December 8, 2016
A House appropriations bill released this week leaves out new funding to restore summer Pell Grants, disappointing advocates who made that item a priority heading into the lame-duck session. The continuing resolution also includes $872 million for the 21st Century Cures Act, including $352 million for the National Institutes of Health Innovation Account. Higher ed groups including the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities and the Association of American Universities praised the passage of the Cures Act for its support of research and innovation.
November 22, 2016
When it comes to predicting how President-elect Donald J. Trump’s administration will affect America’s schools and universities, education experts say they are struggling to read the tea leaves. “The fundamental issue is that nobody really knows what the Trump administration is about” on education, said Frederick M. Hess, a conservative education policy expert. At a panel discussion in Washington last week, he joked that Mr. Trump’s trademark educational achievement thus far, creating the controversial Trump University, placed him in history alongside another president, Thomas Jefferson, the founder of the University of Virginia.
November 22, 2016
When the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the case Fisher vs. the University of Texas in July, university admissions officers cheered the affirmation of including race and ethnicity as admissions criteria when narrowly tailored to the institution’s mission. Despite the positive decision for affirmative action, however, university leaders are facing another challenge: making sure they have the right diversity practices in place to support the students they admit. Colleges and universities still have plenty of work to do to encourage students to pursue high-needs fields, like STEM and the biomedical sciences, where diversity is urgently needed. In addition, universities continue to struggle with faculty diversity, which studies have shown is important not just for excellence in teaching and research but also for the overall campus climate. All the more reason, then, for us to redouble our efforts in researching and sharing effective practices for improving campus diversity -- and identifying ineffective practices that we should stop.
November 16, 2016
Administrators are almost always happy to lead conference sessions about their institutions’ successes, but sessions centered on their failures are rare. You learn a lot from mistakes, sure, but standing up in a hotel ballroom to talk about how you and your colleagues screwed up — even with the best intentions — may not be a popular move back on campus. Setbacks are common nonetheless, as is benefiting from them. "Many of the things we do in higher education seem like good ideas at the time with the information we have, but there are certain things you can only see as do-overs," says Tiffany Mfume, director of Morgan State University’s Office of Student Success and Retention. "What we don’t do usually is admit that."
November 16, 2016
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities set the theme for its opening keynote discussion here Sunday well before Election Day. The topic: "Balancing Freedom of Expression and Diversity on Campuses." The election results weren't just the elephant in the room for the session, but were more like a herd of elephants stomping through the room. To be sure, many public universities have struggled with these issues for some time, and in particular since 2015's protests by minority students led to widespread discussions of racial incidents on campus and on social media. In many cases, what some students saw as hate speech, university leaders and free speech advocates saw as protected speech. APLU's members are public universities, and the First Amendment is very much a factor in how these institutions can respond.
November 16, 2016
Education Secretary John B. King Jr. urged university leaders Tuesday to be sure that students do not feel harassed or intimidated in the wake of a divisive election that has left "many of our students feeling vulnerable." He spoke in Austin Tuesday at the annual meeting of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. King said that all students, regardless of race, gender, nationality, sexual orientation or gender identity, deserve to be treated with respect. Higher education leaders need to send "a clear message" that campuses will not tolerate harassment, that "diversity is a value" and that they will "respond aggressively to places where safety is violated," he said.
November 16, 2016
After a week of heightened tension on college campuses, Education Secretary John B. King Jr. on Tuesday urged public university leaders to "respond aggressively" to any cases of racial harassment. The "challenging national moment ... has left many of our students feeling vulnerable," King told a crowd of public university administrators at the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities meeting in Austin. "We’ve got to make sure all of our students feel like our campuses are a place they belong and will feel supported all the way through to graduation. We’ve got to respond aggressively to incidents where that safety is violated and we have to set a tone on all of our campuses that we see diversity as an asset."
November 14, 2016
Austin, TX – The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) today announced its 2017 Board of Directors. At a ceremony during the association’s 129th Annual Meeting, University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan became Chair of the Board, taking over for University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little. The Board of Directors provides oversight and direction for APLU’s work and is charged with setting membership and governing policies for the association. Board members work to make public institutions of higher education more effective in delivering high quality and affordable higher education alongside cutting-edge research and robust community and economic engagement.
November 13, 2016
More than ever, a college education is an indispensable qualification for American workers. Since 2008, 99 percent of all new jobs have gone to individuals with at least some college education. Median annual earnings, meanwhile, are $32,000 higher for bachelor’s degree holders than for workers whose highest credential is a high school diploma. Over a lifetime, that average wage premium translates into $1 million in additional earnings. And as technological advances accelerate and our economy grows increasingly sophisticated, a college education will become even more important.
November 4, 2016
Peter McPherson, president of the Association of Public and Land-grant universities, wrote recently in the Los Angeles Times: “Nearly 500 public universities have pledged to collectively increase the number of Americans earning a degree and share best practices that help to move the needle.” That’s an important step forward that deserves the support of the president of the United States.