Texas Tech finds dean inappropriately put in place process to change grades of some students

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Texas Tech dean quits after university panel finds he inappropriately set up system that raised several students' grades -- in violation of university procedures and behind back of professor who assigned the grades.

White House Push on Veterans' Education

The Obama administration this week announced several new efforts it said would help veterans of the U.S. military get more out of their college educations. The White House said it was unveiling a redesigned version of a federal GI Bill Comparison Tool, drawing new data from the broader College Scorecard to give veteran-specific data on graduation and retention rates. (Since the Post-9/11 GI Bill's creation in 2009, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has spent more than $57 billion on education benefits that 1.5 million students received, the White House said.)

In addition, the administration said the VA and the Federal Trade Commission have signed a new agreement to "provide enhanced oversight and strengthen enforcement against schools that engage in deceptive or misleading advertising, sales or enrollment practices towards veterans." The FTC is part of a new federal interagency task force that has helped coordinate federal efforts to crack down on for-profit colleges.

The president also called on the U.S. Congress to pass three legislative proposals, with a heavy focus on for-profit colleges. One proposed bill would allow the Secretary of Education to reinstate GI Bill benefits for students whose colleges close midterm. The White House pointed to Corinthian Colleges in citing its support for the legislation.

Another proposal the administration said it supports would change a federal requirement that for-profits get less than 90 percent of their revenue from federal sources. That legislation, which was introduced by Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, would change the so-called 90/10 rule back to its previous limit of 85 percent. The proposal also would count educational benefits for veterans and members of the military toward that federal limit -- a change from current policy.

Groups release principles for improving remedial education

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National organizations and states partner to develop a set of principles to guide reform efforts on remedial education.

Linking Occupational Training and 4-Year Degrees

Many occupation-focused associate degrees and certificates are not designed to lead to bachelor's-degree pathways, according to a new policy report from New America, a think tank.

Those weak links are one reason the going has been slow in the national college completion push, according to Mary Alice McCarthy, the report's author. McCarthy is a senior policy analyst for New America's education policy program, and a former official at the U.S. Labor and Education Departments. She said it is often hard for students who begin college in career and technical education programs at community colleges and for-profits to transfer seamlessly to a four-year degree program.

"A higher education system in which students can start their journey to a four-year degree and beyond with high-quality training in a specific occupation would be a great help to many students, particularly those who cannot afford to delay earning a decent living for four years. But our federal higher education policies, sometimes intentionally, sometimes inadvertently, limit the ways in which students can get onto bachelor-degree paths," McCarthy wrote in the paper.

"The policies are strongly biased in favor of students who can delay career training until they graduate with a four-year degree and make it difficult to connect academic and career pathways below the bachelor’s degree. The barriers are generated by a combination of outdated conceptions of what a four-year degree must include, the manner (and sequence) in which students must learn those things, and a host of unintended consequences from policy changes made to the Higher Education Act almost 40 years ago."

Poll on Veterans in Higher Education

A new report from a broad, ongoing Gallup-Purdue University study of quality-of-life measures for college graduates looks at how veterans and active-duty members of the U.S. military are faring in higher education.

Veterans and service members are more likely than other college graduates to be thriving financially (54 percent compared with 43 percent) according the survey's results. However, less than a third of military and veteran graduates said their university understood their unique needs. Veterans who used the Post-9/11 GI Bill were more positive, the survey found.

In addition, a far larger percentage of students who served in the military while they were enrolled as undergraduates said their colleges understood their needs than did veterans who served before attending college.

Starbucks Extends Military Tuition Benefit

The Starbucks Corporation this week announced that it will offer a tuition-free education to a spouse or child of its employees who are veterans or active-duty members of the U.S. military. The benefit will be offered as part of the coffee chain's partnership with Arizona State University, which gives Starbucks employees access to a tuition-free bachelor's degree. More than 4,000 employees have enrolled in the program. The company said it has hired 5,500 veterans or military spouses, with a goal to hire 10,000 by 2018.

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Study: Diversity Declines in Athletic Hiring Again

The leaders of the top college athletic programs and conferences this year are more white and more male than in 2014, according to a new study released by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida.

As of this fall, 78.9 percent of presidents at the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision colleges were white men, as were 79.7 percent of athletics directors. About 7 percent of athletic directors were women, and all of them were white. Nearly 90 percent of faculty athletics representatives were white, and about 88 percent of head football coaches were white.

In 2014, all members of the National Collegiate Athletic Association received a C grade in the institute's annual College Sport Racial and Gender Report Card. That is the worst grade ever issued by the institute, which began creating the reports in 2001.

In a statement, Richard Lapchick, director of the institute, called the findings discouraging. "College sport remains behind professional sports regarding opportunities for women and people of color for the top jobs," he said. "Whose America do these statistics reflect?"

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New presidents or provosts: Baker Bryant Cornell ECU Hostos Michigan Tech Peace Red River Regents Saskatchewan

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  • Francis J. Felser, executive vice president and chief administrative officer at Bryant & Stratton College, in New York, has been promoted to president and chief executive officer there.

Provost Pick Upsets Professors at College of Charleston

Many faculty members questioned the decision of the board of the College of Charleston last year to appoint Glenn McConnell as president. Now faculty leaders are questioning McConnell's selection as provost, Brian McGee, The Post and Courier reported. Faculty leaders said they repeatedly asked for a chance for input into the provost choice, and were delayed and largely ignored. McGee has been serving as provost and was previously chair of communications. Professors question his role in two controversial tenure cases -- a subject he declined to discuss. McConnell defended the selection, praising McGee for his performance while serving as interim provost.

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Size and Strength of Higher Education as Lobbying Force

An article in The Wall Street Journal explores higher education as a lobbying force and find colleges have large and effective representation in Washington. Based on data from the Center for Responsive Politics, the article finds that higher education had 1,020 lobbyists in 2014, third among industries (after pharmaceuticals and electronics). In terms of effectiveness, the article notes the extent to which the Obama administration pulled back on its initial plans for rating colleges.

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