A final deal to revive Antioch College -- independent of Antioch University -- will be signed Friday. The agreement was announced by the Great Lakes Colleges Association, which has helped promote the negotiations between the alumni leaders who will be managing the revived college and the university's board.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The following meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar on The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education. This listing will appear as a regular feature in this space.
- Women Administrators in Higher Education Conference, Washington, D.C., September 18.
- 65th National Conference, National Association for College Admission Counseling, September 24-26, Baltimore, Md.
- Network for Academic Renewal Conference, Association of American Colleges and Universities, October 1-3, Minneapolis.
- National Conference, Association for General and Liberal Studies, October 1-3, St. Louis.
- Business Operations Conference, Association of College and University Housing Officers-International (ACUHO-I), October 4-7, Columbus, Ohio.
- Conference of Chief Academic Officers, Association of Jesuit Colleges & Universities, October 15-17, Worcester, Mass.
- Fall Central Section Meeting, American Mathematical Society, October 16-18, Waco, Tex.
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Oakland University's faculty voted late Wednesday to authorize a strike, and the faculty union urged members to skip today's first day of classes. Newspaper accounts of the vote, like this one in the Detroit Free Press, said that the campus chapter of the American Association of University Professors had authorized a strike but that the union would call for a boycott early this morning only if they believed talks were at an impasse. A note on the home page of Oakland's AAUP this morning said: "The 2006-09 contract has expired without a tentative agreement. The AAUP team asks the faculty show support for the bargaining process and to not meet classes until further notice." A note on the university's Web site warned students to prepare for a work stoppage but also noted that a strike would violate state law.
Students took out 25 percent more in federal student loans in 2008-9 than they did the year before, according to Education Department data reported by The Wall Street Journal. The federal data showed borrowing rising to $75.1 billion, higher than the 17 percent most recently projected by the Obama administration. Robert Shireman, deputy under secretary for education, called the rise "definitely above expectations" and attributed it to the poor economy and increases in federal limits on how much students can borrow.
In a sign of the impact of the recession on colleges with large endowments, Stanford University announced that total layoffs at the institution over the last eight months were 412 -- some of whom are still working with their jobs due to end soon. Stanford is projecting at 30 percent drop in endowment value in 2009.
WASHINGTON -- Education Secretary Arne Duncan told a gathering of presidents of historically black colleges and universities Wednesday that their institutions are essential to the future of the country's education system -- and that they must do a better job helping students get degrees. That dual message, delivered to the 2009 National Historically Black Colleges and Universities Week Conference here, is consistent with the forceful ideas put forward this summer by John Silvanus Wilson Jr., the Obama administration's new head of the White House Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities. Duncan filled his speech with praise for the tradition of historically black colleges' doing more with less, preparing generations of black leaders despite often comparatively "meager resources." Other colleges could have much to learn from HBCUs in these lean times, Duncan said, singling out institutions such as Elizabeth City State University and Philander Smith College. But while black colleges will benefit heavily from the economic recovery package and other federal aid, they, like other institutions, will have to become more cost efficient. Duncan also challenged the institutions' effectiveness, noting that the teachers they produce are less likely than their peers to pass certification tests and that many of the colleges have graduation rates below 20 percent, an "unacceptable outcome for students.... And just like other institutions of higher education, HBCUs cannot explain away big differences in graduation rates simply by reference to the usual suspects. The management practices of those colleges have to be part of the explanation -- and part of the solution."
More than half of the 165 colleges providing information to the American College Health Association reported instances of the H1N1 virus on their campuses, the association said in the first of what will become weekly reports from a survey of institutions. Combined, the colleges in the survey -- which is designed to supplement federal surveys by providing a campus-specific picture of the swine flu outbreak -- reported 1,640 cases, or about 7.9 per 10,000 students. Instances were highest in the Southeast and far Northwest, the ACHA reported, and the illness remains mild so far. "Despite brisk disease activity on campuses in some regions of the country, we have just one report of hospitalization and no reported deaths due to influenza," said James C. Turner, president of the association and executive director of the Department of Student Health at the University of Virginia.
There may be a new standard in luxury residence halls in Boston, The Boston Globe reported. A new high-rise at Boston University features magnificent views of the city and the Charles River. Amenities, which the Globe said leave parents stunned, include large private bathrooms, walk-in closets, and full-length mirrors.
In-state students at all Indiana University campuses will be eligible for "incentive grants" of $200 to $300 a year if they achieve at least a B average this academic year. Had the program been in place last year, a majority of Indiana students would have qualified. The university announced the program amid legislative criticism of tuition increases.
A new report from the National Humanities Alliance finds that the average cost per page of a sample of eight humanities and social sciences journals is $526, almost twice the costs for science and technology journals. The analysis of the eight journals was conducted to help disciplinary associations get a better understanding of the economics of their publishing ventures, at a time of increasing pressure to embrace the open access movement, in which research is available online and free. The humanities alliance's report finds that open access would not be a "sustainable option" for the journals studied. At the same time, the report suggests that a more complete study -- going well beyond the eight journals -- is needed. Such a study might better examine differences among journals in the humanities and social sciences disciplines, the current report says. The new report may be found here. Analysis of it from the American Historical Association may be found here.