Report: Wealthiest Colleges Get More Wealthy

A report being issued today by Moody’s finds that the wealthiest American colleges and universities are getting wealthier at a faster rate than other institutions, The Wall Street Journal reported. This is largely a continuation of a longtime trend. The wealthiest institutions are elite universities that attract large donations and use sophisticated investment strategies that rarely are available to institutions with small endowments. The new Moody's report says the wealthiest 10 universities in fiscal 2014 held almost one-third of cash and investments at four-year colleges and universities, while the top 40 had two-thirds.

ACT's New Model of College and Career Readiness

ACT on Wednesday released a paper that seeks to define workplace readiness. The nonprofit testing firm also called for a new model of college and career readiness that argues that the skills needed in those two areas, while overlapping, are distinct. And measurements of readiness must include both academic and nonacademic skills, the paper said.

According to the report, four categories of skills contribute to success after high school. They are core academic skills, cross-cutting capabilities such as critical thinking, behavioral skills and navigation skills.

All 3 Oregon Basketball Players Suspended Over Sexual Assault Find New Teams

A former University of Oregon basketball player suspended over sexual assault allegations will soon play the sport for the University of Houston, the Houston Chronicle reported. The player, Damyean Dotson, was one of three members of the Oregon basketball team who were accused of sexually assaulting a female student. They were suspended for up to 10 years by the university. All three players have now found new college teams to play for.

The female student is suing the Oregon and its men's basketball coach, alleging that they recruited one of the players, Brandon Austin, knowing that he had previously been accused of sexual assault and suspended from Providence College. The suit also alleges that the university scrubbed the players' transcripts of any references to sexual misconduct, making it easier for them to transfer to play elsewhere.

Austin was able transfer again, this time to Northwest Florida State College, where he is now a member of the basketball team. Steve DeMeo, Northwest Florida State's head basketball coach, has acknowledged Austin's previous suspensions, saying at the time of the transfer that "the college has decided to give this young man an opportunity to continue his education." The third player, Dominic Artis, is now a basketball player at Diablo Valley College.

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Education Dept. Approves Two More Direct-Assessment Programs

The U.S. Department of Education has granted federal aid eligibility to two new academic programs that do not rely on the credit hour -- a form of competency-based education called direct assessment. So far six institutions have earned approval from the department and regional accreditors for direct-assessment programs.

Walden University, a for-profit institution that Laureate Education owns, announced on Tuesday that the department approved its new competency-based master's degree in early childhood studies. The university offers the degree through its Tempo Learning program, in which it said "students can progress at their own pace by applying their existing knowledge and prior experience while focusing on mastering the skills they need to meet the demands of the workforce."

The Texas State College System last October got a green light from the department for its competency-based certificate in industrial systems technology, according to a spokeswoman for the system. The 27-credit program features training in electrical and computer systems. Students work at their own pace and can earn a certificate in two semesters or less. The credential appears to be the first department-approved direct-assessment program to feature face-to-face instruction.

Colleges Net $500 Million From Bowl Games

The 35 postseason games of the Football Bowl Subdivision paid out more than $500 million to college football conferences this season, the Associated Press reported. The payout is an increase of $200 million from last season, the final year of the Bowl Championship Series. The increase is primarily the result of media deals to broadcast the seven games that make up the new college football playoff. ESPN pays the conferences about $470 million per year to broadcast the games.

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Compilation of Articles on Extending the Credential

Inside Higher Ed is pleased to release today "Extending the Credential," our latest print-on-demand compilation of articles. Pieces in the collection explore such topics as competency-based education, internships, the role of cocurricular activities, and the evolving roles of the transcript and of the degree. The booklet is free and you may download a copy here. And you may sign up here for a free webinar on Wednesday, May 20, at 2 p.m. Eastern about the themes of the booklet.

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Resigning UVa Board Member Criticizes Tuition Hikes

A member of the University of Virginia Board of Visitors is resigning his post on the university's 17-member board, and he's not going quietly. As news of his impending exit has spread, Edward D. Miller, a former dean of Johns Hopkins Medical School and leader of Johns Hopkins Medicine, has criticized UVa's recent 11 percent in-state tuition hike for the 2015-16 year and a decline in research funding at the institution. Miller submitted his resignation, effective June 30, to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe in March. His exit comes a year before his four-year term expires.

Miller told the Virginia newspaper The Daily Progress that he disagreed with a March decision to increase in-state tuition rates as a way to subsidize financial aid. “It’s hard for me to understand how you can continue to increase the rate of tuition [faster than] the rate of inflation year after year,” Miller told the newspaper. “What business can survive that except colleges?”

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Harvard Dean Will Become Next President of U. of Miami

The University of Miami announced Monday that its next president will be Julio Frenk, the dean of Harvard University's public health school and the former minister of health in Mexico. He will succeed Donna Shalala, who has been president since 2001. In an interview Sunday, Frenk said he plans to push for increased ties between the university and its counterparts in the Caribbean and Latin America. "Latin America and the Caribbean have been relatively neglected in the global dialogue" in higher education, he said. Miami, already with strong ties in the region, is in a position to do much more, he said.

Miami has had both considerable success and scandal in big-time athletics over the years. Asked about his approach to athletics, Frenk said he was "committed to the idea that athletics is an integral part of the higher education experience," but he declined to elaborate, saying that he first needed to "immerse" himself in the issues.


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Survey finds marketing officials pleased with outcomes of branding projects

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A survey of chief marketing officers reveals that branding projects are common on college campuses. Despite significant time and money, respondents say the work pays off. 

New presidents or provosts: Barton Cal State Cobleskill Drake Herkimer Ithaca Moorpark Ulster Windsor

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  • Loren J. Blanchard, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at Xavier University of Louisiana, has been appointed executive vice chancellor for academic and student affairs for the California State University System.


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