administrators

OPMs: Fee for service is growing, but revenue-share models dominate

Fee-for-service models offered by some online program management providers gain some traction, but experts say they won’t overtake revenue-share deals.

Maybe there isn't a peer-review 'crisis,' at least in terms of quantity

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About that peer-review crisis … There isn’t one, at least in terms of quantity, according to a new study of article submissions and reviews completed in the social sciences. But those who write many papers might not be reviewing their fair share.

Grandfather Clause on Grants Assures Black Colleges

Officials of the U.S. Education Department met last week with leaders of groups that represent historically black colleges, and appear to have resolved concerns over federal grants (known as Title III, Part B) that are awarded to HBCUs for a variety of purposes, including renovation and construction of facilities. Leaders of black college groups (as first reported by HBCU Digest) sent a letter to the department last week in which they said that the department appeared to be changing the rules on the grants, and limiting the ability of colleges to stretch out the time over which they completed projects paid for in part with the grant money. The letter complained that what colleges saw as a change was being made with little notice or discussion. Department officials, however, said that there was no policy change. They said that prior administrations may not have enforced the rules with regard to the program, which are set by law, and that this administration did not change the law.

However, participants in the meeting told Inside Higher Ed that Education Department officials were able to assure the black college groups by pledging that there would be a grandfather period (details to be arranged) so that colleges nearing the end of their original grant term need not worry about problems posed by the change in enforcement of the rules for the grants.

 

 

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Whistle-Blowers Charge That TIAA Misleads Clients

Legal filings -- including a lawsuit from a current employee and a whistle-blower case from former employees -- allege serious mismanagement at TIAA.

The association manages retirement plans and investments, and many of its clients are educators and researchers. The complaints, reported by The New York Times over the weekend, allege that the company pushed its clients into ill-suited plans that generated higher fees -- without delivering higher performance. Additionally, the Times interviewed 10 current employees who spoke of legally and ethically dubious sales practices.

Chad Peterson, a TIAA spokesman, told the Times that the company focuses exclusively on meeting its clients’ long-term financial needs and operates in "a highly transparent and ethical way."

“The outcomes we deliver for our clients speak volumes -- we’ve paid more than the guaranteed payouts to our fixed annuity holders every year for more than half a century," Peterson said in an email to Inside Higher Ed. "In fact, since our founding, our retired participants have never missed a payout from us -- through depressions, wars, and natural disasters.”

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President of Northern State makes unusual video pitch for students

Throwing money in the air, hanging out with the mascot and humor are all part of the strategy for the leader of Northern State.

Credentials Besides the Bachelor's That Pay Off

Many certificate and associate degree programs can be a path to the middle class, according to a new analysis from the American Enterprise Institute.

The report uses state data from College Measures, which has partnered with eight states to track the earnings of graduates. The researchers found that students' choice of major has a big impact on earnings, regardless of the level of credential. Skills-oriented programs in health, engineering and other technical fields in particular tend to fare well with labor market returns.

For example, graduates of public institutions in Florida who earned an associate degree in electrical, electronic and communications engineering have a median annual wage of almost $92,000, according to the analysis.

"In Florida, six of the 16 programs with the highest-paid graduates are from associate degree and apprenticeship programs offered by community colleges or technical training centers," the report said.

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Study Finds Industry-University Collaborations Benefit Research Trainees

Universities and businesses benefit from collaborative research endeavors, but what about the graduate students who train in them? A new study in The Journal of Technology Transfer says that graduate students benefit significantly from training in these kinds of consortia, specifically National Science Foundation-funded Industry-University Cooperative Research Centers. The study, which is part of an ongoing effort to measure the country’s innovative capacity, compared two groups of trainees. The first included 173 trainees across 42 cooperative research centers, while the second included 87 trainees who were not affiliated with a cooperative. Surveyed about their experiences, trainees in cooperatives felt, on average, with a few qualifications, more prepared for their careers and more satisfied with their training and reported having bigger networks than did their traditional trainee counterparts.

The study’s lead author, Olena Leonchuk, a postdoctoral fellow in psychology at North Carolina State University, said via email that the study’s biggest takeaway is that the NSF-funded collaboratives not only benefit industry, university and government but also graduate students. She attributed those gains to the fact that “industry involvement in these centers follows a more consortia model, as opposed to more one-on-one contractual relationships with individual faculty.” Students are therefore trained “in a team environment and have a meaningful experience working with industry on real-world problems before graduation.”

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U of Chicago Grad Students Form Union

Graduate students workers at the University of Chicago voted to form a union, 1,103 to 479, they announced Thursday. Students have been organizing as Graduate Students United on campus since 2007, in affiliation with the American Federation of Teachers and the American Association of University Professors. A legal precedent against graduate students unions on private campuses prevented an election, until the National Labor Relations Board reversed that precedent last year. Graduate Students United said in a statement Thursday that it would immediately begin to bargain a first contract with the administration. A university spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Some other institutions have recognized their unions after a vote while others have moved to challenge them in court.

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Simmons to Be Permanent President of Prairie View

The first African-American to lead an Ivy League institution will soon be the permanent president at Prairie View A&M University, a historically black university in Texas enrolling more than 8,700 students.

Ruth J. Simmons, who has been Prairie View A&M’s interim president since July, was named the sole finalist for the position Thursday by the Texas A&M System Board of Regents. She will be Prairie View A&M’s eighth president.

Simmons served as Brown University’s president from July 2001 to June 2012. She has also been president of Smith College, vice provost at Princeton University and provost at Spelman College.

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Advocates hold vigil at Education Department for survivors of campus assaults

Vigil at Department of Education seeks to support victims of sexual assault on campus and protest changes to federal Title IX policies by Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

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