Saturday, November 17, 2018

LinkedIn Becomes A Serious Open Learning Experience Platform - Josh Bersin, CLO

LinkedIn has become quite a juggernaut in the corporate learning market. Last time I checked the company had more than 17 million users, 14,000 corporate customers, more than 3,000 courses and was growing at high double-digit rates. And all this in only about two years. And the company just threw down the gauntlet; it’s now announcing it has completely opened up its learning platform to external content partners. This is the company’s formal announcement that LinkedIn Learning is not just an amazing array of content, it is a corporate learning platform. The company wants to become a single place for all organizational learning content.

The Workforce Needs AI -- But AI Needs Human Workers, Too - Amir Konigsberg, Forbes Technology Council

But the public discussion of AI and the future of work too often overlooks the significant benefits AI may bring for work, the employee experience and intellectual diversity. While the full scope of AI’s benefits and drawbacks will hinge on several variables -- global economic trends, policy decisions and new technological developments, to name a few -- a far more nuanced, far less gloomy picture of the future employment landscape may very well emerge.

If passed, new DHS 2019 budget could limit international faculty at UNL - Nick McConnell, Daily Nebraska

Two University of Nebraska-Lincoln professors said new changes in immigration policy may prevent UNL from hiring instructors from foreign countries. UNL economics professor Sam Allgood said adaptations to Department of Homeland Security guidelines may make it more difficult to get an H-1B visa, which allows internationals to work for six years in the U.S. The new DHS rule, implemented earlier this year, makes it mandatory for applicants to fit a specific role. The DHS requires practical or theoretical application of a skill and at least a bachelor's degree in that field to qualify under this rule.

Friday, November 16, 2018

University of Montana budget cuts $5 million, but avoids cutting tenured faculty - KEILA SZPALLER, the Missoulian

The University of Montana has a plan to lose 58 faculty and cut $5 million by 2021 — but it will do so without having to cut tenured faculty. Wednesday, Provost Jon Harbor said UM will drop an estimated 12 percent of its faculty full time equivalents with instructor departures and hires. Although challenges remain for UM, he said the campus can begin to shift its energy to implementing budget plans, "telling the story of the university," and growing enrollment. "We're at a point where that hard work has been done, and it was hard, difficult, soul-searching work for many of our units to go through this planning process," Harbor said. "… I think people are now relieved that the hard decisions have been made."

University of Montana can avoid a destructive tsunami by taking 4 actions - JOYCE BRUSIN, Missoulian

Unbeknownst to many in Missoula, a destructive tsunami was about to strike the University of Montana. The devastating wave unleashed from the office of the Commissioner of Higher Education and slated to be carried out by the administration in Main Hall could have destroyed the university as the state’s flagship institution. Numerous faculty positions and several outstanding academic programs at UM would have disappeared for good. Other programs would have been sufficiently weakened so as to lose their ability to offer potential students a legitimate university degree. Nationally recognized programs could have ceased to offer courses that have attracted multitudes of students to UM over the last several decades. The end result would have been the transformation of UM from a full-fledged institution of higher education to a technical-training school devoid of its core offerings in the humanities and social sciences.

Northwestern Law Is Paring Back Amid Budget Woes. Are Other Elite Schools Next? - Karen Sloan,

The recent decision to trim staff and lecture faculty at Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law amid a budget shortfall illustrates that even elite law schools are subject to the financial pressures of staying competitive in a soft legal education market.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Oberlin protests in hopes of saving staff member's job lost to budget cuts Bruce Walton - Bruce Walton, The Chronicle-Telegram

Dozens of Oberlin College students, staff and alumni walked Monday from the student union to President Carmen Twillie Ambar’s office in hopes of saving the job of a staff member that was lost to budget cuts. The Committee to Reinstate Tom Reid, led by 2014 graduate Johnnie Kallas, submitted a petition of about 1,100 signatures from community members, former and current students as well as others seeking Reid’s reinstatement. Students Jody Shanabrook, a sophomore, Millie Frankel, a junior, and James Peake, a 2006 alumnus, also gave testimonials of Reid’s impact in their lives.

Northwestern's Law School Will Cut Faculty - Emma Whitford, Inside Higher Ed

Northwestern University's Pritzker School of Law, one of the United States' top-tier law schools, recently announced a wave of faculty cuts in light of a budget shortfall. Rachel Bertsche, director of strategic communications for the law school, declined to say exactly how many faculty will be cut or how much the shortfall is, but she noted that “employees impacted have been informed their contracts will end at the end of the academic year.” Tenured faculty positions will not be affected. Law schools across the country have faced enrollment declines and budget constraints since the 2008 recession, and the upcoming cuts at Pritzker indicate that the elite law schools are not immune to such issues.

Iowa Wesleyan struggles with daunting future - Vanessa Miller, Iowa Gazette

Iowa Wesleyan University, the private liberal arts school in Mount Pleasant with a storied history that began before Iowa became a state, is considering closing amid “significant financial challenges” confronting higher education. “The university does not have a healthy endowment or extensive donor network,” Iowa Wesleyan President Steven E. Titus wrote in a message late last week on the school’s website. “We have attempted to secure funding to establish a solid financial base. Unfortunately, several anticipated gifts simply have not materialized,” he wrote — despite accomplishments including a doubled enrollment, gains in student retention and having a committed faculty and staff. “At this moment, the university does not have the required financial underpinnings to bridge the gap between strong enrollment and new programming, and the money needed to keep the institution open,” Titus wrote.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The latest casualty of budget cuts? Trash cleanup at Northwestern - Alan Perez, Daily Northwestern

Northwestern is reducing its custodial services across the University, the latest function administrators have pinched to fill a millions-dollar budget gap. The move suggests cutbacks to University operations have yet to be finalized. The administration has said it expects the budget deficit to run through this academic year into the next. Administrators have also said they hope the minimize the impact on NU’s education and research functions. In announcing the move earlier this week, Craig Johnson, the senior vice president for business and finance, repeated that message.

The University of Northern Colorado faces a crisis. - Greeley Tribune

The university must find a way to reduce its $10 million budget deficit. The deficit is considered structural, meaning it will stick around next year unless officials can find permanent cost savings. One measure of just how serious this situation is comes in the response to it. Mandatory furloughs, early retirement programs and targeted layoffs are among a list of 13 options the newly formed President’s Leadership Council has put on the table for cutting. No decisions have been made yet, and the list of possible solutions also includes the possibility of reducing employer contributions to health and retirement plans, finding cost reductions in UNC’s athletic programs and permanently reducing or restricting faculty travel for conferences, among other ideas.

Harvard or MIT? Choice may become obsolete with ‘stackable’ online degrees custom-built like Lego, edX CEO says - Peace Chiu, South China Morning Post

Speaking in Cambridge, Massachusetts last week, edX founder and CEO Professor Anant Agarwal said the firm was working towards launching “stackable” MicroBachelors courses in three years. “You can think of education as Lego,” said the electrical engineering and computer science expert, who was recently awarded a Yidan Prize for his innovations in education development. He said MicroBachelors courses could be used to customise an undergraduate degree and shorten study time.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Buried in Debt: A national survey report on the state of student loan borrowers in 2018 - Meet Summer

Current student loan figures are startling: 44 million Americans are in repayment for $1.5 trillion in outstanding student loans, a total debt size that’s tripled since 2005. While the average debt load per borrower has surged over the last two decades, the real wages of young graduates have decreased by 2.5% since 2000––pushing many borrowers onto a financial tightrope.

New Data Brings Daylight To The Graduation Gap In Higher Education - Richard Barth Richard Barth, Forbes

It’s no secret that college graduation rates in this country aren’t what they should be, particularly for students from low-income backgrounds. But until recently, we had limited information about how colleges rank in terms of graduating students from limited economic means. Thanks to a push for greater data transparency, colleges’ graduation rates for students from low and moderate-income families are now out in the open. This data comes from new reporting requirements for colleges and universities that enroll students who qualify for Federal Pell Grants.

Some congressmen want to provide data on value of college degrees - Drew Petrimoulx, WISH-TV

Some in Congress think the government should provide students with information about the value of their degrees, the cost of tuition versus the potential earnings of graduates. Privacy- and student-rights organizations as well as independent colleges worry the information could be misused, hacked or given to third parties. American student loan debt sits at about $1.5 trillion. It creates a whole host of problems for recent graduates who own tens of thousands and even hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Monday, November 12, 2018

As Debates Over College Costs Make Waves in South Carolina, It’s Time to Boost Need-Based Aid Nationwide - Rachel Gentry, Center for American Progress

College affordability has been a highly debated topic in South Carolina this year. Tuition costs have increased 11 percent since the 2010-11 school year and 47 percent since the 2004-05 school year at public four-year institutions. In the spring, the South Carolina Commission on Higher Education hosted town hall meetings that drew standing-room-only crowds of parents, students, and small-business owners voicing discontent about soaring tuition prices. Commission Chairman Tim Hofferth has called the inflating budgets of public universities “the next billion-dollar crisis in South Carolina,” brought on, he argues, by bloated staff, increasing construction debt, and other irresponsible spending. University officials, on the other hand, blame low state appropriations for driving up tuition.

University relocating students at no cost for free job-training program - Riia O'Donnell, Education Dive

A new program offered by the Wichita State University Campus of Applied Sciences and Technology (WSU Tech), Kansas' largest technical college, allows individuals to take advantage of training for the aviation and manufacturing industries provided free of charge. The Wichita Promise Move initiative, which began in July, relocates people who live at least 75 miles outside of Wichita and pays for their relocation expenses, providing housing and cost-of-living stipends. Additionally, eligible students receive paid schooling for either aviation sheet metal assembly or process mechanic painter schooling, along with a guaranteed job upon completion and potential sign-on bonuses. With a goal of enrolling 25 Kansas residents and another 25 from 75 miles or more outside the Wichita area in a short-term aviation training program, the initiative has relocated 32 people from 14 states to join with another 18 enrollees preparing to move soon. The students, 75% of whom are from outside Kansas, came from as far as Massachusetts and California.

Another Private College on the Brink - Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed

Iowa Wesleyan University was founded in 1842, four years before Iowa became a state. But this year could be the college's last. Steven E. Titus, president of the university, posted a statement to its website last week in which he said that "at this moment, the university does not have the required financial underpinnings to bridge the gap between strong enrollment and new programming, and the money needed to keep the institution open." He added, "The university does not have a healthy endowment or extensive donor network. We have attempted to secure funding to establish a solid financial base. Unfortunately, several anticipated gifts simply have not materialized." His statement said that the board would convene on Nov. 15 to consider the future of the college and that the institution would be trying to raise money or create new partnerships between now and then.

Sunday, November 11, 2018

NAU cuts programs, plans layoffs - Christopher Vondracek, Journal

National American University, the Rapid City-based for-profit college, has announced it will no longer be accepting new students in a quarter of its academic programs and that it plans to lay off employees as part of a company-wide mission to regain profitability. "In alignment with its new strategic plan, National American University suspended new student enrollment in 34 of its 128 programs effective November 1, 2018," the company said in a statement emailed to the Journal by CEO Ronald Shape.

U of T Libraries hires first Wikipedian in Residence - ILYA BA√ĎARES, the Star

Alex Jung, an MA candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Toronto, is the institution’s first Wikipedian in Residence. It’s a new role. “The purpose behind the position, ultimately, is to go where our community is,” said Jesse Carliner, Communications Librarian. “Everybody, whether they admit to it or not, uses Wikipedia as a starting point for their research if they don’t know anything about a topic.”

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Savannah State University announces layoffs amid student enrollment decline - Savannah State

Savannah State University officials announced Friday that 26 faculty members will not be returning for the 2019-2020 academic year due to budget cuts. Last month, President Cheryl Dozier sent out a letter to all faculty and staff announcing that the university was considering layoffs due to a steady loss in revenue from enrollment decline. “While we have taken some interim measures to address the loss of revenue, such as eliminating vacant positions and placing restrictions on new hires, these are not sustainable options given the budgetary circumstances,” Dozier wrote in the October letter. Officials announced that the university would be “realigning its resources” in light of two consecutive years of declining enrollment and state-allocated funding. The university’s enrollment saw a 10.6 percent decline in fall 2017 and a 7.9 percent decline in fall 2018.