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Chronicle of Higher Education: How Can Sweet Briar Survive?

Meredith Woo, president of Sweet Briar College, talks about what it will take for the Virginia institution to survive and grow just a few years after it nearly shut down.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Wisconsin Won’t Remove Names of KKK Affiliates From Buildings. It Will Build a $1-Million Museum Instead.

The Madison campus must confront a history “in which exclusion and indignity were routine, sanctioned in the institution’s daily life, and unchallenged by its leaders,” a new report concludes.

Funding boost for Commonwealth scholarship scheme

The PIE News - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 08:04

The UK government has announced a £5m funding boost to a scholarship scheme under which Commonwealth countries offer scholarships to students and academics from other member states.

This will allow to create an additional 150 scholarships by 2025 for students who wish to undertake postgraduate degrees at universities in low and middle-income countries.

“This scheme…will enable more of our talented young people to access life-changing opportunities to study across The Commonwealth”

“For young people across the Commonwealth, sharing in this partnership presents a unique opportunity to learn about other cultures. It also gives us the chance to share learning from our respective education systems and to draw inspiration from across the globe, so that every child gets the education they deserve,” said UK education secretary Damian Hinds in a statement announcing the new funding from the Department for Education.

“This investment builds on this celebrated relationship by offering even more young people around the world the opportunity to further their education at a Commonwealth university abroad,” he said.

The new scholarships, which have been renamed Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, were announced by Prince Harry at the Commonwealth Youth Forum in April, where he was appointed Commonwealth Youth Ambassador.

“This scheme…will enable more of our talented young people to access life-changing opportunities to study across The Commonwealth, for generations to come,” he said in his speech.

“I am also proud that in recognition of Her Majesty The Queen’s extraordinary service to the Commonwealth, these scholarships will be known as The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships.”

The £13.4m Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships scheme is open to students from all Commonwealth countries.

However, the UK’s recent £5m will be targeted specifically at students from countries eligible for overseas development assistance who want to pursue further studies in leading universities, according to the UK government.

The scholarships cover travel expenses, tuition fees and a living allowance but don’t cover distance learning. Only postgraduate students from a Commonwealth country other than the host country are eligible.

The new scholars will begin their studies in 2019, marking the 70th anniversary of the Commonwealth and the 60th anniversary of the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan.

“Scholarships have a transformational impact on the lives of individuals”

The scheme is funded by the Commonwealth Scholarship and Fellowship Plan endowment fund, an inter-governmental fund established in 1959 and managed by the Association of Commonwealth Universities.

The CSFP has provided over 35,000 scholarships since its creation, according to ACU.

Commenting on the expansion of the Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships, ACU chief executive and secretary general Joanna Newman said the scheme will have far-reaching benefits for both the individuals and the society.

“Scholarships have a transformational impact on the lives of individuals and also, more importantly, on their wider communities and societies, thanks to the skills and knowledge gained,”said Joanna Newman, Chief Executive and Secretary General of the ACU in a statement.

“I am delighted that the ACU will play a vital role in securing these educational opportunities for young people across all member countries. The Queen Elizabeth Commonwealth Scholarships scheme is a valuable, inclusive programme which will have a far-reaching impact for generations to come.”

ACU head of strategic partnerships Faye Taylor told The PIE News that higher education is a key element to strengthen relationships within the Commonwealth.

“Mobility between Commonwealth countries builds the personal and institutional relationships that will strengthen the Commonwealth as a network of people,” she said.

“As such, higher education needs to be a key feature of Commonwealth collaboration.”

Additional reporting by Anton Crace. 

The post Funding boost for Commonwealth scholarship scheme appeared first on The PIE News.

Fee waivers bid to draw top students from Asia, Africa

University World News Global Edition - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 05:49
The government has begun a drive to attract more foreign students to India's leading higher education institutions, allocating 15,000 places a year at the top 160 universities and colleges for at ...

A two-way street: why China is not just a student departure lounge anymore

The PIE News - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 05:19

Mainland China has long been known as something of a student departure lounge. Between 1978 and 2016, it is estimated that more than 4.5 million Chinese studied outside their home country, to the huge cultural and financial benefit of the universities in the US, the UK, Australia, Canada and beyond.

It has not always been a two-way street. According to The New York Times, just 20 years ago there were only 3.4 million students studying in China.

Today, however, it is thought that more than 26 million people are enrolled in Chinese universities, and nearly 490,000 of them are from overseas.

“China wants to be seen as a major player internationally in terms of higher education”

Times, it seems, are changing. China wants to be seen as a premier higher education destination – and some would argue it already is.

Indeed, the country is now behind only the US and the UK in terms of the total number of international students on its campuses, and has been for several years.

It is well on course to meet its self-imposed target of hosting 500,000 international students by 2020 – a figure that, based on current numbers, would see it leapfrog the UK in that particular league table.

“Last year we had the highest number of international students we have had over the last five years,” says Iris Yuan, director of international affairs at The Sino-British College, an international university college established by the University of Shanghai for Science and Technology and nine British universities.

“International student numbers have increased 45% in that time, [and] here is the rationale. China wants to be seen as a major player internationally in terms of higher education. The government wants to boost the internationalisation for our universities as part of a ‘soft power’ policy to project China internationally.”

More than 489,000 international students were studying in China between in 2017, a 10% rise compared to 2016. According to Ministry of Education data, there has been a 299% increase since 2004.

Source: Ministry of Education / Center for Strategic and International Studies

Much of this recent growth is arguably down to the One Belt One Road Initiative, one of the largest overseas investment drives ever launched.

It is, primarily, an infrastructure project. Some $900 billion has been allocated to initiatives that will boost both land (the ‘Belt’) and sea (the old ‘Silk Road’) trade routes which run West, to Europe, via Asia. China says its aim is to usher in a ‘new era of globalisation’ that will benefit not only itself, but all countries in the region.

“The One Belt, One Road strategy is aimed not only at strengthening exchanges between China and the rest of the world, but also at ensuring the development of Asia,” explains Yuan. “Education is the one of the most important aspects of this strategy.”

The number of China-based African students increased 26-fold to around 50,000 between 2003 and 2015

Wang Huiyao, founder and president of the Center for China and Globalization, an influential Beijing-based think-tank, agrees. “We are still lagging behind by the US on soft power,” he said at the launch of a CCG report on international student mobility earlier this year.

“There are more than 300 world leaders including presidents, prime ministers and ministers around the globe that graduated from US universities, but only a few foreign leaders that graduated from Chinese universities, so we still need to exercise effort to boost academic exchange and educate more political elites from other countries. The Belt and Road initiative is a good chance to achieve this goal.”

It appears to be paying off. The number of students heading to China from India, Indonesia, Laos, Pakistan and Thailand – all countries affected by the initiative – has increased more than 20% on average from 2016 to 2017.

The CCG speculates that because One Belt One Road has created jobs for people in these countries, local people are more motivated – and financially more able – to study in China.

However, it is not just countries along the Silk Road that China see as fertile ground for student recruitment. The number of China-based African students increased 26-fold to around 50,000 between 2003 and 2015, according to the Unesco Institute for Statistics. This puts China second only to France in terms of the number of students it attracts from the African continent.

“The number of English taught programmes has increased by 63% in the last five years”

Numbers from countries with more established and prestigious higher education systems are on the up too. There were twice as many US origin students studying in China in 2015 (12,790) compared to 2005 (6,391), for example, while the number of UK students studying there is reported to have tripled over the same period. One of the drivers of this rise has been a proliferation in courses taught in English.

“Most of universities in China are offering a good number of English taught programmes now,” Yuan explains. “The number of English taught programmes has increased by 63% in the last five years.”

The recruitment drive in the English-speaking world was evident at this year’s Student World exhibitions in the UK – recruitment fairs profiling study abroad opportunities.

At the 2018 events in Manchester and London, 36 Chinese institutions booked exhibition space. This is a significant increase over the two previous years, when only one Chinese institution had exhibited at the events.

University of Shanghai, library. Photo: YULIN Peng/Wikimedia Commons


“There are so many misconceptions about studying in China”

The type of course that China’s international students are studying once they arrive in China is changing too. According to the Washington-based think tank, the Center for Strategic and International Studies, in 2016 more than 40% of foreign students in China are studying the Chinese language.

This figure represents a 15% drop compared with 2012. Conversely, the number of students on non-language courses is on the up, and the number of international PhD and Master’s students has jumped 49% and 28% respectively (see table).

Another reason for the soaring popularity of study in China is the number of scholarships on offer. In 2017, some 58,600 international students received a government scholarship compared to just 8,500 in 2006.

“There are so many misconceptions about studying in China,” says Richard Coward, chief executive of China Admissions, which assists international students wanting to study in China. “Things are changing so fast. You’ve really got to be here to see it.”

“Foreigners are coming to get a high-quality education at an affordable price… and more and more are taking full degrees, whereas before they were mostly on more short-term programmes. It is becoming a serious study destination.”

In addition to stepping up efforts to attract international students, China is also taking steps to encourage these students to remain in the country after graduation.

In 2017, the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security decreed that international students who had obtained a master’s degree or above from a Chinese institution within the last year were eligible for work permits of up to five years. There are other examples too, such as the Science Innovation Center in Shanghai, which offers a two-year residence permit for international students who work or do an internship.

Why Chinese students are staying put

Although China remains the world’s top place of origin for international students, the increase in the number of Chinese opting to study abroad has been slowing in recent years. According to China’s Ministry of Education, in 2016 a total of 544,500 Chinese went abroad to study. Although this is 4% higher than 2015, the growth rate went down by about 10% on the previous year.

Security is one of the main concerns for Chinese students considering an international higher education

Between 2016 and 2017, the number of international students admitted to US higher education institutions fell by 3.7%, year on year, according to IIE, while in the UK, there was relative stability.

Security is one of the main concerns for Chinese students considering an international higher education. Specifically, the CCG cites the case of Yingying Zhang, a female Chinese student who disappeared in June 2017 in the US, as one high profile case that may have deterred a number of would-be overseas students.

Figures from China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs show that between 2014 and 2016, the number of Chinese students overseas making requests for consular assistance leapt from 932 to more than 6,100 – another part of the narrative that might deter would-be international students from heading overseas.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election, and the relatively conservative, inward-looking nature of his administration, may have acted as a deterrent. In fact, the number of US F1 visas issued to students from mainland China in 2016 was 148,000 –  drop of 46% when compared with the previous year. This drop continued in 2017, though was less steep.

In addition, the reputation of China’s own higher education institution is steadily rising. In 2015, China announced the “Double First-Class initiative”, which aims to increase the global standing of its higher education system.

By the end of 2049 – the 100-year anniversary of the establishment of the People’s Republic – China intends to have 42 “world class” universities.

This agenda, combined with the sheer number of Chinese students who have studied overseas, means the competitive advantage gained by having a foreign degree may not be as highly prized.

Image: Anthonychong/Pixabay

According to government data, 45% of returnees have a starting monthly salary of below 6,000 yuan ($910), and only about 6% can boast a monthly income of over 20,000 yuan. When the expenses of studying abroad are factored in, the attractiveness of international study may be understandably dampened.

“China is the future, and to study there means you can get a good degree for cheaper than the UK or the US”

As a departure lounge, then, China’s future seems less certain. While its young people are still heading to overseas universities in record numbers, the striking growth charts may tail off.

In arrivals, though, the future seems much clearer. From the very top of government, the intention is to push China as a destination for students, and to further its reputation for quality higher education.

“China is the future, and to study there means you can get a good degree for cheaper than the UK or the US, and also learn the language,” says Kate, a 16-year-old attending the Student World exhibition in London. “I’m seriously considering it.”

According to recent trends, she is most certainly not alone.

The post A two-way street: why China is not just a student departure lounge anymore appeared first on The PIE News.

ENZ leverages future of work position

The PIE News - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 03:15

Education New Zealand has launched a new campaign to tap into the ongoing global conversation around the future of work, leveraging its position as the number one study destination for future-focused learning.

The eight-week campaign, Future Proof, aims to promote the country to international students and build a network of highly engaged potential learners after the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked New Zealand as having the best teaching environment in the 2017 Worldwide Educating for the Future Index.

“Students need to future-proof their careers because of the enormous pace of change that they will face over the next 50 years,” said John Goulter, ENZ’s general manager stakeholders and communications.

“To help students prepare for this future and to thrive with this unprecedented level of change, the [EIU] report said students need to acquire a raft of specific skills – interdisciplinary skills, creative and analytical skills, entrepreneurial skills, leadership skills, digital and technical skills, and global awareness and civic education.

“Education is increasingly less about learning information and more about analysing and using information.”

Speaking with The PIE News, Goulter said Future Proof was the single largest marketing campaign undertaken by ENZ, adding so far, it had reached over 30 million people and had over 12 million global target audience engagements through video and ENZ’s digital channels.

“Students need to future-proof their careers because of the enormous pace of change they will face”

The next step, he said, was converting engagement into leads for institutions, which to date has been very successful.

“We have converted this interest into 58,382 active visits to Study in New Zealand,” he told The PIE.

“From these active visits, we’ve had more than 6,800 database sign-ups and almost 12,600 referrals through to our partner institutions.”

The future of work continues to be a major talking point around the world, with several conferences themed on the subject.

The post ENZ leverages future of work position appeared first on The PIE News.

Lynn M. Gangone Named ACE Vice President for Leadership Programs

American Council on Education - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 02:30
Lynn M. Gangone, currently dean of Colorado Women’s College at the University of Denver, will oversee ACE’s suite of programming for current and future higher education leaders.

British English Olympics 2018 winner named

The PIE News - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 01:57

Mexican K-12 school Instituto Moderno Americano has been named as the winner of the British English Olympics 2018, which this year celebrated its 10th anniversary.

Operated by UK-based English language course provider Oxford International Education Group, the British English Olympics see students from bilingual schools all over the world compete in a series of challenges that test their English language, critical thinking and public speaking skills.

“In Yucatán we are very proud of you”

“Our competition is an exciting English language and academic contest designed for the world’s brightest international students,” reads a statement from BEO.

This year’s winner, Instituto Moderno Americano, is a bilingual school located in the city of Mérida, the capital of the Mexican State of Yucatán.

The school celebrated its victory with a series of posts on Facebook, congratulating the 14 students who took part in the competition and the teachers who accompanied them.

Governor of Yucatán Rolando Zapata Bello also congratulated the winners in a Facebook post. “In Yucatán we are very proud of you,” he said.

The students defeated 38 other schools from 23 different countries to reach the podium.

Since its launch in 2008, the British English Olympics have seen 10,000 students from 300 schools compete for the title, an Oxford International spokesperson told The PIE. Past winners have included schools from India, Venezuela and Brazil.

The competition is open to students aged 12 to 16 years old and takes places over the course of a two-week study holiday in the UK.

Participants stay in four boarding schools and compete in a series of tasks including debates, presentations, role-plays and drama performances.

The best teams from each boarding school go on to the semi-finals, where six teams are then selected for the finals.

Performances are judged on three main areas: presentation skills, use of English and content.


The post British English Olympics 2018 winner named appeared first on The PIE News.

Chronicle of Higher Education: Transitions

The former lieutenant governor of Colorado will be the next president of the Colorado Community College System; 115 of the new Guggenheim fellows work in higher education.

William R. Harvey marks 40 years as Hampton University president amid questions about proton therapy institute and daughter as Title IX coordinator

Inside Higher Ed - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 00:00

Hampton University spun three celebrations together on the first day of April: Easter, the 150th anniversary of its founding and the 40th anniversary of William R. Harvey’s presidency.

Few leaders in American higher education can compete with Harvey’s four-decade tenure leading Hampton, a private, 4,600-student historically black university on the banks of the Virginia Peninsula across the harbor from Norfolk. The Harvey family has in many ways grown synonymous with the university as it has risen in prominence and prestige.

A leadership institute at Hampton bears the president’s name, and the university’s library is named after Harvey and his wife. Streets on campus were recently rechristened William R. Harvey Way. During the university’s Founding Day celebration on Easter Sunday, the Student Government Association released 40 doves to honor the president, and former university chaplain Michael A. Battle extolled a youthful Harvey’s command many years ago.

“This young, courageous president not only determined that he was going to stand against the tide of those who wanted to lead us in an opposite direction, but stood up and challenged the faculty and staff of the institution at that time and simply said to them that there is a larger vision for this institution, and if you cannot stand to grow with Hampton, maybe you have a job at the wrong place, and that wouldn’t be a bad time for you to leave if you didn’t have the vision of growth,” Battle said, according to a recording of the event made by a local newspaper, the Daily Press.

Despite the soaring rhetoric, Harvey has faced harsh questions about his leadership in recent months. Students and at least one former faculty member have openly challenged conditions at Hampton, and the Harvey family’s deep affiliation with the university has been tested to a degree rarely seen in the past.

The university took steps to assuage concerns about food quality and dormitory maintenance last month. But students continue to worry that the university is not taking the issue of sexual assault seriously enough, with some feeling uncomfortable because the president’s daughter is the university’s Title IX coordinator. At the same time, a Hampton alumnus and former professor is offering harsh criticism of Harvey’s leadership and his past decisions, which have included building an ambitious and expensive cancer treatment center that has struggled financially.

University leaders say they take student concerns seriously and have acted upon them. Allegations against Harvey are not credible, said the chair of Hampton’s Board of Trustees. Harvey himself said in an interview with Inside Higher Ed that he doesn’t like to “get down in the mud,” referring to the allegations as a “nothingburger.”

Indeed, the Hampton president rejects the idea that the last few months have been difficult for him. He called recent times marvelous, pointing to fund-raising successes for the university, positive local press coverage and his recent receipt of the prestigious John Hope Franklin Award at a March meeting of the American Council on Education. He cites 92 degree-granting programs put in place during his tenure and says Hampton’s endowment has grown by more than 860 percent since he took over.

Yet some students wonder whether the septuagenarian president’s aura of inevitability is cracking.

“There is something going on, bigger picture,” said Arielle Wallace, a senior strategic-communication major at Hampton.

“Hampton’s reputation is what’s perpetuating all of this,” she said. “If the reputation is broken, then change has to come.”

Student Protests

Criticisms spilled into the open Feb. 20, when students raised concerns during a town hall meeting. They were worried about what they saw as poor dining hall conditions, mold in dormitories and what has been described as a culture of insensitivity toward sexual assault on campus.


A post shared by The Independent Collective HU (@independent_collective_hu) on Feb 28, 2018 at 6:13pm PST

University leaders responded with a statement detailing Hampton’s procedures for addressing reported sexual assaults and saying administrators take the issues raised by students very seriously. Still, the town hall and university response drew attention on social media. Anonymous users shared stories of sexual assault and harassment through an online service called Curious Cat. An account sharing the stories made 219 posts between Feb. 23 and Feb. 28, although some were comments on previously shared stories instead of new ones, and the university hadn’t necessarily been informed about the incidents. Several days later, a group of students marched across campus to the president’s house, asking for dormitory mold, food quality and campus safety to be addressed. They also asked administrators to be more active in fighting sexual assault on campus. A group calling itself the Independent Collective of Hampton University charged that the university “handles all of its problems by painting over them then telling us [it] is beautiful.”

The university released several additional statements detailing its responses. New hours were put in place for the cafeteria, food options have been expanded and a new dining concept is in place so students can serve themselves, said the most recent news release on the issues, which was posted in March. A contractor inspected residence halls, finding buildings “in very good condition with very limited isolated visible mold activity.” The university pledged to uphold a policy of eliminating mold or mildew within 48 hours.

Students confirmed changes in quality of food service and room maintenance. But some remain unsatisfied, saying they are concerned about rape culture. As at many institutions across the country, they fear a campus climate permissive of sexual assault.

Rape culture has become normalized, said Kimberly Burton, a senior political science major at Hampton. Many women don’t feel comfortable reporting sexual assault on campus and might not feel anyone is advocating for them, she said. She has heard repeatedly that students who have experienced sexual assault don’t believe the university will take reports seriously.

“When there’s that culture at Hampton, you’re not going to feel comfortable,” Burton said. “You get interrogated. ‘What were you wearing? What were you drinking?’ The reality is, someone has been mistreated. Someone has been taken advantage of.”

Harvey rejected the idea of such a culture existing at Hampton. In his first year as president, he put in place a sexual assault committee, he said. It is made up of five people -- three women and two men. A woman has always been the chair. The university has also participated in campaigns to raise awareness and educate students about sexual assault.

“There clearly is no rape culture at Hampton,” Harvey said.

“I understand the climate and culture we are in, and sometimes people just don’t take the time to try to get at the truth,” Harvey continued. “One of the things we try to do is not to deal in falsehoods, rumors and gossip, but deal with the truth. The fact is that we have taken this seriously for a very long time, and we’re going to continue to take it seriously.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights started an investigation of Hampton in August for potential violations of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 related to sexual violence. University officials say the investigation is related to a complaint a woman who was not a student lodged against a Hampton student several years ago.

The case was investigated by a former Title IX coordinator at Hampton and heard by the university’s Sexual Discrimination and Misconduct Committee in 2014, administrators say. The committee did not find a preponderance of evidence to support the claim against the student, and a university administrative appeals committee upheld that finding. The university maintains it fully followed appropriate policies and procedures and that it has cooperated with the federal investigation.

Hampton officials have repeatedly stressed that students need to report assaults.

“The way that it works at Hampton is that the Title IX office as well as the police department -- that is the Hampton University Police Department -- work in tandem to ensure that we respond,” said JoAnn Haysbert, the university’s chancellor and provost. “First and foremost, a student has to report any allegations.”

The university’s most recent available annual security report lists several incidents of sexual violence that have taken place on or near campus. Most were reported in 2016, the most recent year for which data has been released.

Two rapes were reported on main campus property in 2016, one was reported at on-campus student housing, and one was reported on noncampus property, according to the report. One instance of fondling was reported on main campus property. Dating violence on campus property was reported three times, and dating violence at on-campus student housing was reported twice.

Dating violence is defined as a person being threatened or subjected to physical or sexual violence by someone with whom they have shared a close romantic or intimate relationship.

No rapes or instances of dating violence are listed in the report for 2015 or 2014. One case of fondling was reported in 2014. As is typical, the report does not include information on how any of the cases were resolved.

Students have raised questions about the university’s Title IX coordinator, Kelly Harvey-Viney. She is President Harvey’s daughter, which has prompted worries she could be caught between protecting the reputation of her father’s university and acting in students’ best interest.

A Family Affair

A president’s daughter serving as Title IX coordinator does not automatically create a conflict of interest, said Erin Buzuvis, a professor at Western New England University School of Law and co-founder of the Title IX Blog. A conflict of interest could theoretically arise if the president himself were to be under investigation for Title IX-related issues and his daughter supervised the investigation, or if the president used his authority to protect his daughter’s job, she said.

Whether a president’s daughter can be an effective Title IX coordinator is another question. If students don’t feel they can report assaults to a Title IX officer, the situation needs to be addressed, Buzuvis said via email.

“The thing about conflicts of interest is that most professionals take seriously not only actual conflicts, but the appearance of conflicts as well,” she said.

Harvey-Viney is “imminently qualified,” said Haysbert, Hampton’s provost and chancellor.

“We have never had an attorney in that office before,” she said. “We’ve had some qualified people. By far, Kelly Harvey is the most qualified we’ve had.”

Hampton’s vice president and general counsel, Faye Hardy-Lucas, also supports Harvey-Viney. The Title IX office reports to Hardy-Lucas, so there is no conflict of interest, Hardy-Lucas said in a recent letter to the president of the National Hampton Alumni Association. The letter was an answer to a list of concerns that had been emailed by an alumna. Hardy-Lucas has never seen more thorough investigative reports than those compiled by Harvey-Viney, she wrote.

“To stress how thorough the investigative reports are, I have indicated to Dr. Harvey-Viney that ‘you do not have to be that thorough,’” Hardy-Lucas wrote.

Harvey-Viney’s stint as Title IX coordinator is far from the only instance of a Harvey family member being employed by the university or closely tied to it. Both of the president’s daughters have worked for the university at different times in their lives, and he has a son-in-law and daughter-in-law who currently hold university positions. Also, his son is an executive vice president at a construction and development company that has annually been one of the university’s largest contractors.

Harvey-Viney’s time working for the university can be traced back to 2003, when she started teaching broadcast journalism classes at Hampton’s Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications. She had been a reporter at a local television station, WTKR-TV, until she resigned in 2003.

In 2000, the station suspended and demoted her after she ran afoul of a conflict-of-interest clause in her employment contract. She made a $1,000 contribution to then Senator Chuck Robb’s re-election campaign, which she had been reporting on as an anchor. Her father was raising money for Robb and suggested she make a contribution, she told the Daily Press at the time.

In 2005, she left her job as a Hampton professor to attend law school at the University of Pittsburgh. Today, Harvey-Viney is listed as the director “setting the agenda” for the university’s Center for Public Policy, in addition to her position as Title IX coordinator.

Harvey’s other daughter, Leslie Cash, is married to Ataveus Cash, a former Hampton University quarterback who is assistant director for operations in the university’s athletics department. Leslie Cash also staffed Hampton’s Washington office as of September 2015, documents show. Haysbert confirmed Leslie Cash works at the office.

W. Christopher Harvey is the Hampton president’s son. In 1999, he married Valerie Harvey, a dermatologist who is currently listed as a Hampton University adjunct faculty member. She is also co-director of the university’s Skin of Color Research Institute.

Of greater note, Christopher Harvey is an executive vice president at Armada Hoffler Construction, a branch of a publicly traded development company. He joined the company in 2002. Armada Hoffler has been listed on tax forms as one of Hampton University’s top contractors in 10 out of 11 years from 2006 to 2016. The university paid the company at least $132.5 million during that time.

Armada Hoffler recently built a multimillion-dollar proton therapy institute for Hampton University. The university is also the company’s second-largest office tenant, paying just over $1 million in annualized base rent, according to Armada Hoffler’s most recent annual report. That’s 5.3 percent of Armada Hoffler’s office rent portfolio and 1.1 percent of its total rent portfolio.

In 2011, before it became a publicly traded company, Armada Hoffler “partly donated” to Hampton University a tower known as Harbour Centre, the Daily Press reported at the time. Hampton also paid an undisclosed sum in cash toward the building, the newspaper reported. Hampton’s recent financial documents list the 14-story building as having been acquired by donation and representing about $21 million in assets.

Hiring a family member or doing business with a firm where a relative is employed doesn’t necessarily constitute nepotism, experts say. A university can fairly hire a president’s relative if it follows an established hiring process, evaluates multiple candidates’ credentials and ultimately picks the most qualified person for a position.

Organizational behavior must be evaluated, said Robert Jones, a professor of psychology at Missouri State University and a nepotism expert.

“In organizational psychology, we look for consistent and reliable patterns,” Jones said. Organizational behavior and consistently hiring family can suggest a pattern, he said.

Hampton’s Board of Trustees is aware that members of the Harvey family hold different positions at the university, said Wesley Coleman, board chair. Harvey-Viney takes her job seriously, has the right background and does not report to her father, Coleman reiterated.

“There are levels between her and the president,” Coleman said. “She doesn’t go and run to him or have to report to him what she’s doing. So that’s not an issue.”

Christopher Harvey has not been involved in Armada Hoffler’s projects with the university, Coleman continued. When the company makes a presentation to the board or is a finalist for a bid, the university president openly discloses his son’s employment at the construction company.

“That is one, I can assure you, the board is fully aware of and has been assured there is not anything inappropriate going on,” Coleman said. “They still do competitive bidding. They aren’t just awarded projects without due diligence.”

Christopher Harvey echoed that, saying in a phone interview that he has worked for Armada Hoffler for 15 years but has nothing to do with Hampton. Asked whether there have been any projects he would have overseen if he did not have a connection to Hampton, he said that isn’t his role at the company.

Christopher Harvey oversees a joint venture created to develop hotel and hospitality projects, according to the Armada Hoffler’s website. He has previously been director of business and hotel development, development coordinator, and project engineer. Earlier in his career, he worked for Pepsi-Cola of North America, published records show.

Hampton has not sought to cover up the fact that it hires members of the Harvey family. For instance, statements filed in its IRS form 990s have said the university is open to hiring employees’ family members. Take a statement from 2005:

“The university has a policy on employment of relatives and has welcomed the hiring of family members to its staff (i.e. spouses of other employees, and employees’ children working in summer programs, etc). To ensure that there is not a conflict of interest in employment, the university does not place any employee in a position that would directly or indirectly, supervise or influence a related employee’s rate of pay, promotion or handling of confidential information. Supervisors and administrators consider each employee, or potential employee on the basis of personal merit, qualifications and skills.

The statement went on to note that the president’s wife, Norma Harvey, was paid $31,685 in the fiscal year ending in June 2005. The pay was for services she provided as the university’s first lady and to benefit the university, it said.

It’s relatively common for colleges and universities to pay presidential spouses if they perform specific duties. However, leaders have found themselves in hot water after arranging favorable employment situations for other family members.

Recently, the new chancellor of Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Carlo Montemagno, was accused of nepotism after he negotiated jobs for his daughter and son-in-law when he was being hired. In February he said he would pay back university-provided relocation funds he used to pay for his daughter’s household to move. The university also launched ethics reviews. Montemagno remains chancellor.

In 2016, then University of California, Davis, chancellor Linda P. B. Katehi was placed on administrative leave amid concerns that her daughter-in-law received more than $50,000 in pay increases over two and a half years and that the program employing Katehi’s son had been placed in her daughter-in-law’s department. Katehi resigned months later after the UC system found she had violated multiple university policies and exercised poor judgment. Her lawyer said the investigation found no violations in the areas of nepotism, conflicts, personal gain or financial mismanagement of funds.

Norma Harvey has regularly been paid by Hampton for her duties as first lady, a review of Hampton’s tax documents shows. She was paid $40,000 for the year ending in June 2016, the most recent for which documents are available. That was up from $30,000 the year before.

Her husband also received more from the university in 2016 than in 2015. President Harvey’s compensation totaled $889,384 for the year ending in June 2016, up from $828,420 the previous year. His base compensation rose to $432,858 from $416,150, with the rest coming from nontaxable benefits and deferred compensation.

President Harvey’s total compensation more than doubled over a decade. He received $259,728 in compensation and $52,725 in benefits and deferred compensation for the year ending in 2006.

The Harveys have donated well over $3 million of their own money to the university, it has said.

Hampton hires for talent, according to the president.

“All you have to do is look at the facts, not look at what, perhaps, some disgruntled person might want to say,” Harvey said. “It doesn’t make any difference whether or not it’s a man or a woman, young or old, black or white, gay or straight. If the person has talent and there is a vacancy and they want to be a part of a very dynamic, world-class university, they will be hired. And that’s the case with my family members. Now, I’m also aware of the fact that, with family members, there is a need to make sure that there is no conflict. So that’s always 100 percent reported to the board.”

An Attack on Leadership

Alleged nepotism is just one of several issues targeted by a man who has taken eye-opening steps to criticize Harvey in recent months: William E. Lewis.

Lewis graduated from Hampton in 1976 and taught there for nearly eight years, starting in 2010, before he was fired several months ago. He was an adjunct professor and acting pre-law adviser at Hampton late last year when he wrote an explosive letter containing a long list of allegations against Harvey. The letter has circulated on social media. It is often raised by Harvey’s critics, with some pointing to specific allegations, like nepotism, and others saying the letter touches on some issues, like finances, that need further exploration.

It was written as a response to a letter Harvey penned early last year criticizing The Quad, a television show about a fictional historically black university. Lewis addressed his response not to Harvey but to Debra Lee, chair and chief executive officer of BET, the network on which the show runs. But Lewis says he hand delivered a copy to Harvey’s office.

Much of what Lewis wrote is criticism of Harvey, accusations and rumors about him, and allegations of poor conditions at the university.

That includes questions about financial problems, the state of the Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute, the state of the university’s physical plant and an argument that the university’s Board of Trustees has failed to oversee its administration. Lewis also complained of nepotism, depressed faculty and staff salaries, and suppression of student free speech, among other issues.

Lewis called for leadership change at Hampton. He wrote, “It’s obvious that Harvey and everyone in his Administration needs to stepdown [sic] IMMEDIATELY!!”

Lewis delivered the letter, dated Nov. 1, and taught a constitutional law class the next day, he said. He was terminated Nov. 6.

Days later, Lewis and his daughter, a Hampton graduate, were banned from the Hampton University premises, Lewis said. Hardy-Lucas confirmed the bans, saying employees who are terminated for cause are routinely banned from campus and that university police banned Lewis’s daughter after receiving information stating she was posting threatening information on social media. Lewis has written that he was baffled after his daughter was served with a no-trespassing order and referred to her ban as collateral damage.

Lewis was terminated for using the Blackboard course management system to promote a “personal agenda” not related to course instruction, according to the termination letter the university sent him. The termination letter quotes Lewis as posting an announcement saying he had “bitched and moaned for years over how to address a very sore spot as it regards my alma mater and the Harvey administration,” and Haysbert said he sent his letter to students using Blackboard. University lawyers also sent Lewis a cease-and-desist letter on Nov. 8. It demands Lewis stop making “further threats” against Harvey, stop publishing “false and defamatory statements,” and take steps to remove his letter from social media.

The next month Lewis circulated a newsletter containing personal attacks on Harvey. It used a pejorative term to refer to the president and continued to make serious allegations against him.

“And now, with [Harvey’s] daughter as the Title IX Coordinator, and the [Hampton University] Police Department serving as [Harvey’s] personal Gestapo, how can our children, our students, and women feel safe?” Lewis wrote.

Lewis will continue to pressure the Board of Trustees to make a change, he said in an interview. He believes Harvey has operated unchecked for too long.

“He doesn’t have to worry about anybody else,” Lewis said.

Lewis doesn’t fear being sued. He said he’s planning his own lawsuit for wrongful termination and wants to face off in a courtroom with Hampton and Harvey.

“If he’s going to sue me, how much more do I have to do before he comes to get me?” Lewis said.

Hampton’s general counsel, Hardy-Lucas, said Lewis was suspended from practicing law in Louisiana in 2009 after handling cases inappropriately. In November, she wrote a letter to Hampton’s administrative council saying the university must conduct more thorough background checks before hiring faculty and staff.

There are no plans to sue Lewis, Hardy-Lucas says.

“At this point, we don’t want to lower ourselves to that point and give him more of a public platform,” she said. “Why should we spend our time trying to go after someone? We wouldn’t get anything from him, and that’s what he wants. So we’re not willing to, at this point.”

Lewis responded that he is troubled his name has to be sullied because he asked questions. He acknowledged being suspended from practicing law in Louisiana for two years, saying he refused to take a private reprimand in a complex case involving clients lying.

“That doesn’t have anything to do with what I say in 2018,” Lewis said. “The thing they try to do is discredit me.”

Hampton’s treasurer and vice president for business affairs, Doretha J. Spells, wrote a letter to Lewis in November calling his statements untruthful. She wrote favorably of the university’s cash-management practices, creditworthiness, business enterprises and financial stability.

Lewis’s letter is inaccurate, President Harvey said.

“I’m saying to you that it’s a nothingburger,” Harvey said. “He sent his diatribe to everybody. You’re the only one that’s responding.”

Harvey does not know Lewis and could not identify him, the president said, and local newspapers have not given Lewis attention.

“They know that it’s rumor,” Harvey said. “They know it’s gossip. They know it’s lies. And that’s unfortunate, quite frankly. But I’m glad that nobody else has taken it up, because it’s one somebody that’s leading the charge, and I will say to you I have absolutely no idea why. I don’t know him. If he were to walk into my office with three other people right now, and somebody said, ‘I’ll give you $100 trillion if you could identify him,’ I couldn’t get a penny.

“I never had a cross word with him,” Harvey continued. “And I don’t get down in the gutter with him or anybody else. So I have not responded. There have been others that have responded. I don’t intend to respond, to you or to anybody else who thinks that this is a story, because it isn’t.”

Asked about the student protests, Harvey said they were mild. He was proud of the order and structure students used to express their concerns.

Harvey started meeting with student leaders 40 years ago, he said. He has been holding town hall meetings with students for 30 years.

“See, these things don’t get into print because it doesn’t fit the narrative,” Harvey said. “I believe strongly that people who have to live with decisions ought to have input into the decision-making process.”

A President’s Successes

While Lewis has thrown inflammatory charges at Harvey, university officials have publicly and repeatedly praised him.

A trustee told the Daily Press in February that the board stands back, letting Harvey lead as he wants.

“He asks his trustees to let him run the school and do what he needs to do to run the school and the day-to-day thing and to focus on the big issues,” Buddy David told the newspaper, which described him as a trustee and longtime friend of Harvey’s.

Trustees are invited to address “big ideas or other things they want,” but they do not get in the weeds, David said.

The newspaper also quoted the dean of Hampton’s journalism school -- who is also the university’s assistant vice president for marketing and media -- calling Harvey “fierce, formidable but amazingly fair.”

Hampton has grown in many ways under Harvey’s leadership. About a decade into his presidency, in 1988, the university had roughly doubled enrollment to about 5,000, increased its faculty count from 200 to 350 and grown its endowment from $29 million to $76 million. It was operating on budget after running a deficit every year between 1972 and 1979.

The university was practicing zero-sum budgeting, requiring every budget item to be justified each year, The New York Times reported in 1988. Quarterly budgeting requirements were a significant cost control requiring department heads to frequently justify purchases.

“You must run a college or university like a business with an educational objective,” Harvey told the Times. “What we’ve tried to do is run Hampton like a business.”

Freshmen with high test scores and undergraduates with high grade point averages were given tuition rebates. Those qualifying for Hampton’s honors dormitory paid lower rent and had access to amenities like a swimming pool. Faculty members publishing in peer-reviewed journals were offered $1,000 incentives, and the university also had financial incentives for those who wrote the most book reviews in local newspapers.

Several prominent corporate leaders had served on Hampton’s board. Harvey was also given credit for bolstering Hampton’s development efforts. The university had opted out of the UNCF in the 1960s, before Harvey’s tenure, giving it control of its own fund-raising.

By many accounts, Hampton’s financial strength has grown since then. The university publicly launched a campaign in October to raise $150 million. Its endowment grew to $279 million as of the end of the 2017 fiscal year. In July, it will move from the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference to join the Big South Conference, a move that could raise the university’s profile while cutting travel time and expenses.

The university has a strong financial profile, according to its most recent debt rating from S&P Global Ratings, issued in May 2017. S&P assigned Hampton bonds an A rating, an upper-medium investment grade attractive to investors.

Hampton runs consistent surpluses, spends its endowment conservatively and draws revenue from a diverse set of sources, S&P found. The university posted an $8.3 million surplus in the 2016 fiscal year, even after its proton therapy institute lost money.

Only 61 percent of revenue came from tuition and auxiliary revenue, and 23 percent came from grants and contracts in 2016. Hampton draws a majority of its students from outside the state, giving it good geographic diversity, S&P wrote.

For 2016-17, the university listed the total cost of attendance at $34,676 for a student living on campus, including room and board.

The university’s enrollment had fallen by about 1,000 students over five years as of the fall of 2015, S&P found. But it was rebounding in 2016 due in part to a large freshman class. Enrollment hit 4,395 students on a full-time-equivalent basis.

S&P did note that Hampton’s board approved a one-time $25 million draw on its endowment to pay for capital projects and to fund new programs. It also said the university’s freshman matriculation rates fluctuated recently, and that it carries a relatively high debt load -- $187 million outstanding as of 2016. Debt-service costs were front-loaded, meaning they will decline over time.

The construction of the proton therapy institute contributed significantly to Hampton’s debt load. S&P said the center was a new enterprise bringing business risk.

Proton Therapy Questions

The Hampton University Proton Therapy Institute was called the largest free-standing center of its kind when it opened in 2010. Hampton built it despite not having a hospital and medical school -- a rarity in the tiny but growing world of proton therapy, where many providers are tied to large research universities with medical centers.

It’s expensive to build facilities to treat patients using proton therapy, a technique using a concentrated beam to target cancerous tumors with more precision than other treatments. Hampton’s proton therapy institute cost more than $200 million to build and equip, and the university financed the project largely with debt.

Leaders had projected the institute could treat as many as 2,000 patients per year, according to the Daily Press. But it struggled to find its footing in early years, treating only about 250 patients per year between 2010 and 2015.

Harvey strongly defends the proton therapy institute, saying it eases human misery and saves lives. Today, the institute treats some 55 patients a day with various types of cancer, he said. It is not losing money on an operating basis, he added.

“We are operating in the black and we are paying back the debt from some of the profits over the operating costs, which is how businesses work,” he said. “Hell, people don’t understand that. You find AT&T or anybody else, they may buy a business. It may take 10, 12, 15 years to pay it off. But they look at the debt, they look at the margin, they look at the operating costs.”

In the past, Hampton’s leadership told the finance world that the moment when revenue from the institute would surpass its expenses was just around the corner. Yet a close examination of Hampton’s audited financial statements shows the institute has been unable to generate enough in net patient service revenue to cover its total program expenses in the past.

The university’s administration told S&P positive operating performance was expected at the proton therapy institute in 2017. But the center lost $2.99 million that year, Hampton’s audited financial report for the year shows.

As of 2014, the institute had been operating with net losses since opening, according to documents from bonds issued that year. But it expected losses to shrink and revenue to exceed expenses starting in the 2015 fiscal year, those documents state.

The institute lost $3.3 million in 2015. It lost $2.38 million in 2016.

Nonetheless, the center’s losses have narrowed from earlier years, when expenses sometimes outpaced revenue by more than $10 million.

Lewis, commenters on social media and alumni speaking to Inside Higher Ed off the record have voiced concerns about the proton therapy institute’s finances. Harvey said alumni do not look at Hampton’s books. They likely do not understand the finances associated with the institute, he said.

“Anybody that knows anything about the finances of the proton center can’t say that,” he said. “And because they’re an alumnus -- come on, man, you should know better than that. Alumni don’t know what’s going on at Harvard, George Washington, Hampton.”

Proton therapy has long been haunted by worries about cost and coverage by insurers. Proton therapy centers can be dozens of times more expensive to build than facilities offering traditional radiation therapies. Some analysts and health-care experts worry the market for proton therapy is near its saturation point as new centers come online, leaving some organizations at risk of defaulting on bonds, Bloomberg reported. Now, many medical providers building proton therapy centers are trying to minimize risk by limiting the size of facilities.

Insurers have in some cases balked at proton therapy, saying there is not enough research to support a treatment that can be more expensive up front than traditional radiation treatments. Physicians have sometimes been skeptical of its relative benefits as well.

Against that background, Hampton might seem to be stuck with the bill for a 98,000-square-foot institute just as competitors are coming online with smaller operations requiring less up-front investment. The National Association for Proton Therapy has 28 members operating proton therapy centers. It counts another nine centers under construction and 15 more in development.

But some argue Hampton may have picked the right time to invest in an emerging technology.

Medicare covers proton-beam therapy, providing a large payer. Hampton’s proton therapy institute drew about 40 percent of its revenue from government reimbursement programs like Medicare and Medicaid as of 2014. The university was also working to boost referrals from physicians.

Hampton has been pressing state lawmakers to pass legislation expanding access to proton therapy. Last year it accused insurers of violating a state law designed to give patients a chance of being treated by proton therapy. The leader of a state trade association for insurers replied that Hampton was trying to stretch the law to force insurers to pay for treatment.

The university’s proton therapy institute also serves a region and populations that otherwise do not have widespread access to the treatment, said Scott Warwick, executive director of the National Association for Proton Therapy. Patients often do not want to travel for cancer treatment, he said.

“African-American men have a higher percentage of instances of prostate cancer,” Warwick said. Hampton is “able to serve that population, which I think is definitely a positive.”

Hampton can also perform research at the proton therapy center.

“It’s a great outlet for them to be involved in clinical research,” Warwick said. “That’s great for students, it’s great for the university and it’s great for proton therapy.”

Harvey makes an emotional argument for battling cancer.

“It touches everybody,” he said. “It’s either you’ve got it, a family member has it, a neighbor has it, a friend has it, a colleague has it -- somebody that you know has had cancer. And we are doing something about it.”

Echoes of the Past

Recent criticisms of Hampton and its finances, cafeteria operations, and alleged censorship echo those from the past. During his decades-long presidency, Harvey has been heavily involved in his own business ventures, which included becoming owner of a Pepsi bottling plant in Houghton, Mich., in 1986.

At the time, Roger Enrico, Pepsi’s president, sat on the Hampton University board. Harvey’s wife was on the Houghton bottler’s board.

The acquisition didn’t sit well with Roy Hudson, who had been president of Hampton from 1970 to 1976.

“I see this as a real conflict of interest for an educator and a scholar,” Hudson told The New York Times. “It would have been an excellent opportunity for the school of business to own the franchise, instead of feathering one’s own nest.”

Harvey responded by insinuating Hudson didn’t understand franchise agreements, saying he saw no conflict of interest because Hampton was not in his franchise’s territory. Pepsi wanted more black owners, Harvey said.

“Blacks are a nation of consumers and we don’t produce very much,” Harvey said, according to the Times. “It’s an excellent opportunity for me to make some money and to serve as a role model.”

In 2003, Hampton found itself the center of controversy over both censorship and its cafeteria. The university’s administration reportedly confiscated copies of the university’s student-run newspaper, The Hampton Script, when it did not have a letter from the university’s acting president on the front page.

The Script was running a front-page story about the university cafeteria passing its latest city health inspection and being able to remain open after earlier inspections showed numerous code violations that had gone uncorrected for months. Haysbert, who at the time was Hampton’s acting president while Harvey took a sabbatical, had asked the newspaper to print on its front page a letter she wrote detailing ways the university acted to fix problems. The letter also criticized the media for focusing on Hampton when other universities had issues as well, the Daily Press reported.

The edition was ultimately republished with Haysbert’s letter on the top half of the front page. The front page also contained the original cafeteria story and a description of the confiscation of newspapers.

Hampton has been the center of cultural controversies at various other times in Harvey’s presidency. Its dress code has often been a source of tension with students, and several years ago its business school dean defended a policy prohibiting dreadlocks and cornrows for male students in an M.B.A. program, arguing the hairstyles are not businesslike.

In 2005, students were accused of violating university policy by handing out fliers about Hurricane Katrina, homophobia and some other issues. Days later, a controversy erupted over whether staffers had placed a moratorium on new student organizations after a group attempted to create a gay-straight alliance. At the time, the leader of the group called Hampton an “extremely conservative school concerned about its image” and noted President George W. Bush had appointed Harvey to the board of government-sponsored mortgage giant Fannie Mae.

The controversies date back further. In 1991, some students concerned about civil rights policies protested during Hampton’s commencement as then President George H. W. Bush received an honorary degree.

Succession Planning

Hampton is currently advertising an anniversary gala at the end of April in Harvey’s honor. A poster for the event includes a seal the university has been using of late. It bears the likeness of Harvey and Hampton’s founder, Samuel Chapman Armstrong, marking Hampton’s 150th anniversary and Harvey’s 40th year as president.

But Harvey gives no indication he plans to become a past president soon. He has thought about retirement, he said. But the topic is between him and his Board of Trustees.

“The fact is that I am 77,” Harvey said. “I don’t mind telling people how old I am. I probably have more energy than a 27-year-old.”

Every single day brings something new, Harvey said. On a recent Friday, thousands of high school students visited Hampton’s campus. Harvey met several students whose parents had graduated from the university.

“Well, I hugged them and talked to them about where they’re from, asked them what their major is going to be,” Harvey said. “I enjoy that kind of thing.”

The idea of retirement is not unsettling, Harvey said. He thinks he has five or six books to write. A 2016 book he wrote, The Principles of Leadership: The Harvey Leadership Model, was recently published in China.

While the president has little to share about retiring, he is willing to discuss the topic of leadership. That includes succession planning, a practice Harvey picked up from serving on corporate boards. He holds a succession-planning session with Hampton’s Board of Trustees every other year. The session covers the president, vice presidents, deans and department chairs so Hampton will have a plan in the event anyone leaves.

Several key members of Harvey’s administration have been at Hampton nearly as long as he has. Haysbert joined the university in 1980, as did Spells, the treasurer and vice president for business affairs. Hardy-Lucas, the general counsel, has held that position since 1994.

Harvey casts himself as the team leader.

“I cannot stress this enough,” he said. “It is the team that has made Hampton as great as it is, and I am the team leader. I’m a strong team leader. I’m a very good manager. I emphasize management and I don’t apologize for that. My board knows that, my officers know that, and I think that is one of the reasons that Hampton continues to excel.”

Editorial Tags: Business issuesPresidentsTitle IXImage Source: Hampton UniversityImage Caption: Hampton president William R. Harvey at a Founding Day celebration April 1.Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: 

Interest in Tenn.'s tuition-free program for adult students exceeds expectations

Inside Higher Ed - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 00:00

When Tennessee launched its free community college program four years ago, some questioned why recent high school graduates were the only ones to benefit.

Then last year, Bill Haslam, the state's Republican governor, announced an expansion of the widely heralded tuition-free benefit to all adult residents, in an initiative called Tennessee Reconnect.

Higher education officials in Tennessee expected 8,000 adults would apply for the scholarship. But as of April 18, nearly 12,000 have applied.

"Tennessee Promise changed the conversation about going to college in our state, and Tennessee Reconnect may be the next logical phase for having more Tennesseans with a college degree," said Mike Krause, executive director of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.

Tennessee isn't alone in trying to eliminate tuition for adult students.

The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, with nearly $4 million in grants from the Lumina Foundation, is helping five states -- Indiana, Maine, Minnesota, Oklahoma and Washington -- develop pilot Promise programs aimed at adult students.

"At the time the grant was first given to us to use, it was a crazy concept, and now it's taken off in other states," said Andy Carlson, vice president of finance policy and member services at SHEEO.

As states and policy makers have started to examine their degree-attainment goals -- and the difficult paths to reaching them -- providing tuition scholarships for adults has become a less crazy idea, he said.

"There was a disconnect between what states needed to do to hit attainment goals and the popularity among lawmakers creating Promise programs for traditional students," Carlson said. "Policy makers and states are starting to get this: if they are going to have the work force they need for the economy they desire, they're going to have to increase postsecondary degree attainment for some-college, no-degree students or adults who have no college education."

Tennessee isn't just giving out scholarships to qualified adults; it's also offering resources and information to help students be successful once they're enrolled. But to figure out what these students need, the state's higher education department needed to know more about them, beyond the fact that they're older than traditional just-out-of-high-school students. So the Reconnect application included additional questions about potential students' highest level of education, time elapsed since they attended school, if they have internet access at home, whether they have children or reliable transportation, and which times they would be available to attend classes.

"The primary reason we're asking these question of the applicant is that we've also asked for an inventory along those lines of our institutions so we know what is offered at the Tennessee Reconnect community college," said Jessica Gibson, assistant executive director for adult learner initiatives for the commission.

The program then maps those needs for each individual applicant onto a map connecting them to the available resources at the college they are applying to attend, she said.

"If they're a veteran, we give them information for a veteran center on campus," said Gibson. "If they have dependents and the college offers childcare or dollars for childcare, it's all presented right there up front."

So far, the state has learned that, of the adults who applied from February to mid-April, 57 percent will work full-time while attending classes, while 26 percent will work part-time and 4 percent will hold multiple jobs.

The system said 44 percent of applicants earn up to $25,000 a year, while 29 percent earn between $25,001 and $49,999. Thirty-two percent of applicants have no college experience. The majority of applicants reported having reliable transportation, while 62.5 percent said they anticipated that finances would be their No. 1 barrier to attending college.

"This belief that Americans aren't seeing the value of college just isn't true," Krause said. "Many Americans understand that a postsecondary credential is the path to higher wages. The numbers show that Tennesseans understand the way to have a high-skill job that is durable through a recession is by having a postsecondary credential … and it might not be a bachelor's degree. It might be a short-term technical degree."

Gibson said she and other Tennessee officials expect the questionnaire to change over time.

Colleges were asked whether popular offices that oversee financial aid, veterans’ services and student support were open on weekends or past 5 p.m. on weekdays. They also were asked about food pantries on campus, available childcare or adult-specific orientation.

"We had a lot of reaction to the questions," Gibson said, adding that institutions left blank their responses to questions they couldn't answer. "If they didn't fill out the particular piece, it doesn't mean they're not working on it, and when it exists we'll let students know."

Some institutions are creating summer boot camps in writing and math for adult students, she said, or adding virtual advising and nontraditional hours -- initiatives the questionnaire didn't suggest -- before the first group of Reconnect students enrolls this fall.

Southwest Tennessee Community College in Memphis is designing accelerated courses in business and computer information around adult students.

"We do have to set it up for students to complete, and having a creative schedule for students is going to help," said Chris Ezell, vice president of academic affairs at the college. "We need to design our courses around students who are parents and need to get their children to school and come in to classes themselves. We need a consistent number of offerings in the evenings, so students can start a program or finish a program rather than take time off from work."

Ezell said the college is ready and has the capacity to handle the more than 1,600 adult applicants from Shelby County, where the college is located. Southwest Tennessee will be the only college in the state this fall with a new funeral services program, which the college is expecting to be popular with older students, and officials also are expanding programs in allied health, business and career and technical education that are popular with adult learners.

"We think this will be key for economic development as we work toward having a well-prepared work force," Ezell said. "Tennessee Reconnect can provide a ready work force for businesses and industries looking to expand and locate in Shelby County."

Some of the colleges also are working on faculty development that focuses on adult students, Gibson said.

"We need to think about the role of faculty and how important that role is, because the adult learner's main connection to that campus is in the classroom, and that's where they gain a sense of whether or not they're college material," she said. "If their experiences from outside the classroom are valued in the classroom, they tend to participate more. And the more they participate in their learning, the more they will stick with it."

The program provides an additional layer of support with its Tennessee Reconnect Community Navigators. The state pays local people who are "institution neutral" to serve as navigators by working with adults from the moment they think about going to college until they graduate.

"What these navigators become varies based on the needs of the adult learner," Gibson said. "Some adults need higher-touch support, and they provide that. Some adults don't … but part of the navigation process and the support that is provided is emotional and psychological, in a lot of these cases. So, when those adults are thinking, 'This is too much and I can't do it,' those navigators encourage them to reach out."

Adult learners who don't apply for the Reconnect scholarship still will benefit from adult-focused services, she said, including navigators, resource maps and additional initiatives the colleges provide for Reconnect students.

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University Press of New England will shut down

Inside Higher Ed - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 00:00

Dartmouth College announced this week that the University Press of New England will be shut down by the end of the calendar year.

The press was founded in 1970 as a consortium and once was supported by 10 colleges and universities. But for the last two years, the consortium has fallen in size to two: Brandeis University and Dartmouth College. Staff members at the press have been employed by Dartmouth, which also houses the operations.

A statement from Phil Hanlon, president of Dartmouth, said that the press has become unsustainable. “This decision was not made quickly or easily,” he said.

The announcement said that both Dartmouth and Brandeis were exploring new ways to support scholarly publishing.

Supporters of university presses expressed concern about the news.

We were surprised and saddened to hear the news about @UPNEBooks planned closure, but stand ready to work with Dartmouth and Brandeis as they chart a new course for their respective presses.

— AUPresses (@aupresses) April 19, 2018

The University Press of New England has published about 60 books a year on the subjects of the humanities, liberal arts, literature, New England culture, interdisciplinary studies and fine, decorative and performing arts. The press has also published a number of books about higher education.

Among those featured in Inside Higher Ed have been volumes on the arts and sciences, life at an art college and classic architecture on campus.

University presses represent investments made by colleges that benefit all of higher education, not just the institution or institutions supporting a given press. That's because presses publish the work of authors based on the quality of submissions, not affiliation with a given college or university.

Faculty members fear retrenchment in academic publishing for the loss of knowledge and perspectives shared, but also because of the way many academic departments evaluate professors for tenure or promotion based on publishing records. With more departments having heightened expectations about faculty publishing, any loss of a scholarly publisher could have an impact on academic careers.

The announcement from New England comes amid concerns about the University Press of Kentucky, which is supported by public and private universities in the state. Kentucky governor Matt Bevin, a Republican, in January proposed eliminating all state support for the press, and no funds were included for it in a version of the state budget adopted by the General Assembly in April. Budget negotiations continue in the state, and the University of Kentucky has said it will work with other institutions to try to find ways to assure the survival of the press.

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Colleges announce commencement speakers

Inside Higher Ed - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 00:00
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James Madison official tells sexual assault survivor speaking to press could violate university policy

Inside Higher Ed - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 00:00

A James Madison University administrator told a student who had been sexually assaulted that discussing her case with reporters could lead to charges of violating the institution's policies on interfering with its adjudication process.

The student, Caroline Whitlow, said she feels like college leaders were trying to discourage her from speaking. And the message from the administrator has been panned by at least one civil liberties organization, which said the student's free speech rights allow her to talk freely with the news media. The university told Inside Higher Ed it advises students of potential consequences of discussing their stories with news outlets but has never punished a student for doing so.

Whitlow, a James Madison sophomore, told Inside Higher Ed she was sexually assaulted while she was drunk on a study abroad trip last summer. She never reported the encounter, she said, wanting to “put it behind her.” But returning to the campus in the fall, she said, she saw her attacker much more often than she had the previous year, and in December she told the Office of Student Accountability and Restorative Practices about the assault.

“I felt like I wasn’t going to heal until he was removed from campus,” Whitlow said.

After an eight-hour hearing, a panel of three university administrators last month found Whitlow’s assailant “not responsible,” she said. Whitlow has decided to appeal the decision, and the case is set to be reconsidered this month.

In March, she posted a Facebook status venting her frustrations, which eventually was shared much more widely than she had expected -- more than 320 times as of Thursday evening.

Whitlow earlier this month emailed the adviser in her case, Tammy Knott, senior assistant director of the accountability office, asking if she “could get in trouble” for interfering with the process if she talked with reporters, since her Facebook status had gone viral.

“I assume this just means not to do things like tell the whole internet to write letters to [Dean of Students] Josh Bacon, but I wanted to check in with you and see if you have any insight on that,” Whitlow wrote to Knott.

Knott responded, “Since you are in the appeal process of the case and the Dean of Students still has to review the case, there is not yet a final decision. Until there is a final decision, you cannot do anything that could be seen as interfering with the accountability process. Disclosing information about the case to others who would be writing a news story based on this case could be considered interfering with the process, depending on the circumstances, and you could be charged under the student handbook policies.”

Knott then (presumably accidentally) cited a policy number in the university’s student standards of conduct that doesn’t exist. But she clearly referenced the institution’s rules on not interfering with any of the university’s investigative and hearing processes.

“You are correct that urging other people to interfere in the process (by writing to the Dean of Students, in your example) would potentially fall under the interference policy,” Knott wrote.

The Daily Breeze, the student newspaper, wrote an article about Whitlow’s case and about the warning against talking to reporters, which she said was widely read and eventually picked up by free speech advocates such as the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which condemned the institution.

Robert Shibley, FIRE’s executive director, wrote in a blog post that First Amendment protections allow a student to publicly disagree with the verdict of a sexual assault case.

He called it “alarming” that the university believes going public with the case could affect its outcome.

“It suggests that JMU knows that its Title IX process is so poorly insulated from public pressure that criticism alone (as opposed to new facts or the exposure of bad procedures) may cause the school to reverse its position on whether a sexual assault took place,” Shibley wrote. “If that’s true, that’s a huge indictment of the process itself.”

A James Madison spokesman, Bill Wyatt, said the Daily Breeze piece, on which FIRE based its criticisms, took the situation out of context. He said the student journalists there only had access to one piece of correspondence from the university.

Never before has the university come down on students for talking to the news media, Wyatt said.

“When our counselors talk to students, they never say they can’t talk about their case,” Wyatt said. “What we do try to do is to get them to understand that there are consequences to actions, which could very well mean they are sued by a private party. But we’ve never charged a student with interference” for speaking to the media.

Knott's email does not mention the possibility of legal backlash and only mentions the possible policy violations.

Wyatt wrote an op-ed in response to the Daily Breeze story, in which he stressed that the “university doesn’t silence students who come forward.”

“Rather, it provides resources and counseling to students to help them understand the process and to get the support they need. The university staff who work on these issues are well trained and extraordinarily dedicated to addressing this significant societal problem,” he wrote.

Wyatt noted -- in an attempt to show the university's commitment to ferreting out sexual assault -- that the accountability office has found the accused responsible in 18 of 36 sexual misconduct cases it handled over the last four academic years. In 10 of the cases, the students were not charged, and the other cases were dropped or are still pending.

Still, Whitlow is unconvinced that the university treated her properly. She is participating in a silent protest against sexual violence, and the university’s historic response to it, in the campus quad today.

“What’s really going to help is if the university can admit that things aren’t perfect and that things are handled poorly,” she said. “Then it can become a better environment for everyone.”

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Career training legislation seems stalled in Congress

Inside Higher Ed - Vie, 04/20/2018 - 00:00

With bipartisan talks over a Senate bill to renew the Higher Education Act seemingly stalled and a polarizing House bill having gone nowhere after a party-line committee vote, Congress seems increasingly unlikely to reauthorize the key higher education law in 2018.

Legislation to extend the federal government's primary law on career and technical education, however -- desperately desired by many employers, educators and lawmakers -- would appear to give lawmakers a chance for bipartisan accomplishment in postsecondary education. But even that "no-brainer" bill, as one member of Congress called it, is proving too divisive for the current Congress.

The Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act was approved on a voice vote by House lawmakers last year. And 59 senators from both parties last fall urged key committee leaders to take up the legislation

But negotiations have gone nowhere in months, thanks to serious philosophical differences between Republican and Democratic senators charged with negotiating a new career education bill.

Representative Virginia Foxx, a North Carolina Republican and chairwoman of the House education committee, last week called for the Senate to act on the bill, while making clear her frustration with the lack of movement so far.

“The House passed the bill unanimously last year,” she said last week. “I cannot emphasize how important it is for the Senate to vote on this bill and send it to President Trump for his signature.”

Representative Raja Krishnamoorthi, an Illinois Democrat, called the legislation “the biggest no-brainer on Capitol Hill” at an event focused on work-force training that he and Foxx attended last week.

The broad support in the House for passing an update to the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act, which directs federal support to career education programs, might be viewed as a positive portent for the bill moving forward. But the Senate appears to be as divided on a new bill as ever.

That’s despite wide support from members of Congress and clamoring from employers for new options to partner with schools and colleges on training potential workers.

“The stars seem aligned for bipartisan action. It’s unfortunate we’re not seeing it happen,” said Brent Parton, deputy director of the Center on Education & Skills at New America’s education policy program.

A spokesman for Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee, said reauthorizing Perkins is a priority for his office. Alexander charged Senator Mike Enzi, a Wyoming Republican, and Senator Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat, with developing a proposal for the Senate to consider.

“Under Senator Enzi’s leadership, there are ongoing discussions among committee members to determine a bipartisan path forward,” an Alexander spokesman said.

A spokesman for Enzi said the senator is continuing to work with colleagues to reauthorize the bill but doesn’t have updates to add for the time being.

“Senator Enzi doesn’t tend to negotiate through the media,” the spokesman said. “He likes to work directly with members and try to come to an agreement, and discussing disagreements in public doesn’t really lend [itself] to that.”

A Casey spokeswoman said staff members are drafting a proposal that builds on the House bill as well as negotiations from previous years. But outstanding disagreements persist, specifically involving vouchers and provisions that would restrict the authority of the secretary of education to administer the program -- both Republican ideas. Neither of those ideas have been included in previous bipartisan agreements on the program, the spokeswoman said.

Those restrictions would curtail the secretary of education’s ability to promulgate rules or define terms pertaining to the law, basically stripping the secretary of their normal powers to administer a law. The voucher proposal would have states award money via competitive grants or have funding follow individual students, rather than being awarded based on existing grant formulas. (The House bill would shift more authority to the states for spending Perkins funds and require that local employers be at the table when they are distributed.)

One Democratic aide said that Perkins has previously been a bipartisan bill, but that a proposal offered by Alexander and Enzi to Democrats in November was clearly “not serious.” That initial plan included numerous restrictions on the secretary's authority and the voucher idea -- both nonstarters for Senate Democrats.

“They’re just starting at such an extreme place,” the aide said.

Although Enzi and Casey were tasked with developing a Senate proposal, they’ve essentially been working on separate tracks for months to develop their own outlines for a bill.

Kermit Kaleba, federal policy director at the National Skills Coalition, said even with strong advocacy from business and education leaders, it’s not clear if key senators feel a serious drive to pass a bill this year.

“I don’t think there’s this perception that Perkins is broken right now,” he said. “There’s not this urgency to get something fixed. And I think there is a perception that the House bill, while it does some really good things, is not a major transformation.”

The Perkins law was last reauthorized in 2006, though, and experts who follow work-force training issues say it’s past time for Congress to update it. A lot has changed in the intervening 12 years, both in the economy and in current law, said Angela Hanks, director of work-force development policy at the Center for American Progress.

There is a greater recognition today that work-based learning is important both for young people entering the work force and for adults looking to obtain additional skills, she said. And options like apprenticeships, which are frequently talked up by the Trump administration, weren’t at the forefront of the national agenda when the law was last updated.

“There really needs to be some support for strategies like career pathways, like industry partnerships, like generally better connections with industry that really aren’t reflected in the law as it stands,” she said.

Congress also passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act in 2013, and President Obama signed the bill into law the following year. An update to Perkins would allow Congress to make definitions of postsecondary credentials and partnerships between industry and the public sector consistent in the law, Hanks said.

Career education advocates have argued an update to Perkins should make the law consistent with changes in WIOA that embraced a wide range of student credentials and emphasized larger partnerships between industry and government. (While Perkins targets public school students and those enrolled in technical and community colleges, WIOA provides job training for dislocated workers and other types of employment services.)

Passing a Perkins update would show Congress is serious about addressing training for workers at a time when the issue has never been more popular among policy makers or the private sector. And while the legislation spends a relatively modest $1.2 billion, trouble negotiating an update may not bode well for a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, an even more expansive and ambitious bill.

“Perkins is something that’s pretty popular,” Hanks said. “It should be relatively low-hanging fruit, so it’s strange that it’s being held up.”

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Chronicle of Higher Education: How Low Can a Tenured Professor Go on Twitter? Fresno Case Could Be a Test

Randa Jarrar’s inflammatory tweets about Barbara Bush may be protected speech, but when she invoked her university and its president, some say she crossed a line.

Why a Saudi Prince’s Visit to Harvard and MIT Drew Protests

The Chronicle of Higher Education (Global) - Jue, 04/19/2018 - 16:02
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University World News Global Edition - Jue, 04/19/2018 - 12:56
A row over whether or not the president of the Community of Madrid used her influence to obtain a masters degree has led to 30 university professors from across Spain signing a petition to denounc ...

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