January 13, 2020
During the recession last decade, the University of Rhode Island (URI) lost $26 million in state support over a three-year period. That loss represented about a third of its state appropriation, posing a major threat to URI’s future. But the university used its budget crisis as a spur to revamp undergraduate education and focus on increasing student progress and graduation rates.
January 8, 2020
It’s not hard to find folks in higher education talking about the challenges of getting more rural students to and through college. It’s the solutions that are more elusive. Yet after I wrote about this issue in a newsletter last fall, readers helped to connect me to several ideas worth highlighting. Most notable: Some colleges are beginning to consider their rural students as a separate demographic group and are consciously devising services, such as internships and orientations, especially designed for them. Likewise, I heard about some cool examples in response to my specific question about strategies for improving broadband access, which is one of the biggest and most-obvious barriers right now.
January 2, 2020
The University of Arkansas, Fayetteville is among 20 public research institutions to recently join a National Science Foundation-funded effort to increase diversity among faculty members in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines. UA has similar numbers of women and minority engineering faculty members compared with other large public universities in the region, according to data compiled by the American Society for Engineering Education.
December 16, 2019
When the University of Rhode Island hit a first-year retention record this year, Dean Libutti, a vice provost, drove to Allie’s Donuts, a North Kingstown institution, and ordered a doughnut cake in the shape of an 86. Technically, the retention rate was 85.9, but that would require an extra doughnut digit and decimal, and URI is a frugal place, still recovering from the severe budget cuts it sustained during the Great Recession.
December 16, 2019
Investing in higher education meets the needs of employers for growth and positions students for successful and rewarding lives. But Wayne State University is Michigan's only public, urban research university not to have its state funding level restored to 2011 levels and is still down $1.8 million, said WSU President M. Roy Wilson, M.D. Adjusted for inflation, WSU is down $1 billion a year in funding based on fiscal year 2002, he said.
December 4, 2019
The on-time graduation rate for University of Hawaii at Manoa students has doubled in the last decade, officials said. The school’s graduation rate now matches the national average for public universities, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Monday. The four-year graduation rate reached 36.6% for the class of 2019, up from 17.5% in 2010, according to the University of Hawaii Institutional Research & Analysis Office.
November 18, 2019
Public universities are serving their students, communities, and society at large in a variety of ways. They provide access to college and work to ensure every student who enrolls in college leaves with a life-changing degree in hand. They undertake public-impact research. They drive economic development through innovation and collaboration with the private sector. They work with communities across the globe to solve pressing societal challenges. And they instill a sense of civic responsibility in their students.
November 4, 2019
Think you can’t go back to school? About 350,000 Texans would beg to differ. That’s how many students returned to campus between 2014 and 2018 after leaving a Texas university without a degree, according to a new report from the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center. Of those 350,000 students, about 71,600 went on to complete their undergraduate degrees, and about 280,000 reenrolled in college, but have not yet completed a degree.
September 19, 2019
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) has announced three finalists for its 2019 Degree Completion Award, an annual recognition program that identifies higher ed institutions that "employ innovative approaches to improve degree completion while ensuring educational quality." The finalists — the University of Central Florida, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and the University of Rhode Island — were selected by a panel of reviewers, with the final award winner to be announced at the APLU Annual Meeting in November
August 5, 2019
Naomi Schaefer Riley’s review of David Kirp’s “The College Dropout Scandal” (Bookshelf, July 30) shines a light on the need to increase college graduation rates. It isn’t easy. Students face a broad array of challenges in completing their degree. Sixty percent of today’s students are working-learners, one in four are parents and nearly 40% are low-income students receiving Pell Grants. They have a different set of needs than students did generations ago. Still, institutions must help students succeed. Years ago, institutions focused on increasing college access. But institutions recognize it isn’t enough to enroll more students; they must graduate them. Last year, 130 public universities and systems banded together to do exactly that. The schools are working within “transformation clusters” tackling different pieces of the student success puzzle. The effort, known as Powered by Publics, is aiming to increase college access, eliminate the achievement gap and award hundreds of thousands more degrees by 2025.