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ACE Survey Finds Increased Focus Among College Presidents on Campus Racial Climate

American Council on Education - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 03:03
Campus racial climate has become a larger priority for college and university presidents and their institutions, finds a new national online survey by ACE's Center for Policy Research and Strategy.

California Community Colleges Chancellor Brice W. Harris to Receive ACE Lifetime Achievement Award

American Council on Education - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 03:03
Harris will receive the award at ACE2016’s Opening Plenary, scheduled for 5-6 p.m. (PST) on Sunday, March 13. During the same session, he also will keynote the Robert H. Atwell Plenary.

Nearly one in two university staff are administrative

University World News Global Edition - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 01:53
The number of administrative personnel at Swedish universities has risen seven times as fast as the number of academic staff since 2000, according to research by a Swedish professor, and they now ...

Mass shooting in Las Vegas leads to renewed calls to lift limits on studying gun violence

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 01:12

In 2013, dozens of scholars organized by the Crime Lab of the University of Chicago released a letter calling for Congress to lift restrictions that have led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other agencies to avoid funding research on gun violence.

The letter noted that in a 40-year period, the United States had experienced 400 cases of cholera and that the National Institutes of Health had funded 212 grants on cholera. The 1,337 case of diphtheria had led to 56 NIH grants. But more than 4 million firearms injuries? The NIH funded only three grants on that topic.

This week's horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas is prompting scholars -- particularly in social science groups -- to once again to call for shifts in federal policy to resume support for research on gun violence.

Felice Levine, executive director of the American Educational Research Association, released a statement Monday that said that "In this period of human devastation and public pain, it is incumbent upon us to confront our collective responsibilities as researchers, educators, and policy makers to engage in a dialogue about the pervasive and lethal effects of guns in the hands of those seeking to render violence."

Levine added: "Once again, AERA calls on Congress to lift restrictions that prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting gun violence research. These restrictions obstruct the development and implementation of evidence-based policies and programs that foster gun safety."

The American Anthropological Association issued a similar statement. "In the face of the unabated torrent of shootings in the U.S., we call on our colleagues to examine the ways in which our research can contribute to eliminating the health and safety menace posed by firearms," the statement said. "We also call on the U.S. Congress to lift restrictions that prevent the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting gun violence research and maintaining comprehensive gun violence data. These restrictions obstruct the development and implementation of evidence-based policies and programs that foster gun safety."

Social science groups have been issuing such statements for years. Here is one from 2013 from the American Sociological Association.

The limits to which the statements refer were part of an appropriations bill enacted in 1996, provisions of which remain law. The key provision bars the CDC from using funds to support research that “may be used to advocate or promote gun control.”

As reported by The New York Times, the CDC-backed studies that prompted the measure found that having guns in home increased the chances of violence in a home rather than providing protection. While scientists who conducted the research insisted that they were analyzing data, the National Rifle Association attacked the research as advocacy for gun control. Republicans in Congress agreed.

In the years since 1996, Democrats in Congress have tried several times to have the lmits lifted, but have been blocked by Republicans from doing so.

In 2013, President Obama urged the CDC and the NIH to conduct more research on gun violence and asked Congress for funds to do so. But with Congressional Republicans making clear that they would interpret most such studies as violating the 1996 measure, the CDC has balked at doing so. The NIH did start a program, but Science reported last month that it had opted to let the program end.

Calls to change policy have typically followed mass shootings. President Obama's request followed the killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School. An unsuccessful Democratic Congressional push on the issue followed the 2016 mass killing at an Orlando nightclub.

The lack of federal support for this research prompted the State of California to start a research center at the University of California, Davis, on the topic. The center opened in June.

 

Editorial Tags: AnthropologyEducationImage Source: Getty ImagesImage Caption: Aftermath of shooting in Las VegasIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

FBI charges in college basketball -- beyond a few 'bad apples'?

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 00:00

Scandals in big-time sports are like a Rorschach test separating believers and skeptics.

Whenever a major crisis hits -- a prominent football or basketball program gets whacked for breaking major National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, a university is ensnared in a cheating scandal involving athletes, athletes commit a rash of crimes -- a barrage of "I told you so" denunciations rain down from those for whom the scandal affirms their view that big-time college sports are corrupt and irredeemable. Many of the constituents of intercollegiate athletics, meanwhile -- coaches, NCAA officials and not a few college leaders -- patiently explain why the guilty party is an outlier or seek to differentiate it from their own program or institution.

And so the world keeps spinning.

Last week's announcement of federal charges of fraud and corruption charges against four college basketball coaches and a bevy of assorted agents, shoe-company executives and others would -- if the charges bear out -- arguably be the most expansive case of wrongdoing in the history of college sports.

By implicating six of the country's top 100 men's basketball programs in allegedly improper (if not illegal) payments to players, the Federal Bureau of Investigation charges would touch all but one of the Power Five sports conferences. (The impact could spread much farther if the FBI's call for tips starts a frenzy in which Adidas officials rat out their counterparts at Nike and Under Armour, or if the coaches facing jail time try to reduce their sentences by turning state's evidence against their peers at other institutions.)

Have these charges gotten the attention of presidents of the colleges and universities that play big-time sports? Are the new allegations making them look more closely at their own programs? And might they be less inclined than in the past to write off a scandal at another institution as an outlier and embrace the notion that a systemic problem exists in the NCAA's top tier?

It depends where you look. A day after the allegations were announced, Auburn University's new president, Steven Leath, told ESPN that while he was stunned by the charges, he gleaned from FBI officials "that they don't think there's some structural problem or some broader problem at the university, that this was an isolated individual … I don't think anybody else knew. I don't think there's any indication at Auburn that anybody else knew about this."

A series of interviews with current and former university presidents elicited a range of views.

F. King Alexander, president of the Louisiana State University System and chancellor of its Baton Rouge campus, which plays football and basketball in the powerhouse Southeastern Conference (alongside Auburn), said he was "asking questions just to make sure we’re not involved in any of this," he said. "Are we trying to find out if we have a problem? You're darned right; everybody should." LSU's teams sport Nike apparel, and Alexander said he took some heart from the fact that "we're not an Adidas school." But he acknowledged that might be small comfort. "Is Nike doing what Adidas did?"

(Nike and Adidas have been locked in a decades-long duel to associate themselves with universities and athletes who they believe can win the hearts of consumers everywhere, a competition that arguably got a lot more intense, and expensive, last year when Under Armour signed a $280 million deal with the Bruins of the University of California, Los Angeles.)

Susan Herbst, president of the University of Connecticut, said in an interview that with all the money and other incentives floating through college sports, "the conditions have been set up for this to happen -- a nice rich environment for the appearance of bad motives, impulses, bad apples to be up to no good."

But she expressed confidence that "we have nothing like that here." What reassures her? "I know the program thoroughly. I have an athletics director who is very hands-on, and I know the whole staff. Basketball isn't hard to know; they are very small, intimate programs, and it would be difficult to hide much in most of them … If your AD is paying attention, isn't on the road too much, I would think you would get a sense of whether [your program] could get wrapped up in this kind of thing."

Other presidents seemed more rattled by the turn of events.

Randy Woodson, president of North Carolina State University, which competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference with the University of Miami, another of the institutions singed in the FBI charges, said via email that he has "worked hard with my athletic director at NC State to insure that we have no knowledge of activities such as these here. I think it is a safe bet to assume that every university president is asking their AD and coaches hard questions about recruiting practices given the allegations outlined in this criminal investigation."

But "I can assure you," he said, "that I am not writing this off as a few bad actors. I'm worried that the alleged behavior that the FBI is investigating could be more widespread." The involvement of the FBI changes the equation, Woodson said, given that the government agency has subpoena powers that college sports' own governing body, and the institutions themselves, do not.

"NCAA investigations are one thing and we all take them seriously and work hard to play by the rules," Woodson said. "But when the investigative body has the power to arrest, compel testimony and ultimately convict, you can be assured that the truth will be discovered and likely very quickly."

Walter Harrison, who retired in July as president of the University of Hartford and spent 15 years in the NCAA's governance system on several of its most powerful committees, knows firsthand the difference between NCAA enforcement and federal law enforcement. As vice president for university relations and a key adviser to the president of the University of Michigan in the late 1990s, Harrison was among several officials tasked with investigating charges that members of the university's "Fab Five" basketball team had received payments to enroll there. "We were trying to figure out if any money had changed hands, and we tried to get to [former player] Chris Webber's bank accounts. They said no, and we couldn't go any further." The inquiry ended without major findings.

Not long after, Ed Martin, the booster at the center of the allegations, drew the attention of the U.S. attorney in Detroit for allegedly laundering money from an illegal gambling operation. "It turned out that hundreds of thousands of dollars had changed hands, and that five players had received money. Webber had perjured himself. But we couldn't touch it."

Even having seen the limits of what an internal investigation can uncover, Harrison said that if he were running a major basketball power right now, he would be "charging the AD to look very carefully … at which players you've been able to attract over the last few years, which [Amateur Athletic Union] coaches they were close to … what kinds of cars the kids were driving."

More fundamentally, Harrison said he was concerned that what one colleague a decade ago described as the "cesspool underneath men's basketball" -- money changing hands, corruption, stuff "you just don't want to know about," he was told -- is poised to be outed. "If I were leading the NCAA, I'd be thinking, 'If I don’t do something about this in a very visible way, Congress might,' and that would worry me a lot," he said. Harrison was referring to the re-emergence, spawned by the FBI investigation, of congressional interest that has, in the past, suggested a possible antitrust exemption to change how college sports are governed.

Harrison fears such an approach -- but John V. Lombardi thinks it might be the only meaningful solution.

Lombardi, who led the LSU system, the University of Florida and the University of Massachusetts at Amherst (and their powerhouse teams) during his decades as a university president, equates the alleged behavior of the basketball coaches implicated in the FBI inquiry to the lawbreaking employees at Wells Fargo, who "think they're promoting the interests of the institution or the company but really they're not."

It is wholly unsurprising that bad behavior is spilling out of a system with "so much money, ego, visibility and celebrity floating around," Lombardi said -- leaving "no question that we have to fix the systemic problem."

But most of his solutions for doing so -- "letting the kids go to the pros" without having to go through college, "allowing student athletes to commercialize certain aspects of their lives without becoming professionals" -- would require giving the NCAA (or another body) powers that only Congress can grant. "If you don't get this, the rest of the conversation is irrelevant," he said.

Lost in much of the hubbub surrounding the latest charges, Lombardi said, is the reality that in most major sports programs, "you've got 400-500 athletes, most of whom have no possibility of taking bribes," a reference to the male soccer players and runners, and pretty much every female athlete, and probably three-quarters or more of the football and men's basketball players who aren't destined for the pros.

"We've got to find a way to separate the money part from the student part," Lombardi said. If not, scandals like these might destroy the whole enterprise, the good with the bad.

Editorial Tags: AthleticsNCAAImage Source: Getty ImagesImage Caption: Acting U.S. Attorney Joon H. Kim announces the college basketball charges.Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

‘Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities’

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 00:00

Foreign and domestic intelligence services spar and spy on one another all across the world. But it would be naïve to think it’s not happening in the lab or classroom as well.

In his new book, Spy Schools: How the CIA, FBI and Foreign Intelligence Secretly Exploit America’s Universities (Henry Holt and Company), investigative journalist Daniel Golden explores the fraught -- and sometimes exploitative -- relationship between higher education and intelligence services, both foreign and domestic. Chapters explore various case studies of the Central Intelligence Agency and Federal Bureau of Investigation using the open and collaborative nature of higher education to their advantage, as well as foreign governments infiltrating the U.S. via education.

“It’s pretty widespread, and I’d say it’s most prevalent at research universities,” Golden, an editor at ProPublica and an alumnus of The Boston Globe’s “Spotlight” team, told Inside Higher Ed. “The foreign intelligence services have the interest and the opportunity to learn cutting-edge, Pentagon-funded or government-funded research.”

Golden, who has also covered higher education for The Wall Street Journal, previously wrote about the intersection of wealth and admissions in his 2006 book The Price of Admission.

Each of the case studies in Spy Schools, which goes on sale Oct. 10, is critical. One could read the chapters on the Chinese government’s interest in U.S. research universities as hawkish, but then turn to the next chapter on Harvard’s relationship with the CIA and read it as critical of the American intelligence establishment as well.

“People of one political persuasion might focus on [the chapters regarding] foreign espionage; people of another political persuasion might focus on domestic espionage,” Golden said. “I try to follow where the facts lead.”

Perhaps the most prestigious institution Golden examines is Harvard University, probing its cozy relationship with the CIA. (While Harvard has recently come under scrutiny for its relationship with the agency after it withdrew an invitation for Chelsea Manning to be a visiting fellow -- after the agency objected to her appointment -- this book was written before the Manning incident, which occurred in September.) The university, which has had varying degrees of closeness and coldness with the CIA over the years, currently allows the agency to send officers to the midcareer program at the Kennedy School of Government while continuing to act undercover, with the school’s knowledge. When the officers apply -- often with fudged credentials that are part of their CIA cover -- the university doesn’t know they’re CIA agents, but once they’re in, Golden writes, Harvard allows them to tell the university that they’re undercover. Their fellow students, however -- often high-profile or soon-to-be-high-profile actors in the world of international diplomacy -- are kept in the dark.

“Kenneth Moskow is one of a long line of CIA officers who have enrolled undercover at the Kennedy School, generally with Harvard’s knowledge and approval, gaining access to up-and-comers worldwide,” Golden writes. “For four decades the CIA and Harvard have concealed this practice, which raises larger questions about academic boundaries, the integrity of class discussions and student interactions, and whether an American university has a responsibility to accommodate U.S. intelligence.”

But the CIA isn’t the only intelligence group operating at Harvard. Golden notes Russian spies have enrolled at the Kennedy School, although without Harvard’s knowledge or cooperation.

When contacted by Inside Higher Ed, Harvard officials didn’t deny Goldman’s telling, but defended the university’s practices while emphasizing the agreement between the university and the CIA -- which Goldman also writes about -- on not using Harvard to conduct CIA fieldwork.

“Harvard Kennedy School does not knowingly provide false information or ‘cover’ for any member of our community from an intelligence agency, nor do we allow members of our community to carry out intelligence operations at Harvard Kennedy School,” Eric Rosenbach, co-director of the Kennedy School’s Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, said in a statement.

While Goldman said the CIA’s involvement on campus raises existential questions about the purpose and integrity of higher education, Harvard maintained that the Kennedy School was living up to its mission.

“Our community consists of people from different spheres of public service. We are proud to train people from the U.S. government and the intelligence community, as well as peace activists and those who favor more open government,” Rosenbach said in his statement. “We train students from a wide range of foreign countries and foreign governments, including -- among others -- Israel, U.K., Russia and China. That is consistent with our mission and we are proud to have that reach.”

On the other hand, other countries are interested in exploiting U.S. higher education. Golden documents the case of Ruopeng Liu, a graduate student at Duke University who siphoned off U.S.-government-funded research to Chinese researchers. Liu eventually returned to China and has used some of the research for his Chinese-government-funded start-up ventures.

Golden is comprehensive, interviewing Duke researchers who worked with Liu, as well as dispatching a freelance journalist in China to interview Liu (he denied wrongdoing, saying his actions were taken as part of higher education's collaborative norms regarding research projects). Despite questions that arose while Liu was a student, he received his doctorate in 2009 without any formal questions or pushback from the university. A week before Liu defended his dissertation, Golden notes that Duke officials voted to move forward in negotiations with the Chinese government regarding opening a Duke campus in China -- raising questions about whether Duke was cautious about punishing a Chinese student lest there were negative business implications for Duke. (The building of the campus proved to be a controversial move in its own right.)

The Duke professor Liu worked under told Golden it would be hard to prove Liu acted with intentional malice rather than out of genuine cultural and translational obstacles, or ethical slips made by a novice researcher. Duke officials told Inside Higher Ed that there weren’t any connections between Liu and the vote.

“The awarding of Ruopeng Liu’s degree had absolutely no connection to the deliberations over the proposal for Duke to participate in the founding of a new university in Kunshan, China,” a spokesman said in an email.

These are just two chapters of Golden’s book, which also goes on to document the foreign exchange relationship between Marietta College, in Ohio, and the controversial Chinese-intelligence-aligned University of International Relations. Agreements between Marietta and UIR, which is widely regarded a recruiting ground for Chinese intelligence services, include exchanging professors and sending Chinese students to Marietta. Conversely, Golden writes, as American professors teach UIR students who could end up spying on the U.S., American students at Marietta are advised against studying abroad at UIR if they have an interest in working for the government -- studying at UIR carries a risk for students hoping to get certain security clearances. Another highlight is the chapter documenting the CIA’s efforts to stage phony international academic conferences, put on to lure Iranian nuclear scientists as attendees and get them out of their country -- and in a position to defect to the U.S. According to Golden's sources, the operations, combined with other efforts, have been successful enough “to hinder Iran's nuclear weapons program.”

But Golden’s book doesn’t just shed light on previously untold stories. It also highlights the existential questions facing higher education, not only when dealing with infiltration from foreign governments, but also those brought on by cozy relationships between the U.S. intelligence and academe.

“One issue is American national security,” Golden said. “Universities do a lot of research that’s important to our government and our military, and they don’t take very strong precautions against it being stolen,” he said. “So the domestic espionage side -- I’m kind of a traditionalist and I believe in the ideal of universities as places where the brightest minds of all countries come together to learn, teach each other, study and do research. Espionage from both sides taints that … that’s kind of disturbing.”

After diving deep into the complex web that ties higher education and espionage together, however, Golden remains optimistic about the future.

“It wouldn’t be that hard to tighten up the intellectual property rules and have written collaboration agreements and have more courses about intellectual safeguards,” he said. “In the 1970s, Harvard adopted guidelines against U.S. intelligence trying to recruit foreign students in an undercover way … they didn’t become standard practice [across academe, but], I still think those guidelines are pertinent and colleges would do well to take a second look at them.”

“In the idealistic dreamer mode, it would be wonderful if the U.N. or some other organization would take a look at this issue, and say, ‘Can we declare universities off-limits to espionage?’”

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Do medical schools still need books?

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 00:00

Earlier this year the Association of American Medical Colleges predicted that by 2030, the United States would have a shortage of up to 104,900 physicians. To try to curb this impending crisis, a wave of new medical schools have opened in the last decade. Eleven schools have been accredited by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education in the last five years, and eight more are currently under consideration.

As a condition of accreditation, these new schools must provide access to “well-maintained library resources sufficient in breadth of holdings and technology” to support the school’s educational mission, but it seems many medical schools are deciding that large print collections are no longer a vital component of those resources.

Paperless Libraries

The Frank H. Netter School of Medicine at Quinnipiac University, which accepted its first students in 2013, is one such school. Designed as a paperless institution, the school has a library space where students can read and study, but the vast majority of the library's resources are online. Bruce Koeppen, dean of the school, said that by making most of the library's holdings electronic, it ensured that students and faculty could access information “anywhere and anytime, even when the library is closed.”

Charles Stewart, associate dean and chief librarian of City College of New York, of the City University of New York system, said that his institution chose to go a paperless route for the newly opened CUNY School of Medicine on the City College campus for much the same reason -- 24-7 access. “We chose the all-electronic option since our medical school clearly wanted instant e-access to all their resources,” said Stewart.

Matt Wilcox, director of the Edward and Barbara Netter Library at Quinnipiac University, said that he had observed a “definite trend” in the last few years for medical schools to have very different libraries than the traditional large academic medical libraries of old. “These born-digital libraries, with their focus on electronic collections and relatively tiny print collections, allow institutions to think creatively about how to best distribute their study spaces,” said Wilcox.

A Hybrid Approach

Though some schools are curbing their print collections, others see that print still plays an important role. The Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, which welcomed its first students in 2010, opened with just 50 books on its shelves, but students quickly pushed to expand this collection to 4,000 books, saying that they preferred to use physical materials for studying. The school noted, however, that it did not want to increase its print collection beyond the current level.

Fay Towell, director of libraries at the Greenville Hospital System, said that it was interesting that students at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville, which opened in 2012, frequently requested access to both print and electronic resources. Given the small size of the library, and the prohibitive cost of providing both print and online versions of texts, Towell said the library had to be selective. She noted that often journals might cost more electronically than in print -- “if a journal cost is $4,000 electronically and $400 in print, then the library makes space for print,” she said.

A Clean Slate

While many new medical schools have the opportunity to design their library spaces from scratch, it is not often that more established institutions have the same opportunity. The New York University Health Sciences Library is an exception. The Frederick L. Ehrman Medical Library was “basically destroyed” by Superstorm Sandy in 2012, said Neil Rambo, the library's director, meaning the institution had the opportunity to completely rethink their space. A new library was opened in the same location in 2016, but it is a “completely different type of facility” from its predecessor, with a focus on tech-enabled study spaces, and no bookshelves -- except for the display of a few rare books and artifacts.

Between the destruction of the old library and the opening of the new one, Rambo and his colleagues operated from offices across the street. They had no physical library for four years but didn't find it too difficult to adjust. “A main problem of not having a library is ensuring that students have somewhere to study and work together in small groups, so the institution did have to scramble to make sure there were spaces identified for that,” said Rambo.

Rambo said there was a period when it was not clear that they would ever have a library again, but the institution was committed to rebuilding and creating an “intellectual center” for students and faculty. “Most of our librarians had no problem adjusting to not having a library. They were already in a different mind-set -- their work was not tied to the library as a facility, more their relationships with the people that they work with, and not having to manage a physical space freed them to completely focus on that.” He noted, however, that some library staff -- for example, those dedicated to staffing the circulation desk -- did feel a loss of identity. “We tried to reposition those staff as much as possible,” said Rambo. Now staff who might previously have manned a desk in the library might respond to online queries instead, he said.

Roger Schonfeld, director of the Library and Scholarly Communication Program for Ithaka S+R, pointed out that when medical libraries thin their print collections, it does not necessarily mean that the campus loses access to those physical materials. “Whether the collections are moved to an off-site facility, or the library participates in a shared print program, it is almost always still possible to provide access to a print version on those occasions when it is necessary to do so.” The trend for thinning print collections is not unique to medical libraries, said Schonfeld -- many science and engineering libraries have done the same. “What science, engineering and medicine have in common is that the most important collections are typically journals, and journals in those fields are almost entirely accessed in digital form,” said Schonfeld.

Rambo agreed, adding that in the sciences, particularly biomedical science, there is a strong focus on current research. “Books and monographs in biomedicine have a pretty short shelf life. Ten years old is pretty old in biomedicine, but in other fields that’s clearly not the case. In the humanities and social sciences, things that are decades old can be just as valuable.”

Despite the lack of bookshelves, Rambo conceded, there is still a place for some books in his library. “While we have a lot of ebooks, we’ve generally found that they’re still a work in progress and the technology is not mature enough for students to really love them. Most of our students still prefer to have a hard copy in front of them,” he said. To cater to these students, Rambo says, the library has bought hard copies of required textbooks and put them on a book truck in the students’ study space. “We don’t control them, we don’t check them in and out. Students are in charge of using them as they wish. If the books disappear then we’ll replace them, but we actually have very little problem with that -- the students are pretty vigilant about making sure they’re available to others when needed. It’s a low-tech way of giving them what they need.”

A Conundrum

Asked whether he expected that other established libraries would eventually ditch their physical collections, Rambo said he thought most schools would like to go in that direction, but that legacy schools might face a “political conundrum” if there is not a perceived need for change. “The storm in a way made things easy for us, because it wasn’t our choice. People realized that things were gone and got used to it. Other places where you have to make a conscious decision to throw anything out, it’s a tougher thing -- but I think it’s going to be seen increasingly as not that difficult a decision.”

Anne Seymour, director of the William H. Welch Medical Library at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, said that there had been a definite shift in focus from physical to digital collections at her institution in the last few years -- a shift she said she has “fully embraced.”

“Even if you’re not a new medical school, even if you’re in one of the oldest, all schools are faced with the changing notion of their library space -- from being just a collection of books and rungs of journals to becoming a much more vibrant hub of scholarship, collaboration and technology,” said Seymour. She noted that at her library, where much of the collection had been digitized, “our community just really doesn’t use the print material as much -- it doesn’t make sense to use up valuable space on campus.”

“Any space that is underutilized starts to become questioned,” she said. “There’s a lot of attachment to these collections, but I think if anybody looks at them, they're just not used,” agreed Rambo. Seymour noted that students, researchers and faculty rarely visit the library for the latest research -- instead they go online from their office, lab or even a patient’s bedside.

Though Seymour and Rambo see a shift to digital collections as inevitable, there is still a desire to preserve the “rich history” of many print collections, said Gerald Jurek, user experience librarian and clinical assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago Library of the Health Sciences. Jurek recently oversaw a renovation of his library, which had not been remodeled since the early ’70s. Though Jurek said he did have to dispose of some books to claim back shelf space, he said he still saw books and print as an important aspect of the library’s holdings, particularly as the library is a destination for scholars studying medical history.

Even when books aren’t regularly used, Jurek said he liked to think of books as aesthetic, and noted that they could be useful for zoning spaces and buffering sound. Though Jurek’s library still has a large print collection, he noted that the way people interacted with the books had noticeably changed. “It used to be very much that people would come in and browse. You don’t see that at all now. I’d be interested to find out what activity has replaced that.”

Medical EducationEditorial Tags: LibrariesMedical educationImage Source: Aileen McCrillisImage Caption: NYU health sciences libraryIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

A university president discusses her new book on how colleges can prepare students for success

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 00:00

Colleges face scrutiny -- from would-be students, their parents and politicians -- over whether they are preparing students for careers. Gloria Cordes Larson has focused on these issues at Bentley University, a business-oriented institution that also takes pride in the general education students receive. Her new book, PreparedU: How Innovative Colleges Drive Student Success (Jossey-Bass), is something of a guide for colleges -- including those institutions far less focused on business than is Bentley -- to how to respond to the demands in this area. The book is also a critique of higher education, suggesting that many academics have failed to focus on these issues. The name comes from programs at Bentley that Larson has championed.

Larson responded via email to questions about her new book.

Q: What are the current practices that aren’t working, that are resulting in some graduates failing to find a good spot in the job market?

A: When I speak with business leaders, I find there is a disconnect between how colleges educate undergraduates and the reality of how business operates today, particularly in regard to positions where the required skills cross traditional job-description boundaries. A business graduate, for example, needs to know the technical skills of their discipline, but that is no longer enough on its own. Critical thinking, complex problem solving, empathy, creativity and communication skills are all necessary in today’s work environment. This is why more and more schools are finding creative ways to integrate the arts and sciences with professional and technical skills.

Employers are point-blank telling us they need college graduates who have mastered soft skills in addition to the hard, industry-specific technical skills. They are looking for employees who understand big data or business development, but according to research from Bentley University’s PreparedU Project, a whopping 92 percent of employers rank critical thinking and the ability to analyze issues as “important” or “very important” to success. Additionally, 87 percent of those employers emphasize the importance of verbal and written communication and presentation skills, and 91 percent want employees who can work collaboratively within a team. To fulfill that need, universities must provide opportunities, as part of the educational experience, that teach students skills like team and relationship building, understanding emotional intelligence, and participating in leadership roles.

Career services is a crucial element to a graduate’s success. A mistake that students and some universities make is introducing career services on the way out the door as graduation and “real life” near. That’s too late. Career services needs to start as soon as students arrive on campus.

Q: How should the curriculum be changed to make students better prepared?

A: This question goes to the core of the book and what everyone in higher education should be asking themselves -- how can we best prepare today’s young adults for a successful career and a happy life? This is especially important at a time when a fast-changing global and digital economy is forcing students to prepare for jobs after graduation that may not even exist yet. The key is to be innovative and adaptable -- these are skills that can be taught. I believe it all begins with an approach that combines left-brain and right-brain thinking, integrates hands-on learning experiences, and exposes students to the technologies that will give them an edge in specific industries.

This combination of left-brain and right-brain thinking is happening all over the innovation economy in companies large and small, and it’s far past time higher education gets on board. At Bentley that translates into a mix of business with arts and sciences. One example is Bentley’s liberal studies major, in which business majors add a second, liberal arts major. Students might combine a major in economics and finance with a liberal studies major in earth environment and global sustainability, leaving them well suited to develop a business plan for a growing solar power company. Or someone might put together a left-brain interest in accounting and a right-brain interest in ethics and corporate responsibility; there is no doubt Wall Street is in need of investors and business leaders like that. These are real examples I’ve seen among recent Bentley graduates.

Beyond these choices of major or field of study, hands-on experiences are crucial to better prepare students, whether via external internships, corporate immersion classes on campus with real companies, study abroad or community-based service-­learning opportunities. A combination of several of these experiences is ideal. These real-world experiences allow students to see how their studies, skills and interests play out in the realities of work and life. In fact, I think internships and service learning should be mandatory for all students, regardless of major.

Q: Bentley has a focus on business. How do your ideas play out at a liberal arts college?

A: In the book, I quote Clark University’s president, David Angel, as saying, “Liberal arts education can’t stand still.” The truth is, no one in higher ed can stand still. Higher education’s traditional separation of left-brain and right-brain domains needs to disappear. Fortunately, that change is beginning to take hold. The hybrid model that dissolves the traditional barrier between business and liberal arts education is being done successfully at a number of different institutions, from Ivy League schools to community colleges. It can absolutely be applied at liberal arts schools.

Clark University is a great example. Clark has made good on its vow to not stand still by overhauling its curriculum and introducing a new model of liberal arts education that it calls Liberal Education and Effective Practice. This approach integrates world, workplace and personal experiences with a liberal arts curriculum. By integrating projects and internships, alumni mentoring, research, community engagement and cross-cultural exchanges with classroom experiences, the program fosters critical thinking, effective communication, creativity, teamwork, a strong ethical framework and the resilience and persistence to get things done. This what students need to thrive in today’s complex, ever-changing world.

Another example: at Davidson College, a liberal arts school, they believe career services should be a core part of the student experience. It starts the first week of first year, when students do a Myers-Briggs assessment to figure out who they are, what drives them and where they want to go. There it is again, the dissolution of that traditional line between careers and liberal arts. I think that’s the right approach.

A report released in 2011 called “Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession,” by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, examined 10 schools, including Bentley. Called the BELL project (Business, Entrepreneurship and Liberal Learning), the report concluded that “each of these domains [liberal arts and business or practical learning] must serve as both crucible and catalyst to animate the educational potential of the other.” Bentley had at that time incorporated our “fusion” education model, linking business and the liberal arts, as well as our liberal studies majors. This learning model highlighted by BELL has become an important differentiator at many leading colleges and universities in order to properly prepare their students.

Q: Many these days argue for online education as an alternative to traditional higher education. You have an entire chapter on the value of place-based education. Why is physical presence so important?

A: I am very passionate about this -- which is why I devoted all of chapter 5 to it. If a student can attend college on a campus, the totality of their personal experience is much richer. Place-based education -- the campus -- is where students, professors, mentors, peers and activities come together for a holistic experience, greater than the sum of its parts and suited to that time in life when young people are largely becoming who they will be for decades to come.

The internet and online courses provide a superabundance of information, but wisdom and intellectual growth still depend on the relationships of teachers and students. When living on campus, students have the opportunity for advanced learning including time management, learning limitations, gaining new perspectives and getting outside your comfort zone. Graduates need to possess the courage to take risks, the creativity to innovate, a strong moral compass -- all things you get by living independently on a campus with new people and new experiences.

I realize that place-based education is a privilege. Not everybody can live on a campus for four years, whether because of financial circumstances or commitments to work or family. That’s why it’s so important that the higher education system offers off-campus students a range of options, including part-time study and financial aid, as well as online learning.

Q: Some faculty members fear that efforts to make students better prepared for jobs will undercut general education. How would you reassure them?

A: I would say to them that this is not an either/or situation. It’s possible to prepare students to engage in successful careers after graduation while also giving them a great general education. It’s not vocational or narrow to say the real world -- and preparing students for it -- matters.

Our faculty at Bentley don’t see this as pitting general education versus preparing students for careers. They are the ones who most “own” our model of integrating business with the liberal arts and its resulting success -- for the past eight consecutive years, over 98 percent of our graduates have a job or attend graduate school within six months of graduation. The reality is that this is what students and families are concerned about. Research from the University of California, Los Angeles’s Higher Education Institute tells us that 85 percent of first-year college students say getting a better job was a major reason for attending college. These are numbers we cannot ignore.

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Colleges start new academic programs

Inside Higher Ed - Tue, 10/03/2017 - 00:00
Editorial Tags: New academic programsIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

PM promises change of approach to student tuition fees

University World News Global Edition - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 06:29
The Prime Minister, Theresa May, has promised to review the whole system of student finance and has declined to rule out a switch to a graduate tax, in an interview ahead of the Conservative Party ...

‘Trump effect’ hits US business student intake: GMAC

The PIE News - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 06:09

The latest figures for business school admissions suggest the ‘Trump factor’ is more significant than the ‘Brexit factor’ in determining international business student movement.

Findings from the Graduate Management Admission Council, a global, non-profit association of 220 leading graduate business schools, suggest that European and Canadian courses are almost twice as likely to report growth in international applicants compared with the US.

“International applicants represent 57% of US applications, 70% of Canadian volume”

Only 32% of of US courses reported growth in 2017, compared to 49% in 2016. Meanwhile, 77% of Canadian and 65% of European courses have reported increases. This shows increases in both markets on 2016, but a particularly dramatic rise for Canada, which saw its admissions jumping from 29% from 2016.

The report is based on responses from 965 graduate business courses over 351 institutions in 45 countries, and notes that distribution of mobile graduate students varies widely. 

“Overall, the 2017 report findings show that international applicants represent 57% of US application volumes, 70% of Canadian volume, 89% of European volume, 20% of East and southeast Asian volume, and less than one percent of Indian volume,” the report reads. 

“A strong economy and a disruptive political climate are likely contributing to the downward trend in some US applications” 

The drop on the international recruitment front in the US has been offset, to some extent, by a domestic enrolment resurgence for the larger business schools.

Over two-thirds of courses with class sizes of over 200 have reported growth in domestic applications. Smaller courses (under 50 students), however, have only grown by 38%.

“Demand for graduate business education remains strong, especially among the largest programs, which tend also to be the most well-known programs with brand recognition,” said Sangeet Chowfla, GMAC president and CEO.

“While non-US programs are thriving, a strong economy and a disruptive political climate are likely contributing to the downward trend in application volumes among smaller US programs this year,” Chowfla added.

Anecdotal evidence collected by GMAC further highlights the mixed fortunes of the US and the UK, and the perhaps unexpected outcomes they have experienced post-Brexit and post-Trump respectively. 

“Application numbers from European students have remained stable in comparison with previous years, and our tuition fees are now more affordable to international candidates due to the drop in the value of sterling,” commented a UK course leader for full-time two-year MBAs.

Meanwhile, a US counterpart admitted fears about living in the US have increased due to political decisions and rhetoric. 

“Given the immigration policies advocated by the present administration as well as the general tenor of the broader conversation in the US regarding immigrants and foreigners, we found our international prospective students cited greater anxiety about living and studying in the United States than in prior years,” they told The PIE News

In terms of overall growth worldwide, Latin America reported a 26% increase over a range of courses; Africa saw a 45% increase in MBA applications; the UK reported a 78% increase in MBAs, with a 57% growth in business masters; Canada experienced a 74 percent increase in MBA applications and a 67% increase in business masters; India recorded an 85% increase in MBAs, and China registered a 92% increase in MBAs.

A rise in the number of female course applicants was prominent among other key trends and indicators flagged by the GMAC report. The percentage of female applicants has risen five percent since 2013, from 37% to 42% overall. The picture is particularly striking in Africa India and China, with rises of 45%, 40%, and 43% in their respective MBA programs.

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China: Hailiang Education and ELS partner on EAP

The PIE News - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 03:26

Hailiang Education, a provider of private K-12 educational services in China, has entered into a cooperation agreement with ELS American Education Consulting in Shanghai to better prepare students in China for study in the US later in their academic career.

Hailiang Foreign Language School will offer a tailored ELS English for Academic Purpose program, which includes a technology lab for individualised learning support and on-site academic oversight of the program.

“With this partnership they want to ensure the success of Chinese students as they embark on overseas university studies.”

Xinchun Qin, chief principal of the Hailiang School, said that the agreement offered his school the opportunity to utilise ELS’s expertise in effective language teaching and professional development resources.

“With ELS’s international pathways, we can leverage over 650 universities that may accept our students with the ELS Certificate of Completion as proof of English proficiency,” he said.

“We look forward to a very productive and wide-ranging relationship with ELS for years to come.”

Established in 1995, Hailiang Education has sent over 30,000 students on to study at domestic and foreign universities since its launch. It boasts a 95% pass rate for the competitive Gaokao national college entrance exam in China.

Mallik Sundharam, vice president of New Business Development and Recruitment at ELS, said he had identified Hailiang Education as a high quality partner in China.

“We have been exploring secondary level school partnerships as a strategic growth opportunity in China and ELS is pleased to establish a collaboration with such an academically focused partner like Hailiang Education Group.”

In July 2015, Hailiang Education was formally listed on the NASDAQ, claiming to be the first full-time education provider in China listed on the US stock market.

The post China: Hailiang Education and ELS partner on EAP appeared first on The PIE News.

University of Ottawa (Canada) - Dr Nemer Canada's new Chief Science Advisor

International Association of Universities - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:46

Dr. Nemer, medical researcher and former vice-president, research, at the University of Ottawa for over a decade has been appointed by Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as new Chief Science Advisor. She holds a PhD in Chemistry from McGill University and her research focused on the heart, particularly on the mechanisms of heart failure and congenital heart diseases. More

Nuanced findings on study abroad influence on careers

University World News Global Edition - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:09
The long-held belief that studying abroad helps students develop skills that make them attractive on the job market is reinforced by a study released this week in which United States alumni of suc ...

Johns Hopkins eliminates Russian program, leaving faculty out of the loop

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:00

The director of the Russian program at Johns Hopkins University says she was “blindsided” by the cancellation of the institution’s Russian major -- especially as Russia’s influence in world and even domestic affairs is growing.

“This is a crazy decision based not on the merits of the program but on something we can’t even grasp -- we don’t understand it,” said Olya Samilenko, an associate professor of Russian at Goucher College who directs the Johns Hopkins-Goucher cooperative Russian program in language, literature and culture.

Based on the two institutions’ decades-old agreement, Goucher faculty members teach and advise students who study Russian on both campuses. Hopkins students have been allowed to major in Russian only as a second major, or as a minor, and while the program on that campus has traditionally been small, it currently has nine majors and minors combined -- nothing to sniff at for a language with an alphabet unfamiliar to most Americans.

Current majors and minors will be able to complete their programs. Starting this year, however, incoming Hopkins students will no longer be able to major or minor in Russian.

Hopkins attributes the change to Goucher and Hopkins’s academic structures becoming increasingly incompatible, but Samilenko has said she was originally told the program would be cut due to low enrollments. She challenges that characterization, however, pointing out the relatively high number of majors and minors for a small program and the significance of Russian itself.

Samilenko said in an interview last week that Russian President Vladimir Putin is “a major, major player in world politics who is putting out feelers in many places and has already invaded half of Ukraine, and there are people who want to learn this language … This is big loss to Hopkins students.”

What happened? Samilenko says she doesn’t really know, writing in a recent op-ed in Hopkins’s student newspaper that she and a colleague “were told after the fact that upper-level Russian courses had been deemed ‘too advanced’ and therefore incompatible with the goals of CLE [Center for Language Education]. But did [anyone] mention how instrumental those advanced lit courses -- all taught in Russian -- had been in getting jobs for Hopkins students?”

The move appears to have been planned for more than a year -- before it became clear just how enmeshed Russian and American politics are at present. Joel F. Schildbach, vice dean for undergraduate education and a professor of biology in the university’s Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, said that in mid-2016, Goucher and Hopkins began discussing the future of the cooperative with respect to organizational changes at Goucher, including adjustments to credit hours and class times. Ultimately, he said, those changes made Goucher and Hopkins’s program structures too “divergent.”

So a choice needed to be made, he said: offer some language courses and several literature courses to recreate the major “for the benefit of the handful of students who took those courses,” or “provide greater offerings in Russian language that would benefit many more of our students, including a number of our hundreds of international studies and political science majors.”

Hopkins chose the latter, and will accordingly next year increase the number and levels of language courses offered at Hopkins, Schildbach added via email. Starting next fall, "by redirecting the money we spend on the cooperative program into hiring at least one full-time instructor, at a minimum we will offer Russian language through the third year. We’ll be more flexible in scheduling the language courses because the instructor(s) won’t be traveling between two schools, and be better able to add additional sections or levels of language as demand requires."

Regarding communication with the faculty, he said that Goucher early on asked to handle discussions with its faculty members, who administer the joint program. Regarding some students’ complaints that they, too, were left in the dark about the major’s cancellation, Schildbach said the change could not be discussed with students before Hopkins was sure professors were aware.

Leslie Lewis, provost and professor of English at Goucher, said in a statement Friday that as a “true liberal arts college, we remain committed to Russian language and cultural studies.” Goucher continues to offer a major and minor in Russian, she added, welcoming Hopkins students to participate.

Samilenko noted that students will be able to take approximately one Russian course per semester at Goucher going forward as part of the separate, unaffected Baltimore Student Exchange Program. A dozen area institutions participate in that consortium.

Hopkins will monitor enrollments and gauge student interest in the future, Schildbach said. “If students indicate a clear desire for a major and minor, we will certainly revisit the decision.”

According to the most recent Modern Language Association survey on enrollments, Russian enrollments dropped 18 percent between 2009 and 2013. Yet advanced enrollments actually increased slightly. Some 16 percent of all Russian programs reported stability in 2013, and 32 percent reported growth. Predictably, a look at historical enrollments shows them peaking around 1990 (just after the fall of the Berlin Wall) and shrinking after that, with a slight surge in 2009 and another drop before 2013.

Paula Krebs, executive director of the Modern Language Association, said it’s “always unfortunate when a university decides to cut a language major, and this move appears to have been planned before the current upsurge of interest in U.S.-Russian relations.”

Elsewhere in the Baltimore-Washington area, she said, enrollments in Russian are strong, including at George Washington University, the University of Maryland Baltimore County and the U.S. Naval Academy.

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Might 'death penalty' be on the horizon for Louisville basketball?

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:00

After the University of Louisville men’s basketball team was linked to a widespread kickback scheme that federal officials have been investigating, as the U.S. attorney for New York revealed last week, the public pondered: Would the program, one of the top performers in the country, be killed?

The National Collegiate Athletic Association hasn’t imposed the “death penalty” on a Division I program since 1987, when the football team at Southern Methodist University was punished for repeated violations over a number of years, including payments to players. But Louisville, at least on the surface, seems to fit the basic criteria -- multiple significant violations of NCAA rules -- for a competition ban, which usually lasts at least one season.

It’s the most severe punishment the NCAA can hand down.

Former NCAA officials and experts offered mixed assessments of whether the association has maintained the clout to carry out the death penalty now, or whether Louisville’s indiscretions would even warrant it.

The New York-based United States attorney’s office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation shook college athletics last week by announcing corruption and bribery charges against high-ranking Adidas executives and four assistant or associate basketball coaches at major programs across the country. It also surfaced that Adidas, which sponsors Louisville's sports program, and others allegedly paid a six-figure sum to a high school recruit to direct him to Louisville.

Louisville’s high-profile head coach, Rick Pitino, who led the Cardinals to the 2013 national title, was ousted. Though Pitino officially was placed on unpaid leave per the terms of his contract, which requires 10 days’ notice before he can be terminated, his lawyer said he is “effectively fired.” The athletics director, Tom Jurich, was also put on leave, and the five-star recruit referenced in the federal complaint, Brian Bowen, has been suspended from all athletics-related activities, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported.

The NCAA already slapped the men’s basketball program with a four-year probation and gave Pitino a five-game suspension earlier this year, following revelations that a former Cardinals staffer sneaked escorts into university dormitories. The women were paid to strip and perform sex acts on potential recruits, some of whom were underage at the time. The association ordered certain games vacated, including, most likely, the national title.

Initially, the university intended to appeal the NCAA ruling on the prostitution scandal and said it would “stand behind” Pitino, who has remained relatively quiet since the Adidas allegations were announced. Via his lawyer, he called the allegations “a shock” -- his only other public statement was a text message to a radio show host, posted to Twitter on Friday, saying this “had been tough.”

“It’s been three days [and] I miss my players so much,” Pitino wrote in the text.

NEW: Rick Pitino allowed me to share this text. pic.twitter.com/Eubgy2oyXR

— Terry Meiners (@terrymeiners) September 29, 2017

But the death penalty requires more than a single corrupt coach, or one bad administrator, said Josephine Potuto, former head of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division I Committee on Infractions, which adjudicates cases of alleged rule breaking -- a program must be so infiltrated by abuse of the rules as to necessitate it being shut down.

“The fact that they’re already on probation will be a factor, no question, but it’s got to be more than a one-off here, one-off there,” said Potuto, the Richard H. Larson Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

Part of the reason the NCAA may be disinclined to stop a program, even for a season, is the ripple effect to other institutions -- other colleges that have never been implicated in anything would need to scramble to adjust conference schedules, and television contracts, set out years in advance, would also be affected, Potuto said.

Some athletes would transfer, too, which research has shown often causes their grades to fall, Potuto said.

Though a program might only be temporarily banned from competition, it’s hard for it to recover afterward, Potuto said, explaining how degraded the SMU football team was following the death penalty.

The aftermath of the death penalty, when Southern Methodist players finally returned to the field in 1989, was called "devastating," with multiple teams inflicting terrible losses on the Mustangs. Most players transferred away from the institution, which had been placed on probation for several similar violations before the NCAA cracked down. The scandal reached all the way to the office of Texas's then governor, William T. Clements, who was involved in the payments.

NCAA enforcers must sometimes operate with limited information when laying down their sanctions, Potuto said -- sometimes federal officials, particularly high-level ones, won’t share all the facts about a pending criminal case with the association, leaving them to function with what has been made public.

A former NCAA investigator, J. Brent Clark, said he doubted the death penalty would be invoked at Louisville, though he predicted that the Louisville coaching staff and athletics director would be replaced, and some of the players kicked off.

Clark said that the death penalty would “destroy” the program and, because the institution is still in debt on a new arena, without the money basketball brings in, Louisville could possibly default on its bonds.

He cited the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill academic fraud as a case that deserved the death penalty more. Over a nearly 20-year period, some employees steered as many as 3,000 students -- half of them athletes -- toward no-show classes that never met and for which the only assignment was a single paper that received a high grade no matter the content. Because students there were “robbed” of an education and the case spanned both the academic and athletic sides of the institution, Clark said, the UNC basketball program should be disbanded -- even though it might not fit the NCAA rules of having multiple violations. UNC and the association remain locked in a battle over the allegations.

Donna A. Lopiano, president of Sports Management Resources and a longtime women's athletics director at the University of Texas at Austin, said she hoped this scandal would prompt an overhaul of the NCAA system. The death penalty may not be appropriate for Louisville, she said, because by the time the NCAA can levy its consequences, most of the transgressors would likely have departed the institution.

“I’m hopeful that this forces the NCAA to re-examine their whole system of under-the-table compensation. We can’t have coaches making five million bucks,” she said. (Pitino earns nearly $7.8 million annually.)

Pundits and Kentucky locals -- even die-hard fans -- have called for the death penalty.

Dalton Ray, sports editor of The Louisville Cardinal, the student newspaper, and a self-proclaimed “fan boy,” in a column advocated for Pitino’s exit, despite his golden record.

“The program needs a culture change. Blow it up and start from scratch,” Ray wrote. “Who knows what will happen to the athletic department as a whole if the death penalty is the answer, but it’s becoming the final resort. The financial hit of a death penalty is one thing, but the hit to the fans is another. They need a fresh slate. Louisville fans deserve better.”

College sports columnist Pat Forde wrote in a column that this scandal exposed the dirtiness of athletics programs across the country -- and that other coaches are “running scared.”

“The damage to it will be immense and long-lasting,” Forde said of the impact of the FBI investigation on college basketball. “The NCAA will have a hard fight to make anyone believe in its breadwinner sport again. Which is why the first order of business needs to be blasting Louisville basketball into nonexistence.”

“Shut it down.”

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AAU reports on efforts to improve science teaching at research universities

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:00

Science instructors increasingly are moving beyond the lecture to more innovative -- and effective -- teaching methods. But professors with a taste for change often enact it alone, as their colleagues continue to lecture.

The Association of American Universities wants to change that. In 2011, it launched its Undergraduate STEM Initiative to encourage systemic reforms to science education to improve teaching and learning, especially in first- and second-year courses.

Early feedback was promising, and AAU is this week releasing a formal five-year status report detailing progress at eight project sites: Brown University; Michigan State University; the University of Arizona; the University of California, Davis; the University of Colorado at Boulder; the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill; the University of Pennsylvania and Washington University in St. Louis.

Mary Sue Coleman, president of AAU, wrote in the report that the initiative is a “significant test of the degree to which a group of prominent research universities can work collectively with their national organization to improve the quality of teaching in undergraduate STEM courses, especially large introductory and gateway courses, thereby enhancing the learning experiences of many thousands of their undergraduate students.” And so far, she said, results “indicate a resoundingly affirmative answer to this test.”

Additionally, she said, the initiative has helped AAU understand how it, as group of research universities, can better help to “support meaningful change at various institutional levels to improve undergraduate STEM education.”

Higher education is “now reaching a major tipping point,” Coleman added. “We cannot condone poor teaching of introductory STEM courses because we are trying to weed out the weaker students in the class or simply because a professor, department and/or institution fails to recognize and accept that there are, in fact, more effective ways to teach.” Failing to adopt evidence-based teaching practices in the classroom “must be viewed as irresponsible, an abrogation of fulfilling our collective mission to ensure that all students who are interested in learning and enrolled in a STEM course -- not just those who will choose to major in or pursue an advanced degree in that discipline -- are provided with the maximum opportunity to succeed,” she said.

The report says that participation in the initiative beyond the eight project sites has been high: all 62 AAU institutions now have a designated STEM campus point of contact, for example. Some 55 member institutions have participated in the initiative in some way, including more than 450 faculty members and administrators. Departmentwide innovations are becoming institutional priorities, teaching and learning centers are being redesigned, and data and analytics are being used to monitor and improve student learning.

Campuses are also exploring new hiring practices to advance improvements in STEM education, learning spaces are being reimagined and campuses are addressing the critical issue of meaningful evaluations of faculty teaching, by AAU’s accounting.

Every project site reported some improvement in student learning outcomes, according to the report. Degree of improvement varied, but “dramatic reductions in achievement gaps especially for women, underrepresented minorities and first-generation students” were observed in some sites. Reports of decreased D’s, F’s and withdrawals were common, as were increased persistence and success in subsequent courses.

Project Sites at a Glance

Improved performance on exams sponsored by disciplinary societies was observed, as was stronger performance on key disciplinary concepts, the report says. And some sites that managed to track the effects of instructional interventions on more general psychological factors reported increased self-efficacy, metacognition and attitudes toward science among students.

The initiative looks different on every campus but everywhere hinges on evidence-based practices. Arizona, for example, has focused some of its efforts to redesign classrooms into collaborative learning spaces: there are currently 10 such spaces, ranging in size from 30 to 264 student seats (10 additional spaces are planned). AAU’s report quotes Zoe Cohen, a professor of immunology at Arizona, as saying that she’s been thinking about trying a “flipped” classroom and applied for one of the new rooms. Once she started teaching in 2015, she said, it “changed me as an educator.”

Cohen joined a faculty learning committee and an educational faculty learning committee and learned and developed active learning techniques. As a result, she said, she’s seen her students earn more A’s and B’s and fewer D’s on the final exam for her physiology of the immune system courses. Students also report more active and meaningful engagement and understanding.

Cohen’s experiences match those of other Arizona professors teaching different courses in other departments, including physics, chemistry, molecular, cellular biology and engineering, according to AAU.

North Carolina, meanwhile, has taken a mentor-mentee approach, embedding tenure-eligible lecturers skilled in teaching within departments to train colleagues. Failures and D’s in redesigned courses dropped from 11.5 percent in 2013 prior to the AAU project to 9.5 percent in 2016, while the learning gains in these courses were 13 percent higher than in traditional courses, the report says. Departments have promoted training by giving faculty members course releases to compensate for the course they are revamping that term.

Teaching assistants at Davis trained to use active learning practices and adaptive learning technology were able to raise student outcomes in introductory biology by half a letter grade. Washington University, meanwhile, found that clicker-based active learning in high-enrollment introductory science courses was positively associated with exam performance. Boulder’s Departmental Action Teams worked toward department-level consensus on learning goals, pedagogical approaches and assessments aligned with learning goals. Results from the physics department there indicate that students from all four courses had post-test scores between 25 percent and 30 percent higher in reformed courses.

Michigan State started with faculty discussions of core ideas in each discipline, and the ways that knowledge is used, rather than changing pedagogical approaches and assessments: the assumption was that teaching changes would happen naturally when professors were thinking about big ideas and scientific practices. Other changes include the formation of an institute, CREATE for STEM, to coordinate science education activities across campus, and they’ve had a large-scale impact, according to AAU.

And at Penn -- which AAU says is the most faculty-centric of all project institutions -- individual faculty members within six departments are change agents, and their nexus is the Center for Teaching and Learning. The center administers Penn's four-year-old Structured Active In-class Learning (SAIL) program, which assists instructors as they develop, adopt and evaluate active learning activities to transform their classes. SAIL classes are designed to allow students to struggle through the application of course content, an often difficult part of the learning process, with the guidance of instructors and help from peers, and require students to do work outside class time to prepare for in-class activities, according to AAU.

Common Themes

Half of the project sites expanded their reach to departments not originally included in their proposals. Graduate and undergraduate assistants were called upon across campuses to help with the initiative. “With more trained individuals in the room, the capacity to facilitate and evaluate evidence-based pedagogy increases,” the report says. “The experience also benefits the students themselves by reinforcing core concepts and helping them to learn effective teaching practices.”

Recurrent themes among institutions include a shift from individual to collective responsibility by departments for introductory course curriculum, hiring educational experts within departments to bolster reforms, and a harnessing of (not just collecting) institutionwide data to support student learning.

Institutions were also found to have reorganized administrative support services to better support departmental reform efforts, such as by connecting centers for teaching and learning with department-based instructional efforts. Crucially, too, institutions found ways to better manage the simultaneous pursuit of high-quality teaching and research and signal the value of both. Washington University’s Center for Integrative Research on Cognition, Learning and Education (CIRCLE), for example, includes tenure-track faculty, in addition to permanent research scientists. Consequently, according to AAU, the campus has been able “to focus on curriculum and scaffolding rather than individual course reforms as well as target sustainability and cultural [reform].”

Over all, said Coleman, of AAU, while there is much work to be done to realize “a ‘new normal’ -- one characterized by personal and institutional expectations that all faculty members will both use and be rewarded for using evidence-based approaches to instruction -- our initiative suggests that progress is being made.”

FacultyTeaching and LearningEditorial Tags: Sciences/Tech/Engineering/MathResearchImage Source: Association of American UniversitiesImage Caption: John Pollard, associate professor of practice, teaching a chemical thinking course at the University of ArizonaIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

Athletes, band members find ways to protest during anthem

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:00

When members of teams across the National Football League knelt during the national anthem before their games on Sept. 24, it was a defining moment for the protest against racism and police brutality started by former San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick last year.

It also raised a question: Would the movement, which had gained more steam than ever before -- thanks, in part, to President Trump's tweets lambasting it relentlessly -- spread to college athletics?

Over the last week, coaches of football teams across the country fielded questions about kneeling, institutional policy and where they stood on the issue. For the most part, college teams are in the locker room during the anthem, so there isn’t an opportunity to protest. At the same time, at least one college issued an order for players to stand during the anthem.

Five players at the University of New Mexico took a knee on the field while the anthem played after the first half of their game against the Air Force Academy Saturday, the Associated Press reported.

The anthem -- and the protest -- appeared to catch coaches off guard, although weather delays had also scrambled most of the pregame ceremonies.

"We’ve never been out there for the national anthem, and the agreement was that there wasn’t going to be a national anthem played,” New Mexico coach Bob Davie said.

Air Force coach Troy Calhoun told reporters he didn’t mind, and the crowd reportedly didn’t react much.

“That’s their right,” he said. “They live in a country where they’re allowed to do that. We’ve got service members all over the world currently and who have served, so if somebody chooses not to stand, they’re allowed to. There’s no law and there should be no law and it should be your choice.”

That's not a universally shared sentiment, however. On Friday, the College of the Ozarks, which does not have a football team, announced it would ban any protesting during the national anthem during its sporting events. The college also called for opponents to be held to the same standards.

“The College of the Ozarks will not play in games where disrespect is exhibited toward the American flag or national anthem,” Jerry C. Davis, the institution's president, said in a statement. “Opponents are pledging to meet the college’s expectations for respect of the national anthem and American flag. Otherwise, our college will not participate.”

Players at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass., opted for what one of the players called a display of “brotherhood and unity.”

While the national anthem played, players placed their hands on the person standing next to them or in front of them in line, in an effort to make a statement during the anthem.

“We felt like we couldn’t sit back and do nothing, because we feel that social injustices are going on in the world. We wanted to get together and send a message, but a positive message more than anything else,” Assumption receiver Ashton Grant told the Worcester Telegram.

"The world outside of here this summer wasn’t lacking for any social injustices,” Assumption coach Bob Chesney said, “and for our guys and anyone that wants to make a stand or speak out against those things, [the national anthem] seems to be the platform in our sport. We discussed, ‘Is there something we need to do?’ and if there is, we need to do it all together.”

At Cornell University and Brown University, while players were in the locker room before their respective games, some band members took a knee while playing the anthem, according to reports.

Several members of the Brown band taking a knee in protest while playing the national anthem. Brown, URI players in their locker rooms.

— Bill Koch (@BillKoch25) September 30, 2017

At the same time, protests by students continued off the field, with students at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt., taking a knee during a protest that included athletes and student activists.

“We organized mostly in support and in solidarity with people of color who are experiencing racial oppression, racial injustice, against police brutality and in solidarity with our athletes here on campus,” the organizer of the event, student Melanie Castillo, told the local NBC station.

“I took an approach from an athlete’s perspective. You take a knee in competition to respect a person, whether they are injured or have been fouled wrongly. Your fellow teammate, an American citizen, is being hurt. They need to be recognized,” St. Michael’s basketball player Winston Jones, who attended the protest, told reporters.

At Clemson University, several student senators last week remained seated during the Pledge of Allegiance that starts student government meetings.

These protests aren’t the first time that college students or athletes protested during the national anthem. Last year, a handful of players at the University of Michigan and Michigan State University raised their fists during the anthem at their respective home games over the same weekend.

Proudest & scariest moment as a yellow-jacket happened at the same time. Thank you @Kaepernick7 for inspiring to #TakeAKnee to take a stand pic.twitter.com/iJVqHEpWx0

— Issa Rai (@freeSPIRIT_5678) September 24, 2017

A cheerleader at Georgia Tech took a knee last year during the anthem before a game as well, although protesters -- and detractors -- were busy talking about it last week. Raianna Brown, the cheerleader, shared a year-old picture of her protest on Twitter over the weekend that the NFL protests occurred.

“For me, it’s not about being disrespectful toward the country or toward the flag itself. It’s more making a statement about what’s going on in the country that’s being ignored,” she told The Cut in an interview after her tweet went viral.

Brown said she received both negative and positive reactions when she knelt, both of which were revived again when she shared the picture this year -- a sign of how politicized the issue remains.

“This time it most definitely has gained a lot more traction, probably just because overall in media the #TakeAKnee hashtag has gained a lot more traction as well,” she said. “This time I’ve actually gotten a lot more, I guess, blowback; as far as social media, there have been a lot more negative comments. But the negative comments are really outweighed by all the positive support I have received.”

Editorial Tags: AthleticsDiversity MattersTrump administrationImage Caption: A University of New Mexico football player takes a knee.Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Diversity Newsletter publication date: Tuesday, October 3, 2017Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Email Teaser: Star-Spangled Protest

New presidents or provosts: Arlington Creighton ENMU Guilford Midwestern Montana Royal Spelman

Inside Higher Ed - Mon, 10/02/2017 - 00:00
  • Frank Boyd, associate provost at Illinois Wesleyan University, has been selected as vice president of academic affairs and academic dean at Guilford College, in North Carolina.
  • Lesley Brown, vice provost and associate vice president (academic) at the University of Lethbridge, in Alberta, has been selected as provost and vice president at Mount Royal University, also in Alberta.
  • Sharon Davies, vice provost for diversity and inclusion and chief diversity officer at Ohio State University, has been appointed provost and vice president of academic affairs at Spelman College, in Georgia.
  • Jeff Elwell, dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, has been chosen as president of Eastern New Mexico University.
  • James Johnston, interim provost and vice president for academic affairs at Midwestern State University, in Texas, has been promoted to the job on a permanent basis.
  • Teik C. Lim, dean of the College of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of Cincinnati, in Ohio, has been appointed provost and vice president for academic affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington.
  • Linda A. Livingstone, dean and professor of management at George Washington University School of Business, has been selected as president of Baylor University.
  • Robert Mokwa, interim provost at Montana State University, has been named executive vice president for academic affairs and provost there.
  • Tom Murray, interim provost at Creighton University, in Nebraska, has been named to the job on a permanent basis.
Editorial Tags: College administrationNew presidentsIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Is this Career Advice newsletter?: 

ACE Names West Virginia Resident Tara Turley 2016 Student of the Year

American Council on Education - Sun, 10/01/2017 - 03:02
​Tara Turley, a single mother and electrician who employed her skills to assist her flood-ravaged West Virginia community, is ACE’s 2016 Student of the Year.

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