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 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)


Betsy DeVos Says She Will Rewrite Rules on Campus Sex Assault

ARLINGTON, Va. — Saying that the Obama administration’s approach to policing campus sexual assault had “failed too many students,” Education Secretary Betsy DeVos said on Thursday that her administration would rewrite the rules in an effort to protect both the victims of sexual assault and the accused. Ms. DeVos did not say what changes she had in mind. But in a strongly worded speech, she made clear she believed that in an effort to protect victims, the previous administration had gone too far and forced colleges to adopt procedures that sometimes deprived accused students of their rights. (New York Times)

Related stories:

> Inside Higher Ed: DeVos to Replace Obama-Era Sexual Assault Guidelines

> Chronicle of Higher Education: Citing Obama-Era Failures, DeVos Will Replace Landmark Directive on Sexual Assault


People Are Putting Less Faith in Four-Year College Degrees, Poll Finds

Americans are increasingly doubting the value of a four-year college degree, according to an NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released Thursday. The poll still tilts in favor of the bachelor's degree, but by the slimmest of margins: Only 49 percent of the 1,200 adults surveyed think that a four-year degree is worth the cost because it will lead to good jobs and higher lifetime earnings. Forty-seven percent doubt it will. (Education Week)


Why Colleges Will Likely Have Trouble Keeping Richard Spencer Off Campus

After the college town of Charlottesville, Virginia was wracked with violence during last month’s “Unite the Right” rally, private companies executed a sweeping purge of white nationalist and hate groups from their platforms. Taking action isn’t likely to be as simple for those colleges and universities where white nationalists are dead set on spreading their message, however. Richard Spencer’s allies have spent the past few weeks issuing veiled threats of legal action against the slew of schools that rejected the prominent white nationalist’s requests to speak out of concern that violence could break out on their campuses, too. (Talking Points Memo)


MSU sued for denying white national group's request to speak

GRAND RAPIDS - Michigan State University was sued Sunday in federal court over its decision last month to deny a white nationalist group's request to speak on campus. The lawsuit was filed by attorney Kyle Bristow on behalf of Cameron Padgett and says the university violated the First and Fourteenth amendments. In the lawsuit, Bristow says his client — a Georgia State University student — attempted to rent a conference room at MSU's Kellogg Hotel & Conference Center so Richard Spencer, a prominent white nationalist and president and director of the The National Policy Institute, could speak about his "Alt-Right philosophy." (Lansing State Journal)

Related story:

> MLive: Students, faculty protest Betsy DeVos invitation to speak at MSU research facility


Michigan State students are drinking less. No, really.

EAST LANSING - Alexea Hankin gets mixed reactions to her decision not to drink alcohol. Sometimes, it's confusion: How could she not imbibe at Michigan State University, given its long-standing party school reputation? Sometimes, she's asked to play beer pong, her partner assuming she’ll be more able to sink cups thanks to her sobriety.  “I’m actually not very good,” Hankin admitted. Others are supportive. Because Hankin, 20, is far from the only MSU student who chooses not to drink. (Lansing State Journal)


Orientation to connect Grand Valley State students with the West Side

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Grand Valley State University students who reside on Grand Rapids' West Side are invited to an orientation program Thursday, Sept. 7, to learn about the areas where they live, work and study. The Grand Neighbor Orientation (GNO), in its second year, is organized by Grand Valley's Community Service Learning Center in collaboration with multiple West Side neighborhood associations and organizations. The program is part of an ongoing effort to strengthen Grand Valley's connection to its West Side neighbors. (MLive)


The Real Campus Scourge

Across the country, college freshmen are settling into their new lives and grappling with something that doesn’t compete with protests and political correctness for the media’s attention, something that no one prepared them for, something that has nothing to do with being “snowflakes” and everything to do with being human. They’re lonely. In a sea of people, they find themselves adrift. The technology that keeps them connected to parents and high school friends only reminds them of their physical separation from just about everyone they know best. That estrangement can be a gateway to binge drinking and other self-destructive behavior. And it’s as likely to derail their ambitions as almost anything else. (New York Times)


Wayne State grapples with decline in black Detroiters

Detroit — When Robert Williams III graduated last spring from a Detroit public high school, sticking around town to go to college at Wayne State University was a no-brainer for him. He gets to be around his family, be a part of the community and participate in Detroit’s evolution. “It’s in the area, and I love my city,” said Williams, who graduated from the Benjamin Carson High School of Science and Medicine in Detroit. “I see no reason to leave.” But Williams, 18, is an anomaly: He is among a small number of African-American students from Detroit Public Schools Community District heading to Wayne State. And those numbers have plummeted over the past decade — from 168 men and 348 women newly enrolled in 2006 to 33 men and 54 women in 2016, the latest data available from WSU. (Detroit News)


Which Michigan colleges draw the most state grads?

Thousands of Michigan students who graduated from high school this spring will be arriving on college campuses this month, ready to begin their college careers. And if previous years are any indication, a good chunk of those college freshman will be following Kaylee McCarthy to the land of the Spartans. Michigan State University is the top destination for public high school graduates in the state. What's next? These are the top five, based on Class of 2016 data released earlier this year: (Detroit Free Press)


Grand Valley, other colleges welcome students moving onto campus

ALLENDALE, MI - Colleges and universities across Michigan are preparing for tens of thousands of students to begin moving into campus residence halls and apartments over the next week or so. More than 6,000 new and returning students were expected to move into Grand Valley State University residential centers this week. On Wednesday, Aug. 23, GVSU President Thomas J. Haas and hundreds of alumni, students, faculty and staff members volunteered to give some of them a hand. (MLive)


Student Loan Company Accused of Mismanaging Debt Forgiveness Program

One of the country’s largest servicers of federal student loans has badly mismanaged debt forgiveness programs for public service workers, significantly raising repayment costs for hundreds of thousands of borrowers, according to a lawsuit filed on Wednesday by the attorney general of Massachusetts. The loan servicer, the Pennsylvania Higher Education Assistance Agency, which operates under the name FedLoan, has made copious errors, potentially miring many students in debt far longer than they expected, according to Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general. “(New York Times)


Madonna University to Marygrove College students: come to Livonia

It wasn't a complete surprise to Cam Cruickshank that Marygrove College planned on phasing out its undergraduate programs. Now, the executive vice president for enrollment management and university advancement at Madonna University hopes some of those affected decide to give Livonia a chance. The Catholic university at Levan and Schoolcraft is encouraging Marygrove College students looking to transfer to give Madonna a look, providing several benefits to those who do. (Observer & Eccentric)


A better vision for student loans

Opinion: After eight years of former President Barack Obama getting increasingly entrenched in the student loan business, the Trump administration is taking a different approach. It’s one that could have a beneficial impact on students and taxpayers. Students loans are staggering: The country faces $1.4 trillion in student loan debt affecting 44 million borrowers. While President Obama made college affordability a priority, in trying to ease the burden for some students he dumped the responsibility of federal aid and unpaid loans on everyone else. (Detroit News)


MSU says no space for Richard Spencer's white supremacist group to speak

Michigan State University has denied a request from a white supremacist group for space on its campus. MSU announced the decision Thursday afternoon. "After consultation with law enforcement officials, Michigan State University has decided to deny the National Policy Institute’s request to rent space on campus to accommodate a speaker," the university said in a statement. "This decision was made due to significant concerns about public safety in the wake of the tragic violence in Charlottesville last weekend. (Detroit Free Press)

Related stories:

> Lansing State Journal: MSU won't let white nationalist group speak on campus

> Detroit News: MSU denies request by white nationalist group

> MLive: Michigan State denies request by white nationalist group to host campus event

> Chronicle of Higher Education: How Universities Embolden White Nationalists


Aquinas College $58M campaign most ambitious in school history

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - Aquinas College is engaged in the most ambitious fundraising effort in its history - the $58 million campaign goals include new science facilities, technology enhancements and adding scholarships. Aquinas is now entering the public phase of the "Contributing to More'' campaign, launched in 2014, having raised more than 60 percent of the funding through private donations. Strengthening the college's concentration on science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is a key component of the campaign. The centerpiece is a $32 million expansion and renovation of the Albertus Magnus Hall of Science. (MLive)


Michigan colleges, universities ranked by average student debt

With the price of tuition continuing to rise, student debt is a fact of life for many college goers. This story shows average student debt among 2016 graduates Michigan’s colleges and universities, ranked from lowest to highest. The data was released in a report by LendEDU, which bills itself as a “marketplace for private student loans, student loan refinancing, credit cards, and personal loans - among other financial products.” Not all of Michigan’s colleges and universities were included, because the data was self-reported. (MLive)


Getting into college was the easy part. Staying there is becoming harder than ever, experts say.

However difficult getting into college may have been, it turns out, that may have been the easiest part of the transition to college life, admissions officials say. Inadequate preparation, unrealistic expectations and other issues that college freshmen don’t anticipate can become important obstacles to happiness and success. With about one-third of undergraduates transferring at one point in their careers and an even bigger percentage dropping out for financial and other reasons, staying in college is becoming increasingly hard for many students. (Washington Post)


Marygrove College halting undergrad programs

Throughout the century that Marygrove College has operated in southeast Michigan, it has made many bold moves. From educating only women when few colleges did so in the early 1900s, to inviting 68 African-American women in the wake of Detroit’s 1967 civil disturbance, to creating one of the nation’s first master of arts in teaching degrees, the small Catholic institution has prided itself on its trailblazing history. On Wednesday, the private, liberal arts college in northwest Detroit announced another move to keep it viable in the face of a steep enrollment drop: It will drop 35 undergraduate programs in January and offer only seven graduate and professional development programs. (Detroit News)

Related stories:

> Detroit Free Press: Marygrove College to drop undergraduate programs

> MLive: Enrollment decline leads Marygrove College to drop undergrad programs

> Chronicle of Higher Education: Marygrove College to Eliminate All Undergraduate Programs


The Future of a Once-Doomed Law School

Earlier this year, it appeared as though the Charlotte School of Law would have to close its doors. The for-profit school, which had long suffered from poor bar-passage rates and long-term employment figures, was placed on probation last November by its accreditor. A month later, the U.S. Education Department announced that it would be refusing the school’s access to federal loan money, likely spelling the end for an institution heavily reliant on this source of revenue. Its dean quickly resigned, as did the interim dean who replaced him shortly after that. Enrollment dwindled to some 100 students. (Atlantic)


Betsy DeVos acknowledges that historically black schools were 'only choice' for African-Americans

U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos is backing away from comments she made earlier this year that historically black colleges and universities were pioneers of school choice. She tells the Associated Press that past "racism was rampant and there were no choices" for African-Americans in higher education. In February, DeVos met with presidents and chancellors of HBCU's, after which she released a statement praising the institutions as "real pioneers when it comes to school choice." (MLive)


Why Men Are the New College Minority

Jessica Smith raised an arm and pointed across the lobby of the university student center like an ornithologist who had just spied a rare breed in the underbrush. “There’s one,” she said. It was, in fact, an unusual bird that Smith had spotted, especially on this campus: masculum collegium discipulus. A male college student. Women outnumber men by more than six to one here at Carlow University, where Smith is a senior and an orientation leader who was preparing to welcome incoming freshmen. (Atlantic)


Fewer college students want to be teachers, and why it matters

By any measure, Isaac Frank is a very lucky young teacher. Just 25, he graduated from Michigan State University and landed his first job at Birmingham Seaholm High School, in an affluent district outside Detroit, with a starting salary of just over $40,000 to teach math and earth science. He has an official mentor for the first three years of his employment, and has found an unofficial one, too. He describes his colleagues as “awesome. I can’t think of anyone I don’t like.” His students, Frank says, are “very good people who are growing into respectable adults.” (Bridge)


Men Flock to Short-Term Career Ed

Since the presidential election, some have argued that colleges aren’t doing enough to help working-class people -- men in particular -- pursue the types of technical training that will get them good jobs. A community college in Arkansas, however, is among those that have found success with just that population, but it's with programs that are often short-term and difficult for students to pay for with federal financial aid. "We are focused on more career and technical education," said Jeremy Shirley, director of marketing and communications for Arkansas State University Newport. (Inside Higher Ed)



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
Ladywood High School, Livonia, 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