Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 6, 2019

After weighing a sale of Walden University, Laureate Education has decided not to sell the online institution, the for-profit higher education company announced Tuesday.

"After a thorough review, we have determined it is in the best interest of Walden’s students, the university itself and other key stakeholders, including our shareholders, for Laureate to retain Walden," said Eilif Serck-Hanssen, Laureate's chief executive officer. "We believe that at this time Laureate is best positioned to support Walden in its strategy to maintain its leadership position in the working professional segment in the U.S."

The announcement came as Laureate finalized the sale of its University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences division to Altas Partners for $400 million.

February 6, 2019

The American Indian College Fund has published a new guide, "Creating Visibility and Healthy Learning Environments for Native Americans in Higher Education." The guide was prompted by an incident at Colorado State University, in which the police were called about two Native American students on a college tour, doing nothing wrong.

February 6, 2019

It seemed like the opening of a horror movie: a student at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro couldn’t find her belongings and discovered handprints on her bathroom wall. She believed she was being haunted.

But she shouldn’t have been afraid of no ghost -- there was man hiding in her closet.

Fox 8 reported that on Saturday, the student, a junior at the university identified as Maddie, heard a rattling in her closet at the Edge apartments, housing just for college students in Greensboro.

Maddie told the TV station that the noise sounded like a raccoon. She asked, “Who’s there?” And someone answered, “Oh, my name is Drew.”

She opened the door to find Andrew Clyde Swofford, 30.

“I open the door and he’s in there, wearing all of my clothes. My socks. My shoes. And he has a book bag full of my clothes,” Maddie said.

Police arrested Swofford later that afternoon. Maddie called her boyfriend before officers arrived and kept Swofford distracted. She said that Swofford tried on a hat and asked to give her a hug, but he never touched her or was violent.

Maddie was unclear on how Swofford broke in.

He was jailed in Guilford County on a $26,600 bail. Maddie and her roommate intend to move out, the TV station reported.

February 6, 2019

Today on the Academic Minute, Jessica Kendorski, professor in the department of school psychology at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, explains how mindfulness is not just for adults. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

February 5, 2019

Bennett College, which has been at risk of losing its accreditation, set Monday as a deadline for it to raise $5 million, believing that doing so would demonstrate enough financial strength to hold on to accreditation. On Monday, the college announced that it had exceeded the goal and has in fact raised $8.2 million.

February 5, 2019

Hampshire College, facing criticism over its board’s decision not admit a full freshman class for the fall, released on Monday documents reviewed by the board. One of the documents (at the end of the material in this link) outlines a gradual loss of enrollment. In 2014, enrollment was 1,390, but it fell to 1,120 this year. In 2018, the college projected that it would receive deposits from 397 first-year students. The actual was 320.

February 5, 2019

The University of Illinois at Chicago settled for $694,000 with a former nursing student who sued it for publicly confirming that it was investigating plagiarism allegations against her, in violation of student privacy laws, The Chicago Sun Times reported. Angela Henderson, former provost at Chicago State University, earned her Ph.D. in nursing in 2013 from Illinois Chicago and sued in 2014 after the university cleared her of plagiarizing her dissertation. She claimed that the charges were politically motivated, brought by a faculty adversary who has since retired. (Note: This article has been corrected from an earlier version to clarify that Illinois Chicago, not Chicago State, had settled the case.)

Experts told the Chicago Tribune at the time that Henderson’s dissertation appeared to have been plagiarized. Illinois Chicago denies wrongdoing, according to the Sun Times. Henderson said, "Unfortunately, when you are an African American woman moving up the ladder in higher education, campus politics and negative attacks often come with the territory."

February 5, 2019

The Aspen Institute's Economic Strategy Group released a series of policy papers Monday that focus on increasing Americans' work-force skills and expanding private-sector wage growth among low- and middle-income workers.

One report examines reinvesting in community colleges to increase graduation rates and ensure students don't fail their degree programs within six years. The group proposes creating a new federal grant program that awards $22 billion a year to community colleges based on their institutional outcomes. The report compares the influx in funding to the Morrill land-grant program, which expanded access to state colleges and universities for working-class people in the 19th century.

The proposal includes some benchmarks that colleges would have to meet by 2030, such as closing completion gaps between two-year college students aged 18 to 24 and their peers at four-year institutions and increasing the percentage of Americans with a college degree or credential from 46.9 percent to 65 percent.

The group includes Margaret Spellings, a former U.S. secretary of education and now president of the University of North Carolina System; Austan Goolsbee, former chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the Obama administration and now an economics professor at the University of Chicago; Glenn Hubbard, former dean of Columbia University's business school; Ruth Porat, the chief financial officer of Alphabet Inc. and Google; Penny Pritzker, a former U.S. secretary of commerce and founder of PSP Capital Partners, a private investment firm; Melissa Kearney, an economics professor at the University of Maryland, College Park; American University president Sylvia Burwell, and Purdue University president Mitch Daniels.

February 5, 2019

The University of Cambridge has announced a gift of 100 million pounds (about $130 million), the largest gift ever from British philanthropy to a British university. The funds are from the David and Claudia Harding Foundation. The bulk of the gift will go toward full fellowships for talented Ph.D. students from around the world.

February 5, 2019

Today on the Academic Minute, Andrea Lang, assistant professor of atmospheric and environmental sciences at the University at Albany, explores what the polar vortex is and why it keeps making us bundle up during the winter months. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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