University of Detroit Jesuit, Detroit, Michigan
Orchard Lake St. Mary's Preparatory, Orchard Lake, Michigan
Novi Detroit Catholic Central, Novi, Michigan
Brother Rice High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan.
Birmingham Public Schools, Birmingham, Michigan
Westwood Community School District, Dearborn, Dearborn Heights, Inkster, Michigan
The Roeper School, Birmingham and Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Cranbrook Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Marian High School, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Academy of the Sacred Heart, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan
Mercy High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan
Notre Dame Preparatory, Pontiac, Michigan
Regina High School, Warren, Michigan
Lincoln Consolidated Schools, Ypsilanti, Michigan
Grosse Pointe Public School System, Grosse Pointe, Michigan
Oakland Accelerated College Experience, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Opportunity Academy, Oakland County, Michigan
Oakland Schools Technical Campuses, Oakland County, Michigan
Virtual Learning Academy Consortium, Michigan
Bloomfield Hills Schools, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. Comprehensive education at its finest.
Everest Collegiate High School and Academy. Clarkston, Michigan. An Authentic Catholic School of Distinction.
Oakland Christian School, Auburn Hills, Michigan. Oakland Christian School engages students in a rigorous and relevant education
Greenhills School, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Academic foundation for success.
Utica Community Schools, Image the Potential.
Lake Orion Community Schools, Lake Orion, Michigan. Providing an exemplary education for all learners
Shrine Catholic Schools, Royal Oak, Michigan. Faith. Family. Future.
Berkley School District, Berkley, Huntington Woods, Oak Park, Michigan. Engage. Inspire. Achieve.
AIM High School, Farmington Hills, Michigan. Aim High is a 6th-12th grade, tuition-based private school that provides an educational alternative
Parkway Christian School, Sterling Heights, Michigan. Challenging Minds. Capturing Hearts. Cultivating Gifts.
Franklin Road Christian School, Novi, Michigan. a K-12, coeducational, college-preparatory school with a nondenominational Christian philosophy.
Southfield Christian, Southfield, Michigan. Pursuing Excellence for the Glory of God.
Plymouth Christian, Canton, Michigan. A non-denominational, college preparatory Christian school

Despite calls for resignation, Michigan State's trustees say they're not going anywhere

Michigan State University has seen an administrative upheaval over the last several weeks as the fallout from former MSU doctor Larry Nassar's sexual abuse continues, with its president, athletic director and other officials stepping aside amid public outcry and a series of outside investigations. But the backbone of university leadership - members of the school's publicly elected Board of Trustees - have remained, despite calls from the MSU community, victims of Larry Nassar and others throughout the country for new representation.  (MLive)

Related stories:

> MLive: Students, professor urge Michigan State trustees to 'step down'

> Lansing State Journal: People called Lou Anna Simon one of MSU's best presidents. Then came Larry Nassar.

> Detroit News: Engler’s first moves costly at MSU

 

U-M Dearborn chancellor to step down after 18 years on the job

For his monthly report to the University of Michigan regents, Dearborn campus Chancellor Daniel Little wanted to do what he normally does — highlight something going on at his campus that showcased its metropolitan impact. So, for the February meeting last Thursday, Little talked about how students had taken data for the Dearborn fire department to analyze where the best location for a new fire station would be. After bragging on the students for a few minutes, Little paused, chuckled and said: I live in Dearborn, so I'm very interested in improving fire coverage.  (Detroit Free Press)

 

The higher education legacy of our presidents — and how to carry that forward

In the current climate of anti-intellectualism, Presidents’ Day provides a valuable opportunity to reaffirm the deep connections between higher education and democracy and the efforts of U.S. presidents in support of our colleges and universities. The founding of the United States and the rise of American colleges and universities are inextricably linked, and U.S. presidents have played an important role in cultivating those institutions and shaping the role they played in strengthening the nation. Our first five presidents provided important early leadership in education: (Washington Post)

 

After 2016 Election, Campus Hate Crimes Seemed to Jump. Here’s What the Data Tell Us.

In the charged weeks after the election of Donald J. Trump, analysts and advocacy groups noted a rise in reports of hate crimes. Colleges seemed to be seeing that rise as much as any public spaces. Anecdotal evidence suggested that acts of campus harassment and violence were on the upswing. (The Chronicle collected much of that evidence in a running roundup.) There was a grim logic behind the anecdotes: As spaces often populated by the religious and ethnic minority groups Trump pilloried during his bruising campaign, college campuses were natural incubators for conflict. Many campus incidents, in fact, involved references to the president-elect. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Michigan State faculty vote no confidence in board, in wake of Nassar scandal

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Faculty at Michigan State University issued an emphatic vote of no confidence in the board of trustees Tuesday afternoon in the wake of a sex abuse scandal that rocked the school. At an emergency meeting, the Faculty Senate voted overwhelmingly — 61 to 4 — that it lacked confidence in the trustees, with results greeted by loud applause. The public university has been in turmoil since scores of young women accused an MSU sports medicine doctor of molesting them. (Washington Post)

Related stories:

> Chronicle of Higher Education: Michigan State’s Faculty Senate Votes No Confidence in Embattled Trustees

> Deadline Detroit: Blanchard: 'Preposterous' That MSU Offered President Raise Amid Nassar Scandal

> Lansing State Journal: Blanchard: MSU choice of Engler was driven by potential state aid loss

> Detroit News: MSU faculty no confidence vote result of ‘hurt, pain’

> Detroit News: MSU to pay Blanchard law firm $50,000 a month

 

The 7 Things Students Think About When Choosing a College

What happens when a high-school student from a low-income family wants to attend a private college 100 miles away, but has a parent whispering in her ear to look closer to home? The "Survey of Admitted Students: Targeting Yield Strategies," may provide some answers, as well as more questions. The report, produced by Eduventures, a consulting company, and written by Kim Reid, a principal analyst there, distilled insights from more than 100,000 high-school students nationwide. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Winners and Losers in Work-Study Plan

House Republicans’ rewrite of the Higher Education Act was a dud in almost all respects for student aid advocates and higher education associations. But in its proposal for the Federal Work-Study formula, the bill appeared to deliver on calls to make the program’s funding allocation more equitable. The work-study formula has long been criticized for unfairly favoring elite private colleges in the Northeast. Under the PROSPER Act -- as House Republicans have deemed their bill -- those are the institutions that would lose out the most on funding, according to an analysis by the American Council on Education. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

College Debt, Without the Degree

Alduha Leon wanted to earn a degree in marine science from Savannah State University. But between classes during the day, and night shifts at the Atlanta airport loading luggage onto planes, he was exhausted. He felt broke all the time. After three years, he dropped out. “Not having money and just the whole school thing like, man, it was so stressful,” Leon says. “If I don’t have to be in debt, I won’t. I’d just rather do something else.” Leon was the first person in his family to go to college. His income is low enough that he qualified for a federal Pell grant, but even so, he’d taken out more than $20,000 in loans to afford three years of school.

 

Michigan State faculty plan to vote on whether they have confidence in leadership, in wake of Nassar scandal

Faculty at Michigan State University are scheduled Tuesday afternoon to debate whether they have lost confidence in the university’s leadership in the wake of a sex abuse scandal. At an emergency meeting, the Faculty Senate is expected to consider a no-confidence vote on the board of trustees. The public university has been in turmoil since scores of young women accused an MSU sports-medicine doctor of molesting them. (Washington Post)

Related stories:

> Detroit News: MSU faculty poised to vote no confidence in trustees

> Detroit Free Press: Michigan State hires former Gov. Jim Blanchard's firm to lobby in D.C.

> Detroit News: MSU taps Blanchard firm amid conflict of interest fears

 

Harvard Picks Former Tufts President as Its New Leader

Harvard University has chosen for its 29th president a veteran leader of elite colleges. Lawrence S. Bacow, a former president of Tufts University, will succeed Drew Gilpin Faust in July, the university announced on Sunday. Before he became president at Tufts, Bacow spent 24 years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where was chair of the faculty and then chancellor, a senior academic post. And today Bacow holds the Hauser Leader-in-Residence position at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Center for Public Leadership. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Harvard names Mich. native as president

 

$1.5 Million to Get Into an Ivy

In 2005, Inside Higher Ed reported that a leading private college consultant was charging $9,999 each to 10 attendees for a weekend "boot camp" on college admissions. The idea that parents would pay that kind of money for a few days of advice stunned and appalled many. These days, $9,999 may be pocket change in the world of elite college consulting. A lawsuit filed last week by Ivy Coach revealed that it charged a woman in Vietnam $1.5 million to help her daughter apply to 22 elite colleges, as well as seven top boarding schools she sought to attend in high school, before applying to college. The fee was worth it, the lawsuit says. In December, an (unnamed) Ivy League institution granted the daughter early admission. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

MSU faculty, students say they're 'horrified' by school's handling of Nassar scandal

Faculty members of Michigan State University's College of Education called for an administrative shakeup at the university today over the handling of the Larry Nassar scandal, asking that interim president John Engler step down and for every board member should resign. During a march and rally that ended at the Hannah Administration Building on campus Tuesday, College of Education associate professor Terah Chambers said faculty and staff at the college are protesting the university administration's lack of respect for the MSU community and its failure to listen to concerns of faculty, staff and students. (MLive)

Related stories:

> Detroit Free Press: Michigan State faculty, students demand Engler's resignation

> Detroit News: Engler protests investigators’ surprise visit at MSU

 

The False Choice Between Education and Employment Readiness

Over 50 years ago, with the creation of Pell Grants and federal student loan programs, college access became a national priority for higher education. In the last decade, a broad agreement has emerged that institutions also need to do more to help students complete their degrees. These targets of college access and completion are now taken for granted as guiding goals for postsecondary institutions. But institutions now need to focus more on a third key goal for our students: employment readiness. Fortunately, a shift is already under way as institutions focus on all three components: college access, completion and employment readiness. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

Security Costs Loom Larger in Campus Free-Speech Fights. A Lawsuit Shows Why.

The University of Washington’s College Republicans sued the university late Tuesday over its decision to charge the group $17,000 in security fees for a planned rally this weekend featuring a controversial conservative speaker. The group called the fees “draconian and unreasonable” and argued that requiring sponsors to cover such costs is an illegal restriction on protected speech. The university says that the fees are based on a number of objective factors, including threats of violence, and that even $17,000 probably won’t cover the cost of securing the event. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

DeVos’s Education Dept. Relaxed Rules for For-Profits Under Accreditor That Closed

As a controversial accreditor of for-profit colleges sought new federal recognition, the Department of Education relaxed requirements for institutions affected by its loss of that recognition. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools, or Acics, was stripped of its federal recognition in late 2016, after reports of shoddy oversight and a department analysis that found the accrediting council had failed to comply with more than 20 areas of federal regulation. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

A Crash Course in Crisis Communication

Opinion: At a conference in 2011 I was talking with several higher-education administrators about who we thought were the most successful college presidents. Graham B. Spanier of Pennsylvania State and Lou Anna K. Simon of Michigan State were both mentioned. Now their legacies have been eclipsed by the one thing they did not immediately and aggressively stop: the harming of innocent young people. Contrary to what you may have read, they fell not just because of a sclerotic bureaucracy, poisonous local sports cultures, CYA attitudes among administrators, or bad advice. They fell because they failed to pay heed to the essentials of crisis communication. Here are some tips for avoiding their fate: (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Related stories:

> MLive: Engler urges cooperation with all Nassar-related investigations at Michigan State

> MLive: Michigan State faculty, students to call for resignation of Engler, trustees

> MLive: Engler announces first staff appointment at Michigan State

> Bridge: MSU trustee defends Engler hire despite past differences with governor

> Detroit Free Press: MSU alum Peters: Engler not best choice for MSU in wake of Nassar scandal

> Detroit News: Give Engler chance to stabilize MSU

> Detroit News: Thousands head to MSU forum in wake of scandal

 

A New Leader in the Push for Diversity of Thought on Campus

As of this year, more than 1,500 college professors and a couple hundred graduate students have joined Heterodox Academy, a nonprofit founded in 2015 on the premise that research and teaching suffer when college campuses lack diverse viewpoints. Amid recent tumult in academia, where student protests have been common and clashes over free speech and intellectual inquiry have made national headlines, these academics agreed with the view that university life requires encountering different perspectives in an environment where people are free to constructively challenge one another. (Atlantic)

 

MSU hires Engler; faculty vows no-confidence vote

East Lansing — The Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to choose former Gov. John Engler as interim Michigan State University president in a bid to steady the school after the Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. Engler, a Republican who graduated from the university with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics, was Michigan’s governor from 1991 to 2003 and will now lead MSU during a troubled time of intense public scrutiny and criticism in the aftermath of convicted doctor Nassar’s two decades of sexual abuse. (Detroit News)

Related stories:

> Detroit News: Sponsor pulls logo; others weigh future with MSU

 

Med school doesn’t have to lead to crushing debt

Even as applicants receive admission offers from medical schools, many of those students are worrying about how to pay for such an expensive education. But there is an alternative to debt, these school officials argue. Arthur L. Kellermann is dean and Aaron Saguil is associate dean for recruitment and admissions at the Hébert School of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, in Bethesda, Md. This essay was first published in Health Affairs. Their views are their own and do not necessarily represent those of the university, the Department of Defense or the U.S. government. (Washington Post)

 

MSU board picks former governors Engler, Blanchard to run embattled university

LANSING – In two separate meetings Monday night, several Michigan State University board members discussed the state of the university with two prominent alumni — former governors John Engler and Jim Blanchard. By the end of the night, the board was locked in — John Engler would be the interim president of the university, with Blanchard coming on board as a senior adviser to work with government relations and legal affairs. The board will meet at 9 a.m. Wednesday to make the moves official, according to multiple sources with direct knowledge of the discussions. Engler and Blanchard did not return phone calls seeking comment Tuesday. (Detroit Free Press)

Related stories:

> Lansing State Journal: MSU faculty leaders threaten no-confidence vote if Engler appointed interim president

> Detroit News: Engler to lead MSU as interim president

> MLive: Republicans praise, Democrats question Engler pick for interim Michigan State president

> MLive: Former Gov. John Engler to lead Michigan State University as interim president

> MLive: Nassar's first public accuser 'beyond disappointed' with decision to name Engler interim president at Michigan State

 

At Michigan State, a Shaken Campus Struggles Through Its Shame

On Thursday, copies of Michigan State University’s campus newspaper sat in a stack atop the desk of Lorenzo Santavicca, the student-body president. He grabbed one and held it up. A teal banner under the nameplate read, in all caps: “Can you hear them now?” Printed underneath the banner were 156 names — all women and girls who had bravely read statements over the previous week about the horrific sexual abuse they endured at the hands of Larry Nassar. Their stories shook the world. Even more profoundly, their stories shook the campus. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Related stories:

> Detroit Free Press: Michigan State University Board of Trustees to meet Wednesday

> Detroit News: Former AD Baker: Penalties for MSU ‘cultural problem’ could be very high

> Detroit News: MSU investigates ex-athletic rep over ’90s relationship

 

Moody’s warns that lackluster state support will strain public university budgets

Paltry state investment in higher education could strain the budgets of public colleges and universities this year, with small schools bearing the brunt, Moody’s Investors Service said Monday. In a note to investors, the credit rating agency said marginal increases in state funding are a “credit negative” for public colleges and universities, meaning the limited financial support could be a factor in future ratings. The warning arrives on the heels of a bleak report on state appropriations from the Grapevine survey conducted by Illinois State University’s Center for the Study of Education Policy and the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. Results released last week show state funding for public higher education increased by 1.6 percent for the 12 months ending June 2018, the lowest annual growth in the last five years. (Washington Post)

 

MSU’s world is collapsing

Opinion: The Jenga blocks are falling into an ugly heap at Michigan State University, and divining the pieces reveals an insular culture that prioritizes protecting its athletic programs over assuring the safety of its students. In the few short days since President Lou Ann Simon was forced to resign for her mishandling of the Dr. Larry Nassar molestation scandal, vaunted Athletic Director Mark Hollis also announced his retirement. And it was reported by the Lansing State Journal that MSU hid the full report of a Title IX complaint filed by a gymnast who said she was assaulted by Nassar in 2014. The short summary made public did not indicate Nassar’s treatment was medically suspect. The full report clearly raised such serious concerns. As a result of the cover-up, Nassar was allowed to continue seeing — and abusing — girls and young women for another two years. (Detroit News)

Related stories:

> Detroit Free Press: Will kids still apply to Michigan State University after Larry Nassar case?

> ESPN: Michigan State secrets extend far beyond Larry Nassar case

> Chronicle of Higher Education: At Michigan State, a Shaken Campus Struggles Through Its Shame

> Inside Higher Ed: Trustees Take Heat

 

Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness

NEW HAVEN — On Jan. 12, a few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, “Psychology and the Good Life,” roughly 300 people had signed up. Within three days, the figure had more than doubled. After three more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled. The course, taught by Prof. Laurie Santos, 42, a psychology professor and the head of one of Yale’s residential colleges, tries to teach students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life in twice-weekly lectures. “Students want to change, to be happier themselves, and to change the culture here on campus,” Dr. Santos said in an interview. (New York Times)

 

After the Nassar sentencing, a silent reckoning at Michigan State

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Mackenzie Mrla brought spray paint, a blanket and green Michigan State mittens to ward off the biting cold. But someone had already repainted the university’s rock, a rough boulder by the river that is by turns a billboard, a rousing sideline cheer and a plaintive glimpse into the university’s collective soul. It had a quiet message Thursday evening. “Thank you,” it read, simply, with a heart. Next to that was a long list, names carefully traced in, of the more than 150 women who had told their stories about a university doctor. For days, the words — and tears, fury and revulsion — spilled out from a courtroom nearby as the women confronted the onetime physician, Larry Nassar, at his sentencing. (Washington Post)

Related stories:

> Washington Post: ‘We failed you’: Michigan State board members apologize to Nassar victims, with tears

> Chronicle of Higher Education: How an Army of Survivors Toppled a President

> Inside Higher Ed: Post-Presidency Benefits at Michigan State

> MLive: Gov. Snyder considering whether 'action' against Michigan State board appropriate

> MLive: What's inside Michigan State athletic director Mark Hollis' contract

> MLive: Betsy DeVos vows to hold Michigan State accountable for any federal violations stemming from Nassar scandal

> Deadline Detroit: MSU Just Another Example of an Institution Caring Too Much About Itself

> Detroit Free Press: Fair or not, everyone at Michigan State being scrutinized

> Detroit Free Press: Culture of silence on sexual assaults extends past Michigan State University's athletics

> Detroit News: Schuette names special prosecutor in Nassar probe

> Detroit News: MSU hid details of Title IX report from Nassar victim

> Detroit News: Snyder reviewing options for action at MSU

 

When Is a President Accountable for What She Didn't Know?

For seven days, dozens of young women and teenagers stepped into a Michigan courtroom that was suddenly a national stage, delivering harrowing accounts of sexual abuse they suffered at the hands of former American gymnastics team and Michigan State University doctor Larry Nassar. They spoke of how abuse they endured as young athletes has affected them for years. They spoke of attempting to report Nassar to authority figures, and they spoke about what they see as the failure of Michigan State to properly investigate complaints about him and protect more children from abuse. On Wednesday, the last of the 156 women spoke. She was Rachael Denhollander, the first to publicly accuse Nassar. (Inside Higher Ed)

Related stories:

> Detroit Free Press: Simon's resignation from MSU comes with lifetime of perks

> Detroit News: Lou Anna Simon resigns: What's next for MSU?

> Deadline Detroit: No Talk of a Misstep: Lou Anna Simon's Odd, Much-Unsaid Farewell Letter to MSU

> Deadline Detroit: MSU Farewell Is 'Arrogant, Gutless, Insensitive and Irresponsible'

 

How College May Actually Limit Students’ Exposure to Different Religions

A commonly accepted narrative is that students are exposed to diverse religious perspectives for the first time while in college. A new study says that the opposite may be true. Students are engaging with other students of diverse religious backgrounds before college, but after their first year, their engagement is dropping, the study found.First-year students came to college expecting to have conversations, experiences, and engagements with people across the spectrum of religious diversity, but that didn’t happen, according to results from the Interfaith Diversity Experiences & Attitudes Longitudinal Survey, administered by Interfaith Youth Core, a national nonprofit group. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Michigan State students plan protest amid Nassar scandal, but a trustee says president won’t resign

The embattled president of Michigan State University is facing increasing pressure to resign as controversy engulfs the school over its handling of a prominent physician who has pleaded guilty to sex crimes against gymnasts. Some faculty leaders called for a no-confidence vote this week, and hundreds of students say they will march Friday to the school’s administration building, calling on Lou Anna K. Simon to step down. “We will literally be at her doorstep,” confronting her, said Eli Pales, a junior from Colorado speaking for the Michigan State University College Democrats, who are helping organize the protest. “We feel there has been a huge mishandling of the Larry Nassar case,” including a lack of transparency about what university officials knew, and did, about complaints, and a lack of empathy for victims, Pales said. (Washington Post)

Related stories:

> Chronicle of Higher Education: Many Want Michigan State’s President to Resign. Here’s Why She Still Has Campus Support. (Paywall)

> Detroit Free Press: 'Full review' of Michigan State's role in Nassar case coming, Schuette says

> Detroit Free Press: MSU trustee Joel Ferguson 'deeply regrets the inadvertent comment' in Larry Nassar case

> Detroit News: NCAA opens investigation into MSU in Nassar scandal

> Detroit News: MSU reviewing NCAA letter for response

 

Outlook for Higher Ed in 2018 Is Bleak, Ratings Agency Says

Higher education will face many of the same challenges in 2018 that it has in previous years, but additional state and federal pressures suggest a bleak outlook for the sector this year, according to the ratings agency Standard and Poor’s. “S&P Global Ratings believes institutions with limited flexibility, whether that be in programming, financial operations, enrollment, resources, or student draw, could face credit pressure in the upcoming year,” analysts for the ratings agency wrote in a report issued on Tuesday. (Chronicle of Higher Educaton)

 

George Ross stepping down as CMU president

Citing the birth of his first grandchild as a motivation, Central Michigan University President George Ross has announced his retirement after 13 years in leadership and eight as president. “Serving as Central Michigan University’s 14th president these past eight years has been the most rewarding professional experience of my life,” Ross said in a letter to the CMU community released at noon Monday. “All of us — students, faculty, staff, trustees, alumni, friends, and corporate and community partners — have joined together with compassion and dedication to create academic excellence. Our efforts have created the experiences that prepare CMU students for careers, life and leadership roles across the state, nation and world.” (Dearborn Press & Guide)

 

Are states doing enough to regulate for-profit colleges? This study says no.

California has an extensive set of laws and regulations governing for-profit colleges, new research shows, but most states fall short in their oversight of the sector. The study, released Monday by the Children’s Advocacy Institute at the University of San Diego School of Law, documents differences among states in how well their laws protect students from bad actors in the for-profit college industry. Researchers judged states using seven criteria, such as enforcement, disclosure requirements, complaint processes and the transparency of their regulatory agencies. Forty-three states, including Maryland and Virginia, earned failing grades. Six others received a D, while California alone scored a B for its oversight of for-profit schools. (Washington Post)

 

Michigan State’s Abuse Scandal Draws Comparisons to Penn State’s

As sexual-abuse victims continue to testify at the sentencing of Larry Nassar, the former Michigan State University professor and USA Gymnastics physician, many people have compared the case to the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse scandal that shocked Penn State a little over six years ago.

In November 2011, prosecutors charged Mr. Sandusky, the Nittany Lions former defensive coordinator, with dozens of counts of molesting young boys (he was later convicted on most of those counts and was effectively sentenced to spend the rest of his life in prison). (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

As Calls for Her Resignation Escalate, Michigan State Trustees Stand By Their President

It has seemed, recently, that nearly everyone wants Lou Anna K. Simon, president of Michigan State University, to resign. Student-government leaders. State lawmakers. Newspaper editorial boards. But the people who control her fate, the university’s trustees, have held firm. Ms. Simon, they reiterated on Friday, is the “right leader” to steer Michigan State through one of the biggest sex-abuse scandals in sports history.“ (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Related stories:

> Chronicle of Higher Education: After Report That 14 Knew of Doctor’s Abuse, Renewed Calls for Michigan State President to Resign

> MLive: Michigan State board's support of President Simon makes 'university look bad,' students say

> Deadline Detroit: MSU 'Crisis Will Only Grow in Intensity'

> Detroit News: Lawmakers call for MSU’s Simon to resign

> Detroit News: Trustees back Simon, ask AG to investigate MSU

> Detroit News: MSU student paper urges Simon’s resignation

 

Michigan State agrees to let Richard Spencer give a speech on campus

Michigan State University will allow white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus in March, after settling a lawsuit brought by a supporter. “This is a resounding First Amendment victory for people of the right-wing or alternative-right political persuasion,” Kyle Bristow, the attorney who brought the case against the school, said Thursday. “It stabs at the very heart of left-wing censorship in academia. I look forward to procuring many more legal victories like this one in the years to come.” (Washington Post)

Related stories:

> MLive: Richard Spencer to speak at Michigan State on March 5

 

Why Aren't College Students Using Career Services?

One summer, a group of students with research jobs on campus, including myself, met up at a Thai restaurant in our college’s small town. This was our third free dinner of the week. Our school’s career center was hiring a new member for its team and wanted each candidate on its short list to meet with actual students. Naturally, the staff enticed us with the promise of free meals. With our lists of questions suggested by the career center, we would grill each candidate, asking the prospective hire questions about topics such as how they’d manage their time and their strategies for keeping professional boundaries with students. (Atlantic)

 

Trump administration further weakens rule to regulate career-training programs

The U.S. Department of Education on Friday reduced the amount of information career-training programs must disclose to students under an Obama-era rule the Trump administration plans to rewrite. The rule, known as gainful employment, threatens to withhold student aid from vocational programs that have graduates who consistently end up with more debt than they can repay. It requires schools to let students know about costs, graduate earnings, job placement and graduation rates to help them make informed decisions. Schools are supposed to also let people know if a program is at risk of becoming ineligible to receive federal student aid, but guidance issued by the department gives institutions more leeway. (Washington Post)

 

If you thought colleges making the SAT optional would level the playing field, think again

When colleges and universities began to make the SAT an optional part of the admissions process, the hope was that it would expand access to the nation’s most selective institutions to groups that had historically been shut out. The reality is — at least at selective liberal arts colleges — the decision by a growing number of colleges to make the SAT optional does not appear to be the great equalizer that many hoped it would be. (Salon)

 

The Students Who Don’t Believe College Is an Option

TULARE, Calif.—Here in California’s heavily Latino agricultural heart, Adrian Lopez has worked on farms and in construction. Now he’s doing something few people like him from around here ever do: He’s going to college. Overshadowed by attention to the challenges faced by nonwhite high-school graduates in cities, low-income black, Hispanic, and Native American students in rural areas like this are equally unlikely to go on to college. Factor in the higher dropout rate among nonwhite students in rural high schools, and the odds that black and Hispanic students from areas like this will ever earn degrees are just as low as for their urban counterparts. (Atlantic)

 

Former Columbia U. Financial-Aid Director Is Accused of Taking Hundreds of Thousands in Kickbacks

Aformer director of financial aid at Columbia University was arrested on Thursday and accused of scamming the institution and pocketing hundreds of thousands of federal student-aid dollars. Melanie Williams-Bethea, who was until 2017 the financial-aid director at Columbia’s Teachers College, orchestrated illegitimate stipends, scholarships, and loans from 2008 to 2017, taking $350,000 in kickbacks from fraudulent aid payments, the Associated Press reported, citing a complaint filed in Manhattan federal court. She now faces conspiracy, bribery, and fraud charges, along with three other defendants. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Hate groups make unprecedented push to recruit on college campuses

White supremacist and neo-Nazi groups in America had a goal for 2017: Leave the virtual confines of online forums and social media platforms and occupy physical space. It was an objective they shared often and freely in interviews and online postings. They wanted to serve notice that their movement was a force to be reckoned with and its adherents were not simply shadowy Internet lurkers but real people — most of them young and male — who were not afraid to show their faces or proclaim their messages. (Washington Post)

 

We can’t let cynics ruin college

Opinion: Across the political spectrum, too many Americans have lost faith in college education. Liberals and conservatives have few talking points in common, but they have come to agree on this: Campuses have replaced teaching and learning with indoctrination and political posturing. That should trouble us all. If U.S. higher education comes to be seen first and foremost as a political endeavor, the country as a whole will suffer. When education is framed as necessarily partisan, only cynicism triumphs. And cynicism is what we see growing on the left and the right in the United States. (Washington Post)

 

Here's How A Student Loan Debt Relief Company Preyed On Its Customers

In the shadowy world of the student loan debt industry, even the companies that call themselves the good guys sometimes deal in the darkness. The Student Loan Assistance Center has positioned itself as a model actor in the country's troubled tangle of student debt settlement companies. But for years, it misled and overcharged desperate student loan borrowers, mishandled accounts, and sometimes lied on federal documents, according to four of the company’s former employees. The employees, along with documents and legal filings from a consumer protection lawsuit, paint a picture of a business with a cutthroat, Wild West sales environment that fostered the mistreatment of some of the company's more than 30,000 customers — while spinning a broken student loan system into pure profit for its owners. (BuzzFeed)

 

Education Dept. awards debt-collection contract to company with ties to DeVos

A company that once had financial ties to Education Secretary Betsy DeVos was one of two firms selected Thursday by the Education Department to help the agency collect overdue student loans. The deal could be worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The decision to award contracts to Windham Professionals and Performant Financial Corp. — a company DeVos invested in before becoming secretary — arrives a month after a federal judge ordered the department to complete its selection of a loan collector to put an end to a messy court battle. Windham and Performant beat out nearly 40 other bidders for contracts valued at up to $400 million, but their win may be short-lived if the losing companies fight the decision. (Washington Post)

 

What Martin Luther King Jr. said about the problem with ‘so-called educated people’

Here, as I have published before to mark the federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr., are some of his writings related to the purpose of education and the U.S. government’s efforts toward educating its citizens. You will see that King was prescient on a lot of things, including the dangers of education reform that fails to focus on the conditions in which children live. Here’s an excerpt from “The Purpose of Education,” a piece he wrote in the February 1947 edition of the Morehouse College student newspaper, the Maroon Tiger: (Washington Post)

 

How merit-based college admissions became so unfair

Opinion: During World War I, chemist James Conant was deeply involved in research on what was considered the worst imaginable weapon: poison gas. During World War II, as a science adviser to President Franklin Roosevelt, Conant was so central to the development of the atomic bomb that he was at Alamogordo, N.M., on July 16, 1945. His most disruptive act, however, may have come in the interim when, as Harvard’s president, he helped put the university, and the nation, on the path toward a meritocracy by advocating adoption of the Scholastic Aptitude Test.  (Washington Post)

 

Police stand guard outside Florida university class on 'white racism'

A Florida university posted campus police outside a sociology class titled "White Racism" after the professor was flooded with harassing emails and messages -- some of them openly racist. "All that it takes is that one person to act on their views," said Ted Thornhill, assistant professor of sociology at Florida Gulf Coast University, in a phone call with CNN. "We've got to be cautious because you don't know what people are capable of." Tuesday was the first day of class, and there were no incidents reported. But Thornhill's course has been creating headlines, and controversy, since it was announced last fall. (CNN)

 

Gov. Brown proposes California's first fully online public community college

Gov. Jerry Brown wants California to launch its first fully online public community college to help 2.5 million young adults without college credentials gain skills for better jobs and greater economic mobility. In the 2018-19 budget plan he unveiled Wednesday, Brown proposed spending $120 million to open such a college by fall 2019, with a focus on short-term credential programs for careers in fields including advanced manufacturing, healthcare and child development. The governor is a longtime advocate of online learning, which he sees as more cost effective than traditional education. (Los Angeles Times)

 

Richard Spencer supporter sues university, calling security fee for campus speech unconstitutional

A supporter of white nationalist Richard Spencer sued the University of Cincinnati this week, claiming the school’s president violated Spencer’s right to free speech. It was the latest lawsuit seeking to force a public university to allow Spencer’s controversial message on campus. The school had agreed to allow Spencer to speak — something many universities declined to do in the days and weeks after Spencer led torch-bearing followers in a march at the University of Virginia that touched off a weekend of violent clashes in August. But University of Cincinnati officials required a nearly $11,000 security fee for the event, the suit claims. The room itself would cost just $500 to rent. (Washington Post)

 

The Paradox of Protecting Students

While nearly every day brings news of someone banished from the entertainment industry — Harvey Weinstein, Garrison Keillor, Louis C.K. — the situation in the academy is very different. Only a small number of tenured faculty members have lost their jobs in the wake of allegations of sexual harassment and assault. Of course, this isn’t a result of any lack of allegations. A crowdsourced survey on instances of sexual harassment organized by Karen L. Kelsky is at 1,900 responses and counting. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Department of Justice Probes Admissions Ethics Code

The U.S. Department of Justice has launched an investigation into whether the ethics code of the National Association for College Admission Counseling violates federal antitrust law. The department has sent information requests to NACAC and to professionals from various schools and colleges who were involved in drafting the new version of the ethics code, which was adopted last year. The letter from the department, a copy of which has been obtained by Inside Higher Ed, states that the investigation pertains to a possible agreement "to restrain trade among colleges and universities in the recruitment of students." (Inside Higher Ed)

 

No College Kid Needs a Water Park to Study

In a competition to woo students, public universities are increasingly offering lavish amenities that have nothing to do with education. The latest trend is lazy rivers, which have been installed at several big institutions, including the Universities of Alabama, Iowa and Missouri. Last year, Louisiana State University topped them all with a 536-foot-long “leisure” river in the shape of the letters “LSU,” part of an $85 million renovation and expansion of its gym. It was L.S.U. students who footed the bill. At a time when college has never been more expensive, this is the last thing students should be paying for. (Washington Post)

 

After Pledge's Death, Fraternity Is Banned for 10 Years in Pennsylvania

Pi Delta Psi, an Asian-American fraternity, has been barred, for 10 years, from operating in Pennsylvania after it was found guilty of aggravated assault and involuntary manslaughter in the 2013 death of a pledge at Baruch College, The New York Times reports. The hazing incident, in which Chun Hsien Deng was brutally beaten, occurred in Pennsylvania's Pocono Mountains. The strict sentence, by a state judge, Margherita Patti-Worthington, comes amid more rigorous prosecution of fraternity members involved in hazing deaths. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Attending an Elite College Is an Identity

There is an interesting exchange in Jonathan Haidt’s book The Righteous Mind in which Haidt describes being criticized by a graduate student for speaking about the positive social impacts of religious identity. “But religions are all exclusive,” the graduate student exclaimed, citing the dynamics of the Roman Catholic Church in particular. When Haidt pointed out that his graduate program rejected almost all of its applicants, the graduate student asking the question (who had likely won a place in a department because others had been rejected) seemed to think that this was part of the natural order of things, and not at all like the exclusive dimensions of religious identity. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

OCC takes 'interim' off chancellor's job description

Oakland Community College announced the appointment of Peter Provenzano to the position of chancellor. Provenzano joined Oakland Community College in 2014 as vice chancellor of administrative services and a key member of the college’s executive leadership team. Since May 2017, Provenzano has served as interim chancellor. The OCC Board of Trustees voted unanimously in favor of Provenzano to the position of chancellor. “The decision to offer the position to Mr. Provenzano reflects the board’s confidence both in his proven leadership abilities and his vision for the future,” OCC board Chair John P. McCulloch said. “He has been in the forefront of developing a long-range planning process that is responsive to the needs of our students and community.” (Observer & Eccentric)

 

Education Dept. Approves New Wave of Students’ Claims Against Corinthian Colleges

After months of delay, the Education Department is rolling out a new wave of rulings on claims submitted by former students at Corinthian Colleges who said they should be relieved of repaying their federal student loans because the now-defunct chain of for-profit colleges had defrauded them. The department announced on Wednesday that it had approved 12,900 borrower-defense claims, as they are known. It also denied 8,600 claims, many of which were presorted for denial during the Obama administration, according to two department officials. These are the first new approvals since the Trump administration took office. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Dozens more selective colleges join pledge to add lower-income students

Dozens more selective colleges and universities have joined a pact to recruit more students from low-to-moderate income families, nearly tripling the total that launched the effort a year ago. The American Talent Initiative, as it’s known, set a goal last year of adding 50,000 high-achieving students with significant financial need by 2025 at roughly 270 schools with high graduation rates. At the time, organizers of the effort said that would amount to an increase of about 12 percent. In December 2016, the initiative began with 30 members, including several Ivy League schools and state flagship universities. Now the total is up to 86. Newcomers include the University of Virginia, the rest of the Ivy League, Allegheny College, several University of California campuses and Wake Forest University. (Washington Post)

 

While others tear down monuments, some universities are building new ones

When Shae Omonijo started as an undergraduate at the University of Chicago, she ate most of her meals surrounded by large portraits of white men, famous founders and illustrious graduates of the college. Compared with back home in Baltimore, where many black leaders and activists are honored in public spaces, it seemed strange. Her friend Asya Akca had been struck by the lack of statues honoring women at home in Louisville. Over the years, through friendship, research and sheer doggedness, the two found a way to help make the center of student life at Chicago better reflect the campus. Last month, a sculpture of the first black woman to earn a doctorate at the prestigious university was unveiled. (Washington Post)

 

How Western Michigan University plans to reverse its enrollment decline

KALAMAZOO, MI -- When President Edward Montgomery took over at Western Michigan University in August, he put turning the university's downward enrollment trend near the top of his to-do list. During his first State of the University address in October, he said Western's enrollment numbers and graduation rates were "not good enough," and that making it the "school of choice" was a top priority. Montgomery has since said part of his approach to attract students will include upgrading Western's "curb appeal" by replacing outdated residence halls. (MLive)

 

The Changing Landscape of Student Protest in Higher Education

Republicans came within striking distance of making graduate school much more expensive for more than 140,000 students who receive tuition waivers. The provision, which only passed in the House version of the tax bill, sparked a nationally coordinated opposition campaign that accomplished its goals amidst the bigger stories this month. The provision has been scrapped, but the new coalitions that formed in response will likely grow as bigger battles over student debt and other issues affecting college-goers are still to come. (Atlantic)

 

Graduate Students Escaped Tax Increases, but They Still Feel a Target on Their Backs

Samantha Hernandez was finishing up an argument for her dissertation about Latinos and affirmative action on Thursday when the emails started pouring in with the subject line “Congratulations.” President Trump had finished a celebratory news conference to announce the completion of a sweeping overhaul of the nation’s tax code, and graduate students were breathing a deep sigh of relief. House Republicans had targeted them for a hefty tax increase, one that many of them could not hope to pay, but they had escaped unscathed. The question now is this: Once lawmakers put a target on your back, are you ever really in the clear? (New York Times)

 

Lawrence Tech launches $3.5M scholarship program for Southfield students

Lawrence Technological University will set aside $3.5 million to provide 50 scholarships each year for Southfield Public School students planning to study science and technology at the university, officials said Tuesday. Lawrence Technological University President Virinder Moudgil and Southfield Interim Superintendent Derrick L. Lopez signed the memorandum of understanding to form the partnership in a ceremony Tuesday at the district's administration center.  “Our youngsters don’t know the opportunities that are actually here in our backyard,” Lopez said. “This is one of the most amazing and one of the best institutions in the country that puts out all kinds of engineers and scholars ... so to make it explicit for them and to create a pathway for them for grades six through grade 12 into LTU is exactly what we want to do for our kids who have sciences as a passion.” (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Oakland Press: LTU to offer scholarships to 50 Southfield Public Schools students per year

 

What is college for? (Hint: It’s not just about getting in.)

The holiday season for many is an anxious time, but for high school seniors facing application deadlines there is an extra level of worry. Although as youngsters many in this generation were routinely praised for almost everything they did or tried to do, suddenly as junior year rolls around, the messages change. Some are told that college is not for them and that they should do their best to get some short-term training for immediate job prospects. Others are encouraged to head off to a university or community college but discouraged from setting their sights too high. And some talented high school students vying for spots at selective institutions are advised to polish up their résumés with activities that admissions officers will find most exciting. Some are coached not to make any mistakes that might blemish their records; a fortunate few have tutors paid overtime to provide every advantage on what are fictitiously labeled “standardized” tests. (Washington Post)

 

ACT and College Board to Offer Free Test-Score Reports for Needy Students

Testing companies get a lot of scrutiny — and scorn. But sometimes they do something that’s bound to make people happy. No, really. On Wednesday the ACT announced that, as of next September, it will provide free score reports to low-income students who register for the ACT examination with a fee waiver. Those test takers will be able to send up to 20 free score reports, which will never expire, for each exam they take. Right now, all students can send their ACT scores to four colleges or scholarship agencies, free of charge, up to five days after taking the exam; each additional score report costs $13. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Student Loans, Bankruptcy and the Silence of Presidents

In the 13 years that I have been working on the student loan problem, I have personally yet to find even one instance where a college president has decried or even acknowledged the fact that bankruptcy protections, allowed in virtually all other instances, have been stripped distinctly from student loans. A decade ago, I engaged in a conversation with one president who, to my astonishment, was not even aware that this protection had been removed from student loans. After I informed him of that fact, he expressed genuine surprise. I suppose that was understandable 10 years ago. Today, however, such claims of ignorance would be hard to believe. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

Betsy DeVos halts debt relief for defrauded students

The U.S. Department of Education put a halt on student loan debt cancellations for student who were victims of fraud by for-profit colleges — leaving many students in the dark about their loan status without an official announcement, according to a new Reuters report. The debt cancellations were first approved in former President Obama’s final months of office, and aimed to reconcile loans given to those who attended California’s Corinthian Colleges, including the Heald, Wyotech and Everest campuses, which collapsed in 2015. According to the report, Betsy DeVos has also officially halted existing cancellations after months of speculation and concern. Senator Patty Murray, D-Wash., spoke out about the matter, attacking DeVos and her decision. (Salon)

 

House Speaker Tom Leonard calls on MSU president Lou Anna Simon to resign

State House Speaker Tom Leonard has called for MSU President Lou Anna Simon to resign, saying state legislators should consider withholding funding to the university during the budgeting process if questions remain about who at MSU knew what and when about Larry Nassar's admitted crimes.  "In light of your failing, it is time for the U.S. Department of Justice, the F.B.I., the Michigan State Police, and the Attorney General to put witnesses under oath, find out who knew what and when, and get to the bottom of what happened," the DeWitt Township Republican wrote in a Facebook post on Sunday aimed at Michigan State University. (Detroit Free Press)

Related stories:

> Detroit News: House speaker: MSU prez should resign over Nassar

> Chronicle of Higher Education: Why Is Michigan State’s President Facing Calls to Resign?

 

House GOP higher ed bill moves ahead, despite cries to slow down

House Republicans are pressing on with a sweeping overhaul of a federal law that governs almost every aspect of higher education, without hearings and despite mounting pressure to give stakeholders more time for analysis and input. On Tuesday, the House Committee on Education and the Workforce will debate and consider amendments to the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform Act, introduced by chair Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) and Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-Ky.). The “markup” is expected to take two days as Democrats and Republicans plan to introduce nearly 60 amendments, according to congressional staffers. (Washington Post)

 

For-profit colleges may be headed for a new boom cycle — thanks to the Trump administration

If what’s past is prologue, then it appears that we are seeing the beginning of yet another boom cycle for for-profit colleges at the cost of students and taxpayers.  While the recently unveiled House Republican higher education bill would also reopen the floodgates to fraud, waste and abuse, the Department of Education recently held hearings as part of the Trump administration’s campaign to dismantle two key regulations designed to ensure that unscrupulous colleges don’t prey on students and the federal student aid system. This campaign aims to reverse Obama administration efforts to guard against very poorly performing career college programs and misleading business practices that the for-profit sector challenged vehemently on Capitol Hill and in the courts. (Washington Post)

 

Big data could solve the college-dropout problem

America’s most famous college dropout thinks too many students are following his lead. Bill Gates, who left Harvard to found Microsoft, says it’s “tragic” that only half of the 2 million students who started college this fall will graduate. In a recent blog post, Gates hints at a solution: big data. Colleges have access to extraordinary amounts of data — not just on students’ academic performance, but also on their eating habits, social life and daily routines. Administrators could use such data to identify which students are at risk of dropping out and could then intervene to give them additional support. (Washington Post)

 

The GOP’s war on graduate students: How the House tax bill will make graduate school unaffordable

Anti-intellectualism has a long and inglorious history in the United States. It can be traced all the way back to the 1820s, when Andrew Jackson wrested the presidency away from John Q. Adams by saying that Adams "can write" and Jackson "can fight." By the 1960s, historian Richard Hofstadter penned the classic book "Anti-Intellectualism in American Life," and more recently, President Donald Trump has waged a war against scientific facts (as well as other kinds of knowledge) that has, unfortunately, served him quite well politically. Yet even in light of this background, the Republican effort to financially punish graduate students is still striking. If a nation is to produce quality scholars — that is, recruiting the best and brightest rather than merely the richest to write our books, conduct our research and teach in our classrooms — then we need to make sure higher level education is affordable to everyone. (Salon)

 

Executive Compensation at Private and Public Colleges

The Chronicle‘s executive-compensation package includes the latest data on more than 1,200 chief executives at more than 600 private colleges from 2008-15 and nearly 250 public universities and systems from 2010-16. Hover over bars to show total compensation as well as pay components including base, bonus, and other. Click bars to see details including other top-paid college employees, how presidents compare with their peers, and how presidential pay looks in context to an institution’s expenses, tuition, and pay for professors. Updated December 10, 2017, with 2015 private-college data. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Reversal on Graduate Lending

The GOP’s proposed update to the law governing higher education would force a U-turn for long-standing federal policies on graduate student lending. Students who pursue graduate degrees have been allowed to take out an unlimited amount in federal student loans since Congress authorized the Grad PLUS program in 2005. But the legislation proposed last week by Representative Virginia Foxx, the North Carolina Republican who chairs the House education committee, would cap annual borrowing amounts for grad students at $28,500 annually. The bill also would change benefits for borrowers by altering income-driven repayment options and eliminating Public Service Loan Forgiveness. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

FCC’s proposed Internet rules could raise college costs and hinder free exchange of ideas

The debate surrounding the Federal Communications Commission’s effort to revise the net neutrality rules has been heated and intense. Spurred by privacy advocates and late-night talk show hosts alike, the FCC’s rulemaking process received millions of unique comments, and drew the kind of national attention usually reserved for only the most contentious legislation. There are legitimate fears over what this effort will mean for privacy and consumer protection, but there are a set of much more immediate concerns that aren’t getting anywhere near the same level of attention — namely, the fact that this proposal will make college more expensive and more difficult for students. (Washington Post)

 

Retirement payout for Wayne County Community College District leader? More than $700,000

Should Curtis Ivery decide to step down from leading Wayne County Community College District when his contract is up in 2022, taxpayers will send him off with quite the retirement package — a deferred compensation check of more than $700,000,two annuities and a car, along with a state employee retirement benefit. If he decides to stay past 2022 — that payout will grow by at least $48,000 each year, according to a contract stuffed with one-of-a-kind provisions. (Detroit Free Press)

 

White supremacist's lawyer to U-M: 'We’ve been patient, but our patience has its limits'

A lawyer for white supremacist Richard Spencer would like to see his client on the University of Michigan's campus in late February or early March. "If a date between February 24 and March 4, 2018, will work for Richard Spencer’s speech on campus, we will need to know sooner rather than later so that travel arrangements can be made for the numerous involved parties who will need to obtain airfare, lodging, and ground transportation," according to an e-mail sent from Kyle Bristow, who is representing Spencer's organizers, to U-M's general counsel Timothy Lynch. Bristow shared the e-mail with the Free Press. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Spencer lawyer to UM: Set a speech date or we’ll sue

 

The World Might Be Better Off Without College for Everyone

I have been in school for more than 40 years. First preschool, kindergarten, elementary school, junior high, and high school. Then a bachelor’s degree at UC Berkeley, followed by a doctoral program at Princeton. The next step was what you could call my first “real” job—as an economics professor at George Mason University. Thanks to tenure, I have a dream job for life. Personally, I have no reason to lash out at our system of higher education. Yet a lifetime of experience, plus a quarter century of reading and reflection, has convinced me that it is a big waste of time and money. When politicians vow to send more Americans to college, I can’t help gasping, “Why? You want us to waste even more?” (Atlantic)

 

Henry Ford College names Satkowski interim chief

Henry Ford College has promoted one of its executives to interim president, officials said. The college's Board of Trustees has named John Satkowski, the Dearborn college's vice president of Financial, Facilities, and Auxiliary Services, to the post on Monday. He will take the helm of the school on Jan. 2 and will serve until a new president is appointed in the spring of 2018. The move comes after the college's president, Stanley E. Jensen, said he was resigning to take a job as executive vice president of College Operations for the Des Moines Area Community College in Ankeny, Iowa. (Detroit News)

Related story:

> Dearborn Press & Guide: Henry Ford College appoints interim president

 

LTU engineering professor gets Fulbright grant

Ahad Ali, associate professor and director of the bachelor’s and master’s degree programs in industrial engineering at Lawrence Technological University, will conduct workshops and seminars at Prince Sultan University in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia for three weeks in December under the Fulbright U.S. Scholar Program. Ali said the topics he will address include supply chain management, project management, simulation modeling and analysis, quality assurance and quality control, safety, and Six Sigma process improvement.  (Oakland Press)

 

U of M-Dearborn chancellor discusses time on campus, looks forward to what’s next

Chancellor Daniel Little will step down this summer as The University of Michigan-Dearborn’s fifth and longest-serving chancellor. Under his leadership, the university stands at record enrollment with just over 9,300 students, undergraduate minority enrollment has increased to 26 percent, the campus has focused on building an inclusive environment, and the school has developed as a strong metropolitan university with a strong focus on metropolitan Detroit. Little recently sat down with Vice Chancellor for External Relations Ken Kettenbeil to discuss his 18 years as chancellor, his priorities through June and what’s on the horizon. Kettenbeil: You have seven months left as chancellor of U of M-Dearborn. What are you thinking about? What’s on your mind? How do you feel? (Dearborn Press & Guide)

 

Grand Valley receives $1M for project to grow STEM workforce

ALLENDALE, MI - The National Science Foundation awarded a $1 million, 5-year grant to Grand Valley State University to support a project to grow a high-tech talent pool of scientists, engineers and other STEM professionals. Officials say RISE - Retaining and Inspiring students in Science and Engineering - will financially help academically talented, low-income students seeking an education in science or engineering. RISE will create a set of progressively increasing four-year scholarships for at least 50 Grand Valley students who may not otherwise be able to afford a college education. (MLive)

 

After 10 Years in Court, a Student-Loan Whistle-Blower Fights His Last Battle

Back in 2003, a former university professor and congressional staff member named Jon H. Oberg was toiling away as a researcher at the U.S. Department of Education, nearing retirement, when he noticed something odd. Through a careful maneuver, Mr. Oberg realized, banks using federal money to issue loans to college students had devised a clever way to keep a lot more of that money than they were supposed to. It traced back to a system designed to help students during the economic troubles of the 1980s. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Why Applying to College Is So Confusing

The annual college applications frenzy is upon us — a season when high school students agonize over G.P.A.s and personal essays, hoping and praying that they will stand out among throngs of applicants. The anxiety among applicants about how to present themselves to universities is very visible online. Websites have sprung up to advise students on, say, whether teacher recommendations make a difference or whether to write about money in a college essay. One website, College Confidential, has offered a seminar in which you “learn what admission officials discuss behind closed doors” but “may not tell you in the information session.” Desperate applicants ask other site visitors — complete strangers — to “chance” them, or estimate the likelihood they will be admitted to their dream college. (New York Times)

 

How Can Colleges Head Off Homegrown Extremism?

Higher education is not immune to episodes of extremist-fueled violence. Such attacks have taken place at campuses like Ohio State University, Umpqua Community College, and elsewhere. And sometimes, the radicalized person who carried out the act was affiliated with a college, and was perhaps a student, like the Boston-Marathon bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. What can colleges do to recognize the warning signs that might lead to an act of extremist violence, and how should they intervene? (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Why Betsy DeVos Just Might Be A Cosmetology School’s Savior

Steve Sullivan and his family had run their beauty school for more than 30 years when the letter arrived from the government to tell him the Stone Mountain, Georgia, college was failing. It was 2015, and the Obama administration was cracking down on for-profit colleges, trying to root out schools whose graduates earned too little money to pay off their student loan debts. Pro Way Hair School, which taught barbering and cosmetology, was among them. Soon, the letter said, the school could be banned from taking any federal financial aid money — which was the primary way its poor, mostly black students paid for their educations. (BuzzFeed)

 

The Right Way to Fix Universities

Tax universities? The unthinkable is now a live possibility. Congressional plans to tax the endowments of wealthy private schools and the tuition benefits of graduate students have elicited outrage from universities and schadenfreude from Trump supporters. Missing in this outcry — and in the pending tax legislation — is a recognition of the long history of reciprocity between academia and government that has incalculably benefited society. The nation’s founders nourished great aspirations for higher learning and pined for a research university in the European mold rather than the British. (New York Times)

 

Philanthropist commits $10M toward Wayne State scholarship program

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Mort Harris has committed $10 million toward a program that offers high school students full scholarships to Wayne State University and its School of Medicine. The Wayne Med-Direct program recruits students with a passion for addressing health disparities, simultaneously admitting them into an undergraduate program and the medical school. The gift creates a fund that will provide permanent support for Wayne Med-Direct students, who will be known as Mort Harris Med-Direct Scholars. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: $10M gift helps Wayne State students become doctors

 

As Higher Education Grows More Crucial, How Can It Be Improved?

Close to 90 percent of today’s high-school graduates are expected to attend college at some point in young adulthood. But that doesn’t mean that they’ll all graduate, have a good experience, or learn a whole lot. With this in mind, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences formed a commission to recommend changes that would improve the quality of higher education and the lives of the students who seek it. The commission released its final report, "The Future of Undergraduate Education, The Future of America," this week. It offers recommendations for improving educational quality, raising completion rates, reducing inequality, and making college more affordable. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Madonna launches fast-track nursing program

The nationwide nursing shortage is expected to hit critical levels over the next decade and southeast Michigan is no exception. If the number of registered nurse graduates remains constant, Michigan’s nursing shortage will reach 5,296 by 2018, according to Michigan Health Council 2016 data. That’s why Madonna University and Ascension’s St. John Providence are teaming up to offer a new, accelerated path to nursing. Madonna University’s College of Nursing and Health is pleased to announce the launch of its Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. Qualified students can transfer their college credit or non-nursing degrees to earn a BSN in 16 months through a combination of online coursework, on-site lab experience and clinical placements through St. John Providence, the ABSN program’s academic practice partner. (Observer & Eccentric)

 

House GOP to Propose Sweeping Changes to Higher Education

The Republican-controlled U.S. House of Representatives this week will propose sweeping legislation that aims to change where Americans go to college, how they pay for it, what they study, and how their success—or failure—affects the institutions they attend. The most dramatic and far-reaching element of the plan is a radical revamp of the $1.34 trillion federal student loan program. It would put caps on borrowing and eliminate some loan forgiveness programs. (Wall Street Journal)

 

Colleges puzzled by surge in FAFSA verification requests

Colleges and universities are reporting a surge in students being asked to verify information on their federal financial aid applications, a time-consuming process that school officials fear could derail low-income applicants. Every year, about one-third of all students who fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, known as FAFSA, must provide further proof that the information they supplied is accurate. The U.S. Department of Education can flag students for verification at random, but the odds increase if their application is incomplete or contains discrepancies. College financial aid administrators say they always anticipate contacting some students for additional documentation, but the numbers this year have skyrocketed. And they don’t know why. (Washington Post)

Related story:

> Chronicle of Higher Education: Is It Finally Time to Simplify the Fafsa? Signs Point to Yes.

 

Protect the G.I. Bill from the Republicans’ Tax Plan

Opinion: There has been a lot of coverage of how the Republican tax bills would hurt graduate students, low-income students and student loan borrowers. But little has been said about how the legislation could hurt the educational opportunities of veterans — a group of students we cannot ignore. As is, provisions in both the House and Senate target the endowments of private colleges and universities. Endowments are currently tax free, but both bills propose a 1.4 percent excise tax on investment income at private schools with endowments worth at least $250,000 per full-time student. (New York Times)

 

Western Michigan shifts dorm focus to southern part of campus

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Plans to demolish and replace Western Michigan University's dorms in Valley III were postponed when President Edward Montgomery decided to take the university in a different direction. "I came in August and the new guy on the block looks at things with a fresh set of eyes, and looks for opportunities where we can do these projects and potentially get a systematic, more holistic movement of the campus for a bolder and bigger vision," Montgomery said. (MLive)

 

Poor Girls Are Leaving Their Brothers Behind

MERCED, California—Nita Vue’s parents, refugees from Laos, wanted all nine of their children go to college. But Nita, now 20, is the only one of her brothers and sisters who is going to get a degree. A few of her sisters began college, and one nearly completed nursing school, she told me. Her brothers were less interested. “The way I grew up, the girls were more into schooling,” she said. “Women tended to have higher expectations than men did.” This is not unusual. Across socioeconomic classes, women are increasingly enrolling and completing postsecondary education, while, even as opportunities for people without a college education shrink, men’s rates of graduation remain relatively stagnant. (Atlantic)

Related story:

> Inside Higher Ed: Uncomfortable Men

 

The American Bar Association said Cooley admits unqualified students. Cooley sued.

LANSING - Western Michigan University Thomas M. Cooley Law School has sued the American Bar Association in an effort to stop the release of a letter saying, in effect, that it believed Cooley was admitting students incapable of becoming lawyers.  The Nov. 13 letter from Barry Currier, managing director of accreditation and legal education for the ABA, said an ABA committee found that Cooley is in violation of the bar association's Standard 501(b), which says a law school "shall not admit an applicant who does not appear capable of satisfactorily completing its program of legal education and being admitted to the bar.” (Lansing State Journal)

 

Should Laptops Be Banned in Class? An Op-Ed Fires Up the Debate

Opinion: Is there anything more painful to a professor than discovering half her students have been lost to shoe-shopping and Snapchat? The distraction of technology is a major driver of electronics bans in classrooms. But other academics are equally adamant that technology can be a force for good, or at least that professors have no right to tell students what they can and can’t use in class.That long-simmering debate flared up last week in response to a New York Times op-ed by Susan Dynarski, a professor of education, public policy, and economics at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Ms. Dynarski, who bans electronics in her classes and seminars, wrote that “a growing body of evidence shows that, over all, college students learn less when they use computers or tablets during lectures. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Is DeVos Devaluing Degrees?

The Trump administration's higher education policy to date has consisted largely of undoing what it inherited -- rolling back, for instance, ambitious Obama era regulations on for-profit colleges and campus policies on sexual assault. Observers looking for an affirmative, forward-looking agenda have been hard-pressed to find much so far. But Education Secretary Betsy DeVos this month provided as a clear a sense as observers have yet seen of her vision for her department's role in, and agenda for, postsecondary education, with a set of comments signaling a shift in emphasis from education to training. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

Tax plan hurts college students

Opinion: The Tax Reform and Jobs Act contains provisions that would make it harder for students to earn a college degree at a time in which the value of higher education has never been greater — to students, families and to our nation. Young people with bachelor’s degrees stand to earn on average nearly $1 million more in their lifetimes than high school graduates, and states with the highest rates of college attainment are among those with the fastest-growing economies. Throughout the past century, higher education has served as a key driver of social mobility and economic growth in American society. (Detroit News)

 

Faculty Members at One More University Push Back at Online Programs

Professors at Eastern Michigan University are objecting to its partnership with a private company to market and support online programs, making it the latest institution to grapple with questions about the quality of online instruction. The unions representing Eastern Michigan’s faculty members and lecturers are asking campus leaders to stop marketing online programs with the company, Academic Partnerships, until they can review the arrangement. And they’re rolling out an advertising campaign in an effort to build public support for their position. Those actions may be a bit unusual, but the concerns behind them — that online education may not match the quality of classroom instruction — are not uncommon nationally. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Grand Valley State bans fraternity after hazing allegations

ALLENDALE — Grand Valley State University in Michigan has banned a fraternity chapter from campus for at least five years after an investigation into hazing and alcohol use. The school in Allendale says an investigation after the 21-year-old Sigma Phi Epsilon member was treated after consuming too much alcohol revealed student code violations for hazing and consumption of alcohol. The Sigma Phi Epsilon chapter's appeal was denied last week. Fraternity member Jacob Gaft tells WOOD-TV that the man was "drinking under his own conditions" when he slipped and fell. Gaft says the man had a concussion, but other students shouldn't be punished after fraternity members helped him. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> MLive: Grand Valley State bans fraternity 5 years for alcohol, hazing violations

 

Williams College president: Don’t ignore the real threats in the debate over free speech

Last June, at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing, Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.) announced that I was unfit to be a college president, so I should resign and “put [my] head in a bag.” The insult wasn’t all that bad: In my job, you get worse. I was far more concerned by the misinformation behind the pronouncement. The senator’s comment apparently referred to my February 2016 decision not to offer the blogger John Derbyshire the opportunity to speak on the Williams campus. Derbyshire, a self-described white supremacist, had been fired by the National Review for writing about how he would teach his children to avoid black people and advise other white parents to do the same. (Washington Post)

 

Texas State U. Is the Latest Campus to Suspend Greek Life After a Fraternity Death

Texas State University has suspended the activities of all fraternity and sorority chapters on its campus indefinitely after a Phi Kappa Psi fraternity pledge died on Sunday night. Denise M. Trauth, the university’s president, said in a written statement that Texas State’s vice president for student affairs, Joanne Smith, would lead a review of Greek life on the campus. That review, Ms. Trauth said, would include “recommendations for reinstating fraternity and sorority chapters that demonstrate a commitment to the core values of Texas State and the ideas established by their respective national organizations.” (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Growth in Michigan's international student population slowing

International students are still coming to Michigan's colleges and universities but at a slower rate than past years, new data shows. In the 2016-17 school year, Michigan's international student population totaled 34,296, up 1.3 percent from the prior year, according to Open Doors 2017, an annual report from the Institute of International Education. While international student enrollment remains at a high, last year's gain was the smallest in five years, figures from IIE show. In 2015-16, for instance, Michigan's international student population grew by 5.7 percent, IIE data shows. The year before that, the increase was even larger: 8 percent. (MLive)

 

Pressure mounts for Betsy DeVos to address the backlog of 87,000 student debt relief claims

Senate Democrats are urging Education Secretary Betsy DeVos to forgive the federal student loans of borrowers who were defrauded by their colleges, as the number of debt relief claims at the Education Department grows. The Washington Post reported in October that there are more than 87,000 applications for debt relief pending at the department, according to people within the agency who were not authorized to speak publicly. The agency has the authority to discharge federal student loans when a college uses illegal tactics to persuade a student to borrow money to attend, but not a single application has been approved since the Trump administration took office. Now lawmakers are demanding action. (Washington Post)

 

Do Parents Fuel Binge Drinking in College?

John E. Thrasher, the Florida State University president who last week announced an indefinite ban on fraternity and sorority activities, says he is battling a culture of alcohol abuse that takes hold among students in middle school and continues with the encouragement of parents. The ban at Florida State, which is the latest among similar measures taken at several colleges and universities, was prompted by the death this month of Andrew Coffey, a 20-year-old pledge at Pi Kappa Phi who was found unresponsive after a party. Mr. Coffey’s family applauded the ban, saying in a letter that it was a step toward fixing a culture "that is obviously broken." (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Michigan college changes speech policy after being sued by campus conservatives who praised fossil fuels

A Michigan college said it would change its speech policy Wednesday after a conservative campus group sued, saying it was silenced after praising fossil fuels. Macomb Community College (MCC) is a school of about 23,000 students in Warren, Mich., about 15 miles north of Detroit. In April, members of a campus chapter of Turning Point USA — a conservative organization whose website says it promotes “the principles of freedom, free markets and limited government” — wanted to tell students about the importance of fossil fuels. One member even donned a Tyrannosaurus rex costume for the occasion. (Washington Post)

 

Private universities to surpass their public counterparts in tuition revenue growth

It’s shaping up to be a good year for private universities, as they are projected to eclipse their public counterparts in tuition revenue growth for the first time in more than a decade, Moody’s Investors Service said in a report Thursday. In its annual survey of four-year colleges and universities, the credit rating agency said private institutions project net tuition revenue — the money earned from students after colleges provide financial aid — will climb about 2.4 percent in fiscal 2018. Meanwhile, public universities anticipate a 2 percent growth rate during that period due to pricing constraints and shifting demographics. Moody’s polled a total of 280 of the colleges and universities it rates for the survey. (Washington Post)

 

Colleges mobilize to fight House GOP’s proposed endowment tax

Higher education leaders are mobilizing against a House Republican proposal to tax the endowments at dozens of private schools, including Ivy League universities and liberal arts colleges in the nation’s heartland. A provision in the sweeping tax-overhaul bill expected to come to a vote soon in the Republican-led House would impose a 1.4 percent excise tax on investment income at private schools with endowments worth at least $250,000 per full-time student. About 60 to 70 private schools could be affected, analysts have found. They include big names such as Princeton, Harvard and Stanford universities and some that are lesser known, including Agnes Scott, Berea and Grinnell colleges. (Washington Post)

Related stories:

> New York Times: Endowments Boom as Colleges Bury Earnings Overseas

> Chronicle of Higher Education: These Universities Benefit From an Offshore Tax Loophole

 

Study: Most student loan fraud claims from for-profits

Washington — Students who attended for-profit colleges filed more than 98 percent of the requests for student loan forgiveness alleging fraud by their schools, according to an analysis of Education Department data published Thursday. The study by The Century Foundation represents the most thorough analysis to date of the nearly 100,000 loan forgiveness claims known as borrower defense received by the agency over the past two decades and paints an alarming picture of the state of for-profit higher education in America. The study was provided to The Associated Press ahead of publication. (Detroit News)

 

What Happened After 3 Universities Suspended Greek Life

After a fraternity pledge died this month at Florida State University, its president on Tuesday suspended all fraternity and sorority activities. The indefinite ban on Greek life is not unheard of for campus administrations trying to confront tragedies or controversies that involve fraternities or sororities, but what happens when the suspensions are lifted? Here’s what happened after three universities suspended all or some Greek activities in recent years. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Boosting Completion by Softening Standards?

City Colleges of Chicago has received a heaping of praise in the last few years for dramatically improving single-digit graduation rates. But a new report is calling into question just how the system of seven two-year institutions has increased degree completions, alleging it softened standards and manipulated data in the pursuit of better graduation rates. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

Grand Valley's proposed new building to tackle computer, IT jobs demand

ALLENDALE, MI - Grand Valley State University President Thomas Haas touts the university's efforts to meet the most pressing demands of employers, including a proposed new facility to tackle growth in computer information systems programs. Haas says the job growth in the technology sector reflects how computers and information technology touch practically all aspects of modern life. "We are responsive and adaptive to the local environment," he said Monday, Nov. 6, about the growth in the industry and its programs. "These jobs are just an amazing opportunity for our graduates.'' (MLive)

 

The Catch-22 of Applying for Private Scholarships

Private scholarships should be a lifeline for students who want to avoid debt. But there’s an awful glitch in the system: Students who get private scholarships risk losing financial aid they were awarded from their state or school. Their private scholarships don’t save them a dime. Like many students, when I thought about college I worried most about affording it. Rice University, in Houston, where I am a senior, is known for generous financial aid packages, but I still had to take out student loans to cover the full cost. (New York Times)

 

Graduate students and higher education experts warn GOP plan to tax tuition waivers would be disastrous to both students’ finances and institutions’ teaching and research missions.

House Republicans say their tax bill will stimulate the economy by increasing the take-home pay of workers across income levels. So many graduate students were stunned to learn that instead of increasing their already meager stipend checks, the bill seeks to tax their waived tuition as income. The results of such a change, many graduate students and higher education experts say, would be devastating not only to graduate students’ day-to-day finances but to research and teaching across academe. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

Florida State Halts Fraternity Activities After Student’s Death

Florida State University indefinitely suspended all activities at its fraternities and sororities on Monday, imposing sweeping rules after the death of a pledge and the unrelated arrest of a fraternity member on drug charges. The university’s president, John E. Thrasher, said the strict new regulations would stay in place until students in the Greek system made a commitment to change their behavior and accepted a “new normal.” Almost all aspects of Greek life were ordered to stop, including chapter meetings, social events and philanthropy. (New York Times)

Related story:

> Chronicle of Higher Education: Florida State U. Suspends Fraternities and Sororities After Pledge’s Death

 

Public Colleges Backslide on Access, Report Says

There’s been a lot of talk lately about higher education’s importance as an engine of equality — and how it sometimes serves as an engine of inequality, due to imbalances in access and success for students from lower-income backgrounds.The latter argument gathers more force through a new report that finds nearly two-thirds of selective public colleges and universities enroll fewer lower-income students than they did two decades ago. The report also finds that many of the same institutions are enrolling more students from the top income brackets. The report, released on Thursday by New America, analyzed data from the Equality of Opportunity Project’s Mobility Score Card. It found that 217 out of 381 public institutions in the data set admitted 4.6 percent fewer students, on average, from families in the bottom 40 percent of income from 1999 to 2013. Nearly two-thirds of the institutions in the data set admitted 5.4 percent more students, on average, from the top 20 percent in family income over the same period. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

Related story:

> Inside Higher Ed: Public Higher Ed Skews Wealthy

 

How Much Does the Government Really Need to Know About College Students in America?

The promise of big data versus the menace of Big Brother. That’s the storyline of an unlikely, behind-the-scenes battle being waged over a plan to help Americans know their odds of graduating on time from a particular college, and how much money they will likely earn when they do. The fiercely contested debate pits the advantages of collecting this seemingly basic information against the risk to hundreds of thousands of so-called Dreamers—immigrants brought to the United States by their parents and protected from deportation by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program that is now in limbo. (Atlantic)

 

Expectations, Race and College Success

Near the beginning of a new study on racial attitudes and college attainment, the authors note the story of Desiree Martinez, who attended a high school in a low-income part of Los Angeles and longed to enroll at the University of California, Los Angeles. She confided her ambitions to a teacher. The teacher frowned and said, “I don’t know why counselors push students into these schools they’re not ready for … Students only get their hearts broken when they don’t get into those schools, and the students that do get in come back as dropouts.” (Inside Higher Ed)

 

Transcripts reveal prof’s tough tenure fight with WSU

Richard Bruce Needleman was a pioneer in yeast genetics with a renowned reputation internationally while on the faculty of Wayne State University. But in recent years, Needleman changed his research focus and WSU officials alleged that he hadn’t published in a scholarly journal or landed a grant in more than a decade. They also charged that he hadn’t submitted many grant proposals, and wasn’t teaching much — charges that Needleman vehemently denied. But that’s why WSU tried to fire him and four other medical school professors, arguing they abused their tenure, an indefinite academic appointment that’s a hallmark in the life of a scholar. (Detroit News)

 

See earnings data for graduates of Michigan's colleges and universities

When it comes to higher education, much of the discussion centers on affordability and the rising price of tuition. Less discussed: how much graduates earn after graduation. But data from the U.S. Department of Education gives a look at the annual earnings of students who attended one of Michigan's colleges and universities. The figures are from the department's recently updated College Scorecard, and provide average annual earnings -- in 2016 dollars -- 10 years after enrolling at an institution. The data only includes former students who are currently in the workforce. It includes both graduates and students who dropped out. (MLive)

 

How Campus Racism Could Affect Black Students' College Enrollment

At American University, a private university in Washington, D.C., the commitment to cultural diversity is an integral part of its marketing and outreach to prospective students. And for Janelle Gray, a black freshman from Northern Virginia, such advertising worked. Information sessions and campus visits emphasized that AU valued racial and ethnic diversity, a feature that Gray said drew her to the school. In the spring of 2017, two days after accepting AU’s admission offer, Gray learned that bananas hung on rope fashioned into nooses—a symbol of racial terror and intimidation against black Americans—were found in several spots on AU’s campus. The incident coincided with the university’s first black woman student-government president taking office. (Atlantic)

 

A white nationalist is coming to campus. Florida prepares as though for a disaster.

White nationalist Richard Spencer is scheduled to speak Thursday at the University of Florida. (Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images)

They asked the governor to declare a state of emergency, an action usually reserved for approaching hurricanes. They prepared to suspend bus routes and seal off roads and parking lots. They expanded mental health counseling on campus. And they offered to excuse students and employees who don’t want to go to class or work on Thursday. When the University of Florida, under the threat of a lawsuit, agreed to allow white nationalist Richard Spencer to speak on campus, school officials didn’t wait to see what would happen. (Washington Post)

Related story:

> Washington Post: ‘Gators not haters’: Students are protesting Richard Spencer and asking for classes to be canceled

 

Wayne State unveils new logo, marketing slogan

There's a new look - and a new logo - hitting Wayne State University's campus - and its social media sites, advertisements and even on TV. The university has a new logo and a new slogan. The look was unveiled Monday. The new logo is a slight twist on the old, which featured a capital W, with a band reading Wayne State. The new logo has just the W. The new slogan is simple - Warrior Strong. It replaces Aim Higher, which the university has been using the past eight years. (Detroit Free Press)

 

Mich. universities push ahead on autonomous vehicles

Southfield — On the small campus of Lawrence Technological University, a few students are on the cusp of programming one of the nation’s first autonomous vehicles as a class project. Already, the two-seat electric vehicle — the size of a golf cart — won an international competition last spring for the software the students developed, taking first place in a new division of the Intelligent Ground Vehicle Competition at Oakland University. That honor attracted local investors to give the team of students funding to develop the semi-autonomous vehicle into a fully autonomous vehicle to use as a taxi next fall on the private university’s 107-acre campus. (Detroit News)

Related story:

> MLive: 15 Michigan colleges and universities join self-driving vehicle program

 

New grads tapped as college advisers in wake of Michigan guidance counselor shortage

Kasceen Anderson has a bunch of college options. Will it be the California performing arts college that requires an audition? The college that reached out to him unsolicited? Or will it be a couple of Michigan schools that have piqued his interest? It would be enough to leave any senior stressing about how to make the right choice. But Anderson, 17, of Oak Park has an edge at Ferndale High School: a college adviser whose sole purpose is to help him through this process. “I know it’s a lot,” Daniel Lewis, the college adviser at Ferndale High, told Anderson as they discussed his college options one day. “But try to take it one day at a time.” (Detroit Free Press)

 

Feds crack down on student loan forgiveness scams

Federal and state authorities are coordinating a crackdown on scammers who falsely offer people help with student-loan forgiveness. The Federal Trade Commission, 11 states and the District of Columbia said Friday that they had collectively taken 36 actions against scammers who allegedly racked up more than $95 million in illicit fees through student debt relief offers. Scammers targeting Americans with more than $1.4 trillion in student loan debt have tricked countless people into paying for bogus services, including loan forgiveness or payment reductions. (USA Today)

Related story:

> Washington Post: Federal Trade Commission teams with state AGs to combat student debt relief scams

 

LTU students to race cars they’ve designed in annual Grand Prix

Formula SAE is a student design competition organized by SAE International, formerly known as the Society of Automotive Engineers. The competition started in 1978 and was originally called SAE Mini Indy. The event runs from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. in Parking Lot D, along Northwestern Highway, on the Lawrence Tech campus in Southfield. For location and directions, see www.ltu.edu/map. The event is free and open to the public, and will feature a time-trial competition between the student vehicles. (Oakland Press)

 

University of Michigan's need to grow political diversity faces challenges

When Charles Murray, the conservative-libertarian author, scholar and lecturer, takes the stage tonight at the University of Michigan, he'll be standing on a campus struggling to find its footing with issues of race and politics. There have been racially offensive flyers posted; protest marches that have shut down streets; a student kneeling for hours in protest in the Diag; a Twitter hashtag about Being Black at U-M flourished; and endless discussions about race and power — all in recent years. (Detroit Free Press)

 

'Something sacred:' solar panels blessed at Madonna University

Monday wasn't the first day the Rev. Charles Morris found himself blessing renewable energy cells. It was, however, the first time such a blessing had happened at Madonna University. Morris, a faculty member at the Livonia-based university, took the elevator up Monday to the roof of the Franciscan Center and prayed over the hundreds of solar panels adorning it. "It is something sacred," he said after the blessing. "This is God's creation and we honor that." (Observer & Eccentric)

 

WMU gets $12.5M to foster leaders at low-income schools

One of the largest grants ever given to Western Michigan University will be used to fund intense professional development for the principal and three teachers at each of 75 high-poverty elementary schools across west Michigan to improve leadership and student literacy. The High Impact Leadership for School Renewal Project will be headed by two longtime school leadership researchers at WMU, thanks to $12.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education. (Detroit News)

 

Why Colleges Are Borrowing Billions

When the number of students at Hawaii Pacific University started to fall at an alarming rate, the university embarked on an ambitious plan to get students back. Among other things, it spent $54 million to buy Honolulu’s iconic Aloha Tower and convert it into an anchor for its downtown campus by adding dorm rooms, community spaces, a fitness center, and venues for concerts and lectures. To pay for this and other projects, Hawaii Pacific borrowed. A lot. By 2015, the most recent year for which the figure is available, it owed $75.3 million in municipal bond liabilities, plus $10 million in mortgage and other debts, federal tax records show. (Atlantic)

 

Campus Hate Lives on the Internet. Administrators Need to Catch Up.

Is there a difference between “real life” and the digital realm? I’ve heard parents and professors talk about these worlds as distinct, but for young people who have grown up with the internet, they are one and the same. One thing that hasn’t been acknowledged enough is how the generation gap has been widened by rapid technological change, especially in regard to social media. The internet is integral to almost every aspect of the lives of young people. The social problems that unfold online are just as real to us as those that happen face to face. (New York Times)

 

Inside an ‘Unprecedented’ Increase in Campus White-Supremacist Recruiting

Hate fliers are appearing on more and more college campuses, largely through the efforts of white-supremacist groups looking to make inroads there. Oren Segal, director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism, discusses what’s behind the trend, and what college administrators need to understand to confront this tactic. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Western Michigan University 'bursting with potential,' president says

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Western Michigan University President Edward Montgomery gave his first State of the University address on Friday, telling the campus community that WMU is "bursting with potential." Montgomery, who started at WMU on Aug. 1 and was inaugurated Sept. 15, spoke to faculty and others gathered in the Bernhard Center about the progress, goals and future of WMU. "The state of Western Michigan University is strong, healthy, vibrant and bursting with potential," Montgomery said during the annual Fall Convocation. (MLive)

 

University of Wisconsin Passes Dangerous New Policy That Expels Students for Protest

It’s good to know that the First Amendment is protected on college campuses. Not. The University of Wisconsin recently approved a policy that will suspend or expel students who disrupt campus speeches and presentations—because they are infringing on others’ free speech—an ironic and dangerous threat to the right to protest everywhere.The Associated Press reports that the Board of Regents adopted the language in a vote on Friday. The policy states that students found to have twice engaged in “violence or other disorderly conduct” would be suspended. Three times and you’re out (expelled.) (The Root)

 

Racial tensions rising in Albion College

Trevaleyus Harris didn't laugh when he saw an email sent by an Albion College classmate advising conservatives on campus to "purchase Antifa and ISIS hunting permits and max out on tags," even though others called it a joke. The email, sent to students across the campus by a member of the Albion College Conservatives student group, contained a two-page document that railed against liberals, Affirmative Action employment practices, Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown and black people in general. (Battle Creek Enquirer)

 

To Lighten the Regulatory Load, Focus on For-Profits

Opinion: Dear Secretary DeVos: From the testimony and interviews you have given, I gather that you believe strongly in providing taxpayer funds to colleges owned by for-profit companies. You believe that, relieved of the requirements and restrictions involved with being nonprofit or public, they will yield better outcomes for students, directly and through competition. I assume your belief is genuine and not based on any past, present, or potential future financial motivation. I assume, further, that you believe that the legal differences in how for-profit vs. nonprofit entities are allowed to operate will yield significant differences in their behavior and decisions. (Chronicle of Higher Education)

 

Michigan's student loan default rate on the rise

The number of borrowers defaulting on federal student debt has climbed in Michigan, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Education, reversing two straight years of declines. The new figures show 12.9 percent of borrowers in the state - nearly one out of eight - who entered repayment between Oct. 1, 2013 and Sept. 30, 2016 are now in default. That's up from the prior year's figure of 11.8 percent, but remains below a high of 14.4 percent in 2011. (MLive)

Related story:

> Washington Post: The number of people defaulting on federal student loans is climbing

 

Faculty union contract approved by Western Michigan University

KALAMAZOO, MI -- The Western Michigan University Board of Trustees approved a three-year contract Wednesday with the faculty union. The contract calls for 2 percent pay increases in each of the first two years and a 2.25 percent raise in the final year of the contract. Cynthia Klekar-Cunningham, the chief negotiator for the WMU chapter of the American Association of University Professors, said she was grateful for everyone involved in the process. The eight-month negotiation was done in a "respectful" environment where both sides had a "mutual will to collaborate, work together and problem solve," she said. (MLive)

 

Western Michigan sees lower total enrollment, higher freshmen numbers

KALAMAZOO, MI -- Western Michigan University announced Wednesday that total enrollment numbers have decreased since last year, but the number of freshmen and new students has increased. WMU President Edward Montgomery told the Board of Trustees during its meeting that 2017 total enrollment stands at 22,893, which is a 359-student dropped from last school year. This marks the sixth straight year fall enrollment has dipped. Although total enrollment is lower, the number of freshmen or new students has increased by 5 percent. The majority of WMU students are Michigan residents, but the number of out-of-state students has also increased about 30 percent.

 

Medical researchers say UC Irvine is advancing junk science by taking funds from wealthy donors who favor nontraditional therapies.

A $200 million gift is turning into a $200 million headache for the University of California, Irvine, as critics argue it is indulging the wishes of wealthy donors who advocate for junk science. The university announced the gift last week, tagging it as the largest in its history and the seventh largest ever made to a single public university. Longtime UCI donors Susan and Henry Samueli are giving the money to name a “first of its kind” College of Health Sciences focusing on “interdisciplinary integrative health,” the announcement read. The renamed Susan and Henry Samueli College of Health Sciences will be the first “university-based health sciences enterprise to incorporate integrative health research, teaching and patient care” across schools and programs, it continued. (Inside Higher Ed)

 

Stephen Ross donates another $50 million to University of Michigan

The University of Michigan's biggest donor is pledging another $50 million to the business school that already bears his name, university officials announced this morning. Stephen Ross has pledged an additional $50 million to the school, bringing his total giving pledge to the university to $378 million. That's the highest amount of any donor to the university. The money will go to career development programs for students, innovative action-based learning experiences such as student-run investment funds and new business ventures, and resources for attracting and developing junior faculty, the school said. (Detroit Free Press)

Related story:

> Detroit News: Miami Dolphins owner donates $50M more to UM

 

Average student loan debt for Michigan students still tops $30,000

Maria Williams is hoping a little selective reading will help her from keeling over in shock when she gets her first student loan bill in about a year. "I don't really want to know the total," the Eastern Michigan University senior said Tuesday. "If I just focus on the basic payment due each month, maybe it won't seem so bad. Probably not, but if I see that $25,000 number, that might be it for me." If Williams, 22, of Ypsilanti, does make it out of school at the end of this school year, she's guessing she'll owe around $25,000. And while that might be a lot of money, it's less than the average owed by the 2016 graduating class at her school and less than the average student loan debt owed by 2016 graduates in Michigan.

 

Students deserve higher ed options

Opinion: More Americans are obtaining college degrees than ever before — just over one-third of Americans have a bachelor’s degree or higher. This increase in students parallels an increase in demand from employers and businesses for skilled workers. As more people graduate, more highly qualified, educated people are able to enter the workforce. This increased demand has created unique challenges for parents, students, and those of us in the higher education community. Michigan Independent Colleges and Universities (MICU) member institutions are tackling these challenges head on with programming, student supports, and financial resources that help Michigan students succeed and become part of Michigan’s highly educated workforce. (Detroit News)

 

Intolerance on display at MSU

Opinion: The bad behavior that’s become common on campuses isn’t just the fault of students. All too often members of the faculty are behind the intolerance, instigating movements to block speakers and events that counter their (usually liberal) point of view. Michigan’s public universities are no different. Case in point: A faculty member at Michigan State University tried to prevent Education Secretary Betsy DeVos from speaking briefly at the grand opening today of the university’s Grand Rapids Research Center. Anyone who has spent time in Grand Rapids would catch the irony. (Detroit News)

Related story:

> MLive: MSU claims denial of white nationalist event not based on 'viewpoint discrimination'

 

 

 

Raise for University of Michigan's president puts pay over $800K

A pay raise for University of Michigan President Mark Schlissel is bumping his salary to more than $800,000 a year. The school's Board of Regents voted unanimously Thursday to approve a 3.5 percent raise for Schlissel. The pay hike will give him a base salary of nearly $824,000, up from about $795,000. Regents approved 3 percent raises for Schlissel each of the past two years. Schlissel became the school's 14th president in 2014 after three years as the provost of Brown University. (Detroit Free Press)

 

Yes, there are Michigan State students with video gaming scholarships

EAST LANSING - Scholarships to play video games. It's not as ridiculous as it sounds. Eight students on Michigan State University's League of Legends team had them last semester. Most got $5,000. Granted, the money wasn't from MSU. More than a dozen colleges, from Robert Morris University to the University of California-Irvine, offer scholarships to elite video gamers. MSU isn't among them. The League of Legends players on campus received their grants from the game's creator — Riot Games. (Lansing State Journal)

 

Student loan companies reach $21.6 million settlement over dubious debt collection lawsuits

Thousands of people who have been sued over past-due education debt are set to receive restitution from a $21.6 million government settlement with one of the largest owners of private student loans, National Collegiate Student Loan Trusts. On Monday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said National Collegiate and its debt collector, Transworld Systems Inc. (TSI), filed lawsuits that relied on false or misleading legal documents. (Washington Post)

 

When Community College Is Free

Opinion: Does free community college work? An experiment in Chicago suggests that the answer is yes. Two years ago, under a program called the Star Scholarship, Chicago began to offer free community college to all public high school graduates who earned a B average or higher and demonstrated near college-level proficiency in their work. To keep costs for students low, they also get their textbooks free. Since the program was created by Mayor Rahm Emanuel, roughly 1,000 students a year — about 5 percent of each Chicago Public Schools graduating class — have claimed their reward. (New York Times)

 

Colleges need to do more to help students transfer credits, GAO says

Students lose nearly half of the college credits they earn transferring from one school to another, placing them at risk of exhausting federal grants and loans to repeat courses, according to a report released by the Government Accountability Office Wednesday. To save money, some students start at low-cost community colleges before heading to a university to complete their bachelor’s degree. They are often frustrated to learn that the math or science courses they took do not meet the standards of their new school, where they must now enroll in classes they’ve already completed. That means more money and more time before they can graduate. (Washington Post)

 

Long Wait for Loan Forgiveness

Dawn Thompson got an email in January with welcome news from the Department of Education. The federal government would clear $70,000 in federal graduate student loans she took out to attend an Everest University online M.B.A. program -- just a chunk of her total student loan debt, but a relief nonetheless. Eight months later, however, Thompson’s still waiting. “They keep saying give it more time,” she said. “How much more time do you actually need?” (Inside Higher Ed)

 

College still the path to prosperity

Opinion: Perhaps the reason education attainment is falling behind in America is because those who would most benefit from a college degree don’t really believe it will help them. A distressing new poll from the Wall Street Journal and NBC News finds that 47 percent of Americans don’t believe a college education is “worth it.” The faith in learning as a path to prosperity gets lower as incomes drop. Among the poor and working class, the survey finds 60 percent feel college is not worth the cost or effort, while just 35 percent see the benefits of a degree. (Detroit News)

 

Students plan protest for Betsy DeVos appearance at MSU research building

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos has agreed to appear next week at the opening of Michigan State University's Grand Rapids Research Center, drawing opposition from some students and faculty. "We want her to know that she does not represent us and that she is not qualified to speak on behalf of us as public educators," said Sarah Kelly, a PhD candidate in cell and molecular biology who's set to work in the new building and is helping organize a protest for the Sept. 20 event. (MLive)

 

Grand Valley State hits enrollment goals, officials say

ALLENDALE, MI - More than 4,000 freshmen are enrolled at Grand Valley State University this fall for a total enrollment of 25,049. Officials say the university hit its enrollment goals with regard to total enrollment, first-year students, transfer students and minority students. However, this was not record-breaking year for total enrollment as in previous years. Enrollment is down 411 students from last year's 25,460. Still, this was the sixth consecutive year the university has enrolled more than 4,000 freshmen, touted as one of the highest first-year enrollments in the state. (MLive)

 

Michigan's university presidents urge lawmakers to protect 'Dreamers'

The presidents of Michigan's 15 public universities are urging members of the state's congressional delegation to find a solution enabling undocumented immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to legally remain in the country. Last week, the Trump administration announced it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which was established in 2012 by President Barack Obama and granted temporary legal status to the group. (MLive)

 

What many older people don't realize about college costs today

Decades ago, many Michigan young adults financed a college education without loans or help from their parents.  It's something that Baby Boomers and senior citizens brag about now, as Millennials graduate college with an average of $30,000 in student debt. "While attending U of M I worked full-time during the summer and part-time during the school year. I didn't have a scholarship or receive any grants," one reader wrote on an MLive comment board.  "When I graduated I didn't owe any university debts nor did I cost Michigan taxpayers a dime for my education." So what changed? (MLive)

 

Ballot issue taxes ties between MSU, East Lansing

East Lansing – This college town and its university have forged a tight bond, working together on everything from the arts to public safety. East Lansing’s letterhead proudly proclaims the city “the Home of Michigan State University.” But lately the same letterhead has produced less-than-charitable comments about MSU. In a series of letters, the city and school have questioned each other’s motives, abilities and concerns for their constituents. “This (fighting) doesn’t look good. They should be working together,” said resident Cathy Kosinski. (Detroit News)

 

UMich DACA student: 'There is no way for me just to become legal'

ANN ARBOR, MI - Javier and Jose Contreras, two brothers from Mexico, were brought by their family to the United States illegally when they were 4 and 5, respectively. They've lived here ever since as undocumented immigrants, and they consider this their home. They don't remember much about the rural village where they were born or the dark night when they crossed the border in 2001. Four years ago as teenagers, they both graduated from Skyline High School in Ann Arbor and received two-year, full-ride scholarships to attend Washtenaw Community College. (MLive)