administrators

LinkedIn Study on Prospective Grad Students

LinkedIn, the career-focused networking site, this week released new research on the decision-making process of prospective master's and M.B.A. students. The study, which was based on survey responses from 1,627 LinkedIn members, found that respondents had an average short list of only three institutions. About three-quarters of prospective students developed their short list before reaching out to a representative at those institutions. And 93 percent ended up enrolling in a college on the list.

Peer groups and professional networks are significant influencers on prospective students' decision about where to enroll, the study found, second only to an institution's website.

USA Funds to Invest in Measuring Value

USA Funds, a large nonprofit student loan guarantor, this week announced $3.5 million in funding for four initiatives to measure the value of college. Recipients include the Indiana Commission for Higher Education, which has developed program-level return-on-investment reports, and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems, which is comparing degree production to employer demand in specific regions. Projects from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation and the National Skills Coalition also received grants.

Common threads in the four efforts, USA Funds said in a written statement, are that they are based on the program level -- rather than institutionwide looks -- and they compare the costs of education with returns from employment and wages as well as measures like job satisfaction.

"By supporting these new models in 12 states, we are developing powerful new tools to help students find a more direct path through education and training to rewarding careers," said William Hansen, USA Funds president and CEO.

Southeastern Conference Asks Jeb Bush to Stop Selling Beer Accessories

Jeb Bush, the former governor of Florida, will make changes to how his presidential campaign aligns itself with the Southeastern Conference after the league complained to campaign officials. That includes no longer selling a foam drink sleeve that featured "JEB" in the shape of the SEC's logo.

“The Southeastern Conference does not endorse candidates for any political office,” Herb Vincent, SEC spokesman, told USA Today. “The SEC has spoken to the Bush campaign to ensure that their activities are within the bounds of our trademark requirements.”

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Minnesota Football Players Accused of Sex Assault

Several University of Minnesota football players were accused of sexual assault, sexual harassment and retaliation last year, in a series of complaints that the university's director of equal opportunity calls "a concerning pattern of football player conduct."

The administrator, Kimberly Hewitt, wrote of her concerns in a July email that was obtained this week by the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Hewitt told the newspaper that her concerns still remain. In her email, she wrote that the complaints included two reports of sexual assault committed by individual players and two reports of sexual harassment involving "groups of football players." The email was sent to Norwood Teague, who was then the university's athletic director.

Teague resigned in August after two female university employees filed sexual harassment complaints against him. In September, Minnesota's associate athletic director took a leave of absence after also being accused of sexual harassment. The university is currently conducting an internal investigation into the athletic department.

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Mizzou Grad Students Will Still Get Health Coverage

The University of Missouri at Columbia will offer graduate student workers health insurance next year, Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin said this week, according to the Columbia Daily Tribune. The news came after weeks of outcry from graduate students over the university’s announcement just days before classes started that it would cancel graduate student health insurance subsidies. The university blamed its choice on a new federal interpretation of the Affordable Care Act limiting how individual subsidies could be used to buy health insurance.

Mizzou -- unlike most universities, which have employer-sponsored health insurance plans -- offers graduate student workers individual subsidies to buy their own health insurance. A week after the August announcement, amid student protests and questions from faculty members about how they could recruit new graduate students under such circumstances, Mizzou put its decision on hold. Loftin’s announcement this week cements the university’s plan to continue to provide health insurance coverage in some form, at least through next year, but he was short on details about how the university would do it and still comply with the ACA. A university task force will make recommendations on how to do so by the end of next month.

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Advice on dealing with difficult administrators (essay)

Knowing ways to protect yourself against those who might undercut you can be crucial, writes Larry D. Lauer.

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Presidential campaigns' efforts to attract the student vote vary widely

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Students are an important demographic, but what they see of the election right now depends a lot on where they go to college. Sanders and Clinton camps are both making the youth vote a target. And yes, there are Students for Trump chapters, but they're not huge (and maybe they aren't all serious).

Spellings Appears Poised to Lead U of North Carolina

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors is set to hold an emergency meeting today with one candidate for president of the 16-campus system -- former U.S. Education Secretary Margaret Spellings -- and the board's plan has roiled lawmakers and others who say it would run afoul of legislation designed to ensure an inclusive search, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported.

The newspaper's report, which was based on three unnamed sources, would represent yet another stunning development in what has been a tumultuous several years at the university. A dramatic change in the state's political landscape since 2010 (with the legislative and executive branches in Republican hands for the first time since Reconstruction), along with self-inflicted wounds like a deeply damaging athletic academic scandal at the flagship Chapel Hill campus, brought about last winter's ouster of UNC President Tom Ross without any explanation.

The months since then have been characterized by significant uncertainty over the direction that the university's board seemed to have in mind and agitation over the style and secrecy of the chair, John Fennebresque.

The legislature passed a bill -- which remains unsigned by Governor Pat McCrory -- that would require that three candidates be brought before the full board for consideration. Word that the board would hold an emergency meeting to discuss one candidate prompted a bipartisan group of legislators to write to board members Thursday, warning that the board's actions appeared to "circumvent the overwhelming will" of North Carolinians, as reflected by the passed (though unsigned) measure, the newspaper reported.

At least two board members, citing the legislators' letter, late Thursday called for Fennebresque's resignation.

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Louisiana State University player to auction jersey, despite NCAA rules

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Critics say NCAA decision to allow football player to auction off his jersey for charity points to arbitrary nature of the association's stance on players making money from their own "name and likeness."

Community College Groups Seek Higher K-12 Standards

The American Association of Community Colleges and the Association of Community College Trustees today announced that they will partner with the group Higher Ed for Higher Standards to commit to a push for more challenging academic standards in K-12. The two primary trade groups for the two-year college sector said in a joint statement that their goal is to better help prepare students for success in college and careers.

"ACCT and AACC have long advocated greater alignment between K-12 school standards and first-year credit-bearing course requirements for community colleges. Community colleges have a vested interest in raising standards so that students who come through community college doors will be able to get started immediately on college-level course work," they said. "Although community colleges have time-tested expertise in filling the need for remediating students and preparing them for college, providing remediation to 50 percent or more of entering students is a tremendous strain on resources that can be applied to teaching students at the college level, not to mention delaying students’ progress through higher education and ultimately toward finding gainful employment."

The groups said they applaud states that have raised academic standards, saying that push "holds tremendous potential for increasing the number of students who arrive in our colleges and businesses prepared for success."

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