Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 7, 2014

Finding a good job after graduation has indeed become more difficult since the recession – the recession of 2001, that is. A new study from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Current Issues found that the trend of recent graduates working in jobs that do not require a degree began with the 2001 recession, and recent graduates are increasingly working in low-wage or part-time jobs.

Unemployment has peaked three times in the last 24 years, the report says: Following the 1990-91 recession (about 4.5 percent unemployment in 1992), the 2001 recession (about 5 percent in 2002), and the 2008 recession (7 percent in 2011). Recent graduates fared worse during those times than college graduates as a whole.

Underemployment, or working in a job that doesn't require a bachelor's degree, among recent graduates on average also peaked at around 45 percent in 1992, 2004 and 2012.

The report also notes that from 2009-11, students in some fields fared far worse than others. Unemployment in most fields hovered around 6 or 7 percent, but there was much more variation in underemployment. While 8 percent of recent liberal arts graduates were unemployed, another 52 percent didn’t need a degree for the job they held. Although their unemployment rates were lower, at 4 percent, leisure and hospitality graduates were most likely to be underemployed (63 percent). At the other end of the scale was engineering, where 5 percent were unemployed and 20 percent were underemployed.

January 7, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, James Stanford of Dartmouth College reveals why the iconic New England accent is becoming more geographically isolated. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 7, 2014

The Modern Language Association, criticized by some for rejecting a request by The Daily Caller to have press credentials to cover its annual meeting, has also rejected a request by the Jewish News Service. MLA officials say that they are not blocking credentials based on whether groups may be critical, but on whether they meet longstanding criteria, which require reporters to have a history of covering higher education or literary topics. Jacob Kamaras, editor in chief of the Jewish News Service, said that he was frustrated by the MLA's rejecting the request because of minimal past work on higher education by the reporter seeking the credential. He noted that the service has written extensively about higher education. "We feel that MLA's denial of our press credential serves to stifle coverage that would have been a valuable contribution to the public discourse on the convention," he said via email.

January 6, 2014

With the Midwest experiencing record low temperatures (and, in some places, serious snow downfall as well), many colleges are calling off classes for today. For some institutions, students are still on break. But for others, today would have been the start of the quarter or semester, or of a January term. But many students had difficulty traveling on Sunday. A sampling of institutions announcing that they are calling off classes and most activities today: DePaul University, Michigan State University, St. Cloud Technical and Community College, University of Chicago, University of Toledo.

One college that announced it would be open today (but with flexibility for those unable to get to campus): Carleton College.

 

January 6, 2014

As the Modern Language Association gears up for its annual meeting this week, it is facing considerable scrutiny over a session on the push to boycott Israeli universities. Now the association is being criticized for refusing to grant a press pass to The Daily Caller, a conservative website that wanted to attend the meeting in part because of the boycott controversy. The Daily Caller published an article on the rejection, repeatedly calling the MLA "fascist" (and many other things). Further, the article questioned how the MLA could reject The Daily Caller when it has in the past granted press credentials to "pro-fascist" journalists, and the article used as its lead example Scott McLemee, a columnist for Inside Higher Ed, who has in fact attended the MLA in the past. The article was by Eric Owens, education editor of The Daily Caller.

The article complained that the MLA had not given a reason for rejecting Owens. Via email to Inside Higher Ed, Rosemary Feal, executive director of the MLA, explained the rejection this way: "The MLA provides media credentials to qualified reporters who are employees of or freelancers on assignment to locally or nationally recognized print or broadcast media outlets with a demonstrated history of reporting on academic issues. Based on that policy, we have accredited a range of media outlets with a history of serious reporting on academic issues, including several that have been critical of the MLA. In keeping with that policy we reviewed the archive of Eric Owens, the reporter who requested credentials for the MLA convention from the Daily Caller, but determined that his reporting was not of a caliber that merited free admission to the MLA convention."

 

 

 

January 6, 2014

Ludwig Cancer Research is today announcing six grants, of $90 million each, for cancer research centers created by an earlier gift by the philanthropy, USA Today reported. The grants will go to centers at Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering, Stanford University and the University of Chicago.

 

January 6, 2014

A civil lawsuit in South Carolina against people associated with tailgating at a University of South Carolina football game is raising questions about these events, The State reported. The suit concerns the death of a man who was crushed after he fell -- during a fight -- under a pickup truck. The article notes that the two men in the fight didn't attend or intend to attend the actual football game. The death and the resulting legal dispute have "opened a window into a world of fan mania and marathon drinking by some tailgaters who never go inside the stadium to watch the game," the article said.

 

 

January 6, 2014

With students away and many faculty members on vacation, what's a president to do? Troy D. Paino, president of Truman State University, posted this video to YouTube to give students a sense of what a president does when there's hardly anyone around.

 

January 6, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Sean Lane of Louisiana State University explains how the truth can become murky once a lie becomes part of the narrative. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 6, 2014

Most prepaid tuition programs were pitched to cover public four-year institutions and, in some cases, private colleges. But in Florida, the state is increasingly promoting -- and finding people receptive to -- prepaying for community college degrees, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Prepaying community college costs less than prepaying for a state university, but now most of Florida's colleges also offer four-year degrees.

 

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