British business school eyes U.S. in planning financial strategy

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London Business School is seen as wealthy in the U.K., but feels poor compared to its American competitors.

Layoffs and Program Closures at Rider University

Rider University, a private institution located in New Jersey, announced this week that it will close 14 academic programs and lay off 14 full-time faculty members. The university also will convert three academic majors to minors and will eliminate two clerical positions and five vacant faculty jobs.

The cuts are in response to financial challenges, the university said in a written statement, and will result in annual savings of about $2 million.

"The decision to move forward with these closures and changes was not made lightly. They have profound impacts on those who are directly affected by them," the university said. "But they are needed to put Rider on a more progressive path and position the university more strongly in an increasingly competitive environment."

U of Chicago Adjuncts File for Union Election

Non-tenure-track instructors at the University of Chicago have petitioned the National Labor Relations Board to vote on whether to form a collective bargaining unit affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Thursday. SEIU adjunct union drives also are under way at the University of Washington, the University of Southern California and Duke University. A spokesman for Chicago said the university had no immediate comment.

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Free Employee GED Benefit

Several large corporations have partnered with the GED Testing Service to allow their employees to pursue the credential -- which is the equivalent of a high-school diploma -- without having to pay any fees. The new GEDWorks program also includes free student supports, including online study materials, practice tests and access to GED advisers. Participating companies include Walmart, KFC, Taco Bell and Southeastern Grocers.

“Walmart believes that education is key to an associate's personal and professional development,” Michelle Knight, vice president of talent development for Walmart U.S., said in a written statement. “The opportunity to earn a market-valued credential helps our people gain skills to advance their career. Achieving success with the GEDWorks program is a gateway to opportunity.”

The American Council on Education managed the GED until 2011, when it partnered with Pearson to create the GED Testing Service. The test received an overhaul at the time, moving to being computer based and dropping a paper version. It also became more expensive, more difficult and aimed in part at college readiness as well as the workforce. As a result, some competitor tests have grown in popularity since the GED's changes went into effect.

Arizona Pharmacy Dean Charged With Sexual Assault

The University of Arizona has placed on leave the dean of the College of Pharmacy, Jessie Lyle Bootman, who has been indicted on charges of sexual assault, sexual abuse and aggravated assault, ABC 15 News reported. The alleged incident involved an adult female and is not connected to the university. Bootman's lawyer released a statement saying that his client was "shocked and saddened" by the allegations, and denied any wrongdoing.

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Another For-Profit Becomes a Public Benefit Corporation

Stratford University, a for-profit institution based in Virginia, this week announced that it has become a public benefit corporation. That move, which a handful of other for-profits have made recently, is a legal change to a company's charter, which allows it to focus more on activities that do not generate a profit -- including actions that are aimed at benefiting the public.

"Stratford has a student-first mentality, and as a benefit corporation we have the liberty to make sure we are providing students with the best education in the best environment,” Richard Shurtz, the university's president, said in a written statement.

The university holds national accreditation. It offers credentials in information technology, hospitality, culinary arts, business administration and health care.

Jamie Merisotis discusses his book on talent production

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Jamie Merisotis of Lumina Foundation wrote a book on how to rethink higher education and immigration policy to fix America's talent pool problem.

Aspen Institute and Siemens Team Up on Skills Gap

The Aspen Institute and the Siemens Foundation this week announced the first results of a new partnership focused on the projected shortages of skilled workers for high-demand jobs in manufacturing, energy, health care and information technology. Community colleges are key to meeting this demand, the two groups said. So the Siemens Foundation is funding an effort by the Aspen Institute's College Excellence Program to identify academic programs at two-year colleges that help students achieve success in "middle-skill" STEM fields.

This week Aspen said it has awarded scholarships of between $3,500 and $10,000 to current students or recent graduates of these programs. All the recipients attend or have attended community colleges Aspen has named as finalists for its prize for community college excellence. On average, 93 percent of graduates in the Aspen-identified STEM programs were placed in jobs within six months of graduation -- jobs that had a starting salary range of $32,760 to $82,144.

Colleges continue to rescind Cosby's honorary degrees

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Honorary degrees are the last remaining tie many colleges have with Bill Cosby. More and more institutions are rescinding them, but some are refusing to do so.

Southern New Hampshire Partners With Coding Boot Camp

Southern New Hampshire University and the Flatiron School, a coding boot camp, today announced a broad collaboration. The university and the New York City-based education provider will seek to expand the use of Flatiron's recently created online learning platform. They also will create a joint academic program, through which Southern New Hampshire's campus-based students will take three years of courses at the university followed by six months of Flatiron's web development curriculum and a paid apprenticeship during the final semester before graduation. Finally, the two partners will create an in-person coding boot camp at Southern New Hampshire's Nashua campus.

“Our mission is focused on the success of our students. By offering this opportunity, we can position our students for career opportunities and future growth and success in their selected fields," said Paul LeBlanc, Southern New Hampshire's president, in a written statement.

Southern New Hampshire and Flatiron also announced that they will apply to participate in a recently announced experiment the U.S. Department of Education is hosting. That program will allow a handful of accredited colleges to partner with boot camps to offer academic programs that will be eligible for federal financial aid.


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