August 27, 2019
From the start, this scandal was never just about the scandal itself: In a number of ways, the illegal behavior called attention to the perfectly legal methods—many of them featured in these pages—that some wealthy parents use to get their kids into elite schools. With its national scope, star-studded docket, and wall-to-wall media coverage, the case finally provided the chance for equity warriors to put the admissions process itself on trial.
July 9, 2019
The clock began ticking on Monday for educators and students hoping to avert a potentially devastating financial blow to the University of Alaska system. Higher tuition, fewer students, crushing layoffs and program closures all loomed as frightening possibilities on Day 1 of the state’s special legislative session. The fiscal year had already begun, on July 1, and in a few months, a new crop of students would be arriving at the state’s far-flung campuses.
July 8, 2019
A national group representing 239 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations, is urging a veto override of Gov. Mike Dunleavy's cuts to the University of Alaska. Association of Public and Land-grant Universities President Peter McPherson on Wednesday sent the following letter to Alaska Senate President Cathy Giessel, Alaska Speaker of the House Bryce Edgmon, and all the members of the 31st Alaska State Legislature urging them to override the line-item veto that would see millions in cuts to the University of Alaska.
July 8, 2019
Two years ago in this space, I used a marriage metaphor to describe the interactions between campuses and their communities. I emphasized the development of harmonious town-gown relationships characterized by high levels of both effort and comfort. I urged community leaders to become more active suitors in order to jump-start partnerships that would generate a strong return on investment for all parties.
July 8, 2019
A chaotic budget fight in Alaska sparked by a new governor’s efforts to increase the annual oil royalty payments sent to residents may result in steep cuts—including layoffs and unpaid leave—at the state university system. Republican Gov. Mike Dunleavy last week vetoed about $444 million worth of line items in an $8.3 billion state budget that went into effect Monday.
June 7, 2019
Don’t expect to see a draft anytime soon of the Higher Education Act rewrite that Sens. Lamar Alexander and Patty Murray have been negotiating for the last three months. The chairman and ranking member of the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, still have their teams huddling, according to committee staff, but while progress is being made and optimism abounds, a number of outstanding issues remain to get through.
March 25, 2019
Americans remain obsessed with highly selective colleges and their manicured campuses and 10-figure endowments. But an accumulating body of evidence, including both a five-alarm admissions scandal and cutting-edge data on social mobility, have convinced many of what they long suspected: that the deck is stacked against lower-income students in higher education.
March 21, 2019
Public universities have a public purpose, including serving students of all backgrounds. That starts with an admissions process rooted in fairness. This commitment to fairness is central to the identity of public universities and their mission to improve the lives of their students and society at large. Preferential admissions decisions for relatives of alumni -- known as legacy admissions -- are not consistent with this commitment to fairness.
March 7, 2019
As my time serving as the University of Vermont's 26th president begins drawing to a close, I am reflecting on the priorities that have guided this remarkable university and informed our strategic decisions across campus. In October 2012, at my installation, I challenged the UVM community to raise our expectations and aspirations so that, together, we would create an academic environment of the highest quality — for our students, for our faculty and staff, for the future of Vermont, and beyond.
February 25, 2019
Colleges have been focused for more than a decade on accelerating the completion movement to increase graduation rates and improve student outcomes. Community colleges especially have worked on improving career opportunities for their students, reforming remedial education, encouraging students to attend full-time and offering tuition-free programs.