The cumulative amount of federal student loan debt held by borrowers has crossed $1 trillion for the first time, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau reported Wednesday. The statements, part of prepared remarks that the agency's student loan ombudsman, Rohit Chopra, was to deliver at the Center for American Progress, put the total amount of all student loan debt (including private loans) at $1.2 trillion, with the amount that the federal government either holds or guarantees topping $1 trillion. Student loan debt is also growing at a much faster rate than other forms of consumer credit -- up 20 percent between the end of 2011 and May 2013, Chopra said.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Tom Joyner, the radio host and advocate for historically black colleges, has offered a full scholarship to the black college of her choice for Rachel Jeantel, the friend of Trayvon Martin who testified in the trial over his killing, CNN reported. Joyner made the offer after hearing Jeantel interviewed. "I will help you get tutors to get you out of high school, tutors to help you pass the SAT, and I will give you a full-ride scholarship to any HBCU you'd like," he said.
American research universities are coming under increasing cyberattacks, most likely from China, forcing them to step up security, The New York Times reported. The article cites institutions facing as many as 100,000 hacking attempts a day, and quotes an Educause official saying that the attacks have "outpaced our ability to respond."
Kent State University's former men's basketball coach breached his contract when he left the institution for a job at Bradley University in 2011, an Ohio judge ruled Tuesday in awarding Kent State $1.2 million, The Akron Beacon-Journal reported. The $1.2 million award would cover the four years (at a salary of $300,000) that were remaining on Geno Ford's contract when he left a year after his deal had been renegotiated. Ohio's attorney general, Mike DeWine, said in a news release that “Ohio’s public colleges and universities have a duty to students and taxpayers to be wise stewards of tuition and taxpayer moneys.”
Kent State is also suing Bradley for its role in Ford's hiring.
The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to spin off the nanotechnology college at the system's Albany to create a freestanding institution, despite some members' concerns about the move, the Albany Times-Union reported. Supporters of the move, including SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and a panel she had appointed, said that allowing Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to become an independent, degree-granting institution would better allow the nanotechnology program to achieve its goals. Three trustees opposed the move for a range of reasons, which comes as SUNY has sought (with mixed success) to streamline administrative costs by combining leadership of some campuses.
Five expatriate directors of branch campuses of the Higher Colleges of Technologies in the United Arab Emirates have been replaced by UAE nationals as part of the country’s ongoing process of “Emiratisation," The National reported.
The Economist recently reported that while employment policies favoring Emirati nationals have been in place for three decades, the drive for "Emiratisation" may be accelerating.
For the first time ever, NASPAA: The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration has accredited an institution outside the United States. The institution is Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management in Beijing, China.
Chulalongkorn University has apologized for a billboard featuring Hitler alongside various superheroes, ABC News reported. The billboard was up for several days, with some students reportedly saluting the Hitler image. The university said that the image was created by students unaware of why it would be offensive to so many people.
The killing last year of Trayvon Martin sparked protests at numerous campuses. The controversial verdict clearing his shooter came during the summer, a time that campuses typically do not see as many protests as they do in the fall and spring semesters, but students at a number of campuses -- especially at historically black colleges -- have organized protests. Students from Central State University, in Ohio; Howard University and California State University at Long Beach have held protests, as have those at several Florida colleges.