Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

August 21, 2014

The recent restructuring of the National Collegiate Athletic Association's governance and the ruling against the NCAA in an antitrust class action will lead to new expenses for college sports and disproportionately affect the competitiveness of less wealthy programs, Moody's Investors Service predicted in a new report.

Earlier this month, the NCAA granted a greater level of autonomy to the Atlantic Coast, Big Ten, Big 12, Pacific 12, and Southeastern Conferences. The five richest conferences can now more easily adopt changes like allowing cost-of-attendance stipends, moving to four-year scholarships, and improving medical coverage. Colleges outside of the five conferences will not have to adopt those same rules, but they will be allowed to if they choose. In addition, the judge's recent ruling in Ed O'Bannon lawsuit against the NCAA means colleges will be able to pay athletes for using their name and likeness. 

Moody's estimated that the changes would create an additional $3.5 million in expenses per school.

"The power five conference members may be well equipped to absorb incremental costs, but other universities with less profitable programs will become less competitive," the report stated. "The cost-of-attendance stipend, for example, will give the powerful conference members an additional recruiting tool that others will lack. Other expense pressures relating to amateurism, such as those rising from litigation, could impact lower resourced athletic departments as well."

August 21, 2014

New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman on Wednesday announced funding for 12 State University of New York campuses to receive supplies of naloxone, an antidote to heroin. In May, a SUNY Oswego student died on campus from a heroin overdose. In April, an Oswego student died in his home off campus from a heroin overdose. And last year, a graduate student died from a heroin overdose at SUNY Binghamton. While heroin use on campuses nationwide does not come close to the use of other drugs and alcohol, a growing number of overdoses of students has alarmed campus health officials.

 

August 21, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Ivan de Araujo, associate professor of psychiatry at the Yale University School of Medicine, analyzes the relationship our brain chemistry shares with the sugary snacks everyone loves. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

August 20, 2014

Mills College is adopting a new, more open approach on admissions for transgender students. To date, most women's colleges have rejected applicants who were born men and may still legally be men, but who identify as women. Mills will now accept them as well as applicants who do not identify as male or female, but who were designated as female at birth, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Mills also said it would not accept undergraduate applicants who were born female, but who legally have become male. Like many women's colleges, Mills will continue to educate students admitted under its policies but whose gender identity changes after enrollment.

 

August 20, 2014

Lebanon College, a private, nonprofit two-year institution in New Hampshire, is expected to close, The Valley News reported. The college has been struggling financially. While an official closure has not been announced, the college replaced its website with a notice that classes have been called off for the fall semester.

 

August 20, 2014

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on Tuesday announced that it is charging Kent State University with violating federal law by denying a student with panic disorder permission to keep a therapy dog in a university apartment, The Plain Dealer reported. A statement from HUD said: "Many people with disabilities rely on therapy animals to enhance their quality of life. The Fair Housing Act protects their right to a service animal and HUD is committed to taking action whenever the nation's fair housing laws are violated." A university statement said that Kent State would respond at "an appropriate time," and that it was committed to helping students succeed.

 

August 20, 2014

A pilot program from Starbucks this fall is testing a new way for the coffee giant to reach students and faculty members: through mobile trucks. Starbucks is launching the food truck approach on three campuses: Arizona State, Coastal Carolina and James Madison Universities. The company says that the trucks will have food and drink selections "nearly identical" to what can be found in a traditional Starbucks shop.

 

August 20, 2014

Roosevelt University, facing financial difficulties, has decided to shrink its suburban campus down to one program (pharmacy) and to focus on its main campus in Chicago, Crain's Chicago Business reported. The move comes amid faculty complaints about the university's financial decisions, and declines in enrollment.

 

August 20, 2014

The Mid-American Conference has signed a new deal with ESPN that will give the sports network exclusive broadcast rights to MAC games for the next 13 years. The deal covers football, men's and women's basketball, and all Olympic sporting events. The agreement guarantees that all MAC football games will be broadcast on at least one of ESPN's television channels, as well as on the network's digital platforms.

In a conference call announcing the deal Tuesday, Jon Steinbrecher, MAC commissioner, said he couldn't reveal exactly how much the deal was worth but said that it was in a "totally different area code" than the MAC's existing agreement with the network. ESPN's Brett McMurphy reported that the deal amounts to more than $100 million, or about $8 million per year. That's about $670,000 for each school every year. The previous deal was worth about $1 million per year for the conference. 

The agreement moves the MAC closer to some of its FBS conference peers, but it still trails behind the American Athletic Conference, which has a broadcast agreement reportedly worth $130 million.

While the deal has been in the works since at least 2012, Steinbrecher said recent changes to how the National Collegiate Athletic Association is governed was a factor in the agreement. Earlier this month, the NCAA awarded a greater level of autonomy to the five wealthiest conferences, leading some less-wealthy conferences to fret over a growing gap between the so-called power five conferences and the rest of the colleges in Division I. "We've been forecasting where the world was going for a couple of years now, so that's why it was critical for us to bring this together now," Steinbrecher said. "It's certainly one part of bringing our membership forward in whatever this new world of collegiate athletics looks like."

August 20, 2014

A member of the University of New Mexico's women's soccer team was hospitalized this weekend after she and other freshman players were allegedly hazed by some of their teammates. The woman was taken to the hospital late Sunday from her dorm room, where she was found heavily intoxicated and having trouble breathing. She had taken part in "some kind of 'initiation' event," a report filed by campus police stated. During the event, the team's freshmen were allegedly forced to strip and drink large amounts of alcohol, and they were sprayed with urine, according to KOB, an Albuquerque news station that spoke with a player's parent. A spokesperson at the university's athletic department said that members of the team are being interviewed about the allegations.

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