. To determine a teacher’s primary duty, the relevant inquiry in all cases is the teacher’s actual job duties.”

Athletic coaches also may qualify for the teacher exemption, since “teaching may include instructing student-athletes in how to perform their sport,” the notice says.

The department lists examples of exempt nonteacher “learned professionals,” such as librarians, psychologists, public accountants and certified athletic trainers. Learned professionals are defined as those who do work requiring advanced knowledge in a field of science or learning, "acquired by a prolonged course of specialized intellectual instruction."

Postdoctoral fellows -- many of whom who stood to gain much from the proposed Obama-era salary rule, due to their long hours and relatively low pay -- are also generally considered exempt learned professionals, provided they are salaried employees who make at least $455 per week (the current salary threshold), the memo says. As before, they may also qualify for the teacher exemption if teaching is their primary duty.

Regarding student employees, the department wrote that most students working for their institutions are hourly workers laboring under 40 hours per week. Yet some student employees are clearly exempt under the act, it says -- namely graduate teaching assistants whose primary duty is teaching. Research assistants studying under a mentor are not so much employees as trainees, it says, and student residential assistants are generally not employees, either. The Obama-era rule said much the same.

Students whose work is not part of an educational program -- such as dishwashers or ushers at campus events -- are employees entitled to minimum wage and overtime compensation, however, according to the department's memo.

Public institutions that qualify as public agencies under the act may compensate nonexempt employees with compensatory time off instead of overtime pay.

Andy Brantley, president and CEO of the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources, called the announcement “great news for higher ed” in an email.

In a blog post discussing the fact sheet, CUPA-HR highlighted the department’s new guidance on adjuncts who teach online or remotely, agricultural extension agents and coaches, and academic administrative personnel.

“The fact sheet issued today answers many of the lingering questions higher ed institutions encountered when they were preparing to comply with the [department’s] 2016 final rule and questions that have persisted since the rule was struck down by a federal district court,” CUPA-HR's post said.

Maria Maisto, president of the New Faculty Majority, a national adjunct advocacy group, said the guidance appeared to be “the next chapter in the saga of the effort by the Obama administration to revise the overtime rule and the pushback against that needed reform.”

Echoing her organization’s official comments on the 2016 final rule discussion, Maisto said that the long-standing teacher exemption was “ironically devised with the assumption that teachers from K-12 through higher ed would receive, as we put it, ‘professional wages commensurate with the educational preparation, responsibility and workload that this important occupation requires.’” Instead, she said, it has become one of the education’s “most reliable tools of exploitation, ensuring instead that faculty can be legally denied a living wage.”

One only need look at the ongoing K-12 teacher protests and adjunct activism for evidence, she said.

Fichtenbaum, of AAUP, said of the online teaching exemption in particular that people generally underestimate what it takes to teach a distance learning course. “Teaching them takes more preparation than maybe even walking in and doing a class face-to-face.”

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Problems in the classroom for students suffering even mild concussions, study finds

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 00:00

The devastating effects of repeated concussions on college athletes have been well documented -- brain disease that can lead to mood changes, concentration problems and even suicidal tendencies. What researchers haven’t captured much -- until now -- is how milder brain injuries can do the same (to a degree).

Athletes and veterans may not present overt symptoms from more minor brain injuries, but that damage can still interfere with their academics, a new study from the University of Montana and the University of Vermont has found. These students might have memory loss, issues focusing in class or vision problems -- and might not even know it. The findings were published this month in Scientific Reports, a branch of Nature Research Journal.

“Our main role hopefully is to help students with asymptomatic concussions,” said Sambit Mohapatra, one of the authors of the study and an assistant professor in rehabilitation and movement science at Vermont. “These students might have a whole hidden inner gamut of problems, but not have any symptoms.”

The researchers worked with 72 subjects, half of whom had experienced some sort of brain trauma -- either being hit directly, such as during a sporting event or in a car accident, or being exposed to some sort of blast. The average length of time since the participants experienced their concussion was about 43 months.

Researchers analyzed the eye movements of the participants and found that those with a history of mild brain trauma couldn’t track a moving laser target as well as their counterparts -- their reaction time was slowed. Their eyes also jerked erratically.

Though the students might not be aware of their eyesight problems, this is a reason for not being able to absorb information as well during lectures, Mohapatra said. Veterans especially might come back from deployment experiencing a level of post-traumatic stress that can exacerbate problems associated with concussions and other injuries, Mohapatra said. He said the two conditions share many of the same symptoms and can start a “vicious cycle” that can affect the concussed person's academics.

The study adds to the growing debate over when veterans should allowed to enroll again in active duty, and when and if athletes should be cleared to go back on the field after a blow to the head.

Both the National Football League and the National Collegiate Athletic Association have faced lawsuits alleging negligence when they permitted players to return to practice and games even after they suffered from concussions.

The professional and collegiate leagues have had to shell out hefty settlements in the past. The NFL agreed to a $1 billion settlement for former players who proved lingering effects from concussions and brain injuries. And the NCAA four years ago paid $75 million in a class-action settlement, most of which was used for medical monitoring for former athletes.

But the NCAA’s money has never been for treatment, and another legal front against the association is mounting.

While concussion protocols for both college and professional players have been revised, they remain under fire -- the NFL still allows players back on the field the same day or within a few weeks.

The NCAA instructed all its member institutions in 2010 to develop plans for what happens after a concussion. The standards prior to that had been inconsistent. The NCAA did not provide comment for this article in time for publication.

Mohapatra said that colleges and universities should train their professors to help identify the symptoms associated with brain injuries. These might be subtle -- fatigue or difficulty paying attention -- but identifying and supporting these students can help them, he said. Erasing the stigma around concussions, and understanding them, knowing that they aren’t just caused by a blow to the head, is important, Mohapatra said.

He suggested that advisers talk with their athlete and veteran students about possible problems, or in the case of a larger institution, hold some sort of seminar for them.

“The brain cannot heal,” Mohapatra said. “But certain other things -- balance problems -- can easily be trained. And eye tracking can be trained. These things can be changed.”

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Former adjunct turned city councilman banned from St. Louis Community College campus

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 00:00

St. Louis Community College doesn't want a former adjunct professor on its campus, and that decision is affecting its relationship with the City of Wildwood, Mo.

The college has not dropped its no-trespass order against Steve Taylor, an adjunct math professor who said he was fired by the institution last October.

Taylor was arrested in October during a Board of Trustees meeting after he allegedly charged toward the area where the board members and the chancellor were sitting. The incident led to the no-trespass order by the college; Taylor was eventually cleared of all charges by a judge.

Taylor was elected to the Wildwood City Council earlier this month, but the ban is keeping him from attending council and committee meetings, sometimes held on the Wildwood campus to accommodate more people when there isn't enough space in city hall.

The ban is forcing Wildwood, a suburb of St. Louis, to seek other options.

"They are refusing to listen, and I don't think there is any reason or grounds for an actual no-trespass order," Taylor said. "My violation was resisting arrest and disturbing the peace, and I was totally cleared of all charges. That this is even happening is ridiculous."

A media representative for the community college declined to comment on the issue.

The incident between Taylor and STLCC officials was just one of several clashes between college administrators and students or faculty members amid a series of layoffs and voluntary buyouts. At the October board meeting, Taylor was upset by the ground rules laid out by the administration, including that applause wasn't allowed. When he approached the table where board members sat to voice his opinion, a St. Louis police officer grabbed Taylor and tackled him to the floor, where he was handcuffed. Taylor has filed a lawsuit against the college.

The tensions between the administration and the college's employees led the full-time faculty union to cast a vote of no confidence in Chancellor Jeff Pittman in January.

The no-trespass order can only be modified or rescinded by the chancellor. Taylor said Pittman hasn't given any indication he will do so.

Ryan Thomas, the Wildwood city administrator, said it's rare for the council to rely on the college for meeting space, although so far this year there have been about three instances when a Wildwood meeting was held on the campus.

"I don't think it'll be a big issue for us … there are other places in the city of Wildwood we can use," he said, adding that the meeting space arrangement between the city and the college has been around for about 10 years.

There are other community events the city and the college partner on, but Thomas said it's unclear if Taylor would be able to participate.

"Hopefully this can be resolved at some point and become a complete nonissue," Thomas said. "We're hopeful something will get fully resolved at some point."

Taylor said the ban has interfered with other, more personal situations -- he was recently barred from helping his wife, a sociology professor at the college, move items from her office, for example. Taylor is also an adjunct professor at three other colleges and hasn't had any problems with those institutions.

"I'm in good standing at other institutions I teach at," Taylor said. "I'm in such good standing with my community so that I've been elected to represent my ward. I'm in good standing with the court system. The only problem seems to be with St. Louis Community [College] … The only real crime in the eyes of the college was my helping to form an adjunct union and they need to stop besmirching my name. I have been elected to do a job and they need to allow me to do it."

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New presidents or provosts: Bluffton Bowling Green Dearborn Martin Lubbock Shreveport Union UNE UNF UT-Martin W&M

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 04/17/2018 - 00:00
  • Philip Acree Cavalier, provost of Lyon College, in Arkansas, has been appointed provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Tennessee at Martin.
  • Domenico Grasso, provost and chief academic officer at the University of Delaware, has been selected as chancellor of the University of Michigan at Dearborn.
  • Joshua Hamilton, provost and vice president for academic affairs at Rhode Island College, has been named provost and senior vice president for academic affairs at the University of New England, in Maine.
  • David R. Harris, provost and senior vice president at Tufts University, in Massachusetts, has been named president of Union College, in New York.
  • Paul Hutchins, president of Sampson Community College, in North Carolina, has been chosen as president of Martin Community College, also in North Carolina.
  • Nancy S. Jordan, associate provost and accreditation liaison at Texas A&M University Texarkana, has been selected as provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Louisiana State University at Shreveport.
  • Foy Mills Jr., professor and program leader of agribusiness at Sam Houston State University, in Texas, has been appointed provost and chief academic officer at Lubbock Christian University, also in Texas.
  • Rodney Rogers, interim president of Bowling Green State University, in Ohio, has been named president there on a permanent basis.
  • Katherine A. Rowe, provost and dean of the faculty at Smith College, in Massachusetts, has been named president of the College of William & Mary, in Virginia.
  • David Szymanski, dean of the Carl H. Lindner College of Business and professor of marketing at the University of Cincinnati, has been appointed president of the University of North Florida.
  • Jane Wood, vice president of academic affairs and dean at Mount Marty College, in South Dakota, has been chosen as president of Bluffton University, in Ohio.
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Chronicle of Higher Education: After Week of Turmoil, Student-Body President Is Impeached at Texas State

Amid allegations of pervasive racism, the student official struck a defiant tone, urging a guilty verdict. Meantime, the university’s president announced steps to make the campus more inclusive.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Thanks to Beyoncé, All Eyes Are on Black Colleges. A Historian Says They Should Capitalize on the Hype.

A pop star’s performance last weekend put historically black institutions in the national spotlight. Was the concert just good optics or a sign that the colleges will get in formation?

Chronicle of Higher Education: Is Catholic U.’s Chaste Brand Scaring Off Students?

A plan to lay off tenured faculty, brought on by enrollment declines and deficits, has provoked a broader debate about whether the institution’s religiosity undermines recruitment.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Student Occupation, Coming to a Campus Near You

From Howard to NYU, lately students are shutting down offices and sleeping in hallways with few consequences from administrators.

‘Scotland Is Now’ says new campaign to attract students

The PIE News - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 08:18

With a £6m investment, the Scottish government has launched a new campaign called ‘Scotland Is Now’ to encourage tourists, businesses, and students that now is indeed the right time to choose Scotland as a destination.

Along with the devolved government at Holyrood, the campaign is backed by Visit Scotland, Scottish Development International, and Universities Scotland.

“We believe it’s the start of a very exciting campaign that recognises Scotland’s world-class HE sector”

The website describes the campaign as one that tells “authentic story of Scotland as a bold and positive country, rich in history and heritage but forging forward in a way that is progressive, pioneering and inclusive,” of which education and international recruitment are important parts.

Under the ‘Study’ tab, Study in Scotland’s course finder directs prospective students to 13 universities, offering several modes of study – from full-time, part-time, and sandwich courses. In time, all 19 Scottish HEIs will be searchable on the site as the entire group has signed up to the project.

Furthermore, the site gives information on scholarships available in Scotland, the UK visa process, student accommodation, and other useful topics for prospective students.

The campaign also gives general information about Scotland, ranging from cultural highlights such Highland dress and the architecture of Charles Rennie Mackintosh, to information about (and nicknames of) Scottish university cities.

Alongside study opportunities, the campaign hopes to attract businesses. Scottish Development International aims to attract global businesses with grants and tax credits. It also supports several startup incubators, such as Codebase and Techcube, both situated in the Scottish capital, Edinburgh.

Sir Anton Muscatelli, vice-chancellor of the University of Glasgow and chair of the Russell Group, told The PIE News Scottish higher education and research punches above its weight in the global marketplace.

“It is about the values which underpin everything we do in Scotland – values of openness, diversity”

“Studying in Scotland gives students from around the world the chance to work at the forefront of their fields, with 86% of Scottish research judged to have ‘outstanding’ or ‘very considerable’ impact,” he said. 

“Researchers at our universities [are] leading the world in new and exciting areas like precision medicine and quantum technology, and taking forward research into some of the great issues of our time, from malaria and the Zika virus to renewable energy and policies to support refugees,” he added. 

Additionally, Muscatelli said the benefits of Scottish HE went beyond what happens inside the walls of institutions.

“It is about the values which underpin everything we do in Scotland – values of openness, diversity, openness to new ideas and commitment to using the skills and expertise of our universities for the good of society as a whole,” he said.  

“Our international students already play a huge role in our university communities, contributing massively to our success – and we in Scotland are determined to do everything we can to ensure we can benefit from the best and brightest minds from around the world in the years to come.”

 Although the Scottish universities will remain responsible for their own international recruitment, it is understood that ‘Scotland Is Now’ is seen as a unifying project which will help raise the country’s profile internationally. 

David Lott, Deputy Director of Universities Scotland, said the organisation is “delighted” to be involved in the project originating from Scottish government agencies. 

“We are delighted to… bring Scotland Is Now to fruition. We believe it’s the start of a very exciting campaign that at its very heart recognises Scotland’s world-class higher education sector,” he said.  

“This is the first time that we have worked with the public agencies in such a fashion: all uniting under the brand Scotland Is Now to promote the great offer that Scotland has to visit, study, invest and live.”

British Council Scotland, which was not directly involved in the campaign, nonetheless supports the aim of the mission, which it sees as congruent to the Westminster-backed GREAT campaign.

“While British Council Scotland has not been directly involved in the development of Scotland Is Now, we believe its aims and ambitions complement the GREAT campaign and present a good overview of Scotland’s strong and distinctive higher education offer,” a spokesperson told The PIE

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Finnish hospitality school to open in Estonia

The PIE News - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 04:58

Finnish Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences has announced it will open a hospitality studies campus in 2019, which be located in Tallinn, the capital of Estonia.

The new school will cater for up to 400 students, with courses focusing on hospitality management. The university, which has five campuses in Finland, is partnering with international hospitality schools from USA, Germany, Netherlands, Ireland on the project in the Baltic country, according to developers.

“Instead of traditional internships the aim is a ‘study and work’ concept”

The international hospitality management bachelor’s degree the school is planning to offer will target students from at global markets. Developers have suggested that students will come from Asia, but have not detailed from which countries it will seek to recruit students. All courses will be taught in English, though it is not clear which testing system the institution will use, or the levels students will have to achieve to be accepted.

Students who do attend will be able to benefit from working with local business as a part of their studies.

“Instead of traditional internships the aim is a ‘study and work’ concept in order to do it all not for the industry, but within the industry” the university said in a statement.

Haaga-Helia is hoping to attract the local restaurant industry to participate in the project, which it says will “greatly benefit” the region’s hospitality sector.

According to Haaga-Helia’s website, the university’s partners in Finland have included Ikea, Fujitsu, Turkish Airlines, Finnish hotel company Sokos, and BW restaurants.

The school in the Estonian capital will be called either Haaga-Helia International Hospitality Management School or Tallinn Hospitality Management Campus. Foundation year studies will begin in autumn 2019 and degree studies in winter 2019-2020.

Haaga-Helia declined to comment further when contacted by The PIE News.

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Canada: Iranian students’ PR delay is “detrimental”

The PIE News - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 03:12

More than 200 Iranian students and recent graduates in Canada are reporting long waits to become permanent residents, which the Iranian Canadian Congress claims is having a “detrimental effect” on their lives.

According to the government of Canada website, the average processing time for PR applications is normally 57 days.

However many Iranians are claiming waiting times of 16 months or more, and are reportedly concerned the Canadian government is holding up Iranian immigration applications after US president Trump issued a ‘travel ban‘ on people from Iran in 2017.

“The extended delays have many detrimental effects on the lives of these students”

In a statement on its website, the ICC said it has been approached by many Iranian students in Canada whose applications for PR have been stuck in the background check stage for “an extended period of time”.

It said the ICC has communicated its concerns to the minister for Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, and requested that he look into the issue.

“The extended delays in processing the PR applications have many detrimental effects on the lives of these students,” the statement said.

“We believe that these individuals are valuable to Canadian society because of their skills and experience and should not face such difficulty and uncertainty in their path to becoming Canadians.”

According to the ICC, a survey conducted by a group of Iranian graduate students had revealed they are unable to make long-term plans, are “paying higher tuition fees” than permanent residents and “cannot commit to further studies or academic positions because these institutions require assurances that they can stay in the country”.

Affected students have been tweeting their frustration, using the hashtag #DelayedIranianApplications to describe the alleged discrimination by the Canadian government against their applications.

In Canada 6 yrs, got MSc here, contributed to cancer research & use of AI for cancer recognition, finance & and use of AI to spot fraud/money laundering, a performer in cultural events, Yet on #DelayedIranianApplications by @CitImmCanada. Same for other 100s of skilled Iranians.

— Koosha (@Koosha_tp) March 25, 2018

I am an Assistant professor at the university of Manitoba, being here for 7 years, established a family, with Canadian born baby and have been waiting for PR for almost 3 years now. #DelayedIranianApplications

— Soodeh Saberian (@SoodehSaberian) March 23, 2018

In support of the movement, director of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association Michael Bryant has penned an open letter to Hussen, urging the ministry to take action with regards the “public reports of systemic discrimination by Canada against Iranians”.

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Hobart president undercut by anonymous email

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 00:00

Anonymous allegations challenging Gregory J. Vincent’s academic integrity quickly proved too much for his presidency to survive at Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

Now comes the fallout from the departure of a recently named leader who was identified as an expert on campus culture, civil rights and social justice.

When Vincent was named Hobart and William Smith’s next president last April, he brought a high-profile background to his new employer. He had been vice president for diversity and community engagement at the University of Texas at Austin, where he helped defend the use of affirmative action in the landmark Fisher v. Texas Supreme Court case, which upheld race-conscious admissions policies as constitutional.

He also had close ties to Hobart and William Smith, small, private liberal arts colleges in Geneva, N.Y., that were founded as separate institutions but now operate under a single administration. Vincent graduated from the colleges in 1983 and spoke at their convocation in 2016. In between, he earned a law degree from Ohio State University and an Ed.D. from the University of Pennsylvania.

Questions over that doctorate from Penn were what ultimately undid Vincent’s presidency at Hobart and William Smith. On March 21, an anonymous tipster started circulating an email to academic leaders and members of the press, alleging Vincent had plagiarized portions of his 2004 dissertation. Twenty-three days later, on Friday, Vincent told Hobart’s Board of Trustees he was resigning, effective immediately.

The resignation was in the best interest of both Vincent and the colleges, he said in a statement. The anonymous allegations had caused a distraction and he wanted to avoid “further stress” to the campus.

“After a great deal of thought and consideration, in the best interests of my family and myself, and for the love of Hobart and William Smith, I have decided to tender my resignation in order to explore new opportunities,” Vincent said. “This has been a difficult decision because I believe strongly in the value of a Hobart and William Smith education and the trajectory that we have been mapping during the past year.”

Now Hobart and William Smith are back where they were a year ago: searching for a new president.

“We are thankful to Greg and his family for their service to the Colleges during the past year,” said Thomas S. Bozzuto, chair of the colleges’ Board of Trustees in a statement. “I and the rest of the Board respect Greg’s decision and have accepted his resignation with appreciation for his dedication and commitment.”

The colleges plan a national search for a new president. A professor emeritus of economics, Pat McGuire, will serve as interim president.

As they search for a new chief executive, Hobart and William Smith also have to grapple with the aftereffects of an anonymous email upending a nascent administration. The original email tip alleged that Vincent took lengthy direct quotations from works without proper attribution in his 2004 dissertation. The tipster, identified only as “HWSProfessor,” claimed to have found “at least six instances of substantial direct quotation from other works without proper attribution.”

The findings were cause for concern because faculty members hold themselves and students accountable under ideals of academic integrity, the tipster wrote. Vincent was also the “final arbiter of tenure” under faculty bylaws and procedures, and the tipster questioned how he could fairly and competently evaluate faculty members given his dissertation.

“As I have no desire to comment further on this case or become any part of this story, I am submitting this report anonymously,” the tipster wrote. He or she did not reply to an email seeking comment last month. An email sent Friday to the tipster's email address was returned as undeliverable.

After the email tip, Hobart and William Smith began investigating the matter.

Inside Higher Ed was able to evaluate three of the six instances the tipster cited. In each case, Vincent’s dissertation contained sentences that were identical or mostly identical to passages in other works, but those sentences were not enclosed in quotation marks. The dissertation passages did appear in paragraphs with parenthetical citations to the original works.

The Herald, the student newspaper at Hobart and William Smith, performed its own analysis, finding that “in the six passages of the dissertation questioned by the email -- and even on other pages not critiqued by the email -- President Vincent copied what was written in other books verbatim and without quotation marks. In some cases, he used parenthetical citations to give credit to these authors, in other cases he did not, and in some sentences he misattributed credit to completely different authors.”

Vincent submitted a statement to the student newspaper addressing the issue, The Herald reported.

“As my dissertation advisor recently confirmed, I had to change the citation style within a very short period of time after my committee approved the dissertation, which led to inadvertent errors in how some of the work was quoted and paraphrased,” his statement said. “I deeply regret the extent to which this has caused confusion or misled anyone. I eagerly await the findings of the investigation. In the meantime, I have remained focused on my duties as president and on moving the Colleges forward.”

The Herald also noted that a 1995 amendment to Hobart and William Smith’s Faculty Handbook “repudiates and disavows the sending of anonymous ad hominem letters to the faculty as a whole or to individual members thereof.” The risks of harm outweigh any valid purpose of such communications, the handbook says.

Faculty leaders at Hobart and William Smith did not return requests for comment Friday. Nor did the dean of Penn’s Graduate School of Education. Reached by phone Friday afternoon, Scott Brophy, a philosophy professor who is the presiding officer of Hobart and William Smith’s Faculty Executive Committee, said he was unable to talk or comment because he had to be on a conference call and then teach a class immediately afterward.

But commenters on social media quickly made note of the resignation. One Facebook commenter listed Vincent’s qualifications and argued that his credibility was being questioned “because of a few sentences in his dissertation” written before computerized plagiarism tools. The commenter said the situation reflected institutional racism.

With Vincent’s resignation, trustees will end the investigation into the plagiarism allegations, WXXI radio reported.

Vincent isn’t the first college president to come under fire amid allegations of plagiarism in a dissertation. Glenn Poshard, the president of Southern Illinois University, faced charges in 2007 that he plagiarized parts of his 1980s doctoral dissertation. But he remained president at Southern Illinois through 2014, after a university committee determined his dissertation contained “inadvertent plagiarism” and recommended he replace it with a corrected copy.

Poshard went on to become president of Morthland College in West Frankfort, Ill., in 2017. He resigned after just two months on the job, saying he hadn’t been notified of serious personnel and financial issues when he started as president and that those issues could only be resolved by another authority. But the college said Poshard resigned for health reasons.

Closer to Hobart and William Smith, the president of Hamilton College in upstate New York resigned in 2002 after admitting not properly attributing sources used in a speech. Eugene M. Tobin had been president for nine years but said he was "anguished over the embarrassment" he brought to Hamilton.

Presidents can show leadership in how they react to such allegations, said Gary Pavela, past president of the International Center for Academic Integrity and a co-founder of the Academic Integrity Seminar.

"I think 'leadership' is the right word," he said. "There are different ways people approach this. The more defensive approaches to the transparent or obvious kinds of failure to make attribution do the most harm."

In certain instances, it's possible to have "a fair amount of sympathy and respect" for the way leaders handle such situations, he said. For instance, leaders can be candid, transparent and clear about their professional obligations.

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Guest lecture on free speech at CUNY law school heckled

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 04/16/2018 - 00:00

Josh Blackman is a regular guest lecturer on college campuses and writes regularly for conservative publications. A law professor at the South Texas College of Law, he focuses on legal issues. Of late, he has been talking about the legal and philosophical reasons to support free speech on college campuses.

Last week he shared video of an appearance he made in late March at the City University of New York law school, where he couldn't give his planned talk on free speech as he was repeatedly heckled and shouted down during the first 10 minutes. During that time period, there were far more students in the room shouting at him than the handful gathered to hear his lecture. After the protesters left, other students arrived to hear him, and Blackman says some told him that they were intimidated from coming in because of the protesters.

The protesters stood all over the room, including at the front, where Blackman was attempting to talk. He said he wouldn't have been bothered by their standing there -- with signs denouncing him -- had they remained quiet. But until they all left, they interrupted from all around the room.

The students protesting the event called Blackman a white supremacist and racist, and some shouted, "Fuck the law." Many said that CUNY should not have permitted Blackman to speak, given the law school's mission, which focuses on the public interest, public service and diversifying the legal profession.

The video of the incident arrives at a time when many higher education leaders have expressed concern about the impact of such incidents on the image of higher education. Even if the overwhelming majority of campus speakers, including those expressing conservative views, are not heckled, such incidents have attracted widespread attention from political leaders.

Higher education leaders have argued that there is a wide consensus among their ranks to support free speech and to oppose the shouting down of speakers. And a new poll from the American Council on Education backs that view. But when incidents happen, college leaders do not seem to agree on the steps to take to prevent a disruption or whether to punish those who disrupt.

Most of the incidents of speakers being shouted down have involved undergraduates, but some observers have expressed particular concern when shouting down takes place at law schools, given the importance of the First Amendment to higher education and to American society. In March, such an incident took place at the law school of Lewis & Clark College, where Christina Hoff Sommers, whose writings attack feminists, was shouted down.

At CUNY, Blackman was invited by the student chapter of the Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. When the society started to promote the event, some students objected. The law school sent a campuswide email stating that Blackman had a right to speak, and that protests were welcome, but not if they disrupted his appearance. At the beginning of his lecture, a law school official came to the event, repeated that message and then left.

Those objecting to Blackman cited several reasons. They noted that his support for free expression on campuses includes support for the right to appear of people like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter, whose speeches on campuses regularly feature insults against various groups.

The students said that CUNY law was effectively giving a platform for the idea that those speakers -- whose presence causes pain to some students -- should be allowed to appear on campus.

Free speech is not an invite for hate speech. Get it away from our campus!!! pic.twitter.com/S51kNAbyJb

— CUNY NLG (@cuny_nlg) March 29, 2018

My Existence > Your Opinion #BlackLivesMatter #Not1more #ICEoutofcourts #antifa pic.twitter.com/PNPI5d8Z3t

— CUNY NLG (@cuny_nlg) March 29, 2018

Others cited Blackman's support for President Trump's decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Here, however, Blackman's position may be more nuanced than the students have acknowledged.

Blackman has written that Trump made the right decision, but he said that is based on Blackman's view that President Obama exceeded his legal authority in creating DACA. Trump has only sometimes said that he would back legislation to restore DACA in a way that does not face legal challenges (and he doesn't say that now). Republican leaders in Congress have opposed a legislative fix for the situation.

But Blackman has called on Congress to restore the DACA program. And he told the CUNY law students of his position, although it was unclear if they believed him.

Via email on Sunday, Mary Lu Bilek, dean of the law school, said that the protest was reasonable because the disruptions ended relatively early in the time frame of the appearance.

"For the first eight minutes of the 70-minute event, the protesting students voiced their disagreements. The speaker engaged with them. The protesting students then filed out of the room, and the event proceeded to its conclusion without incident," Bilek said.

"This non-violent, limited protest was a reasonable exercise of protected free speech, and it did not violate any university policy," she added. "CUNY Law students are encouraged to develop their own perspectives on the law in order to be prepared to confront our most difficult legal and social issues as lawyers promoting the values of fairness, justice, and equality."

Protest at Duke

At Duke University on Saturday, President Vincent Price was shouted down by a student protest during a speech he was making to alumni, The News and Observer reported. The students made numerous demands on a range of university policies. Price said he admired the students' commitment but questioned the tactic of interrupting an event.

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