Colleges need to accept that the "social compact" between higher education and government that led to a century of growth for American higher education is dead and will not return, Larry R. Faulkner said Sunday.
Faulkner, president of the University of Texas at Austin, delivered that message to hundreds of college presidents gathered in Washington for the annual meeting of the American Council on Education. Bemoaning the death of the compact is not of itself earth-shattering -- academics have been complaining along those lines for some time.
If a report issued Thursday gains momentum, the tenure clock -- and many other things about faculty career paths -- could see significant changes.
The American Council on Education released the report, which attacks what David Ward, president of the council, called the "rigidity" of the tenure system. The report warns that unless colleges become more flexible about how professors are recruited and what is expected of them, they will lose much of the best talent -- especially women.
In a highly unusual move, the presidents of three leading universities issued a statement Thursday to challenge the views of Lawrence H. Summers, the president of Harvard University, on women and science.
Summers has apologized for his statements, in which he suggested that "innate differences" between men and women may be a reason why there are so few women in science.
When Ward Churchill's scheduled appearance at Hamilton College this month was called off because of threats of violence, the debate about his appearance didn't go away. In formal forums and informal discussions, online and in person, students and faculty members have continued to talk.
Congress offered a first glimpse Wednesday at the new federal job training program for community colleges that President Bush unveiled more than a year ago. It came as members of a House of Representatives subcommittee approved a bill to renew the Workforce Investment Act of 1998.
Officials of two-year colleges generally liked what they saw.
The Marines are back at Middlebury College -- recruiting this week for the first time in at least a decade. But before they could recruit, they had to agree to explain the military's policies that discriminate against gay people, and to answer questions about those policies at an open campus forum.