Cheyney University on Thursday announced that Michelle R. Howard-Vital was retiring as president, and that an acting president will start on Monday. The Philadelphia Inquirer reported that the announcement followed discussions between Howard-Vital and Frank T. Brogan, chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, although system officials did not confirm that. Cheyney, a historically black college, has struggled with deficits and stagnant enrollment. In recent years, enrollment has been around 1,200, down from 3,000 in the 1970s.
The Thunderbird School of Global Management has signed a letter of intent to become a part of Arizona State University, the university announced Thursday. Thunderbird is a freestanding, well-respected private business school, but it has struggled financially in recent years and has been looking to become part of a larger institution. In April, amid criticism from some alumni and objections from its accreditor, Thunderbird and the for-profit higher education company Laureate announced that they were ending talks about an affiliation. Some of the criticism of the proposed deal focused on Laureate's for-profit status.
Thunderbird would remain an independent unit of Arizona State (which has a business school) under the plan being discussed. Current Thunderbird students would be able to finish their current degree programs. The Arizona State statement said changes would also take place at Thunderbird. "As part of the work underway under the letter of intent, Thunderbird and ASU will work to restructure the form that the faculty and staff operations would take as a unit of ASU. Personnel reductions are likely to result, with the goal of making the new Thunderbird school self-sustaining within ASU so that no current or new state appropriations or existing tuition will be required. The nature and scale of the reductions are still being studied," the statement said. When the merger is complete, tuition rates (in-state and out of state) would be set by Arizona Board of Regents rules.
Will Counts, executive director of the Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association, which led opposition to the Laureate plan, issued this statement: "The Thunderbird Independent Alumni Association was surprised at the recent announcement and that the alumni had to first find out about the merger through the media rather than from our alma mater. We have a great deal of respect for ASU, their recent success and wish to remain optimistic. Before we comment on the merits of the ASU-Thunderbird integration we are going to have to see more details about the structure of this transaction. Based on the articles presented thus far, it is even more important to have an independent alumni association going forward."
An investigation of Doug Wojcik, the men's basketball coach at the College of Charleston, found that he engaged in bullying behavior, berating players with obscenities and physical threats, The Post and Courier reported. The college has said it is studying the report amid calls for Wojcik's dismissal.
The coach gave this statement to the newspaper: "I'm sincerely remorseful and apologize to those I've hurt. I've already started making amends and working on correcting my actions. The college and I are grateful these concerns were brought to our attention, and every effort will be made to improve relations between myself and members of the men's basketball program."
Several hundred incoming Georgia Tech students made history this spring as the first cohort in the institution’s online master’s program in computer science. While today it is hardly noteworthy that a prestigious university like Georgia Tech is offering a graduate degree online, the university’s decision to price it more than 80 percent less than the on-campus option is truly groundbreaking. At $6,600, the online program is one-sixth the cost of the on-campus one, a fact that higher education leaders should be examining closely.
These days, two out of three students attending on-campus programs receive some form of generous subsidy or discount, while their online counterparts, generally ineligible for such assistance, foot the full sticker price even though they do not benefit from all the amenities of the revered campus life, do not take up parking spaces, inflict wear and tear on facilities, or take up as much instructor time. Instead of embracing these online learners who produce considerable incremental revenue for institutions, colleges and universities are penalizing them, which has troubling implications not only for students’ bank accounts, but also for universities’ own vaunted views of fairness. By introducing e-tuition, which is appropriately lower than the on-campus price tag, universities could easily capitalize on the scale, brand extension, and new revenue synonymous with online learning while maintaining far more equitable pricing for online students.
Although a rapidly increasing number of universities see online programs as a means of expanding their footprint and a way to capitalize on the principles of scale — adding more students without adding more on-the-ground resources to serve them — the pricing dilemma has not been fairly addressed.
Several of these universities have seen their online enrollments increase the total student body by more than 30 percent, with the new revenue generated by online programs allowing some of them to offer faculty raises as other campuses in their systems have tightened budgets.
Though there is some cost associated with launching online degree programs, it pales in comparison to the benefits they can bring as students from all over the world converge through the cloud. Program enrollment of a few hundred can scale by five- or tenfold at a very low incremental cost to the university, while, at the same time, on-campus enrollment increases due to universitywide brand-building driven by intense online marketing effort associated with a successful online rollout.
While higher education is struggling with leaner budgets, the growing wave of digital students creates a meaningful financial opportunity for institutions, especially when online programs are priced at fair e-tuition rates that drive scale. Online learning allows institutions to expand into new markets, extend their brand and prestige beyond regional borders, while at the same time allowing them to tap into legions of new students, building their global alumni base and seeding future fund-raising efforts.
The benefits of online learning are many, and so too are the beneficiaries. E-tuition is both a boon to students and a potential windfall for higher education.
Randy Best is the chairman and CEO of Academic Partnerships (AP). AP strongly encourages its partner universities to offer e-tuition rates to students enrolled in online degree programs.
Arizona State University announced Wednesday that it has placed Stewart Ferrin, the officer involved in stopping an African-American female professor who was jaywalking and then body-slamming her into the ground, on paid administrative leave. The university said that a "preliminary review" has found no evidence of racial profiling or excessive force -- both of which have been charged by Ersula Ore, the professor, and her supporters.
The Maricopa County Chapter of the National Action Network, a civil rights organization, announced Wednesday that it has received 11 complaints against Arizona State police officers since the start of 2014, The Arizona Republic reported. An Arizona State spokeswoman did not respond to requests for comment about that number.
Facing criticism that parts of its fight song lyrics are sexist, the University of Utah on Wednesday announced changes that will remove the implication that the perspective is a male one. The line “our coeds are the fairest” will be replaced with “our students are the finest” and the line “no other gang of college men” will now be “no rival band of college fans." A further complication is that the song has been called "A Utah Man." From now on it will be called "A Utah Man/Fan." The university, mindful that loyal alumni sometimes object to changes in tradition, created a webpage noting that the song has already changed many times in its history. And David Pershing, president of the university, issued a statement in which he said that the new lyrics were a suggestion, not mandatory. “When printed officially by the university, this 2014 version of the fight song will be used, but historical renditions of the song will always be acceptable," Pershing said. "We encourage you to sing – loudly and with pride – whichever version resonates with you.”
The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has added a dozen more colleges and universities to its growing list of institutions being investigated for their handling of sexual assault cases.
The additions bring the total number of colleges included on the list to 67.
In early May, the department took the unprecedented step of publicly naming 55 institutions that investigators are probing to see whether their approach to sexual assault and harassment complies with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which requires gender equity in education, including proper handling of sexual assault complaints.
“We are making this list available in an effort to bring more transparency to our enforcement work and to foster better public awareness of civil rights,” Catherine E. Lhamon, the assistant education secretary for civil rights, said in a written statement at the time. “We hope this increased transparency will spur community dialogue about this important issue.”
The 12 colleges most recently added to the list are the University of Alaska, Berklee College of Music, Cisco Junior College, Colorado State University, the University of Delaware, Elmira College, James Madison University, Morgan State University, , Missouri University of Science and Technology, the University of Richmond, and Washburn University.
While the list does not contain specific details about the cases, all of the most recent additions are cases opened on or after May 5.
Timothy Flanagan, the former president of Illinois State University, was convicted Monday of disorderly conduct and sentenced to probation, the Associated Press reported. The conviction comes from a confrontation between Flanagan and a grounds-keeper at the presidential home. Flanagan quit the university presidency, after only seven months on the job, amid an investigation into the incident. While Flanagan denied that he did anything illegal, he gave reporters Monday a statement in which he said "I regret raising my voice during this encounter and my choice of words was ill advised."
The National Collegiate Athletic Association will reopen a 2011 investigation into academic misconduct at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the university announced Monday.
The original investigation concluded that the university had not violated any NCAA rules when it allowed no-show classes in African and Afro-American Studies to count toward students' athletic eligibility.
At the time, it was determined that -- as other students also took the courses -- there was no indication that athletes received more favorable treatment than non-athletes. No evidence was found that the students received grades without submitting some work even if the classes did not meet, the university said in 2012.
In December, Julius Nyang'oro, a former chair and professor of African studies at UNC, was indicted on a felony charge of accepting $12,000 for a course he did not actually teach. Earlier this month, Nyang'oro, who had not previously commented on the allegations, said he would now cooperate with an investigation, his lawyer told The News & Observer of Raleigh. An Orange County district attorney said last week that he was now considering dropping the fraud charges against Nyang'oro.
"The NCAA has determined that additional people with information and others who were previously uncooperative might now be willing to speak with the enforcement staff," Bubba Cunningham, UNC's athletic director, said in a statement.
Faculty members in science and engineering at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor say the overall work climate has improved significantly since 2001 – but change took that long to manifest, according to a new report. The climate survey was first conducted in 2001 as part of the university’s ADVANCE program to promote women and underrepresented faculty members. The program includes a network for women scientists to prevent women in mostly-male departments from feeling isolated, as well as a mentoring program for new faculty members.
There was little improvement in overall climate reported in a subsequent 2006 survey, but in 2012 – survey data for which was only recently released – faculty members report statistically significant gains in the general climate and climate for diversity in their departments. Faculty members described a more civil work environment and white women and white men and men of color reported hearing fewer disparaging comments about women. All faculty members reported overhearing fewer disparaging comments about racial or ethnic minorities or religious groups. Women of color also reported higher levels of job satisfaction, and all women reported more satisfaction with the level of social interactions shared with fellow professors.
Not all data was rosy, however. Women still report more gender discrimination than their male colleagues, and faculty members of color report unchanged rates of racial-ethnic discrimination.
Janet Malley, director of research and evaluation at the university, said that change takes time is the project’s biggest takeaway. Improving climate is “a long-term project, so one shouldn’t perhaps expect to see dramatic changes in five years – but in 10 years, maybe.”
Malley said change takes a “concerted effort on the part of the administration and faculty,” but that Michigan’s ADVANCE program easily could be exported to other institutions wanting to tackle climate issues.