Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

June 30, 2014

Faculty leaders are questioning why Lloyd Jacobs will be receiving $1.3 million in the three years after he leaves the University of Toledo presidency, The Toledo Blade reported. Jacobs will finish at Toledo today, and his departure was announced only June 20. Little has been said by Jacobs or the university about his speedy departure. Faculty leaders say that the large sums seem particularly inappropriate in light of the lack of raises for professors in the last three years.

 

June 30, 2014

The American Legislative Exchange Council, a group known by its acronym ALEC that drafts model state legislation that is frequently used by conservative legislators, has its eye on higher education. Draft legislation that will be considered at ALEC's annual meeting would require all public four-year institutions to offer a $10,000 degree and would require that 10 percent of all degrees be awarded through this model. The legislation specifies that states could achieve these savings through online and competency education.

 

June 30, 2014

A bill passed by Hawaii legislators but not yet signed or vetoed by the governor has prompted two members to quit the University of Hawaii Board of Regents, the Associated Press reported. The regents said that they were not opposed to transparency or some financial reporting, but that the bill would make their personal financial information public in a way they found inappropriate.

June 30, 2014

More than half of the students at Martin Community College have signed a petition calling for the ouster of President Ann Britt, WNCT News reported. The students say that the president has denied their funding requests, and has decided by herself on spending that should be focused on student needs. Both the college's board and the North Carolina community college board reported receiving complaints about Britt, and said that they were investigating them. Britt said that she could not comment on the allegations until she consulted a lawyer.

 

June 30, 2014

One of the private colleges singled out by the U.K. Minister of Security and Immigration, James Brokenshire, in his Tuesday remarks to Parliament about abuse of the student visa system is disputing the minister’s account, Times Higher Education reported. Brokenshire said in his remarks that 290 students at the London School of Business and Finance had worked last year despite lacking authorization to do so, but the school said its analysis of the files of 213 students flagged by U.K. immigration authorities showed that 198 of them had permission to work (the college said it didn’t recognize the 290 figure cited in the minister’s comments).

The U.K.’s main security agency, known as the Home Office, did not respond to Times Higher Education's request for comment. The Home Office has suspended the licenses to host international students for 57 private colleges, including the London School of Business and Finance. 

June 30, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Volkan Topalli, associate professor of criminal justice and criminology at Georgia State University, profiles the effect that switching government assistance funds from cash to credit cards has on street crime. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

June 27, 2014

Good news for employees in the University of California System who enjoy a range of transportation and lodging options: Peer-to-peer services such as Airbnb, Lyft and Uber aren't banned after all.

"There was no decision from [the university system]," a spokeswoman said in response to news -- based on an email the University of California at Los Angeles sent to employees -- that services had been banned for "insurance concerns."

"We are, however, reviewing and evaluating issues revolving around the safety and security of our employees when they use such services," according to a statement from the Office of the President. "We are actively seeking ways to overcome potential liability and safety concerns and would like to work proactively with companies such as these to get everyone to a point of complete comfort with the risks involved."

June 27, 2014

The California State Auditor on Thursday issued a scathing report on the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC), the regional accreditor that has come under fire for its handling of the City College of San Francisco crisis.

The auditor's office said the commission acted in an inconsistent manner with its decision to terminate City College's accreditation. The report found that City College was given less time to come into compliance than were other institutions. It also criticized the commission for a lack of transparency.

In its recommendations, the auditor said the California community college system's chancellor should consider the possibility of finding a new accrediting body for the state's 112 community colleges. A spokesperson for the system said a single accreditor is the best approach, and that having multiple accreditors operate in the state would "create a number of distracting challenges."

The commission fired back at the auditor's findings, saying in a written statement that the state agency lacks the authority and expertise to audit the commission. "While the analysts attempted to be thorough," the commission said, "the lack of expertise in accreditation regulations and practice created difficulties."

In January the U.S. Department of Education renewed the commission's recognition. That process, which occurs every five years, gives accreditors the authority to act as gatekeepers for federal financial aid.

June 27, 2014

The June 27 edition of our weekly audio newscast featured William Durden and Ann Kirschner -- college leaders with experience in for-profit higher education and at liberal arts institutions -- in a discussion about pressures on both sectors. They spoke with Inside Higher Ed's Doug Lederman and the moderator Casey Green about the apparent demise of Corinthian Colleges and the federal government's role in hastening it, and about a new study asserting that while private liberal arts colleges themselves may be declining, the liberal arts live on -- especially in honors colleges and other expanding programs at public institutions. Stream or download the program here.

Click here to sign up for an email reminder about each week's program.

June 27, 2014

Eleven Democratic Senators joined Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois in calling on the U.S. Department of Education to freeze new enrollments at Corinthian Colleges' 107 campuses. The for-profit chain is currently negotiating a plan to teach out or sell its Heald College, Everest and WyoTech brands. The group of senators also asked the department to prevent any for-profit that is facing state or federal investigations to participate in the phasing-out of Corinthian's campuses.

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