Live Updates: Latest News in Higher Education



Live Updates: Latest News in Higher Education

Rates for Low-Income Students Up More Than for High Income

At nearly 700 colleges and universities and colleges, the rates paid by low-income students increased by larger percentages than the prices paid by their highest-income ones, according to federal data analyzed by the Hechinger Report and published in USA Today.

The study is based on what students actually paid, not tuition rates.

The net price for the lowest-income students at Connecticut College rose 235 percent in the last decade, compared to 9 percent for the highest-income students. The lowest-income students at Oklahoma Wesleyan University saw their net price go up by 69 percent, while it fell by 37 percent for their highest-income classmates. At Gustavus Adolphus College in Minnesota, the net price went up by 45 percent for the lowest-income and down by 27 percent for the highest-income students.

None of the colleges responded to requests for comment.

In most cases, the low-income students still pay less (in dollars) than wealthier students.

Report: Antisemitic Incidents on Campuses Increased 41%

A new report from the Anti-Defamation League found that antisemitic incidents on campuses increased by 41 percent in 2022.

That is greater than the 36 percent increase in incidents in the United States over all.

Of the 219 campus incidents, 127 were incidents of harassment, 90 were incidents of vandalism and two were assaults. Some 33 percent of the campus incidents included swastikas.

“Acts of vandalism on campus included the desecration of mezuzot (small ritual items that some Jews affix to the doorframe of their homes) in residence halls, as well as antisemitic messages such as ‘Jews did 9/11,’ ‘Kanye was right,’ ‘Hitler’ and ‘Fuck Israel’ in academic and residential halls.”

The report added, “In addition to the 219 incidents that took place on college campuses, 25 incidents occurred at Hillels. Hillels are centers of campus Jewish life … Hillel-related antisemitic incidents add to an environment of fear for Jewish students on campus.”

The ADL did not count resolutions calling for a boycott of Israel as antisemitic, the report said, “because they do not target individuals. However, these are antisemitic and contribute to the pressures faced by Jews on campus.”

Protests of President Who Canceled Drag Show

Students at West Texas A&M University held a protest Wednesday of President Walter Wendler, who wrote in an opinion piece that “drag shows are derisive, divisive and demoralizing misogyny, no matter the stated intent.” He also wrote that “drag shows stereotype women in cartoonlike extremes for the amusement of others.” And he canceled a drag show at West Texas A&M.

Dozens of students waved gay pride flags and held signs that included the sayings “Women for Drag,” “Drag Is Rad” and “Everybody Say Love" at the Wednesday protest, the Associated Press reported.

WT Spectrum, a student group for LGBTQ students and allies, was recruiting participants for the March 31 drag show to raise money for the Trevor Project, a group that works to prevent suicide among LGBTQ young people.

A petition in favor of the show had nearly 4,500 people signatures by Tuesday. By Thursday morning, it had more than 8,800 signatures.

Second Suicide in Same Classroom Building This Year

A second student this year died by suicide in the same classroom building at the University of Houston, reported.

Renu Khator, the president at Houston, shut down Agnes Arnold Hall after the second death and moved classes held there to remote learning for now.

“While we have shut down activities including classes in Agnes Arnold for now, we still need to sit down with students, faculty and staff in the coming weeks to seriously consider our options in regard to the building … I recognize mental health is posing serious challenges on campuses nationwide, including our own,” Khator said.

Many students are angry at Khator because the language she used in announcing the second suicide was similar to her announcement of the first.

“The same exact message as last time,” said one on Twitter. “Are y’all not embarrassed?”

A petition signed by more than 2,300 people said Agnes Arnold is the only building on campus with open verandas on every floor. “Continual refusal to modify the building as it currently exists makes the university not only negligent but complicit in these students’ deaths,” the petition said.

Cal State Long Beach Students Protest Graduation Plans

Students at California State University, Long Beach, are protesting the lack of a graduation ceremony in which they will walk across the stage and hear their names, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Such a ceremony didn’t take place the last two years because of COVID-19, but this year university is bringing back large graduation ceremonies—but without student names.

“I’ve been in and out of school for seven years,” said Joshua Biragbara. “I kind of thought that once I graduate, it’d be like a crowning moment.”

A university spokesperson said it is “not practical at this scale” to read all the names.

A petition signed by more than 16,000 people said, “This is not the college graduation ceremony that most of us have been envisioning during our years as students. After the immense amount of hard work it requires to earn our degrees, we deserve to be properly recognized. Many students have loved ones who will be traveling great distances to attend this commencement ceremony, only to sit in the stadium and listen to speeches instead of getting to witness their graduate accept their diploma.”

Board Fines President $5,000 for Rules Violations

The Minnesota State Colleges and Universities board has ordered Marsha Danielson, the president of Minnesota State College Southeast, to pay more than $5,000 for breaking rules about expenses, The Star Tribune reported.

An investigation by the system’s internal auditors found that Danielson had used college-owned cars for trips between campuses and her home. The system said she shouldn’t have used the cars because she received an $833 per month transportation and communication allowance as part of her contract. She was fined the cost of those trips. The system also required her to pay $225 to cover the value of a Minnesota Wild hockey ticket package. Danielson had told investigators the event was a work function that would allow her to meet with community leaders, which internal auditors disputed.

She has repaid all the money owed.

The system also asked a company to investigate allegations that Danielson used profanity, racist and sexist language, and invoked stereotypes while working. In some instances, Danielson denied making the remarks, but an investigator wrote that witnesses who described the behavior were “found to be more credible.” The report said she called people “hon,” “girlie” and “babe.” She will be required to improve her leadership and communication skills.

Danielson declined to comment.

Hampshire Admits All Students From New College of Florida

Hampshire College on Thursday offered admission to all New College of Florida students in good standing. The offer also includes a match of their costs on tuition, which is much greater for Hampshire students than Florida students.

“This opportunity is in response to the continuing attacks on New College of Florida intended to limit intellectual exploration, turn back progress toward inclusion, and curtail open discussion of race, injustice, and histories of oppression,” Hampshire said. “By committing to impose a narrowly politicized curriculum on New College, the newly appointed trustees broke promises made to its current students to support a self-directed, rigorous education grounded in a commitment to free inquiry.”

The college added, “What is happening at New College of Florida is merely the most radical example of increasingly aggressive efforts to suppress meaningful examination of the realities of our society and curb the advancement of democratic ideals, aspirations that should be the mission of higher education. Increasingly, public institutions are a target for those trying to censor discussions of racism, white supremacy, gender identity, structural barriers to equity, and the reproduction of oppressive hierarchies. This doesn’t serve the students, it doesn’t serve democracy, and it certainly doesn’t serve the world those students seek to improve.”

A spokeswoman for Hampshire told CBS News that four students applied to the college Thursday.

A spokesman for the Florida Department of Education did not respond to a request for comment.

Lansing CC Closed for Week Due to ‘Cybersecurity Incident’

Lansing Community College closed for the rest of this week due to an “ongoing cybersecurity incident,” The Lansing State Journal reported.

The college is suspending nearly all classes and activities and asking students and most employees not to work or log in to the college’s systems or come to campus. The college said it has no evidence that employee or student information has been compromised but acknowledged that “we do not know everything yet, and communication is going to be very challenging once we disconnect from the network.”

The Federal Bureau of Investigation and Michigan Cyber Command Center are helping the college investigate.

Princeton Student Charged With Attacking Officers on Jan. 6

A Princeton University student was charged Tuesday with civil disorder, a felony, and related misdemeanor offenses in the Jan. 6, 2021, riot at the U.S. Capitol.

A Justice Department announcement of the arrest said Larry F. Giberson Jr. “was among rioters who repeatedly engaged in violence against law enforcement officers guarding the Capitol in the Lower West Terrace tunnel entrance. Giberson entered the tunnel at approximately 3:10 p.m., and made his way towards the front of the pack of rioters. Giberson joined rioters as they attempted to force their way into the building by coordinating ‘heave-ho’ pushing efforts against the police line. While Giberson was at the front of the pack of rioters pushing against officers in unison with other rioters, one officer was crushed between a door and a shield held by a rioter. A few minutes later, Giberson rushed to the tunnel entryway and began waving more rioters into the tunnel. Giberson then returned into the tunnel to participate in a second round of coordinated pushing against the police line. Eventually, police officers were able to gain temporary control over the tunnel and push rioters, including Giberson, out.”

The press release also said, “After watching the intensifying violence in and around the tunnel, and after watching rioters drag one officer out of the tunnel and violently assault that officer, Giberson started yelling ‘DRAG THEM OUT!’ He then cheered as weapons and pepper spray were used against police officers in the tunnel.”

The New York Times reported that Giberson was arrested in Washington and released after he appeared before a federal magistrate judge.

A Princeton spokesman confirmed that he was a member of the class that will graduate this year.

The Times reported that Giberson could not be reached for comment and that a lawyer representing him did not respond to a request for comment.

Federal investigators matched a photo of Giberson from the day of the riot with images posted on Instagram and the Princeton website, according to a federal affidavit. He was subsequently interviewed at the Princeton Police Department, where he acknowledged being the person seen in videos and photos from the scene of the riot.

Louisiana’s U of Holy Cross to Reduce Size of Faculty

The University of Holy Cross, in Louisiana, will reduce the size of its faculty from 74 to 60 by 2026, 4WWL News reported.

The university said most of those impacted by the change will be instructors of general studies.

“As a result of these reductions, the University of Holy Cross is repositioning itself to more effectively address the growing demands of the workforce by aligning our academic programs to meet the needs of our community and beyond,” said Christopher Rholdon, vice president for strategic initiatives and university advancement at the University of Holy Cross.

In the future, the university’s focus will be on mental health counseling, nursing, health sciences, biology, business and education, he added.

U of Rhode Island Removes Partial Malcolm X Quote

The University of Rhode Island removed a partial quote by Malcolm X from the outside of its library building. Black students have been protesting the quote since it was first displayed in 1992, the Associated Press reported. They said that using the partial quote did not convey what Malcolm X said.

The inscription read, “My alma mater was books, a good library … I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity.”

The full quote, from The Autobiography of Malcolm X, says, “I told the Englishman that my alma mater was books, a good library. Every time I catch a plane, I have with me a book that I want to read—and that's a lot of books these days. If I weren’t out here every day battling the white man, I could spend the rest of my life reading, just satisfying my curiosity—because you can hardly mention anything I’m not curious about.’

A New Tentative Agreement to Resolve Temple Strike

Temple University and its striking graduate students have reached a tentative agreement to end a labor action that started Jan. 31, the Associated Press and NBC Philadelphia reported.

Union members, who rejected a first tentative agreement, will vote on the measure today.

The union said it made “meaningful, material gains on every major issue we set out to address in bargaining,” including wages, dependent care, leave policies and working conditions.

Top Law Schools Produce Lawyers for Fossil Fuels

A new report from Law Students for Climate Accountability finds that the top 20 law schools in the U.S. News & World Report rankings have produced fossil fuel lawyers at over three times the rate of the average U.S. law school.

Nearly half of U.S. fossil fuel lawyers attended a top-20 law school. The report finds that, among the top 20 law schools, the top producers of fossil fuel lawyers are (1) the University of Texas Law School, (2) the University of Virginia School of Law, (3) Yale Law School, (4) Harvard Law School and (5) Vanderbilt University Law School. The Texas law school produces 12.9 percent more fossil fuel lawyers than the average law school.

“It’s frustrating to see in real time the ways in which schools like mine create a pipeline into work driving climate injustice. We’re encouraged to be curious about ‘the law’ but not about the legal profession,” said Melissa Kay, a second-year law student at Yale Law School and one of the lead authors of the report. “Why does the legal education system make it so much easier for students to get a job destroying the climate than helping it?”

Instructor and Polk State Student Killed in Plane Crash

A student pilot at Polk State College and his flight instructor were killed Tuesday when their plane collided with another small plane.

Killed were Zachary Mace, the student, and Faith Irene Baker, his instructor. Baker worked for Sunrise Aviation, which provided planes and instructors to Polk State.

“Our Polk State College family is devastated by this tragedy,” Polk State president Angela Garcia Falconetti said. “We extend our deepest condolences to their families, friends and colleagues.”

Board Reinstates President of North Idaho College

Nick Swayne is again the president of North Idaho College.

The board, which placed him on administrative leave without cause in December, on Monday acted on the orders of State Judge Cynthia Meyer. In her ruling, Meyer said, “The board’s majority has wrongfully locked its captain in the brig while steering NIC toward an iceberg. The board’s decision to keep him on leave without cause is hostile and arbitrary.” She added, “It appears that the investigation [into Swayne] is a sham and a pretext for Dr. Swayne’s removal from his position as president.” She granted a preliminary injunction ordering the reinstatement.

“The majority of the board members don’t necessarily agree with the court order, but the college will abide by the court’s ruling,” Chair Greg McKenzie said prior to the vote, reported by The Coeur d’Alene/Post Falls Press.

A crowd of 90 people watched the meeting, and most of them broke into applause after the vote.

North Idaho College is facing a show cause letter from its accreditor and widespread anger over Swayne’s dismissal and other issues.


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