On July 13, the University of Wyoming (UW) Trustees announced a plan to “reconfigure UW’s colleges; discontinue or reorganize some academic programs; build on UW’s existing Tier-1 Engineering, Science and Trustees Education initiatives; advance the new Wyoming Innovation Partnership; and launch a School of Computing, a Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation and a Wyoming Outdoor Recreation, Tourism and Hospitality Initiative,” according to a press release. Among reorganizational efforts are a series of academic department discontinuations, degree program discontinuations, creation of new academic units and relocation or reduction in academic units, resulting in estimated savings of approximately $13.3 million.
Friday, September 24, 2021
Thursday, September 23, 2021
Ohio University announced a new incentives program on Sept. 3 that is aimed at persuading students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated against COVID-19. According to a university news release, the program — which follows a similar effort by the university in July — will run from Sept. 10 through Oct. 29. The new program also applies to faculty and staff, two groups that were left out of the last prize-drawing.
CUNY Professors, Students Continue Protests against Budget Cuts ahead of Return to In-Person Learning - David Greene, Norwood News
Before the return to in-person learning this fall, a group made up of staff and students at some Bronx-based City University of New York (CUNY) colleges, vowed to continue their “caravan” protest tactic of driving lines of vehicles past the homes of two CUNY college presidents, to continue to demonstrate their opposition to lay-offs of almost 2,000 adjunct professors that took place at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, as reported.
Wednesday, September 22, 2021
Covid long-haulers face new challenges as they head to college. Universities are listening. - Safia Samee Ali, NBC News
As long-term Covid continues to linger in thousands, young people suffering from its residual effects will undoubtedly return to schools and colleges needing more support and accommodation, but with disability infrastructure being underfunded and not widely understood in many colleges, schools will need to re-examine systems they have in place for these students, disability experts said. President Joe Biden announced in July that serious long-term Covid cases could qualify as a disability, making federal protections and resources available to those people. The Health and Human Services Department, the Justice Department and the Labor Department released guidelines to help individuals experiencing effects of long-term Covid navigate federal benefits, saying "individualized assessment is necessary to determine whether a person’s long Covid condition or any of its symptoms substantially limits a major life activity."
SFA faculty senate votes 'no confidence' in Gordon, asks regents to revoke contract - VALERIE REDDELL and JOSH EDWARDS, The Nacogdoches Daily Sentine
The faculty senate of Stephen F. Austin State University unanimously passed a resolution Wednesday expressing it has “no confidence” in the effectiveness of university president Dr. Scott Gordon the day before regents called a special meeting to discuss campus culture and the university budget. As part of that resolution, the group asked the Board of Regents to revoke Gordon’s contract for cause because of a failure to achieve the goals of his position and for subjecting the university to “poor publicity, scorn and ridicule.”
Tuesday, September 21, 2021
Faculty Affairs hears about new budget model; Black cluster hire - MARTY LEVINE, Pitt University Times
Chris Bonneau, political science faculty member and former Senate president, who sits on the University committee overseeing the parallel implementation of the new and old budget models this year, said it was still uncertain whether Pitt would need a new mechanism of oversight for the budget model that would include more input from faculty groups. “Is it going to change the way things operate at all, or is it just … going to make accounting more transparent?” he asked. “I think its going to change the way deans act, including hiring,” he added, noting that the new model was designed in part “to get deans to take some risks and create new streams of revenue” for their schools.
Online education companies may have had a boost from the effects of COVID-19 on stay-at-home learning over the last 18 months, but sometimes investors miss the real lesson.Collins added "As we've seen from recent IPOs, the reaction can be hit or miss. Coursera grabbed hold of the online education burst because of Covid and rode the fires of momentum the first day. The stock opened around $40 but traded to $60 in its first week. This came after the company priced its shares at $33. From a nearly double back to even by mid-May. It's fair to say this one has been a roller coaster, but what I see are a series of lower highs and a bearish setup yet again."
Monday, September 20, 2021
Connecticut College has shifted all classes to remote after COVID-19 rates rose at the liberal arts college, NBC Connecticut reported. Twenty students tested positive on Monday, and 34 tested positive Tuesday. The dean of students, Victor Arcelus, told the college that contact tracing revealed that students who had contracted the virus had been socializing in cars, in friends’ rooms, at parties or in bars -- without wearing face masks. "If COVID is in the room when students are socializing, and if they are not wearing their masks, that can lead to increased spread.
Many of the privileges of online learning have carried over into this semester as well, but this relies on the discretion of individual faculty rather than a set policy making these measures a requirement. With the continuing concern of new COVID-19 variants, some have chosen to continue with these online components in the courses that still offer them. Thus, only some students continue to benefit from these remote learning options, while for others this means a return to pre-COVID conditions in all aspects. The mindset that a return to campus must mean a return to strict in-person attendance for all academic-related activities is a dangerous one, and one that threatens this new level of accessibility.
Sunday, September 19, 2021
Women are increasingly enrolling in online learning courses and earning STEM certificates during the pandemic, according to the latest Women and Skills Report from Coursera. Women now make up 52% of new registered users on the e-learning platform in 2021, compared with 47% in 2019. In terms of course enrollments overall, women have nearly reached parity, at 49%, compared with making up just 42% of total enrollment in 2019. The narrowing gender gap in online learning comes at a time when women have been disproportionately sidelined at work during the coronavirus outbreak.
In light of a significant decline in high school students over the next decade, limiting the pool of college applicants and putting more financial pressure on higher education institutions, the governor called the proposed merger “an opportunity that can wait no longer.” He described it as “the future of higher education” and said it would benefit every post-secondary student across the state. Yet soon after the merger idea entered the legislative process, it flopped with a resounding thud. Much to the disappointment of the governor, the House decided to amend his proposal, calling instead for the creation of a “New Hampshire Higher Education Merger Assessment Commission” with $1.5 million to study the idea and maybe begin implementation next year.
Saturday, September 18, 2021
The University of Cincinnati’s (UC) new chief academic officer warned the new budget model may not provide the kind of sweeping solutions to the university’s budget woes some faculty are looking for. Provost Valerio Ferme briefly touched on the university’s new budget model – which is expected to go into effect next year – during a meeting of UC’s Faculty Senate in August. Many faculty have asked me about the new budget model,” Ferme said, adding some of those questions have revolved around potential solutions to budget issues faculty have been complaining about for years.
The primary difference between the initiatives Biden proposed and what congressional Democrats included is the level of investment -- with a $3.5 trillion limit on the overall package and other committees jockeying to fund their priorities, the amount of funding appropriated for individual programs often doesn’t match the president’s initial goals. For example, the legislation includes a $500 increase to the maximum Pell Grant for the 2022-23 award year -- and a staggered boost of $500 for subsequent award years until 2030 -- while Biden initially proposed a $1,400 increase.
Friday, September 17, 2021
Stark State College will increase its tuition for the fourth time since 2018. The college’s Board of Trustees voted Wednesday to raise tuition by $5 per credit hour to $184.60, effective for the spring semester that begins in January. The increase is the highest amount allowed this year for Ohio community colleges under the current two-year state budget. For Stark State’s average working adult student who typically takes nine credit hours a semester, the tuition increase will mean an extra $90 a year. For a full-time student taking 15 credit hours a semester, the increase will add $150 a year and the student will pay $5,538 a year in tuition.
Florida’s Board of Governors discuss post-graduate needs and budget approvals - Kayla Ortiz, UPress Online
Some of the issues graduates are experiencing when entering the workforce after obtaining their degrees from Florida universities are public speaking skills, “I think that one of the things that we all need to strive to do better at is to try to give them more real-world experience prior to graduation,” said Mas. Mas also explains that having little experience in one’s professional field disadvantages the young people exiting school, stating that private businesses should work to collaborate with universities to prepare students. “We get caught in a structure and we get caught in doing the same thing the same way for so long that even though the world around us has changed, nobody else has changed with it,” said Mas. Melissa Miller, senior director at NextEra Energy said, “students need a lot of help with some of the basic skills.”
Thursday, September 16, 2021
Just Released: UNBOUND 2021 Issue - Second Installment - UPCEA
Among the newly-released articles are:
- Honoring a Legacy of Service: The UPCEA Diversity in Leadership Scholars Program
- Lifelong Learning Programs Adapt to an Online World
- A Virtuous Cycle: Driving Equity Through Financial Gifts in the Non-credit Space
- Prior Learning Assessment: Necessary Burden or Future-Proofing Strategy?
Officials say offering fewer in-person courses is part of the future for some higher education institutions, a change that is being driven not just by the pandemic but by student demand. Virtual classes for the fall semester vary widely across Michigan’s 15 public universities, from 3 percent at Michigan Technological University to 56 percent at the University of Michigan Flint campus, from 10 percent of classes at UM Ann Arbor to 46 percent at Central Michigan University.Virtual classes for the fall semester vary widely across Michigan’s 15 public universities, from 3 percent at Michigan Technological University to 56 percent at the University of Michigan Flint campus, from 10 percent of classes at UM Ann Arbor to 46 percent at Central Michigan University.
Wednesday, September 15, 2021
“Many job seekers focus on getting degrees that take significant time and money,” says Madeline Mann, a career strategist and founder of Self Made Millennial. “What is better in today’s world is to take online classes for the sake of building highly marketable skills.” The first step is to create a career roadmap, where you decide what kind of job, promotion, or career you want to pursue. Think about short-term as well as long-term goals. There are no right or wrong answers, and you can always change your mind. Clarity is power, however, so having a desired outcome will help you move in the right direction.
Technical and Vocational Education and Training: Online learning revolution - Stewart Watts, Open Access Government
According to a recent report by the British Council, and authored by the Association of Colleges, it is unlikely that colleges will ever return to pre-pandemic teaching and learning practices. In fact, based on research across five countries, the report revealed that six per cent of global technical and vocational education institutions will maintain purely face-to-face teaching delivery.(2) It appears that online learning is here to stay, at least for the foreseeable future, as institutions navigate the road ahead. As the pandemic continues to evolve, many schools and universities will want to establish robust contingency plans.
Tuesday, September 14, 2021
Big changes are coming to higher education, and those changes will be bigger and more disruptive than many college leaders realize as online education grows in both size and prestige. That’s the view of Arthur Levine, in a new book called “The Great Upheaval: Higher Education’s Past, Present, and Uncertain Future,” which he co-wrote with Scott Van Pelt, a lecturer and associate director of the Communication Program for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. Levine has been a player in shaping education for decades. The positions he’s held include president of Teachers College at Columbia University, president of Bradford College and most recently, president of the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation—which just changed its name to the Institute for Citizens & Scholars.
Howard University Cancels Classes After Ransomware Attack - Michael Kan, PC Magazine
Howard University in Washington, D.C. has canceled classes for at least one day after a ransomware attack infected the school’s IT systems. The hackers may have tried to exploit the Labor Day weekend—when employees take time off—to attack the school. University staff first noticed the attack on Friday, and shut down the school's network to prevent the infection from spreading. “We are currently working with leading external forensic experts and law enforcement to fully investigate the incident and the impact,” Howard University wrote in a statement. To give the school’s IT team more time to address the incident, the school also decided to cancel classes on Tuesday. In addition, the campus’s Wi-Fi system has been shut down.