A College’s High Ranking Often Means Less Time With Professors

Report: “Revisiting the Relationship Between Institutional Rank and Student Engagement”

Authors: John D. Zilvinskis, research project associate, and Louis Rocconi, assistant scientist, both at Indiana University at Bloomington’s Center for Postsecondary Research

Summary: The researchers sought to determine what, if any, relationship existed between student engagement at any given college and how highly that institution was ranked by U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, or Washington Monthly. Their …


U. of Wisconsin Flagship Will Cut 400 Positions in Response to Budget Cuts

The University of Wisconsin at Madison will cut 400 positions, merge or close academic programs, and reduce support programs in response to anticipated state budget cuts, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports. The announcement, from the flagship’s chancellor, Rebecca M. Blank, is the latest development in a battle over funds between the university system and the state government.

“I want to emphasize that these changes, as difficult as they are, cannot and will not stop with this year’s budget,”…


U. of Missouri Chancellor Is Criticized as Slow to Respond to Anti-Semitic Graffiti

Sixteen national organizations wrote to the chancellor of the University of Missouri at Columbia, R. Bowen Loftin, on Thursday to express their concern about the safety of the institution’s Jewish students after anti-Semitic graffiti appeared on the campus last week. The Missourian reports the groups also took aim at Mr. Loftin for not responding to the graffiti until several days after its appearance, “causing some Jewish students to feel marginalized and ignored.”

On April 9, a swastika, an Il…


Tenure, Not Hiring, Is Chief Bottleneck to STEM Faculty Diversification

Report: “Faculty Hiring and Tenure by Sex and Race: New Evidence From a National Survey”

Authors: Mark R. Connolly, associate research scientist, and assistant researchers You-Geon Lee and Julia N. Savoy, all at the University of Wisconsin at Madison’s Wisconsin Center for Education Research.

Summary: The researchers examined the career trajectories of people with doctorates in the STEM disciplines — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics — and related fields to try to determine w…


President of Wellesley College Will Step Down

H. Kim Bottomly, the president of Wellesley College, will step down in July 2016, the college announced on Friday. Ms. Bottomly has served as president of the elite women’s college since 2007.

“There will never be an easy time to leave such a wonderful place,” Ms. Bottomly said in a letter to the Massachusetts campus, “but this is the right time for me. With robust financial and intellectual resources in place, and with efforts to renew our celebrated campus well underway, the college is strongl…


Professors Are More Responsive to Prospective Ph.D. Students Who Are White and Male

Report: “What Happens Before? A Field Experiment Exploring How Pay and Representation Differentially Shape Bias on the Pathway Into Organizations”

Authors: Katherine L. Milkman of the University of Pennsylvania, Modupe Akinola of Columbia University, and Dolly Chugh of New York University

Publication: Journal of Applied Psychology, a publication of the American Psychological Association

Summary: White male students are much more likely than female or minority students to hear back from faculty m…


Community-College Presidents Rip U. of Akron’s Affordability Claim

Four community-college presidents in Ohio have called into question the University of Akron’s claim that its new courses are the region’s most affordable, The Plain Dealer reports. The university announced on Wednesday that some general-education courses would cost a discounted $50 per credit hour, representing what it says is “half the cost of comparable courses offered by area community colleges.”

But the presidents of Cuyahoga Community College, Lakeland Community College, Lorain County Community College, and Stark State College said the claim was incorrect. “In fact, the overall cost of the 60 credit hours at a community college for the associate degree is less than half of the cost for 60 credit hours at the University of Akron, even with the proposed discounted tuition structure,” the presidents said in a news release.

In his response, Akron’s president, Scott L. Scarborough, did not directly address that assertion but said, “the bottom line is that we are taking action to help more students succeed when they are most vulnerable — at the start of their academic careers.”

Akron officials have said one goal of the new discount is to increase enrollment.

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Presidents of four Northeast Ohio community colleges say the University of Akron is misleading students by claiming new $50-per-credit-hour courses are a better value than comparable courses at two-year colleges. The presidents of Cuyahoga Community College, Lorain County Community College, Lakeland Community College and Stark State College fired back late Wednesday.

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Thousands of Workers Were Denied NYU’s Protections on Abu Dhabi Project, Probe Finds

One-third of the work force used to build New York University’s campus in Abu Dhabi was not subject to the institution’s enhanced labor protections, an independent investigation has found. But the long-awaited results of the inquiry also state that the college’s commitment to the standards was “real, implemented in good faith, and, to a large measure, effective.”

The report, prepared by the investigative firm Nardello & Company, largely lays the blame on the developer overseeing the project and …


Wealth Gap Between Richest Colleges and Others Is Expected to Grow

The nation’s 40 wealthiest universities are getting richer, and their endowments are growing at a faster rate than those of other institutions, The Wall Street Journal says, citing a report to be published on Thursday by Moody’s Investors Service.

The 10 richest institutions held nearly one-third of total cash and investments at four-year colleges in the 2014 fiscal year, while the top 40 institutions accounted for two-thirds of the wealth, the report says. Moody’s officials add that the gap bet…


College of DuPage Faces Federal Investigation, Too

The College of DuPage, a community college in Illinois whose spending and other decisions have recently come under scrutiny from DuPage County prosecutors and state education officials, now faces a federal inquiry, too, the Chicago Tribune reports. A federal grand jury issued subpoenas this week that seek documents related to spending and other matters at the college.

The subpoenas follow a Tribune investigation that raised questions about a number of decisions at the college, including a $763,…