Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Subscribe to Inside Higher Ed | Quick Takes
Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:00am

Language that would have greatly restricted the right of faculty members at public institutions in Ohio to form unions has been removed from a 3,000-page budget bill before the state House Finance Committee. Faculty members and unions across the state panned the provision after its insertion last week, calling it a fly-by-night attack on collective bargaining. State Representative Tim Brown, a Republican who’d been lobbying against the language, told Bowling Green's Sentinel-Tribune that the language was “slipped in” and deserved “a fair and proper vetting outside the budget process.”

John McNay, chair of the history department at the University of Cincinnati’s Blue Ash campus and president of the Ohio conference of the American Association of University Professors, said via email that he and other faculty members are “very pleased that the House Finance Committee listened to our concerns.”

“We want the Ohio legislature to begin to look at the real problems that are increasing costs for our students,” such as escalating spending on noninstructional services and salaries, McNay said. “We are not the problem. We can be part of the solution if they will work with us.”

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:00am

A monthslong review by the University of Alaska at Fairbanks has concluded with a decision to eliminate six degree offerings in an effort to cut $14 million, Newsminer.com reported. The philosophy, engineering management and science management degrees will be eliminated, and certain degree offerings in chemistry, music and sociology will also be ended.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 4:25am

Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn., is cutting its workforce by 5 percent to respond to declining enrollments, Forum News Service reported. The cuts are a mix of faculty and staff positions, and a mix of “separation agreements” and of not replacing people who have left the college.


Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:00am

Part-time lecturers at Boston University’s Center for English Language and Orientation Programs voted 23 to 2 to join a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced Wednesday. Some 750 other Boston University adjuncts voted to form a union affiliated with SEIU in February. The university did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:00am

Since 2012, community colleges in Texas have experimented with an alternative approach to remedial math that the Charles A. Dana Center at the University of Texas at Austin has developed. Rather than focusing on algebra, the New Mathways Project emphasizes practical math skills and basic quantitative literacy and statistics.

The program is showing promising returns, according to a new study from MDRC, a nonprofit education research group. As of last fall, 20 community colleges in the state offer at least one of the alternative courses. And 30 percent of students in the program completed both their remedial and college-level math courses in the first year, according to the study.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:00am

Nonwealthy private colleges are often left out of the discussion about how low-income students can get access to and succeed in higher education, with policy makers putting most of their focus on the institutions that disproportionately enroll those students (community colleges and for-profit institutions) and those that they think should enroll more -- flagship public and wealthy private universities. That rankles officials at small private colleges, who argue that their institutions provide more access to those students (and turn them out with better outcomes) than do many other types of colleges.

A group representing those institutions, the Council of Independent Colleges, makes that case formally in a report released Wednesday. The association's report presents data showing that small and midsize private colleges enroll first-generation and low-income students at higher proportions than do public and private research universities, and that those students are likelier to graduate from the private institutions than they are from public doctoral universities. The report also urges school counselors to encourage more students to attend "the institutions where they are most likely to flourish, namely, smaller private colleges," and asks state and federal policy makers to recognize the role these institutions play as they allocate financial aid and other dollars to maximize student success in college.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:00am

Publishing groups are praising a recent move by the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to amend Syrian sanctions regulations to authorize U.S. citizens to engage in transactions related to the publishing and marketing of Syrian manuscripts, books, journals and newspapers. 

The Association of American University Presses, the Association of American Publishers's Professional/Scholarly Publishers division and the PEN American Center issued a statement on Wednesday commending the amendment as “a step in the right direction” while noting concerns about exceptions for government-related publications. The groups, which wrote a joint letter to OFAC in January seeking revision of the trade regulations, have in the past fought successfully for similar changes to the Cuba, Iran and Sudan sanctions.

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Michelle Miller, a professor of psychological sciences at Northern Arizona University, explains her work to decode how our brains encode information. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 3:00am

A group of three Senate Democrats, including Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, this week introduced a resolution promoting debt-free public college. Several Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives put forward an accompanying proposal. The brief Senate resolution describes a plan to help states pay more for higher education, to increase financial aid to cover students' living expenses and to encourage innovation that would make college more affordable.

“A student at a public university today faces tuition prices that are more than 300 percent of what his or her parents faced just 30 years ago, and total outstanding student loan debt now stands at a staggering $1.3 trillion,” Warren said in a written statement. “Our country should be investing in higher education and working with colleges and universities to bring down tuition costs so that students don't have to take on crushing debt to get an education.”

The Washington Post reported that the push, which two liberal groups are supporting, is intended to encourage Hillary Clinton to make the plan part of her campaign proposals. The Progressive Change Campaign Committee and Demos released a policy paper this week that attempts to flesh out the plan. The groups are arranging events at 10 college campuses this week to promote it.


Wednesday, April 22, 2015 - 4:20am

They're not quite as lucrative as the MacArthur Foundation's so-called genius grants, but the Carnegie Corporation of New York today introduces a new program of fellowships -- worth as much as $200,000 each -- specifically designed to support scholars in the increasingly underappreciated humanities and social sciences. Thirty-two people -- 30 university faculty members and 2 journalists -- received the inaugural set of awards; more information about the grants and the winners can be found here.


Search for Jobs

Back to Top