Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:00am

Apollo Education Group's revenue and enrollment slide has continued, according to a corporate filing released this week. The publicly traded company, which owns the University of Phoenix, had a net-revenue decline of 15 percent, or $223 million, during the six months prior to March. Phoenix's revenue was down 19 percent in this period. The university's degree-seeking student enrollment dipped by roughly 15 percent, to 213,800. The high-water mark for enrollment at Phoenix was 475,000 in 2010.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:00am

Ray Cross said Wednesday that he would resign as president of the University of Wisconsin System if $300 million in budget cuts proposed by Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, are not reduced and if legislators make changes that undercut tenure, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Cross was appearing at a budget forum at the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, and made the pledge in response to a question from faculty members.


Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:00am

About 2,500 people rallied at the University of Mississippi Wednesday to demand that the state higher education board reverse its decision not to renew the contract of Chancellor Dan Jones, The Clarion-Ledger reported. The decision not to keep Jones, despite faculty, student and donor backing, has angered many. The diversity and size of the rally was notable, the newspaper said.

"Around 2,500 people -- estimated by some to be the largest nonathletics gathering on campus in decades -- gathered in front of the university's Lyceum. They were old and young, representing both town and gown. There were professors and staff members. Frat bros and hipsters. Black and white. All gathered in one place to support their chancellor, Dr. Dan Jones," the article said.



Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 4:24am

Stanford University has released a letter to the faculty from Provost John Etchemendy about an "unusually high number of troubling allegations" about academic dishonesty during the fall quarter. "Among a smattering of concerns from a number of winter courses, one faculty member reported allegations that may involve as many as 20 percent of the students in one large introductory course," the letter said. It urged faculty members to be mindful of their "role in helping students understand the seriousness of academic dishonesty."

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:00am

High school counselors have significant time demands that keep them from spending as much time as many would like on college advising, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association for College Admission Counseling. Most counselors in the High School Longitudinal Study of 2009 reported that their departments spent less than 20 percent of their time on college readiness, selection and applications. In addition, the study found that fewer than two-fifths of counselors indicated that their school had a counselor whose main responsibility was college applications or college selection.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:00am

Specializations, Academic Partnerships' initiative to help universities extend their reach to non-English-speaking students, has found its first four partners: business schools at the University of California at Los Angeles, the University of Southern California, Rice University and the University of Cambridge (as well as Queens' College, one of the institution's constituent colleges). The faculty at the institutions will create more than 40 Specializations, a credential that signifies that students have earned two or more certificates, which in turn are awarded after completing courses in the same discipline. 

Academic Partnerships announced Specializations last year after talks with Coursera about a potential collaboration fell through. Coursera launched its own Specializations, which have since trended more toward corporate training. Academic Partnerships' Specializations, however, send educational content created at English-speaking provider universities to host universities in countries such as China, India and Mexico. The Specializations are meant to complement educational offerings at institutions in those countries. Host and provider universities will split the revenue generated by students taking Specializations.

In Thursday's announcement, Academic Partnerships said more university partners will be announced shortly.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:00am

Sustainability has become "higher education's new fundamentalism," according to a report released Wednesday by the National Association of Scholars, a group that is an advocate for a traditional college curriculum. Sustainability is not just about promoting environmentalism, the report argues. Rather, the movement "distorts college curricula and cuts off free inquiry on important questions." Further, colleges are "spending lavishly on sustainability programs" at a time of tight budgets for other priorities, the report says.

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 4:31am

One of the two students expelled from the University of Oklahoma over a fraternity's racist chant has apologized to black leaders in Oklahoma City, and then to the public, The New York Times reported. The former student, Levi Pettit, said the chant was "mean, hateful and racist." After a meeting with black leaders at a church, he said: “Some have wondered why I hadn’t spoken out publicly. The truth is I have had a mix of pain, shame, sorrow and fear over the consequences of my actions. I did not want to apologize to the press or to the whole country until I first came to apologize to those most directly impacted. The truth is what was said in that chant is disgusting, and after meeting with these people, I’ve learned these words should never be repeated.”

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Gad Saad, professor of marketing at Concordia University, taps in to the biological origins of our consumerist nature. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 3:00am

Three months after announcing with fanfare its plans to turn an abandoned casino in nearby Atlantic City into a new campus, Stockton University on Tuesday said it was abandoning that plan -- and publicly picking a fight with Donald Trump in the process. Herman Saatkamp, president of the New Jersey public institution, said university officials, "with immense sadness," were ending their efforts to build a residential campus on the site of the former Showboat Casino. Saatkamp said the deal would have required Trump Taj Mahal to forgo a covenant in a 1988 legal agreement that limited development of the property to another casino hotel. Trump refused to do so, according to Stockton's statement. That makes the development project untenable from Stockton's perspective, Saatkamp said.

"Stockton tried to establish a full campus in Atlantic City six times during my tenure as president and got kicked in the teeth each time," he wrote. "This time, we were stabbed in the heart."


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