administrators

Akron abandons advising experiment with outside start-up after 1 year

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University of Akron abandons its partnership with untested start-up company to provide "success coaches" after one year.

DeVry Buys Anti-Money Laundering Group for $330M

Becker Professional Education, a subsidiary of DeVry Education Group, this week announced it is buying the Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists for $330 million. The membership association, among other things, provides online and in-person training and credentialing on financial crimes prevention. It offers a widely used certification in the field.

DeVry, a publicly traded for-profit, earlier this week said its CEO, Daniel Hamburger, had departed and been replaced by Lisa Wardell, a member of the company's Board of Directors.

Instructor Allowed to Return After Forced Leave

A sociology instructor who helped lead a faculty union vote of no confidence against the president of Inver Hills Community College in Minnesota says he may now return to campus after a three-month banishment, the Star-Tribune reported. Dave Berger was put on a paid investigative leave in February after an unidentified complaint was filed against him but was this week notified that the investigation is “reaching conclusion,” according to the Star-Tribune

Berger sued the college and its president, Tim Wynes, along with the Minnesota State Colleges and University System, two weeks ago, alleging (among other counts) that Wynes defamed him by publicly stating that the charges against Berger related to sexual harassment. Berger says his leave had nothing to do with harassment. The college has previously said that Berger’s leave had nothing to do with his union activities. Berger’s union, Inver Hills United, has campaigned for his return, and other supporters have created an online petition and Facebook page to “Bring Berger Back.”

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Report on Federal Aid and Affordability

A new report from the Center for American Progress looks at how federal health care and housing benefits address affordability and how those programs could help inform a rethinking of federal financial aid in higher education.

"The result of an expectation-light approach to college affordability is that the ability of federal postsecondary benefits to achieve their desired aims is completely dependent upon the choices made by schools, governors and legislatures across the country," the report said. It adds that "changing federal financial aid benefits to guarantee recipients can purchase a specific set of goods, not just receive a set amount of money, will better conform these programs to the rest of the U.S. social safety net."

Key points from the comparison, the center said, are:

  • Areas such as health care set distinct affordability policies for the most vulnerable individuals that result in minimal to no expectations for out-of-pocket spending.
  • The federal government limits which products within a market it will make affordable, refusing to subsidize the priciest options.
  • Related to this sense of limits, the federal government also creates affordability standards -- specifically, when it deals with debt in areas related to housing -- to protect consumers from unaffordable payments.
  • The federal government does not always pursue affordability on its own. For crucial items such as health insurance, it enlists the help of states and employers to achieve its aims.

Advice for senior administrators dealing with financial challenges (essay)

Barbara McFadden Allen, Robin Kaler and Ruth Watkins describe a hypothetical but very common situation for many administrators today -- and offer some suggestions for how to tackle it.

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'Neighbors 2' depicts rebellion against sorority rules banning alcohol

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New comedy Neighbors 2 highlights longstanding rules that bar sororities from having alcohol, a rule that some women say is sexist and possibly dangerous.

Chancellor Criticized for Using Phone at Commencement

During a commencement ceremony at Palo Alto College, Alamo Colleges Chancellor Bruce Leslie was photographed sitting on stage, scrolling through his phone.

The photos attracted criticism on social media, and Tony Villanueva, president of Palo Alto's American Association of University Professors chapter, said that Leslie had his phone out for at least 30 minutes. "Somebody next to me timed it," he told the San Antonio Express-News.

Leo Zuniga, an Alamo Colleges spokesman, said the chancellor did not give a reason for using his phone during the ceremony. “He was on the cellphone, and he apologizes that people were offended by it,” Zuniga said.

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U of Idaho Settles With Former Professor Accused of Harassment

Sanjay Gupta, former assistant professor of plant science at the University of Idaho, has settled with the university for $400,000, according to information from the Idaho Federation of Teachers. Mediation followed a district judge’s ruling in favor of Gupta, who said he was wrongfully dismissed for alleged sexual harassment of a lab employee. Gupta denied the harassment, and the judge found that Idaho denied Gupta due process and engaged in breach of contract in not considering a faculty appeal board’s decision in his favor. A university spokesperson acknowledged the settlement but did not provide further comment.

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Full-Time Instructors at Ithaca College Form Union

Full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members at Ithaca College voted to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Tuesday. Members hope to bargain collectively with part-time, non-tenure-track instructors at Ithaca who voted to unionize last year, according to information from SEIU.

The college said in a statement that it remains “committed to working in partnership with all of our faculty within a system of shared governance to best serve the educational needs of our students.” It said it will bargain in good faith with the union once the election results are certified, but it remains committed to the position that full-time, non-tenure-track faculty not be included in the same bargaining unit as part-timers, “as those groups are separate and distinct.”

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Critique of Performance-Based Funding

The Century Foundation on Wednesday published a report that is critical of state policies that link funding of public colleges with measures of their performance, such as graduation rates and degree production numbers. Roughly 35 states are either developing or using some form of performance-based funding for higher education.

The new report's author, Nicholas Hillman, an assistant professor of education at the University of Wisconsin at Madison who has studied such state-based formulas, argues that performance-based funding is rarely effective.

"While pay for performance is a compelling concept in theory, it has consistently failed to bear fruit in actual implementation, whether in the higher education context or in other public services," Hillman wrote. "Performance-based funding regimes are most likely to work in noncomplex situations where performance is easily measured, tasks are simple and routine, goals are unambiguous, employees have direct control over the production process, and there are not multiple people involved in producing the outcome."

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