Black Students Less Likely to Seek Mental Health Help

African-American students feel less mentally prepared for college than white students do but are also less likely to discuss those concerns or seek help for mental health issues, a new study has found.

The study, based on a survey of 1,500 freshmen by Harris Poll, was released Wednesday by the Jed Foundation, an organization that works with colleges to prevent campus suicides, and the Steve Fund, a new group dedicated to studying and improving the mental health of students of color.

The online poll found that black students were nearly twice as likely as white students to say they considered transferring during their first semester of college. Fewer than half of black students rated their experience at college as "good" or "excellent," compared to about two-thirds of white students. Yet white students were about twice as likely to have been diagnosed with anxiety or depression. Three-quarters of black students said they tend to keep their feelings about the difficulty of college to themselves.

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City College of San Francisco faces new scrutiny of finances amid ongoing accreditation challenge

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City College of San Francisco for years has been facing an accreditation crisis linked to its finances, and the accreditation woes may have contributed to a new fiscal management problem.

ACE Strives for More Female Presidents

Can you imagine a world in which half of all college and university presidents are women?

The American Council on Education can, and it is hoping higher education can reach this goal by 2030. Despite their prevalence in higher education, women are very much in the minority among chief executives. In 2011, according to ACE, 26 percent of college and university presidencies were held by women, up three percentage points since 2006.

On Tuesday ACE launched the Moving the Needle initiative, a national campaign that asks presidents of colleges, universities and related associations to commit to helping achieve its goal, in part by helping advance the careers of female administrators. So far 109 presidents and chancellors have signed on.

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Hobsons to Buy Analytics Project

Hobsons, a student-success-oriented company, will buy the Predictive Analytics Reporting (PAR) Framework, a nonprofit learning-analytics project that last year was spun off from the Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education. The commission began the project in 2011 as a collaboration between six online institutions, which shared data about student learning. Since then it broadened to include on-ground and competency-based institutions. The PAR currently has more than two dozen member institutions, according to Hobsons. The company also recently bought Starfish Retention Services, which uses software to try to boost student retention.

New presidents or provosts: Arkansas Bennett Bishop Central Alabama Emporia Gadsden Marian Marshall Monticello

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  • Susan L. Burrow, interim president of Central Alabama Community College, has been named to the job on a permanent basis.

Too Many Concussions to Play? Just Transfer

An article in STAT explores a new pattern in college football at a time of growing concern about concussions. Some colleges declare football players ineligible based on the number and/or severity of concussions they have experienced. But it turns out that other colleges will enroll them anyway, and no National Collegiate Athletic Association rule bans this.

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Female Economists Advised to Avoid Group Work

Could lack of credit for co-written papers explain the underrepresentation of women in economics? New research by Heather Sarsons, a Ph.D. candidate in economics at Harvard University, detailed in The New York Times, suggests that women struggle to earn tenure in the collaboration-heavy field because they aren’t afforded the same recognition for group work as their male co-authors. Sarsons compiled data on the publication records of young economists recruited by top U.S. universities over the last 40 years, according to The Times, and found that while women publish as much as men, they are twice as likely not to earn tenure. The difference persists even when controlling for tenure rates across universities, different subfields, quality of research and other factors. It’s most pronounced when a woman is the only female co-author on a paper.

The one exception? Women who work alone, or solo author everything, have roughly the same chance of receiving tenure as a man. Collaborative work had no negative impact on men’s career success, meanwhile. Sarsons notably completed a parallel analysis of similar data concerning sociologists, in which no gendered effect was observed in relation to group work and earning tenure (though she notes the sample was small). One possible explanation is that economists list their names alphabetically on a co-written paper, while sociologists list the lead author first. Sarsons’s working paper, called “Gender Differences in Recognition for Group Work,” is available here.

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New analysis offers more evidence against student evaluations of teaching

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New analysis offers more evidence against the reliability of student evaluations of teaching, at least for their use in personnel decisions.

Big Salaries for Athletic Conference Commissioners

Commissioners of top athletic conferences are seeing increasing paychecks, The Washington Post reported. The Post analyzed commissioner pay in the Power Five conferences: the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern and Pacific-12 conferences. In the past 10 years, average pay for those conferences' commissioners has gone up from $541,000 to $2.58 million.

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Texas Tech President Resigns After Short Tenure

Duane Nellis announced Friday that he is resigning as president of Texas Tech University, after less than three years in office, to join the faculty there. The Texas Tribune noted that Nellis has recently indicated frustrations with the governance system at Texas Tech. Nellis was also a candidate for the presidency of the University of Wyoming during the 2015 search.

The Laramie Boomerang reported that Nellis, while on a campus visit, had this to say about governance of Texas Tech, which is part of a university system: "The chancellor of the system, who’s generally from a political background, has his office in the same building as me …. It’s been, the fit, I thought it’d be something I’d be able to adjust to and overcome, but the fit and the context is more challenging than I thought … there’s a little bit of tension in that context."

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