Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 13, 2015

Robert Shireman, who founded the Institute for College Access and Success and engineered the Obama administration's overhaul of student loan programs and increased regulation of for-profit colleges, has found a new home from which to work on higher education issues. The Century Foundation, which has focused its work on higher education on issues related to college access for low-income students, announced Friday that Shireman will become a senior fellow there as Century expands its education and labor policy teams.

Shireman has had a hand in most of the major higher education policy issues of the last decade, through work in Congress (as an aide to the late Senator Paul Simon of Illinois), the White House (as a member of President Clinton's National Economic Council), in the foundation and think tank world (at the Aspen Institute and at TICAS and its Project on Student Debt), and then as deputy under secretary of education in President Obama's first term. More recently, he has worked on college access, funding and community college issues at California Competes, a nonprofit group.

July 13, 2015

The U.S. Department of Education will halt collections on student loans for roughly 40,000 former Corinthian students who are in default, Reuters reported. A group of former Corinthian students has asked a federal bankruptcy court judge to temporarily suspend debt payments for up to 350,000 students who attended the collapsed for-profit chain during the last five years. A lawyer for the group last week told Reuters that the department would not collect on defaulted loans for 120 days. During that time the lawyer said he hopes to negotiate debt relief for all former Corinthian students.

July 13, 2015

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, announced Saturday that he will veto legislation that would bar students whose parents brought them to the U.S. without legal authority to do so from participating in a state student aid program, The Kansas City Star reported. The legislation “flies in the face of what we believe as Americans and everything we know about the transformative power of education,” Nixon said.

July 13, 2015

Warren Wilson College announced Friday that it is dropping a requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. A statement from Janelle Holmboe, vice president for enrollment, said: “This policy change makes sense. We value the whole student, the ways in which they innovate and apply knowledge, how they seek to serve others, and how they hope to make an impact in the world through hard work. Those qualities aren’t just reflected in test scores.”

July 13, 2015

The University of Michigan today announced a $60 million gift to support entrepreneurial education efforts at its business school. The gift, from the Zell Family Foundation, will support the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and also create a $10 million fund to invest in student businesses.

July 13, 2015

Lahcen Daoudi, Morocco's minister of higher education, gave a speech last week in which he said that arts and humanities graduates create a "burden on society" because they go home after graduation with "no practical knowledge" to find a job, Morocco World News reported. He called for reducing the percentage of university students (currently 9 percent) who study arts and humanities fields.

July 13, 2015

In today's Academic Minute, Scott McGraw, an anthropologist at Ohio State University, discusses his research on the dark side of cocoa farming. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

July 10, 2015

On-campus crime has fallen by 25 percent over the last decade, from more than 40,000 reported incidents in 2001 to fewer than 30,000 incidents in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Education's annual report of crime statistics.

The number of reported on-campus crimes was lower in 2012 than 2001 in every category except for "forcible sex offenses," the report stated. The number of reported forcible sex offenses increased by 77 percent, from 2,200 in 2001 to 3,900 in 2012. That's a 15 percent increase from 2011, when 3,400 forcible sex offenses were reported. Arrests for drug law violations have increased by 76 percent since 2001, and arrests for liquor law violations have increased by 8 percent.

July 10, 2015

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Thursday approved a budget based on a $125 million cut in state funds to the system over the next year, The Wisconsin State Journal reported. Legislators and Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, have already approved a budget plan that cuts $250 million over two years and also freezes in-state tuition rates. The largest cuts are planned for the flagship campus at Madison. Most board members said that they had no choice but to approve the cuts. But one, Charles Pruitt, voted against the budget, saying that he wanted to express “profound disagreement” with state legislators who voted for the cuts in the state budget.

July 10, 2015

When the accusations that Bill Cosby drugged and raped women started to receive considerable attention last year, some colleges moved to distance themselves from Cosby, while others did not do so. Now, with details about Cosby admitting in a legal proceeding to drugging women in order to have sex with them, at least one such college is reconsidering.

Central State University, in Ohio, released this statement: "Recent revelations regarding Mr. Bill Cosby’s activities in past decades have postured [sic] Central State University to re-examine its decision to maintain the Cosby name on one of its buildings. Although the Cosby name on the campus radio station is representative of the Cosby family, we are extremely sensitive of the effect that it may have on students, alums and the community. The maintenance or removal of the Cosby name will be discussed appropriately and actions relative to the final decision will occur immediately. Central State University is committed to protecting and preserving the rights and dignity of all people. The very unfortunate circumstances of the Cosby situation are troublesome and disappointing to all."

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