September 29, 2016
Hillary Clinton announced her new higher education plan this summer with a burst of fanfare, promising to invest $500 billion to eliminate tuition for millions of students at public colleges and universities across the country. The move was an expansion of an earlier, less ambitious proposal, and was seen as a conciliatory gesture to her left-leaning primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont, and his supporters ahead of the Democratic Party’s convention.“We appreciate that Mrs. Clinton understands that states are disinvesting from higher education in their states,” said Peter McPherson, the president of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, who expressed approval that a candidate was trying to broaden access to higher education in a bold way. “But her plan at this juncture doesn’t fill out the details.”
September 19, 2016
When Brandon Ruotolo started looking for academic jobs, he knew one thing for certain: He wanted a tenure-track position. Ruotolo spent five years as a postdoc in England, which does not offer tenure. So he knew he wanted the job protections and academic freedom that tenure offers. But he also knew about the downside. The chemist had heard the tenure horror stories of seemingly competent colleagues who got turned down after long, behind-closed-door deliberations.
September 19, 2016
Increased faculty diversity has long been a goal of many colleges and universities. But a number of institutions have recently put their money where their mouths are, so to speak, launching expensive initiatives aimed at making their faculties more representative of their respective student bodies and the U.S. population. And while these initiatives are comprehensive, targeting multiple potential points of entry into -- and exit from -- the faculty candidate pool, a good portion of the funds are reserved for recruiting underrepresented minorities already working in academe or new Ph.D.s.
September 15, 2016
Building on the College Scorecard program it launched last year, the U.S. Department of Education announced today that it may soon start providing “cautionary indicators” to warn students about potentially problematic schools. While the government didn’t provide specifics about the warnings, college representatives and former Obama Administration officials said the red flags might include low student loan repayment rates, troubled finances, or programs whose graduates end up in low-paying jobs. Currently, the department only issues warnings about colleges facing severe financial difficulties. It has not said when the new changes might go into effect.
September 6, 2016
The data in Third Way’s report on public universities suffers from deficiencies. Importantly, the federal graduation data it uses counts students who transfer institutions as dropouts.
This deficient data led Third Way to the mistaken conclusion that six-year federal graduation rates reflect student success at Michigan public universities. With more complete data from the National Student Clearinghouse, the Student Achievement Measure (SAM) captures the full set of student outcomes. Using SAM, 44% of students graduate from Oakland University in six years, another 15% graduate elsewhere, and 21% are still enrolled. At Wayne State University, 34% of students graduate from WSU in six years, another 7% graduate elsewhere and 28% are still enrolled. Far from “dropout factories” the vast majority of entering students at OU and WSU either graduate or are still in school.
Judgments about student success must start with complete data. Anything less isn’t good enough.
September 6, 2016
The head of Mexico's agriculture agency will be visiting New Mexico State University next week. The university made the announcement Thursday, saying Jose Eduardo Calzada Rovirosa will be on campus Sept. 9. His visit will include the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The agreement aims to strengthen communication, promote scientific research and collaborate with Latin America, the Caribbean and other countries. Calzada Rovirosa also will meet with University Chancellor Garrey Carruthers and Rolando Flores, the new dean of the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences. An NMSU graduate, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto appointed Calzada Rovirosa as the country's agriculture secretary in August 2015. He previously served as the governor of the Mexican state of Querétaro.