Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 9, 2019

A newly released analysis of federal data found that student debt levels increased most among affluent students in the four years before 2016. One reason, according to the report from the Manhattan Institute, is that wealthy students tend to choose pricey colleges. And these students and their families "are usually better placed to take advantage of the arbitrage opportunity offered by federal student loans -- i.e., borrowing at subsidized interest rates and investing any cash that this frees up in a higher-return investment, such as retirement savings."

Borrowing increased during the four-year period for students across all income categories, according to the report, which was funded by the Lumina Foundation. And while high-income students are less likely to borrow to attend college, they tend to borrow larger amounts than other students. And those amounts are increasing more rapidly. The analysis found that in 2015-16, students from households with annual incomes of at least $120,000 borrowed, on average, an estimated $25,500 over the course of a bachelor's degree program, up by $5,000 from 2011-12. These students borrowed about $10,500 more than students in the lowest income quartile (below $30,000), a $3,000 increase in the $7,500 borrowing gap from four years earlier.

January 9, 2019

The Education Department announced more than 20 new hires Tuesday, including additions to the top leadership for higher ed programs.

Dan Currell joined the Office of the Under Secretary as deputy under secretary. His duties cover a range of postsecondary issues including vocational and adult education and student aid. Currell was previously managing partner at AdvanceLaw. His résumé includes little direct experience in postsecondary policy, although he served as a trustee for two private colleges, Midland University and Gustavus Adolphus College.

Casey Sacks joined the department as deputy assistant secretary in the Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education. Sacks previously served as vice chancellor for the West Virginia Community and Technical College System.

January 9, 2019

Today on the Academic Minute, Lynn Ulatowski, assistant professor of biology at Ursuline College, describes one method of getting students to look at the big picture. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

January 8, 2019

Bernice Sandler, who held positions in government and in academic associations in which she advocated for gender equity in education, died last week at the age of 90. Sandler was widely called the "godmother of Title IX" for her work on the landmark legislation. Details on her career may be found in this obituary in The Washington Post and at the website of the National Women's Hall of Fame.

January 8, 2019

Christine Roth, professor of English at the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, is suing the institution and the university system to prevent the release of public records about her alleged plagiarism case to the Wisconsin State Journal, the LaCrosse Tribune reported. The Journal has been seeking records about the case, including a related settlement agreement, since October.

Roth says that releasing the files will do irreparable harm to her reputation, especially where there are errors of fact. Her attorney, Peter Culp, blamed the situation on an unnamed “disgruntled colleague who has continually refused to accept decisions that have already been made and accepted by all.” The university said it doesn’t comment on pending litigation.

January 8, 2019

The U.S. Department of Education on Monday released a list of negotiators for a multipart rule-making session on accreditation, innovation and other higher education topics that is set to begin later this month. Click here to download a Microsoft Word version of the list.

January 8, 2019

Chicago State University has agreed to pay $650,000 to settle a lawsuit by two professors who charged the university was violating their rights to free speech by trying to shut down a blog, the Chicago Tribune reported. The blog, CSU Faculty Voice, has been harshly critical of the university, which has faced a series of controversies and lawsuits. Under a former president, the university challenged the right of the blog's name, saying that it interfered with Chicago State's trademarks. Many experts on free speech said that there was no confusion, and that the blog was clearly about Chicago State but never suggested it was from the administration there.

January 8, 2019

Dan-el Padilla Peralta, the assistant professor of classics at Princeton University who faced a race-based verbal attack on Saturday at a conference of the Society for Classical Studies, is telling his story. Peralta, who was not previously available for an interview about the incident involving Mary Frances Williams, an independent scholar, said in essay on Medium that the most “maddening aspect of Saturday’s episode was in some respects the most predictable.” While Williams asserted that Peralta had only been hired because he is black, Peralta said no one “rallied to the defense of blackness as a cornerstone of my merit.”

In other words, he said, “I should have been hired because I was black: because my Afro-Latinity is the rock-solid foundation upon which the edifice of what I have accomplished and everything I hope to accomplish rests; because my black body’s vulnerability challenges and chastizes the universalizing pretensions of color-blind classics; because my black being-in-the-world makes it possible for me to ask new and different questions within the field, to inhabit new and different approaches to answering them, and to forge alliances with other scholars past and present whose black being-in-the-world has cleared the way for my leap into the breach.”

January 8, 2019

The National University System has completed the purchase of Northcentral University, a for-profit institution with a focus on online graduate programs. The nonprofit system announced its intent to buy Northcentral last July. The WASC Senior College and University Commission, which accredits both institutions, has signed off on the acquisition.

The system, which also includes National University, John F. Kennedy University, City University of Seattle and a division of precollege programs, now enrolls roughly 45,000 students.

January 8, 2019

Wichita State University allegedly discriminated against a candidate for an assistant professorship in gender, sexuality and feminist studies earlier this year after finding out she was pregnant, according to a federal lawsuit filed by the woman, Evangeline Heiliger, and according to The Wichita Eagle. Heiliger says she was offered a job but saw the offer retracted after revealing she was pregnant and asking about campus childcare options. Wichita State has said that an earlier campus investigation “didn’t conclude” that the university violated the law.

Pages

Back to Top