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					                              CLIPS REPORT
 Clips Report is a selection of local, statewide and national news clips about the University of Missouri
 and higher education, compiled by UM System University Communications as a service for UM System
 officials. The report may include articles dealing with controversial subjects, policy matters, higher
 education trends and other significant topics affecting the University.

 The articles are not screened for accuracy, balance of favorable and unfavorable reports, or
 representation of campuses, University Extension or media outlets. Some articles, especially those from
 Columbia newspapers, are written by students. The report is not an effort to measure the University‘s
 public information efforts.

                                               May 30, 2008

UM recognized for workplace wellness programs, 1
UMHC reports possible elevated levels of bacteria in water, 2
MU autism center creates new positions, 4
MU grad returns in Navy flight team, 5
MU gears up for rummage sale, 7
Officers talk juvenile off MU parking garage, 9
UMKC school to concentrate on training teachers in urban education, 10
UMKC dental student to get service award from Bush, 11
Express Scripts enters $9.5 million agreement, 12
Missouri S&T, 16 others picked to re-engineer Saturn VUE in ecoCAR challenge, 13
Western tuition goes up 4 percent, 14
Washington U. has big role in Phoenix Mars Lander, 15
Three Rivers shortens school week, 16
Business blog: Missouri rolls out gift program for college savings plan, 24
Column: The good and the bad of legislative inaction, 25
News analysis: Student-loan rescue plan has hidden costs and benefits, 26
Researchers worry about inflated measures of student engagement, 28
Accreditors advise colleges to make better use of student-learning data, 30
Op-ed: Wealthy colleges must make themselves more affordable, 32
Private-college group steps up promotion of a test to measure student progress, 35
Wake Forest U. joins the ranks of test-optional colleges, 38
Study finds graduation gap for first-generation students, regardless of preparation, 41
Colleges mine data to predict dropouts, 42
Conference participants discuss key issues in international education, 45
Scholars urge colleges to retain data on race that new federal rules would blur, 48
Journals find fakery in many images submitted to support research, 51
Higher education is in flux as demographics change, federal report shows, 55
Government red tape is a top concern for international educators, 57
Cold reality intrudes on diversity conference in Disney World, 60
Columbia Missourian
UM System recognized for workplace wellness programs
Thursday, May 29, 2008

COLUMBIA — When Thomas Atkins took his seat on the UM System Board of Curators in 2001, he
made the health of the university‘s faculty and staff one of his main goals. Seven years later, UM has
been recognized for its workplace wellness programs.

Thursday, during a ceremony recognizing the university as a ―fit friendly‖ workplace, Atkins, 74 and
now a curator emeritus, smiled proudly as he accepted a plaque from the American Heart Association
during a presentation at MU‘s Lowry Mall.

―I insisted (when I started the program) and I insist now that if it‘s performed well and with
enthusiasm that we will have a payback instead of a payout,‖ he said.

He went on to explain that if people don‘t have a healthy work place, they don‘t feel well and don‘t
perform well. The university ends up paying the price in lost productivity.

―(Atkins) pushed for wellness from the very beginning of his time on the Board of Curators, and we
wouldn‘t have this award without him,‖ said Laura Schopp, director of the UM System‘s T.E. Atkins
Wellness Program.

Wellness program coordinator Jenny Workman said the system received the award because of its
dedication to wellness in the workplace for faculty and staff through such programs as smoking
cessation, stress management, healthy eating and exercise. The wellness program began in MU Health
Care as a pilot in 2004. It expanded to the four system campuses in October 2007.

―The Heart Association always recognizes that the first year is where you‘re going to run into a lot of
hiccups,‖ American Heart Association representative Joe Pallikkathayil said in presenting the award to
Atkins. ―But your organization has done an amazing job in getting through any barriers.‖

Schopp said that about 165 people took tours of MU‘s Botanical Gardens, and 120 signed up to
become wellness volunteers or ambassadors who commit to wellness within their specific workplaces.

―Wellness ambassadors are our voices,‖ Workman said. ―We need them to get the word out.‖

Atkins said that he‘s proud of the progress he‘s seen at the system level, but that there is always more
that could be done.

―We know this work begins right here at home,‖ Atkins said. ―We‘ve come a long way, but we have a
lot further to go.‖

Columbia Daily Tribune
Bacteria turn up in hospital water
Friday, May 23, 2008

University Hospital today reported possible elevated levels of Legionella pneumophila, the bacterium that
causes Legionnaires‘ disease, in its water supply for the first time since it began testing for it in 2005.

The hospital has begun super-heating and flushing its hot water lines, a process that could be
completed in upcoming days. As a precaution, patients were given bottled drinking water or
encouraged to drink only cold water.

Legionella grows in warm water and is spread to humans when a person with a weakened immune
system breathes mist or vapor particles from an infected source. This can happen through drinking,
breathing or bathing. Historically, outbreaks have begun at infected pools, hot tubs or air-conditioning

No patients have shown symptoms of Legionnaires‘, a type of pneumonia that causes high-fevers,
chills and a cough.

In August 2005, however, two patients at University Hospital contracted Legionnaires‘ disease, and
one later died. A hospital representative said neither patient was conclusively proved to have acquired
the disease at the hospital, but the incident spurred stricter requirements.

"In truth, this is a very minor problem," Michael Cooperstock, director of infection control at
University of Missouri Health Care, said this morning. "But it can be easily misunderstood and
converted into a scare, and that would be inappropriate. ... So that‘s why we‘re releasing this

Cooperstock added that University Hospital is one of the few in the country to test their water for
legionella. He said the bacteria are found naturally in soil, lakes and air-conditioners.

"It‘s pretty wimpy, and it isn‘t a threat unless somebody has a severely compromised immune system
for some reason, like they‘re undergoing chemotherapy," Cooperstock said. "But, obviously, those are
some of the patients we treat here, so it‘s something we have to be very careful about."

On Monday, after a quarterly test of all hospital water lines, the hospital discovered 33 percent of its
cultures tested positive for legionella. That is above the Center for Disease Control‘s recommended
threshold for hospitals of 30 percent.

Officials packaged samples of the bacteria and sent them to the Special Pathogens Lab in Pittsburgh,
which will run tests to determine whether they are, in fact, legionella or a similar bacteria.

Until then, all hot water lines will be heated at 160 degrees to kill the bacteria and flushed, and more
testing will be done to confirm the bacteria is not surviving. The hospital, Cooperstock said, is better
suited to prevent growth of legionella since it installed a copper-silver ionization suppression system
that puts tiny amounts of copper and silver ions into the water to kill bacteria.

Eden Dietle, a senior epidemiology specialist with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior
Services, said there have been 12 cases of Legionnaires‘ disease reported in the state in 2008. That
figure is up about 50 percent from the five-year median average, but she cautioned some of the cases
have not been confirmed.

She said there is no discernable pattern in the current cases, and hospitals were not the most likely
source of infection.

"Several of the cases had a travel history where they‘d been in hotels, but I didn‘t see a whole lot of
hospitalization," Dietle said. "It‘s just one of those things where if you‘re around this water source,
particularly misting waters," you can be at risk. "That‘s something people are exposed to in lots of
different places."

Columbia Daily Tribune
Autism center at MU creates new positions
Thursday, May 29, 2008

The Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders at the University of Missouri
announced the creation of two new positions to meet growth that has brought the center national
attention in the past two years.

Jim Poehling was named executive director and chief administrative officer. As a result of the move,
Kathy Thornburg, who had assumed the post of interim co-director in November, will resume her
responsibilities as director of the Center for Family Policy and Research.

Poehling was chief operating officer of MU Health Care until 2008. Before that, he was director of
Columbia Regional Hospital and held other health-care administrative positions dating to 1973.

The second new position will be filled by Janet Farmer, who was named director of academic
programs. Farmer was the center‘s founding director and professor of health psychology in the MU
School of Health Professions.

Columbia Daily Tribune
Homecoming for a pilot
Mizzou grad returns in Navy flight team.
Saturday, May 24, 2008

For Navy Lt. Brian Heater, this weekend‘s Salute to Veterans Airshow is a homecoming and family

The 20th annual Memorial Day weekend air show, scheduled to take off at 9:30 a.m. today, marks the
first time Heater has been in the Columbia area since 2000, when he graduated from the University of
Missouri with a business degree.

The 32-year-old Joplin native pilots an F/A-18F "Super Hornet" in the West Coast Demonstration
Team, which is slated to make a demonstration flight to close out both days of air show activities at
Columbia Regional Airport. His mother, Debbie Heater of Kansas City, plans to attend. It will be the
first time she has seen him fly.

Heater has been a Navy pilot for eight years, the past six piloting the Super Hornet. He left Columbia
the day after his May 2000 graduation for aviation training in Pensacola, Fla. He said he has also been
stationed in Corpus Christi, Texas; Beaufort, S.C; and now in California.

"I‘m excited," he said of returning to Columbia. "I want to check out the campus. What have they
built? A new basketball arena. A new business school."

He also was deployed three times aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise in the Persian Gulf, flying about 50
missions during Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. All told, he‘s landed a jet
on an aircraft carrier about 220 times, including about 100 nighttime landings, he said.

Navy Lt. Chad Underwood will join Heater in the cockpit this weekend as co-pilot. "It‘s the best deal
in the Navy by far," Underwood said of flying at air shows.

If the weather cooperates, the air show will offer an impressive demonstration of the Super Hornet,
the pilots said. Some likely tactics include vertical ascents and upside-down maneuvers.

"This is probably the best flying we do, actually," Heater said.

Salute to Veterans Airboss Kevin Nowack said it is hard to make predictions from the weekend‘s
forecast. "The weather guys tell me it‘s going to rain sometime this weekend," he said, "but they can‘t
tell me when."

Seventeen planes are scheduled to fly each day of the air show, Nowack said.

Vintage World War I and World War II planes will start the event. Other highlights include parachute
jumps by teams of the U.S. Army Special Operations and Canadian Armed Forces as well as a solemn

A Memorial Day parade is scheduled in downtown Columbia, beginning at 9:55 a.m. Monday.

The Trojan Phlyers Demonstration Team will make its first appearance at the air show.

Chip Lamb, 53, of Southlake, Texas, said he constantly hears stories from veterans who trained in the
T-28 airplanes. The propeller-driven aircraft were built during the 1950s, and the Navy was the last
military branch to use them, Lamb said. They were retired in 1983.

"This is old-school flying," he said. "This is back to the days before radar, navigational systems and all

The demonstration team includes three privately owned planes that fly in formation before one of the
planes breaks away, captivating the crowd, Lamb said.

The T-28s can reach a top speed of 375 mph, Lamb said, compared to the 700 mph a Super Hornet is
expected to reach while flying this weekend.

"It‘s the difference between driving a Ferrari and driving a pickup," Lamb said, comparing the two
aircraft. "When you get in them, you‘re still driving ... but you don‘t mix them up because they‘re so

Lamb recently retired after 30 years of service with the U.S. Air Force, the Texas Air National Guard
and the Air Force Reserve. "We‘re all veterans ourselves," he said. "It makes us proud to come here
and honor the war veterans who served before us and the ones who served after us."

Columbia Daily Tribune
MU gears up for massive rummage sale
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Many longtime residents of Columbia know some of the best shopping this time of year can be found at the
curbside outside of the University of Missouri‘s residence halls. This week, for the second year, bargain
hunters won‘t have to dive into dumpsters or lurk outside dorm rooms in search of secondhand treasure.
Saturday is the second-annual Tiger Treasures rummage sale put on by the University of Missouri and
sponsored by the United Way. Organizers placed 157 bins around campus and asked departing students to
fill them with odds and ends from dorm rooms - things they either didn‘t want or just couldn‘t cram into
departing vehicles.
The result is a smorgasbord of rainbow-colored footwear, tiny microwaves, clothes for all sizes and at least
one neon-pink Christmas tree. The loot is being organized by volunteers on tabletops and hangers
stretching beneath the stands at Memorial Stadium‘s east-side entrance.
"If it‘s worth a quarter, we want it. If it‘s not, we don‘t," said Steve Burdic, Solid Waste and Recycling
Coordinator at MU who said his collectors were picking up containers twice daily at the height of move-out
time. "We tried to keep it down to a dull roar."
Burdic said the bins this year were overflowing with all sorts of flotsam and jetsam from student dorm life.
Printers and shag carpets seemed particularly popular, he said. And this year‘s haul is the biggest yet. Burdic
believes that‘s because for the first time donations were opened to residents of fraternity and sorority
houses and Residential Life apartments.
"One lady put out a television, and I said, ‗Are you sure you want to get rid of that?‘" he said. "And she
said, ‗Either the TV‘s going to go or the kid,‘ and I guess she had a bigger investment in the kid."
Burdic reports the donations totaled more than 15 tons. He proudly pointed out that all of those things
would otherwise be filling local landfills, and will now be reused. Many items, said organizers, were left in
surprisingly pristine condition.
"A few of these textbooks have never been out of the wrapper," said Cyndy Chapman, Salvation Army
director of development, gesturing to a table of books. "So I‘m wondering what happened. Some parent is
probably saying, ‗Aha, that‘s why chemistry didn‘t go so well.‘ "
For bargain hunters who want first crack at the merchandise, doors will open at 6 a.m. Early birds who pay
an extra $5 will have one hour to rummage around before doors open to the general public at 7 a.m. The
sale closes at noon. Entrance is free to the public. Last year, nearly 700 people paid the fee to get in early,
Chapman said.
Proceeds will be divided among five United Way organizations: the Salvation Army, Phoenix Programs Inc.,
Meals on Wheels, the Voluntary Action Center and Big Brothers and Big Sisters of Central Missouri. Money
will be divvied up proportionately based on the number of hours donated by volunteers from each
organization. Last year, proceeds totaled around $10,000.
All electronic items have been tested to see that they function, but all sales are final. Last year more than 80
percent of the items were sold. Clothing that doesn‘t sell is baled and donated all over the world by the
Salvation Army.
Until Saturday, volunteers will be hard at work trying to make some sense out of the diverse donations. This
morning, Terri Kooney, who sits on the board of directors at Meals on Wheels, had the task of separating
clothing by style, then hanging and tagging them. Some of the garments, she said, straddled the line between
underwear and high fashion.

"There are a lot of styles where it‘s hard to say where they belong," said Kooney, pointing to a tiny pair of
black and white-striped leggings. "I guess the wearer knew what it was."
Columbia Missourian
Tiger Treasures rummage sale expands in second year
Thursday, May 29, 2008
COLUMBIA — A giant Sonic the Hedgehog stuffed animal dressed in a witch costume will be at Memorial
Stadium this Saturday.
The stuffed animal is just one of the oddities available at this year‘s Tiger Treasures rummage sale, put on
by MU and benefiting the United Way.
In its second year, the sale features an array of items donated or left behind by students in MU residence
halls, as well as Greek houses and MU Residential Life student apartments. Organizers around campus
collected 15 tons of stuff, roughly the same amount as last year, said Steve Burdic, MU‘s coordinator of
solid waste and recycling. Volunteers helped collect, sort and price the items, including clothing and
bedding, furniture, electronics, appliances and even a piano. And, of course, one giant Sonic the Hedgehog.
Although the haul was comparable to last year‘s, it drew from more places, including fraternities, sororities
and apartments.
Burdic said Greeks Going Green, an MU student organization that promotes sustainability in the Greek
community, got involved this year after Burdic met with the organization‘s president, Sam Urkov. Burdic
said expanding to other residences has contributed greatly to the sale.
―We‘ve had good response from the Greek community and we hope to build upon that in the future,‖
Burdic said.
Urkov said it is important to include the Greek community in projects such as Tiger Treasures.
―It left out about 25 percent of Mizzou‘s population in the Greek houses,‖ he said. ―That‘s a pretty big
percent of the population that is now getting the chance to donate their goods.‖
Tiger Treasures also picked up items from MU Residential Life‘s student apartments, including Tara
Apartments, Manor House, Village Heights and The Village.
Cyndy Chapman, development director for Salvation Army, said items are still being collected from student
apartments because some residents move out of those areas at later dates.
The sale‘s expansion also brought together more volunteers from United Way agencies, including the
Salvation Army, Meals on Wheels, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, the Voluntary Action Center and Phoenix
Programs. In 2007, only Salvation Army had the resources to volunteer on short notice, Chapman said.
Proceeds from the sale will go to all the agencies, which will split up the money according to the amount of
volunteer hours credited to each.
―We learned so much last year that we were able to plan a great deal for this year,‖ Chapman said.
The sale begins at 7 a.m. Saturday, under the east side stands of Memorial Stadium, but ―early bird‖
shoppers can enter at 6 a.m. if they pay a $5 fee. Chapman said about 700 people paid the fee to get in early
last year.

Columbia Daily Tribune
Officers talk suicidal juvenile off tall garage
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A dramatic scene unfolded late yesterday morning as local law enforcement officers talked a suicidal
juvenile mental health patient out of leaping from the five-story Maryland Avenue parking garage near
University Hospital.

Boone County Sheriff‘s Department deputies were dispatched at 11:45 a.m. in response to reports that
a juvenile had escaped from Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center, known as Mid-Mo. En route, the
deputies learned that Mid-Mo staff had located the patient on top of the Maryland Avenue parking
garage on the University of Missouri campus.

The sheriff‘s department requested help from the MU and Columbia police departments. The
Columbia Fire Department also was called to the scene. All agencies worked to close off access to the
garage and the surrounding streets.

An MUPD officer made the initial contact with the juvenile patient, who was sitting on the outer wall
of the top level of the parking structure with his feet dangling over the edge, the sheriff‘s department
said in a news release.

While the officer was negotiating with the patient, the young man stood up on the wall and placed his
feet on the edge. The negotiation continued, and the officer persuaded the patient to step down from
the wall and onto the parking surface.

The negotiating officer and sheriff‘s deputy were then within 15 feet of the juvenile. He moved closer
to the two officers as the negotiation continued. When the patient was about 6 feet from the two
officers, his attention momentarily shifted to a third officer, allowing the first two officers a chance to
rush forward.

The officers secured the juvenile, took him into custody and transferred him back to the Mid-Mo staff.

The Kansas City Star
Editorial: UMKC school to concentrate on training teachers in urban education
Sunday, May 25, 2008

At least half the teachers in urban schools quit their jobs within three to five years.

Young teachers who were inadequately prepared to educate impoverished children leave, and are
replaced by teachers who are no better equipped for the challenge.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City has made a courageous decision aimed at breaking that cycle.
Its School of Education has shifted all its resources into preparing teachers for jobs in urban schools.

―The urban and challenged schools are where we need to focus, and there‘s no way we can do that
when we‘re focusing on the suburban schools, too,‖ Dean Linda Edwards said.

UMKC may risk losing some prospective students with the new emphasis. Nearly all student-teaching
assignments will take place in urban schools. That may discourage some students who want to use
student-teaching posts as springboards to jobs in wealthier districts.

But in the long run, the university stands to gain if it can establish itself as a center of excellence in
urban education.

Certainly some area school districts will benefit from teachers who are trained to work with children
whose families are poor and who need extra help with language, literacy and life skills.

Special training in urban education should make aspiring teachers marketable even in many wealthy
districts that contain pockets of poverty.

UMKC has sometimes been criticized for standing apart from Kansas City and its challenges. With its
bold new plan for partnering with city schools, the university is breaking out of that pattern.

The Kansas City Star
UMKC dental student to get service award from Bush
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A dental student at the University of Missouri-Kansas City will get a special award from President

Ashley Knight will receive the President‘s Volunteer Service Award for her community service work,
including recruiting volunteers to provide dental care at the Kansas City Free Health Clinic.

Bush will recognize Knight on Thursday afternoon before he travels to Bucyrus, Kan., to raise money
for congressional candidate Nick Jordan.

St. Louis Business Journal
Express Scripts enters $9.5 million agreement in drug switching probe
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Express Scripts Inc. reached a $9.5 million voluntary agreement with attorneys general of 28 states,
including Missouri, and the District of Columbia resolving allegations that the company encouraged
doctors to switch patients to drugs that would net more money for Express Scripts.

Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon's office, in a release Tuesday, said that the agreement resolves
concerns by Nixon and the other attorneys general that Express Scripts engaged in deceptive business
practices by encouraging doctors to switch patients to different brand name prescription drugs while
representing that the patients and/or health plans would save money. Express Scripts did not clearly
disclose to its client plans that money accrued from the drug switching process would be retained by
the company and not passed directly to the client plan, Nixon said in a statement.

The parties entered an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance and Discontinuance (AVC) that precludes
future litigation against the company by the attorneys general under state consumer protection and
antitrust laws in areas that were the subject of the four-year investigation, Express Scripts said in a
release Tuesday.

The agreement calls for Express Scripts to pay $9.5 million, of which $9.3 million will divided up
among the states and District of Columbia, and $200,000 will be allocated for payments up to $25 each
to patients for physician visits and tests related to drug switches between brand statin drugs.

Missouri will receive $246,053, according to Nixon's release.

Express Scripts said it also does not admit any of the assertions made by the attorneys general in the
AVC, and that its disclosures to clients have been forthright and adequate. Express Scripts said the
settlement amounts had previously been reserved and will not affect the company's results for the
second quarter or any future period.

St. Louis-based Express Scripts Inc. (Nasdaq: ESRX) is one of the largest pharmacy benefit managers
in the country providing services to more than 50 million members.

Jefferson City News Tribune
Missouri S&T, 16 others picked to re-engineer Saturn VUE in ecoCAR challenge
Press Release
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
ROLLA, Mo. -- A Missouri University of Science and Technology team is one of 17 university groups from the United
States and Canada selected to compete in a three-year competition, to design a more eco-friendly vehicle, announced today by the
U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and Natural Resources Canada.
EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge will test students' abilities to re-engineer a Saturn VUE to achieve improved
fuel economy and reduced greenhouse gas emissions, while retaining the vehicle's performance and
consumer appeal.
Students will design and build advanced propulsion solutions that are based on the vehicle categories from
the California Air Resources Board (CARB) zero emissions vehicle (ZEV) regulations. They will be
encouraged to explore a variety of cutting-edge clean vehicle solutions, including full-function electric,
range-extended electric, hybrid, plug-in hybrid and fuel cell technologies. In addition, they will incorporate
lightweight materials into the vehicles, improve aerodynamics and utilize alternative fuels such as ethanol,
biodiesel and hydrogen.
―With our emphasis on alternative energy research, the ecoCAR challenge is a natural fit for Missouri
S&T,‖ says Chancellor John F. Carney III. ―The knowledge and experience gained from this project and
other design competitions better prepare our students to address our world's environmental and energy
During the three-year program, General Motors will provide production vehicles, vehicle components, seed
money, technical mentoring and operational support. The U.S. Department of Energy and its research and
development facility, Argonne National Laboratory, will provide competition management, team evaluation
and technical and logistical support. Through sponsoring such advanced vehicle engineering competitions,
GM and the U.S. Department of Energy are developing the next generation of scientists and engineers.
―We're excited to see what these student engineers will develop over the next three years,‖ says Beth
Lowery, General Motors vice president of environment, energy and safety policy. ―The objectives of
ecoCAR are right in line with GM's strategy.‖
―EcoCAR is the latest in a series of Department-sponsored student competitions that will foster the
training of the next generation of engineers who will develop the clean vehicle technology solutions to
enhance our energy security and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,‖ says Ed Wall, DOE's manager of the
vehicle technologies program. ―It will be exciting to watch as the students work over the next three years to
design, build, test and showcase their vehicles.‖
In the first year, teams will develop their vehicle designs through the use of GM's Global Vehicle
Development Process - the modeling and simulation process currently used to develop all of GM's vehicles.
Sophisticated hardware in the loop (HIL) and software in the loop (SIL) systems will be utilized, and teams
will be challenged to model and simulate the integration of their subsystems into the overall vehicle design.
The emphasis is on optimizing a practical solution that will meet the goals of the competition.
During the second and third years of the competition, students will build the vehicle and continue to refine,
test, and improve vehicle operation. At the end of years two and three, the re-engineered student vehicle
prototypes will compete in a week-long competition of engineering tests. These tests will be similar to the
tests GM conducts to determine a prototype's readiness for production. The Greenhouse gas, Regulated
Emissions, and Energy in Transportation (GREET) model, developed at Argonne National Laboratory, will
be used to assess a well-to-wheel analysis of the greenhouse gas impacts of each technology approach the
teams select.
Additional information about EcoCAR is available online at

St. Joseph News-Press
Western tuition goes up 4 percent
Rate per credit hour increases to $166.40
Friday, May 23, 2008

Following a state norm, Missouri Western State University‘s governing board hiked tuition by 4
percent Thursday.

Missouri Senate Bill 389, which passed last year, caps tuition increases at public universities at the rate
of the consumer price index (4.1 percent).

Tuition at Western for the 2008-2009 school year will be $166.40 per credit. The increase is $6.40 per
hour, or 4 percent over last year‘s cost, and will go into effect this fall.

The general fees, which also are on a per-hour basis, will increase by $1.60. The increase will go toward
instructional support, which according to Western officials, includes library, instructional media and
information technology.

Dr. Jim Scanlon, Western president, said the increase will help cover rising costs in salaries, instruction,
utilities, scholarships, software and hardware.

Graduate tuition will rise 4.1 percent to $201 per credit hour. The increase over last year‘s cost is $7.72.
Graduate tuition increases also are capped at the rate of the consumer price index.

The tuition and fee increases would increase Western‘s budget by $865,000 assuming students take the
same number of hours in 2008-2009 as in 2007-2008.

Western‘s governing board passed the tuition increase with no discussion.

Western‘s board approved a similar increase last year from $155 to $160, and general fees increased 50
cents to $12.50.

Western was able to hold its tuition at $146 for three years until finally raising it in 2006 to $155 per
credit hour.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Washington U. has big role in Phoenix Mars Lander
Saturday, May 24, 2008
A team of Washington University researchers and students has been sleeping in late to adjust to time on
Mars in preparation for Sunday evening, when the Phoenix Mars Lander is expected to touch down.
Raymond Arvidson, chairman of Washington U.'s earth and planetary sciences department, along with one
graduate and three undergraduate students, have been in Tuscon, Ariz., since the middle of the week,
getting up to speed with computer software and making other last minute arrangements. They plan to
remain at the University of Arizona's command center for the next 90 days or so until the mission is
One of those students, Tabatha Heet, just graduated last week. She is especially anxious to see if her work
finding a relatively smooth landing site without too many rocks was successful. Using high resolution
pictures, she counted rocks in Mars' cold, northern latitudes to locate a suitable site.
"I guess if we get images back and we see Phoenix impaled on a rock, I'll be a little upset," Heet said Friday
by telephone. "But I really don't think that's going to happen."
Arvidson explained that the two Mars rovers — Spirit and Opportunity — which have been going strong
for a couple of years now have taken samples of rocks near the equator. Those samples have shown ample
evidence that the rocks were once in water.
"Water and habitability and life all go together," he said.
Now, the Phoenix will go into more unchartered territory — the northern latitudes of the planet where
scientists believe there is only a couple of inches of soil covering a thick layer of ice. The hope is that by
gathering samples from this layer, researchers will be able to learn more about the current and past climate
on the planet.
This mission will also be the first to obtain samples of ice, Arvidson said. So there is the hope that scientists
will find organic compounds that might have been preserved in the ice.
"It's a long shot," Arvidson conceded. "But we are looking for evidence of past or current life."
In addition to finding the landing site, Arvidson and the Washington U. team are also responsible for the
robotic arm which will be used to obtain the samples and to conduct experiments like digging trenches. The
students will be responsible for documenting everything during the mission.
And a team of five researchers and students back in St. Louis at Washington U. will be processing and
archiving of the data for NASA.
Arvidson, who is leading operations the first week, has become a veteran of these missions, having been
involved with the Viking Lander missions in the 1970s and with the Mars rovers in more recent years. So
this will be his fifth mission to Mars.
Aided by a parachute and retro rockets, the Phoenix is designed to make a soft landing on its three legs.
This should happen just before 7 p.m. St. Louis time. Then, the researchers will wait for the message that it
has safely landed. About two hours later, they hope to see the first images from Phoenix.
Since days on Mars are 24 minutes longer than those on Earth, the scientists in Tuscon will be starting their
days 24 minutes later each day during the 90-day mission.
"So you wind up with this bizarre jet lag," Arvidson said.

Southeast Missourian
Three Rivers shortens school week
Friday, May 23, 2008

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. — With gas prices expected to reach $4 a gallon this summer, student
commuters are feeling the pinch. In response, some colleges are scaling back to a four-day school

At Three Rivers Community College in Poplar Bluff, every weekend will be a long weekend for
students this summer.

"That saves one full day of driving," said Dr. Larry Kimbrow, executive vice president of Three Rivers.
He estimated a majority of students drive 30 miles or more each way to get to class. "Some are coming
as far as an hour away," he said.

Classes will be extended from 55 minutes to an hour and 10 minutes. Students and faculty will
maintain the same number of contact hours as a traditional schedule.

The college tried the four-day week on a pilot basis last summer and decided to make it permanent this
year. Response has been so positive university officials are considering doing the same for the fall and
spring semesters. Kimbrow said a five-day week schedule would continue to be offered as well.

"For example, with college writing, one section would meet on Monday-Wednesday, one on Tuesday-
Thursday, and one on Monday-Wednesday-Friday," he said. The board of trustees would have to
approve such a move, he said.

Southeast Missouri State University has operated on a four-day-a-week summer schedule for years,
according to Dr. Fred Janzow, vice provost. Staff members still work a five-day week.

Multiple colleges, and even some K-12 districts, across the U.S. are moving toward a shorter school
week. A school district in Minnesota made headlines this month when the school board approved an
alternative schedule, intended to trim transportation, food and utility costs.

Similar schedules are already in place in Florida, Arkansas and South Dakota, among other states.
Proponents say the four-day week improves attendance, discipline and test scores, while opponents
cite concerns about child care during the fifth day.

Missouri law requires public schools run at least 174 days and that students attend 1,044 hours during
the school year.

"Our law does not prohibit a four-day school week, but it would be difficult for a school district to
create a workable schedule," Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
spokesman Jim Morris wrote in an e-mail.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Student loan authority to end rate discounts
Cutback comes as MOHELA turns to the federal government for help financing loans
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Jefferson City -- Missouri's student loan authority plans to stop offering discounted interest rates next
month because of financial pressures that are forcing it to seek federal help to continue serving new

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority will quit offering its current interest rate breaks for new
borrowers who pay with automatic withdrawals and for students entering public service professions, such as
teaching, law enforcement and nursing.

The changes will take effect for loans issued after June 1.

"We're still committed to loan forgiveness programs and borrower benefits. Unfortunately, we're not going
to be able to do it in the form of reduced interest rates promised for many years to come," Executive
Director Raymond Bayer Jr. said Tuesday.

The decision was made at a board meeting Friday, he said.

The cutback in borrower incentives comes as the Chesterfield-based student loan agency -- for the first time
in its 27-year history -- is turning to the federal government for help financing its loans.

Bayer said the agency plans to tap a U.S. Department of Education line of credit for several hundred million
dollars to finance loans made during the next school year.

The student loan industry has experienced financial pains in recent months, due partly to a 2007 law that
cut its federal subsidies and partly to the credit-market crunch that has made it more difficult for lenders to
package and sell loans for a profit.

Missouri's loan authority has added pressure on its resources. Under a 2007 law backed by Gov. Matt Blunt,
MOHELA is to transfer $350 million to the state over six years to finance college building projects.

The loan agency sold some of its assets and tapped into excess cash to transfer the initial $230 million to
the state in September. But because of financial losses, it delayed a scheduled quarterly payment to the state
in March.

Noting the general financial troubles in the student loan industry, Bayer said there is no connection between
the college building payments and MOHELA's decision to curtail its interest rate breaks.

"This already has happened industrywide; borrower benefits virtually don't exist," Bayer said. "We had held
out as long as we could."

But leading Democrats suggested MOHELA's cutbacks resulted from the Republican governor's building

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jay Nixon, the current attorney general, described the MOHELA
decision as a "crushing blow" to students already paying higher tuition.

"When Gov. Blunt raided MOHELA's assets, the one thing he assured us was that it would cause no harm
to Missouri students," Nixon said in a written statement. "It was obvious -- at least to those of us who

fought the MOHELA raid from the beginning -- that Missouri students would end up paying the price.
And now they are."

House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, of Independence, and Democratic treasurer candidate Rep. Clint
Zweifel, of Florissant, also claimed Blunt's college construction plan had weakened MOHELA and
contributed to its decision to end its student interest rate breaks.

Zweifel pointed to a February 2007 memo by Liscarnan Solutions LLC warning that potential changes in
federal student loan policies could invalidate its previous conclusion that the building payments would not
jeopardize MOHELA's financial health or its benefits to students.

"The contention that when you suck $350 million of assets out of an organization that it has no effect on
their ability to work through a pretty tough and difficult time in the credit market is just silly," Zweifel said.

Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson said the Democratic criticism was simply wrong.

"Jay Nixon has always been opposed to every project funded by the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative,
and Jay Nixon has never understood how MOHELA operates," she said. "Now he seems to be entirely
unaware of a global problem that affects every entity that used auction-rate securities."

Missouri's loan agency has shaved between 2 and 3 percentage points off the interest rates charged to
people who pay by automatic withdrawal, depending on whether they attended school in state and whether
their loans are guaranteed by the state.

That will drop to a one-quarter of a percentage point reduction beginning June 1, Bayer said.

The loan agency also will cease a program that offered interest rates of 3.25 percent -- or 0.25 percent if
payments were made through automatic withdrawal -- for students who remained to work in Missouri as
teachers, nurses, police, firefighters, paramedics, social service workers, state employees or members of the
National Guard or reserves.

Bayer said those two interest-rate-reduction programs have benefited fewer than 5 percent of MOHELA's
loan recipients, or about 23,000 of its roughly 500,000 borrowers. Those loans account for about $170
million of its $5.1 billion in loans, he said.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
MOHELA drops two programs that offered interest rate cuts
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Missouri's student loan authority is ending two programs that gave interest rate breaks to certain borrowers
— programs that led the organization to often brag that it offered the industry's leading borrower benefits.

Critics attribute part of the decision to a controversial state campus construction plan that tapped $350
million from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority. But MOHELA points to market forces
affecting the whole student loan industry.

"We're one of the last ones to make this announcement," said Raymond Bayer Jr., MOHELA's CEO.
"Virtually all borrower benefits have gone away nationwide. ... We held off as long as we could."

These changes, indirectly approved by MOHELA's board on Friday, come a couple of months after
MOHELA laid off 16 workers, shut down its loan consolidation and private loan programs, and faced its
first operating loss.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Political Blog: Blunt fires back at Nixon over MOHELA
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gov. Matt Blunt’s spokeswoman, Jessica Robinson, e-mailed the following response this morning to
Attorney General Jay Nixon’s criticisms over the financial problems now facing the Missouri Higher
Education Loan Authority (see post Tuesday, below, for details.)

Said Robinson: ―Jay Nixon has always been opposed to every project funded by the Lewis and Clark
Discovery Initiative, and Jay Nixon has never understood how MOHELA operates. Now he is seems to be
entirely unaware of a global problem that affects every entity that used auction rate securities.

―MOHELA has correctly pointed out that their decision was driven by global problems and not the Lewis
and Clark Discovery Initiative.

―Jay Nixon is so out of touch with reality that he asked the governor to veto a bill that capped tuition and
led to the quadrupling of student scholarships.‖

The Kansas City Star
Democrats go after Blunt on end of low cost loans
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Attorney General Jay Nixon blasted Gov. Matt Blunt Tuesday in the wake of a decision by Missouri‘s
college loan agency to eliminate low-cost loans for teachers, police officers and nurses.

The board of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority voted Friday to end the Public Service
Reward and Rate Relief programs. Nixon and other Democrats blamed the move on Blunt‘s college
construction program, which required the loan authority to pay the state $350 million over six years.

Nixon said the elimination of the loan subsidy would cause students in the program to pay interest rates as
much as 3 percentage points higher on their student loans.

―When Gov. Blunt raided MOHELA‘s assets, the one thing he assured us was that it would cause no harm
to Missouri students,‖ Nixon said in a statement. ―It was obvious – at least to those of us who fought the
MOHELA raid from the beginning – that Missouri students would end up paying the price. And now they

The board‘s action comes amid widening financial problems at the non-profit loan authority. In late March,
MoHELA‘s management acknowledged that that authority lost $12.9 million in the first quarter.
Management blamed the nationwide credit crunch.

The authority paid the state the required $230 million in its first payment last September. It was required to
pay $5 million each quarter for the next six years, but it fudged on its first two installments

In December, the authority paid only $3.1 million by including $1.9 million in interest earnings that the state
received on the earlier payment. In March, the authority paid only $2.7 million, saying it would not be
prudent to pay the entire $5 million.

Like characters in a Joseph Heller novel, MoHELA officials said they would pay the missing $2.3 million
later in the year – unless they don‘t.

Nixon‘s campaign said Tuesday that the elimination of the two loan subsidies undermines MoHELA‘s
mission and renders it ―virtually indistinguishable from for-profit loan agencies such as Sallie Mae and

―During these difficult economic times, too many middle-class families are getting squeezed out of a college
education,‖ Nixon said. ―Unfortunately, these Missouri families were delivered yet another crushing blow
last week, and now students will be forced to pay higher monthly loan payments. With tuition skyrocketing
at our colleges and universities, this was a major step in the wrong direction.‖

House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat who fought the sale of MoHELA‘s assets
to fund Blunt‘s building spree, said the result had been predictable.

―Democrats tirelessly argued that raiding millions from MoHELA would make college less affordable and
less accessible for Missouri students and their families,‖ LeVota said in a statement. ―Sadly, Matt Blunt and
his legislative allies sold off the loan authority‘s assets, misled Missourians about the consequences, and now
generations of Missouri students will pay the price.‖

Columbia Daily Tribune
Politics Blog: Dems pounce on axing of MOHELA program
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority is ending a program offering discounted interest rates to
borrowers, a move which chronicled today by the Associated Press:

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority will quit offering its current interest rate breaks for new
borrowers who pay with automatic withdrawals and for students entering public service professions, such as
teaching, law enforcement and nursing.

The changes will take effect for loans issued after June 1.

"We're still committed to loan forgiveness programs and borrower benefits. Unfortunately we're not going
to be able to do it in the form of reduced interest rates promised for many years to come," Executive
Director Raymond Bayer Jr. said Tuesday.

The decision was made at a board meeting Friday, he said.

The cutback in borrower incentives comes as the Chesterfield-based student loan agency - for the first time
in its 27-year history - is turning to the federal government for help financing its loans.

Bayer said the agency plans to tap a U.S. Department of Education line of credit for several hundred million
dollars to finance loans made during the next school year.

Democrats have pounced on the news. Attorney General Jay Nixon released the following statement about
the program's cancellation:

―During these difficult economic times, too many middle-class families are getting squeezed out of a college
education. Unfortunately, these Missouri families were delivered yet another crushing blow last week, and
now students will be forced to pay higher monthly loan payments. With tuition skyrocketing at our colleges
and universities, this was a major step in the wrong direction," Nixon said. "When Gov. Blunt raided
MOHELA‘s assets, the one thing he assured us was that it would cause no harm to Missouri students. It
was obvious -- at least to those of us who fought the MOHELA raid from the beginning -- that Missouri
students would end up paying the price. And now they are."

House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, D-Independence, also chimed in:

―For decades Missouri students have been able to attend college through low-interest MOHELA student
loans," LeVota said. "At the time of the MOHELA debate, Democrats tirelessly argued that raiding millions
from MOHELA would make college less affordable and less accessible for Missouri students and their
families. Sadly, Matt Blunt and his legislative allies sold off the loan authority‘s assets, mislead Missourians
about the consequences, and now generations of Missouri students will pay the price.‖

In the AP article, Blunt spokesman Jessica Robinson said Nixon and other Democrats were off base. "Jay
Nixon has always been opposed to every project funded by the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative, and
Jay Nixon has never understood how MOHELA operates," she said. "Now he seems to be entirely unaware
of a global problem that affects every entity that used auction-rate securities."

The Kansas City Star
Political Blog: Democrats blast Blunt for end of college loan subsidies, blame Repubs for
MoHELA financial problems; Blunt fires back
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Attorney General Jay Nixon blasted Gov. Matt Blunt Tuesday in the wake of a decision by Missouri‘s
college loan agency to eliminate low-cost loans for teachers, police officers and nurses.

The board of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority voted Friday to end its Public Service Reward
and Rate Relief programs. Nixon and other Democrats blamed the move on Blunt‘s college construction
program, which required the loan authority to pay the state $350 million over six years.

Nixon said the elimination of the loan subsidy would cause students in the program to pay interest rates as
much as 3 percentage points higher on their college loans.

―When Gov. Blunt raided MOHELA‘s assets, the one thing he assured us was that it would cause no harm
to Missouri students,‖ Nixon said in a statement. ―It was obvious – at least to those of us who fought the
MOHELA raid from the beginning – that Missouri students would end up paying the price. And now they

The board‘s action comes amid widening financial problems at the non-profit loan authority. In late March,
MoHELA‘s management acknowledged that that authority lost $12.9 million in the first quarter.
Management blamed the nationwide credit crunch.

The authority paid the state the required $230 million in its first payment last September. It was required to
pay $5 million each quarter for the next six years, but it fudged on its first two installments

In December, the authority paid only $3.1 million by including $1.9 million in interest earnings that the state
received on the earlier payment. In March, the authority paid only $2.7 million, saying it would not be
prudent to pay the entire $5 million.

Like characters in a Joseph Heller novel, MoHELA officials said they would pay the missing $2.3 million
later in the year – unless they don‘t.

Blunt spokeswoman Jessica Robinson said in an e-mail message that Nixon's criticism stemmed from his
opposition to every project that was funded by the partial sale of MoHELA, which Blunt calls the Lewis
and Clark Discovery Initiative. Nixon, she wrote, has never understood how the loan agency operates and
misinterprets the source of its problems.

Nixon "seems to be entirely unaware of a global problem that affects every entity that used auction rate
securities," Robinson said. "MoHELA has correctly pointed out that its decision was driven by global
problems and not by the Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative."

Robinson criticized Nixon for opposing the legislation that authorized the partial sale of the loan agency,
which included a limit on future tuition increases at state universities and expanded the state's college
scholarship programs.

"Jay Nixon is so out of touch with reality," Robinson said, "that he asked the governor to veto a bill that
capped tuition and led to the quadrupling of student scholarships."

But Nixon‘s campaign said the elimination of the two loan subsidies undermines MoHELA‘s mission and
renders it ―virtually indistinguishable from for-profit loan agencies such as Sallie Mae and NelNet.‖

―During these difficult economic times, too many middle-class families are getting squeezed out of a college
education,‖ Nixon said. ―Unfortunately, these Missouri families were delivered yet another crushing blow
last week, and now students will be forced to pay higher monthly loan payments. With tuition skyrocketing
at our colleges and universities, this was a major step in the wrong direction.‖

House Minority Leader Paul LeVota, an Independence Democrat who fought the sale of MoHELA‘s assets
to fund Blunt‘s building spree, said the result was predictable.

―Democrats tirelessly argued that raiding millions from MoHELA would make college less affordable and
less accessible for Missouri students and their families,‖ LeVota said in a statement. ―Sadly, Matt Blunt and
his legislative allies sold off the loan authority‘s assets, misled Missourians about the consequences, and now
generations of Missouri students will pay the price.‖

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Political Fix: Nixon on MOHELA’s elimination of rate cuts: “I told you so”
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Attorney General Jay Nixon has just weighed in on the quietly reached decision last Friday by the board of
the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority ‖to eliminate several critical student benefit programs.

―As a result, Missouri students now will be forced to pay as much as 3% higher rates on their student
loans,‖ Nixon said in a statement. ―Specifically, the agency voted to eliminate the Public Service Reward
Program and Rate Relief Program, which provide benefits to thousands of future Missouri teachers, police
officers and nurses. The elimination of these benefit programs has left MOHELA virtually indistinguishable
from for-profit loan agencies such as Sallie Mae and NelNet.

Said Nixon: ― ‗During these difficult economic times, too many middle-class families are getting squeezed
out of a college education. Unfortunately, these Missouri families were delivered yet another crushing blow
last week, and now students will be forced to pay higher monthly loan payments. With tuition skyrocketing
at our colleges and universities, this was a major step in the wrong direction.

―When Gov. (Matt) Blunt raided MOHELA‘s assets, the one thing he assured us was that it would cause
no harm to Missouri students. It was obvious — at least to those of us who fought the MOHELA raid
from the beginning — that Missouri students would end up paying the price. And now they are.

―I believe a college education is a key to achieving the American Dream, and I am more committed than
ever to creating a pathway to a four-year degree for every Missourian who is willing to work hard and play
by the rules. We must put the dream of a college degree within reach for every Missouri family.‖

Nixon brought up Blunt‘s comments to St. Louis Post-Dispatch article more than two years ago, in which
Blunt ―vowed that students would have as good or better a loan program as they have now‖
after MOHELA gave the state the millions of dollars that Blunt had sought for capital improvements at
higher-education institutions, and for scholarships.

―I would not move forward unless I were absolutely sure this would be the case,‖ Blunt said in that article.

St. Joseph News-Press
No more discounted interest rates for MO student loans
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A plan that is footing construction costs for improvements at two area universities took more hits Tuesday
when politicians learned the state‘s student loan authority no longer would offer discounted interest rates,
possibly as a result.

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority already has deferred a payment into a $335 million college
building program funded through the sale of student loan assets in 2007.

MOHELA representatives contend the deferral and the board‘s Friday decision to cease discounted interest
rates came in response to a national credit crisis.

Democrats blamed the controversial funding of Gov. Matt Blunt‘s Lewis and Clark Discovery Initiative,

Missouri Western State and Northwest Missouri State universities stand to reap $50.4 million from the
initiative for building projects.

Columbia Daily Tribune
MOHELA intends to tap new loan funds
Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority board authorized its management yesterday to take
advantage of a newly announced federal Department of Education program that would allow the Missouri
agency to borrow money from the U.S. Treasury to lend directly to students or to use in purchasing student

MOHELA Executive Director Ray Bayer said the federal program could help MOHELA meet demand for
loans during this fall‘s student borrowing season.

Bayer said that without the federal program, MOHELA had about $450 million in cash available for loans,
although the demand volume from borrowers as well as lenders who want to sell loans to the agency might
be between $800 million and $1 billion.

Bayer said presumably MOHELA would borrow "hundreds of millions" of dollars from the federal
government under the program. One condition of the loans, however, is that student borrower benefits
would not be permitted. The excluded benefits include, for example, lower interest rates for certain student
groups such as teachers and social workers. Bayer said loans funded with education department moneys
cannot include such borrower benefits.

The U.S. Department of Education made an announcement Wednesday that it would make money available
to lenders of student loans who had been adversely affected by disruptions in credit markets.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Business Blog: Missouri rolls out gift program for college savings plan
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

College-bound Missourians can kick start their savings with a new program called Ugift that allows
online gifts to a tax-advantaged savings plan.

Missouri Treasurer Sarah Steelman is kicking off the program on Thursday, May 29, in a play on the
date and the Missouri Savings for Tuition program, which is a 529 college savings plan.

Upromise Investments Inc. is the program manager. Vanguard Group and American Century
Investments are the investment managers.

Account owners can send invitations via e-mail or print gift coupons that family and friends can use to
make contributions in honor of a birthday, holiday, graduation or other occasion. The minimum gift
amount is $25.

Steelman said, ―It is my goal to help every Missouri family be able to afford college or trade school, so
that every child has the best opportunities for success we can give them. A college savings account is
one of the most meaningful gifts anyone can give.‖

More information on the program is available at or by calling 1-888-414-6678.

Columbia Missourian
Column: The good and the bad of legislative inaction
Saturday, May 24, 2008

Be grateful for small blessings, my mother used to tell me. It‘s advice that has served me well over years at
the university. I pass it along as we watch, gratefully, the 2008 legislative session recede in our collective rear
view mirror.

This was a session best remembered for what it didn‘t do. Oh sure, there were some positives. The biggest
positive from Columbia‘s perspective, I suppose, was the university budget. Amazingly, the legislature kept
its part of the higher-appropriation/campus-cuts bargain. So there‘ll be healthy raises for faculty. Staff, like
other low-paid state workers, got the short end. Again.

Our fearless legislators also got tough on illegal immigration, though not so tough on the most powerful
beneficiaries — the businesses that hire, and often exploit, the illegals. They made the soybean farmers
almost as happy as they made the corn farmers last year, by expanding the mandate for farm-grown fuel at
the gas and diesel pumps. They also raised the amounts that Medicaid will pay doctors. Coincidentally, all
these favored groups are among those that seem likely to take advantage of another upward move, the
lifting of the limits on campaign contributions.

So what didn‘t they do? The biggest thing was the failure — refusal, really — even to consider the Boy
Governor‘s plan for expanding health care for the poor. Remember Insure Missouri? It wouldn‘t have
restored all the coverage the Republicans cut a couple of years ago, but it was a start. It was the most
positive idea to come from the governor.

Gov. Blunt, however, quickly found out what being a lame duck means. House Speaker Jetton, perhaps too
busy balancing his legislative duties with his other job as paid political consultant to several colleagues, cut
him off at the knees, or the billfold. (Later, Speaker Jetton learned the same lesson. The representatives he‘ll
no longer lead undid the favor to a constituent he slipped past them last term and rescinded the possibility
for developers to declare themselves self-governing villages.)

The legislature also chose to spend our tax money providing scholarships to wealthy kids at private colleges
rather than funding the university‘s carefully crafted plan to increase the supply of healthcare providers in
underserved areas of the state. That little beauty was President Gary Forsee‘s introduction to just what a
steep hill he has to climb if he is to raise the university from its Bottom Three ranking in higher education

But inaction can be a good thing. Old people, poor people and believers in participatory democracy can all
be glad the bill to make it tougher to vote didn‘t reach the governor‘s desk. Neither did the latest attempt to
restrict abortion rights, though both the leading Republican candidates for governor are urging a special
session to revisit that bad idea.

Maybe next year will be better. We know we‘ll have a new governor and new leaders in both houses, no
matter who wins the election.

And one piece of statesmanship we can all applaud: The ice cream cone is now our state dessert. Long
overdue, I‘d say.

George Kennedy is former managing editor at the Columbia Missourian and professor emeritus at the Missouri School of

The Chronicle of Higher Education
News analysis: Student-loan rescue plan has hidden costs and benefits
Friday, May 30, 2008

After months of artfully promoting doomsday scenarios for the federal student-lending system, the
nation's loan companies appear to have won terms from Congress and the Bush administration that
could help both the lenders and the student borrowers.

The federal program already hands out interest-rate subsidies and repayment guarantees to enable
lenders to offer cut-rate student loans. Now, with the administration's financial rescue plan, the lenders
can either use their portfolios of subsidized loans as collateral for even more government funds or sell
the loans outright to the government for more than their face value. Either way, that makes more
money available for students to borrow.

The stock of Sallie Mae, the nation's largest student-loan company, after losing more than two-thirds
of its value last year, shot up 28 percent over the three days that the rescue plan was being polished
and publicized. "Our news is good," Sallie Mae's chief executive, Albert L. Lord, said in describing the
administration's terms to college financial-aid officials last week (The Chronicle, May 22). "I believe it's
very good."

Democrats in Congress appeared pleased, too. The administration's terms "reflect a thoughtful
approach" to the legislation approved by Congress this month that gave Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings the authority to craft a solution (The Chronicle, May 5), said Rep. George Miller of California,
chairman of the House of Representatives education committee. The terms ensure no student will be
unable to find federally subsidized loans, Mr. Miller declared.

And yet the nation's student-loan system, especially in a pivotal election year, remains as unsettled as
ever. Some students still can't be sure lenders will serve them this year, and the loan companies have
just endorsed a one-year fix that may leave them little or no role in the future of federally subsidized

The federal government offers subsidized loans to college students both directly from the Education
Department and indirectly through banks and other private lenders. All students who want a federally
subsidized loan could be assured of one if their college signs up for the direct-lending program. Yet
only about a fifth of all federal loans are issued through that program, and some colleges that rely
solely on the indirect, bank-based system are now realizing that the terms set by Congress and Ms.
Spellings do not require the banks to serve them.

Those institutions include Eastern Oregon University, which learned the week the rescue plan was
announced that its students didn't borrow enough money to make it worthwhile for Citibank to
continue serving them (The Chronicle, May 28). Citibank "made a business decision," said Samuel F.
Collie, the university's interim financial-aid director.

The administration's rescue plan, at least as outlined so far by Ms. Spellings, also imposes no
conditions on which loans the banks can sell to the government. Congress, in authorizing her to devise
the plan, had suggested rules to prevent lenders from dumping only their least-profitable loans on the

Yet the plan could threaten the lenders even more in the long term. The Education Department has
said direct lending can only double its current volume in the near future. Given another year of
preparation, however, its capacity could be further expanded, especially in a year when the front-

running Democratic presidential candidate, Barack Obama, has called for the complete elimination of
the bank-based system.

And even if the banks aren't removed entirely from the system by a future Obama administration, the
plan may have created—with the loan industry's assent—a new model of bank-based student lending
that looks very much like its direct-lending rival. By selling their loans directly to the government, the
banks can now get badly needed cash to issue more loans. But in the long term, the banks would lose
the profits they make by holding a loan and collecting years of interest payments and federal subsidies.

Such a change could be a windfall for taxpayers and students if Congress recognizes this and adopts
the idea on a large scale, says Donald M. Feuerstein, a former Education Department adviser who
supports the concept. The government is paying subsidies on about $400-billion in loans issued
through the bank-based system, Mr. Feuerstein says. If the government took ownership of all of those
loans from the banks, he says, taxpayers and students would suddenly find themselves with billions of
dollars a year that are now being paid to the banks.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Researchers worry about inflated measures of student engagement
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

As "accountability" has become a buzzword in higher education, measures of student engagement have
attracted renewed attention. But, if only the most dedicated students respond to such surveys, how reliable
are the results?

Not very, three researchers from Cornell University argue in a paper they presented this week at the annual
conference of the Association for Institutional Research, in Seattle. The researchers used data about Cornell
students to show that surveys of student engagement had low response rates—and that most respondents
were women with good grades.

"There are nonignorable links between multiple dimensions of student engagement and the likelihood of
responding to a survey designed to measure that student engagement," the researchers wrote.

Marin Clarkberg, associate director of Cornell's Office of Institutional Research and Planning and a co-
author of the paper, said she and her colleagues began their research after noticing a contrast: Response
rates to surveys of Cornell students were decreasing as reported levels of satisfaction were increasing.

"Is there a relationship?" Ms. Clarkberg asked. "We don't know."

So Ms. Clarkberg and the other researchers—Daniel Robertson and Marne Einarson, both senior research
and planning associates at Cornell—set out to study the link between demographics and response rates in
student surveys.

Their paper examines response rates of Cornell's class of 2006 as the students progress through the
university. In the fall of 2002, the authors say, 96 percent of first-time, full-time freshmen responded to the
Cooperative Institutional Research Program Freshman Survey, a paper-and-pencil questionnaire
administered by the Higher Education Research Institute at the University of California at Los Angeles.

Drop-Off in Participation

But in similar surveys, given online in the students' freshman, sophomore, and junior years, the response
rates were 50, 41, and 30 percent, respectively. A final survey of graduating seniors collected data from 38
percent of them.

Those who completed the follow-up surveys were predominantly women, the Cornell researchers say, and
they had higher grade-point averages than those who did not respond. Black male students were less likely
to participate, as were international students and members of fraternities and sororities.

Students who had considered themselves popular and partied at least three hours a week in high school—as
they reported in the initial survey—also responded to subsequent surveys in disproportionately low
numbers. But students who had tutored, attended music recitals, and participated in volunteer work in high
school were more likely to respond to the surveys, the paper says.

"Our analysis of the data suggests that measures of student engagement may be profoundly affected by
differential survey response patterns," the authors wrote.

In one example of how survey responses might not be representative, they noted an institutional estimate
that 45 percent of juniors engaged in binge drinking. They concluded, however, that "49 percent may be a
more realistic figure."

The authors caution against generalizing too widely from their findings, but they urge other researchers to
try to increase students' response rates—even if the more-accurate results may be less favorable to their

Missing Reality Check

The paper, however, does not present any measures of student engagement from the given institution's
surveys. The researchers said they were interested only in explaining why students did or did not respond,
and not in the "content" of their responses.

That exclusion troubled some experts in the field. Low response rates are a fact of administering surveys,
said David Radwin, principal analyst in the Office of Student Research at the University of California at
Berkeley. "The issue, though," he said, citing reports by his institution, "is that there doesn't seem to be
much of an effect on the things that we care about."

"It's great to ask the question, Does response bias affect our results? But it's very hard to prove that it is
affecting the results," Mr. Radwin said. In voter surveys, he said, researchers can compare polling data to
actual election results, but there is no comparable reality check for data on student engagement.

Two reports in the past six years by the Center for Postsecondary Research at Indiana University at
Bloomington, which administers the National Survey of Student Engagement, support a common
understanding among statistical researchers, said George D. Kuh, who directs the center.

For that survey, whose response rate was 30 percent last year, "respondents and nonrespondents just aren't
that different," Mr. Kuh said.

Still, "that doesn't mean that in an isolated instance on a given campus, you might not find something
there," he said. "You want to unpack your data and know who's responding."

Low response rates to student surveys are an increasingly pesky problem, experts said, and finding ways to
require students to complete them may be the best solution.

But Mr. Radwin is less concerned about response bias than he is about respondents' tendency to say what
they think is socially desirable.

Institutional researchers do not pay enough attention to that, he said. "If you don't focus on a hundred
other biases, you're kind of missing the big picture."

Ms. Clarkberg said her team's findings revealed the need to keep the results of student surveys in context.

"That's the red flag we're trying to raise," she said. "When you start making sweeping, very simplistic
comparisons across campuses, there's danger. You have to be able to take that data with a grain of salt."

The Cornell paper, "Engagement and Student Surveys: Nonresponse and Implications for Reporting Survey
Data," is available online.

Eric Hoover contributed to this article.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Accreditors advise colleges to make better use of student-learning data
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Seattle – If colleges want to avoid onerous and ham-handed forms of government regulation, they
should become much smarter about analyzing and responding to their own internal student-
achievement data. That, in a nutshell, is the message that six representatives of major regional
accrediting organizations delivered during a panel discussion here on Monday at the annual conference
of the Association for Institutional Research.

The accreditors told the assembled scholars—most of whom work in unglamorous, not always well-
financed offices of institutional research—that they have a responsibility to persuade their deans and
faculty colleagues of the importance of using internal data to improve student learning.

"You are at the heart. You are key to this," said Lynn E. Priddy, director of education and training at
the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools. "Like it
or not, you've been thrust into a role of educating your colleagues and the public."

Several of the panelists emphasized that their accrediting organizations would continue to respect
colleges' distinctive missions. But colleges must be candid with the public about how they measure
their success, the accreditors warned, or risk inviting government regulation that is not so respectful of
colleges' individual identities.

"We're operating on borrowed time," said Linda A. Suskie, vice president of the Middle States
Commission on Higher Education, the college-accrediting arm of the Middle States Association of
Colleges and Schools. "If we don't properly assess student learning and share our results with the
public in ways that they understand, then someone else is going to tell us what and how to assess, and
we're not going to like it."

Improvement Strategies

College leaders should not be cynical about the public desire for accountability, said Barbara Wright, an
associate director of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges' Accrediting Commission for
Senior Colleges and Universities. Ms. Wright acknowledged the danger that public officials will fixate
on out-of-context numeric measures, like a single year's student-retention rate. "But I would rather
believe in the public's better angels," she continued. "I assume that what they're really after is
improvement." If colleges make visible, good-faith efforts to live up to their own missions, she
suggested, then they can stave off new legal regulations.

Ms. Suskie added, however, that accreditors do not want to see frantic, scattershot improvement
programs. "We want to see improvements that truly flow from assessment results," she said. "Any
institution, when they're preparing for an accreditation visit— It's real easy for a provost to send out a
mass e-mail that says, 'Tell us about all the improvements you've made in the last five years.' Those are
nice, but the ones we want to know about are the ones that flow from assessment practices."

Most of all, colleges must learn to be more candid internally and externally about their failures, the
panelists said. Gary R. Pike, executive director of information management and institutional research at
Indiana University-Purdue University at Indianapolis, said he tells officials at his institution, "I'll know
that you really understand what assessment is about when you come to me and say, 'We had this
problem. Here's what we tried. We assessed it. It failed miserably. And here's what we're going to do
differently next time.'"

Ms. Wright criticized an essay that Margaret Spellings, the U.S. secretary of education, published three
months ago in the online newspaper The Politico. Ms. Spellings wrote that the major accrediting bodies
were "determined to keep the accreditation process insular, clubby, and accountable to no one but

That comment was "seriously misinformed," Ms. Wright said. "It was the regional accreditors, more
than any other force, that kept the assessment-of-student-learning movement alive in this country over
the last 25 years."

But if the panelists were critical of Ms. Spellings's approach to college accountability, they were equally
scornful of college leaders who try to duck the issue entirely.

"There has been a historic sense of arrogance toward the public," Ms. Suskie said. "Colleges have said,
'What we're trying to do is so important that you peons out in the public can't possibly understand
what we're trying to do. Even we don't fully understand it.'" That sort of attitude, Ms. Suskie said, is
indefensible and unsustainable.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Op-ed: Wealthy colleges must make themselves more affordable
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

We Americans have decided that the work of nonprofit colleges and universities is so invaluable that
they should be exempt from taxes. So John Doe pays taxes. John Deere pays taxes. But Johns Hopkins
does not.

Those tax exemptions involve a social compact: In exchange, colleges are obliged to carry out the
charitable purpose of providing the best education to the most students at the lowest cost. That system
works pretty well. College is more accessible to a greater number of students than ever before.

Many colleges have seen unprecedented growth in their endowments in recent years, giving us the
opportunity to see whether they can use some of the additional money to help even more students
afford a quality education. For example, Harvard's $34.6-billion endowment, as reported in a recent
study by the National Association of College and University Business Officers, is roughly equal to the
combined gross domestic products of the Bahamas, Barbados, Burundi, Mauritania, Somalia, and
Zimbabwe. Yale University has an endowment of $22.5-billion, and Princeton has one of $15.8-billion.
Beyond the Ivy League, dozens of other higher-education institutions have reached the billion-dollar
mark. Pomona College's endowment is $1.8-billion. Yeshiva University's is $1.4-billion. Texas Christian
University's is $1.2-billion. The list goes on.

Of course, such collegiate wealth is attracting attention. Some Massachusetts legislators recently floated
the idea of enacting an annual tax of 2.5 percent on endowments that exceed $1-billion.
I don't want to tax colleges. But I do want to know more about how they are maximizing their tax-
exempt status to fulfill their charitable mission of educating students.

Parents and students are anxious about college prices. Increasingly, parents of newborns are opening
college savings accounts if they can afford to and worrying if they can't. Students from low-income
families fear they won't be able to afford college, some so much that they don't even apply. Recent
graduates describe pressure to find high-paying jobs not out of passion for the field but to pay off the
high-interest loans that they took out to get the best education.

Those concerns have sparked questions by the U.S. Senate Finance Committee, where I serve as
ranking member, about why wealthy colleges aren't spending more endowment money on student aid.
Last fall we held a hearing at which two witnesses described stratospheric endowment growth. After
that and further scrutiny by members of Congress, education watchdogs, and the news media, a series
of top colleges announced enhanced student-aid packages.

Those are welcome developments, but they involve only a dozen or so institutions. Could and should
those institutions do even more? How are the dozens of other well-financed institutions using their
financial success to help students afford college?

In January, Max Baucus, chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, and I wrote to the 136 colleges
with endowments of $500-million or more about their endowment payouts and student aid. We've
collected the responses. We'll analyze that information and use it to continue the discussion about how
to make college more affordable. Legislation to require the wealthiest institutions to have an annual 5-
percent endowment payout remains a possibility, as does increased reporting about endowment
performance and expenditures.

It's clear that the details of endowment size and spending are hard to come by and of keen interest to
members of Congress and even colleges themselves. Early on, a staff member in the investment office
of a well-financed college called us to request all of the institutions' responses as soon as possible. He
said his college was eager to see what the others were doing.

Other college officials are nervous about the increased interest and have expressed concerns, including

A 5-percent payout requirement is too prescriptive. But private foundations are subject to a 5-
percent payout requirement, and they're thriving. Colleges argue that foundations exist to disburse
their funds, while endowments have to support their institutions in perpetuity. Of course higher-
education institutions need financial resources for future operations and capital investments. But
foundation funds are usually fixed, while colleges receive new donations all the time. Isn't it just easier
for some colleges to raise tuition and amass endowments than to look for ways to cut costs or pay out
more to help current students?

Most donations to colleges are restricted and can't be spent on student aid. That is a chicken-
and-egg argument. Are donor funds restricted because donors impose restrictions or because colleges
solicit donations for specific purposes? For example, many colleges ask undergraduates to call alumni
to solicit donations. It would be difficult to say no to an earnest young student seeking donations for
any purpose. It would be nearly impossible to say no to an earnest young student seeking donations for
need-based scholarships. If colleges need money to help poor kids attend, surely donors will respond
and suspend dreams of an eponymous fountain on the quad.

And even when donations are restricted, don't some colleges cite excessive restrictions as an excuse to
hoard rather than spend the money? Say a donor wanted his million dollars used for music
appreciation. The institution could offer scholarships for low-income music majors. As we say in the
nation's capital, money is fungible.

Getting wealthy universities to spend more to help middle-income families pay for college will
hurt low-income families. The idea is that wealthy colleges can afford generous student aid for
middle-income families, allowing them to siphon away those students from less-affluent institutions —
which will then also have to offer more aid to middle-income families to compete. That, in turn, will
divert aid money away from the low-income students who truly need it. I look forward to hearing
colleges flesh out that argument. Right now, it seems to me that lowering the affordability barrier
would raise the aspirations and academic achievements of more and more applicants, broadening the
pool of good students from all socioeconomic backgrounds.

College finances are complex; Congress doesn't understand. Some institutions seem to make
their finances — including tuition policies, student-aid options, and endowment-spending rates —
opaque for students, parents, and Congress alike. The Senate Finance Committee should have a
complete picture before considering legislative changes. That's why Chairman Baucus and I wrote to
the colleges with the largest endowments: to give them an opportunity to describe how they use their
endowments and why, and how they distribute and publicize student aid. When we analyze the
responses, we will proceed deliberately.

Meanwhile, tuition may be inflated in the first place. Some colleges openly admit to steep tuition
increases to attract applicants and compete with rival institutions, not necessarily to keep up with real
costs. They say applicants equate a high price with quality.

Because of the attention to endowments, there's a renewed discussion among parents, students,
donors, and trustees about skyrocketing tuition. I invite more questioning and analysis of pricing and

Congress is engaged in a power grab and meddling in an area that's none of its business. Or,
as a former University of Texas regent put it, "What gives the federal government the right to, in Texas
terms, put their cotton-pickin' hands on our money?"

The federal treasury forgoes billions of dollars from tax-exempt entities, including colleges. Not only
are higher-education institutions exempt from federal taxes, but their endowments are tax-free, and
donations to them are tax-deductible. Part of the recent endowment spike came from the aggressive
use of off-shore tax-avoidance strategies. Taxpayers pay for federal tax incentives to make higher
education more accessible and affordable through 529 college-savings plans, a deduction for taxpayers
filing jointly of up to $4,000 for tuition (depending on income), and the tax deductibility of interest on
student loans.

Such favorable tax treatment came through Congress, specifically through the Senate Finance
Committee. Congress has an obligation to make sure those tax policies are working as intended.
Charles E. Grassley, a U.S. senator from Iowa, is the top Republican on the Senate Finance Committee.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Private-college group steps up promotion of a test to measure student progress
Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Two years after many colleges resisted attempts by the Bush administration to impose more rigorous
methods of student assessment, a leading coalition of private institutions is pressing its members to
adopt a popular standardized achievement test—just as the four-year-old exam faces new questions
over its reliability.

This week the 600-member Council of Independent Colleges will accept a $666,000 grant from the
Teagle Foundation to expand a consortium through which the council's members are promoting the
use of the Collegiate Learning Assessment, which is designed to test skills such as critical thinking,
problem solving, and writing. The test, which is also known as the CLA, is given to college students in
their freshman and senior years.

"The CLA provides one of the first 'value added' measures that can reliably compare institutional
contributions to student learning," says a report by the council that was released with the
announcement of the grant.

But two studies being presented this week at the annual conference of the Association for Institutional
Research, in Seattle, challenge the CLA's method of calculating the added value an institution gives its
students. A fix to the way the test is administered would be simple but costly, the researchers say.

"After you do all the math" using the current methodology, said the author of one of the reports, Gary
N. Larson, dean of information and technology at Wheaton College, in Illinois, "you can't in fact make
a statistically reliable inference as to whether Institution X is doing better than Institution Y."

The Commission on the Future of Higher Education, established by Education Secretary Margaret
Spellings, repeatedly praised the CLA in its final report released in September 2006. The commission
said the CLA is one of "the most comprehensive national" tests that colleges can use to demonstrate
the value they provide to students.

A Tool for Private Colleges

Richard H. Ekman, president of the Council of Independent Colleges, said that smaller private
colleges—often with tight budgets and low public recognition—increasingly realize the benefit of a
standard student examination that allows objective nationwide comparisons of their quality. "More and
more of them are citing this in their self-studies" presented to accreditors, he said.

The Spellings commission may have recognized that value, he said, but many colleges resisted at the
time, fearing that their acceptance of standardized tests could encourage a government-led educational
process. "If anything," he said, "Spellings made people want to dig in their heels and resist."

The CLA was first offered in 2004 and now has about 235 participating colleges. The Council of
Independent Colleges has its own consortium of 33 member institutions that work together to
improve the way the test is administered and evaluated. The grant from the Teagle Foundation,
established in 1944 by Standard Oil Company's longtime president, Walter C. Teagle, would help
expand the consortium to 47 members.

The two studies being presented this week—the one by Mr. Larson and another by Philip Garcia,
director of analytic studies for the California State University system—both challenge the methods by
which the CLA calculates the improvement in scores between a college's freshmen and its seniors.

The 90-minute CLA is usually given only to a sample of members of any class—a sample chosen by
the college to be representative of the class as a whole. Typically, a college tests sample groups from its
first- and fourth-year classes at the same time, and compares the two classes' scores to determine how
much the fourth-year students have learned. Each class's average score on another test for which the
college has data, such as the SAT, is factored in to help the college judge whether a particular class
actually made big advances in four years or performed unusually well to begin with.

It's that last calculation—weighting CLA results according to performance on another test—that critics
say is especially problematic. It involves so many variables that the CLA gives "insufficient reliability"
to make meaningful comparisons between institutions, Mr. Larson said. Colleges could overcome that
difficulty by giving the test to the same group of students at both their freshmen and senior years, he
said, rather than attempting to make useful comparisons between different groups. Used that way, the
CLA could be a "gold standard" for comparing colleges, he said.

Comparing Two Classes

But for reasons of cost and complexity, about 85 percent of CLA users try to make comparisons
between their freshmen and senior classes in the same year, Mr. Larson said. Cost factors include the
need to recruit students to take the test, which typically requires cash payments of at least $25 per
student because the test has no bearing on the student's academic record. The cost and complexity
would multiply if the college tried to ensure that a large sample of the same students took the test three
years apart, Mr. Larson said.

The inability of colleges to compare the first- and fourth-year scores of the same set of students
doesn't deter institutions from citing the CLA when making claims about the educational value their
institutions provide, he said.

"The reason that the CLA has gotten so much buzz is that it in theory is something that you could use
at Harvard and you could use at the College of Du Page," Mr. Larson said, citing the community
college just outside Chicago, "and you could in fact control for enough factors to say, All things being
as equal as they could ever be, Harvard is or isn't doing a better job of educating students than the
College of Du Page."

Practical Applications
The independent-colleges group, in the report accompanying its announcement of the Teagle
Foundation grant, cites examples of member institutions using data from the CLA to improve teaching
and learning.

One institution—Cabrini College, in Pennsylvania—uses data from both the CLA and another
standardized measure, the National Survey of Student Engagement, in which students describe their
college experiences and estimate the number of papers they wrote and the number of times they made
class presentations. Cabrini faculty members use the results of the two measures to revise their
curriculum, the report said.

CLA test scores have no effect on students' grades, and the results generally are not shared with
students or the public. Yet some institutions, such as Barton College, in North Carolina, share the
test's results with prospective students "to foster a campus culture that insists on hard evidence," Mr.
Ekman said in his council's report.

The council's enthusiasm for the CLA is not universally shared. The National Association of
Independent Colleges and Universities, which represents nearly 1,000 private institutions, has argued
that its colleges have missions so varied and complex that their students' progress cannot be accurately
captured by standardized testing.

But Mr. Ekman and his group's member colleges say that the CLA, along with other tests, helps verify
the Council of Independent Colleges' belief "that cognitive growth in small private colleges would be
more than in other types of institutions," he said.

Despite disagreeing with the council over the reliability of the testing methodology, researchers such as
Mr. Larson find value in the CLA, especially insofar as it can help an institution improve its

The CLA's creator, the nonprofit Council for Aid to Education, and its critics both have expressed a
willingness to learn from each other. Mr. Larson said he expected feedback from Council for Aid to
Education representatives at this week's conference in Seattle that could affect his findings. And
Richard J. Shavelson, a Stanford University education professor who helps the Council for Aid to
Education develop the CLA, acknowledged that critiques such as the one offered by Mr. Garcia may
have validity in some instances.

The Council of Independent Colleges "has been aware of various methodological challenges to the
CLA, some from well-known scholars," Marc Chun, a research scientist at the Council for Aid to
Education, wrote in an e-mail message. He said he believed his organization "has adequately answered
these challenges."

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Wake Forest U. joins the ranks of test-optional colleges
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
Wake Forest University will no longer require applicants to submit standardized test scores, the university
planned to announce today. The university, in Winston-Salem, N.C., would become one of the most
prominent institutions with a "test optional" admissions policy.
Officials at Wake Forest hope the move will help the university attract more applicants, particularly
underrepresented students and those who may have had a "bad standardized-test experience," said Martha
Blevins Allman, the admissions director. "Applicants have come to feel their achievement can be
overwritten by a single test."
More than 750 colleges and universities do not require the ACT or SAT, according to the National Center
for Fair & Open Testing, an advocacy group known as FairTest. That list includes many nonselective
institutions and liberal-arts colleges.
Neither description applies to Wake Forest, which accepted 42 percent of its undergraduate applicants last
year, and offers graduate programs in law, business, medicine, and divinity.
The university's decision reveals the increasing complexity of the national testing debate. Within higher
education, views of the ACT and SAT vary widely, as do opinions of colleges that have dropped them as
requirements. Some admissions officials say test-optional policies serve students well, but others dismiss
them as tactics colleges use to inflate the average SAT scores they report to the public and to guidebooks.
Wake Forest officials said their new policy was an attempt to create a more diverse campus (83 percent of
the university's undergraduates are white). Administrators made their decision after reviewing research,
including the results of a recent study by Bates College, in Maine, which dropped its SAT requirement in
Bates found that, over 20 years, there was virtually no difference between the academic performances of
applicants who had submitted scores and those who had not. The two groups ended up with the same
graduation rates. Bates also concluded that the policy had helped it double its applicant pool and attract a
more diverse student body.
"There is mounting evidence the SAT's are not as good a predictor of college success as we once thought,"
said Jill Tiefenthaler, Wake Forest's provost. Officials at Wake also worried that the tests had less predictive
value for minority students than for white ones.
Starting next fall, Wake Forest's admissions officials will emphasize applicants' grade-point averages and the
strength of their high-school courses even more so than in the past.
The university plans to encourage applicants to participate in personal interviews. Trained alumni would
conduct off-campus interviews for some students who could not visit Winston-Salem. The university also
hopes to create a virtual-interview option, in which students would answer timed questions online.
The changes may create more work for the admissions staff, but officials say the university's relatively small
applicant pool (about 9,000 students this year) allows them to enhance their evaluations of applicants.
"Our process has always been very holistic and subjective," said Ms. Allman, the admissions director. "This
is saying this more clearly to the public."
'More Than a Number'
Word of Wake Forest's decision spread quickly among colleges last week, cheering critics of standardized

Nonetheless, the ACT and SAT are alive and well in admissions. Research by the National Association for
College Admission Counseling, known as Nacac, suggests that the importance of standardized tests has
increased during the last decade, as colleges have seen more and more applicants and applications.
Most selective colleges continue to require all applicants to submit their standardized test scores, and many
admissions officials doubt that will soon change. The College Board, which owns the SAT, has argued that
while handfuls of colleges drop their testing requirements each year, their actions do not signify a national
Proponents of test-optional policies, however, say that's not the point. After all, most admissions deans at
test-optional colleges tend to talk about how the policy has benefited their campuses and their applicants—
not about leading a movement to topple tests.
"We're one very small voice in a big world," said Steven T. Syverson, dean of admissions and financial aid at
Lawrence University, in Wisconsin, which dropped its testing requirement two years ago. "For us, it's part
of our philosophy."
Mr. Syverson said the new policy has been "liberating," allowing his staff to better evaluate students who
have good grades but who may have lacked high scores on standardized tests. Since the change, about a
quarter of Lawrence's applicants have not submitted ACT or SAT scores.
Yet the policy does not necessarily improve the odds of admissions for applicants who decline to submit
their scores. "In some ways, it pushes the bar higher in terms of what their achievement in high school
was," Mr. Syverson said. A middling student with OK test scores, in other words, may not benefit from the
policy at all.
Among selective colleges, types of test-optional policies vary. Some, like Bowdoin College, in Maine, have
long allowed all applicants to choose whether to send in their test scores.
At Lewis & Clark College, in Oregon, all applicants may choose an option called "Portfolio Path," which
allows them to send four graded writing samples and three teacher recommendations instead of
standardized test scores.
Some colleges waive test requirements only for top students. For instance, George Mason University, in
Virginia, limits the option to applicants who earned 3.5 grade-point averages in high school and ranked in
the top 20 percent of their graduating class.
Others define "test optional" differently. In 2001, Hamilton College, in New York, began an experiment: It
would continue to require test scores, but allow applicants to choose them. Instead of submitting ACT or
SAT scores, students could send scores from three exams—a quantitative test (such as International
Baccalaureate math), a writing test (such as AP English), and a test of the applicant's choice.
Two years ago, Hamilton's faculty members voted unanimously to make the policy permanent. The college
found that students who had not submitted scores (about 40 percent of students each year) earned slightly
higher grade-point averages than those who had submitted scores. Admissions officials also said the policy
had helped them increase the quality and diversity of Hamilton's students.
"These polices empower applicants to determine what puts them in the best light," said Robert A.
Schaeffer, public-education director for FairTest, which advises colleges on testing policies. "Colleges that
have done this are better off in every dimension—more applications, better applicants, more diversity of all
Skeptics Weigh In
Some college officials do not buy that. One of them is Colin S. Diver, president of Reed College, in
Oregon. In 2006, Mr. Diver published an opinion column in The New York Times called "Skip the Test,

Betray the Cause." In it, he accused test-optional colleges of gamesmanship, dubbing the trend
Mr. Diver argued that colleges were dropping their test requirements to improve their standing in
guidebooks, such as U.S. News & World Report's annual ranking of colleges. Applicants with higher scores,
he wrote, are much more likely to submit them than applicants with lower scores: So "when a college
computes the mean SAT or ACT score of its enrolled students, voilà! its average will have risen."
His critique hinged on the assumption that colleges do not include the test scores of nonsubmitters when
they calculate those averages. Is that true?
Usually, according to research by Jonathan P. Epstein. Recently, Mr. Epstein, a senior consultant with
Maguire Associates, an admissions consulting firm, surveyed 28 liberal-arts colleges with test-optional
policies. Only one, he found, said that it required all students to submit their scores after enrolling—and
that it included those scores in its institutional average.
Wake Forest officials say that to provide "accurate" data to third parties, the university will require admitted
students to submit their scores before they enroll. The data would also allow the university to evaluate the
effect of its new policy.
Research has prompted at least one college to leave the ranks of the test-optional. Lafayette College, in
Pennsylvania, experimented with such a policy but found that standardized test scores did, in fact, help
predict students' performance, according Roberto Noya, dean of enrollment services.
Mr. Noya applauds the stated intentions of colleges that have gone test-optional, but he does not think the
policies are necessary. "Schools have said the SAT makes it difficult to have a diverse student body," Mr.
Noya said. "Well, if you know that, you don't have to make the score optional; you just have to act
professionally. What is stopping you from interpreting the scores you do have correctly?"
Questions about test-optional policies seem unlikely to abate. For one, they relate to another major concern
in admissions: how to interpret high-school grades.
Over the last 20 years, the percentage of SAT takers who said they earned A averages in high school has
increased significantly, according to the College Board, which owns the test. "A standardized measure such
as the SAT is especially important for colleges because of rampant grade inflation," said Alana Klein, a
spokeswoman for the College Board.
Meanwhile, recent changes in the ACT and SAT have invited closer scrutiny of their effect on college
applicants. Last year, Nacac convened a panel of secondary and higher-education officials to examine the
role that testing should play.
The panel, called the Commission on the Use of Standardized Tests in Undergraduate Admission, is
looking at a range of issues, including the effect of test preparation, test biases, and the link between
standardized tests and high-school curricula. The panel plans to release its findings, with recommendations
for colleges and high schools, later this year.
At Nacac's annual conference last fall, Philip A. Ballinger, director of admissions at the University of
Washington and a member of the commission, said the debate about the college-entrance test had evolved
far beyond asking whether the ACT and SAT are good or bad.
"The SAT for many, if not most, institutions adds predictive value," he said. "But are there social or cultural
effects that outweigh the predictive value?"

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Study finds graduation gap for first-generation students, regardless of preparation
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Seattle – First-generation college students are less likely than their peers to earn degrees, even when
differences in high-school preparation have been taken into account, according to a College Board
analysis of more than 1.1 million student records.

The study, which was presented on Tuesday at the annual conference of the Association for
Institutional Research here, examined the fates of SAT-takers who had graduated from high school in
1999. The College Board worked with the National Student Clearinghouse to compile data about the
students' college records. The clearinghouse was established in 1994 to facilitate student financial-aid
applications, but it is increasingly being used as a source of large-scale data for education research.

The College Board found that first-generation students—defined as students whose parents had not
completed a bachelor's or an associate degree—were, by every measure, less likely than their peers to
finish college.

Among students who enrolled in four-year colleges, for example, the first-generation students had a
graduation rate of 44.9 percent, while the rate for non-first-generation students was 59 percent.
Among students who enrolled in two-year institutions, first-generation students were significantly less
likely to persist into a second year. (A 2005 report from the U.S. Department of Education found
similar patterns.)

Strikingly, the College Board's study found that the graduation gap existed across all levels of the high-
school-preparation spectrum.

Among students whose high schools offered highly rigorous course work, first-generation college
students had a college-graduation rate of 58.6 percent, while non-first-generation students had a 69.3-
percent graduation rate. Among students whose SAT scores were 1500 or higher, first-generation
college students had a 65.1-percent graduation rate, while non-first-generation students had a 72.7-
percent rate. Among students with high-school grade-point-averages of 4.0 or higher, first-generation
college students had a 63.6-percent graduation rate, while non-first-generation students had a 71.6-
percent rate.

Andrew Wiley, executive director for research and analysis at the College Board, suggested that the
graduation gap might be related to financial obstacles, as first-generation students are much more likely
to come from low-income households. The gap might also be driven in part by institutional
characteristics, he said, because first-generation students are more likely to enroll in colleges with low
graduation rates.

The study is not yet available online.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Colleges mine data to predict dropouts
Computer analysis seeks to identify students at risk
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

When students log into the course Web site for Purdue University's freshman biology laboratory class,
they see an image of a traffic light. Green means they're doing well, yellow means they're faltering, and
red means they might fail.

So who's the traffic cop?

It's not the professor, and it's not the teaching assistants. Rather, it's a sophisticated computer
algorithm that predicts when students are at risk of failing, based on their preparation going into the
class and their behavior on the course's Web site.

Several colleges and universities like Purdue are mining data they have about students to try to improve
retention. The institutions analyze years' worth of data on which students did well and which did
poorly, and what variables — whether they be SAT scores, financial-aid status, or attendance at the
dining halls — correlate with those successes or failures. Using those data, colleges try to predict which
students are likely to drop out — and intervene before the students themselves even know they're in

At Purdue the risk algorithm is based on academic variables like GPA's and standardized-test scores, as
well as how often students log into the course site. Students who have some combination of poor
preparation and slack engagement with the Web site will see the red or yellow light on the course-
management system and will also get a warning by e-mail asking them to meet with an instructor or
seek outside help.

Purdue researchers found that students in the moderate-risk (yellow light) group who received the e-
mail messages did better in the course than did their counterparts in a control group. Most of the
students identified as being at highest risk (red light) still did not rectify their situations or take
advantage of campus resources, however.

"It's toughest with students who are really just not engaged, who are not using the resources available
at all even if you tell them to," says John P. Campbell, associate vice president of Purdue's Rosen
Center for Advanced Computing, who is running the data-mining project.

"Where things get more interesting is that middle group that could slide either way," he says. "They
could be B students, and they could be D students." Thanks to the early-warning system, he says, more
of those students are sliding into the B group.

Secrets of Successful Students

At the State University of New York at Buffalo, a data-analysis project is tailored to engineering
students. William G. Wild Jr., director of student-excellence initiatives at Buffalo's School of
Engineering and Applied Sciences, has identified seven variables, including scores on standardized
state math tests, that predict undergraduates' success in the highly demanding program.

Students scoring below a particular threshold on five of those variables are deemed to be at high risk
of academic failure.

If they are accepted by the engineering school, those high-risk freshmen get a letter that encourages
them to participate in extra-help sessions called "small groups," which are available to all engineering
students. The at-risk students are not told that they have been identified as being underprepared in any
way, Mr. Wild says, so that they won't feel stigmatized.

Different colleges have found different variables worth watching, and not all of them are academic. At
the University System of Georgia, administrators worry about the "locus of control," a common
personality-test measure the system uses to determine whether students feel they have control over
their fates. At Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, administrators monitor how many visits
students make to campus dining halls, where students have to swipe their electronic ID cards for
admission. Dormitory staff members approach students who have not been to the dining hall in the
first weeks of the semester to find out if they are having trouble adjusting to college life.

Some universities are looking to the students themselves for help in identifying which variables might
be significant.

At the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa, for example, students in a graduate course on data mining
were asked to wade through years of raw data on incoming students and pick out factors that linked to
retention using analytics software from SAS Institute Inc., a company that helped design the course.
Among their findings: Freshmen who lived off the campus were more likely to drop out.

University officials took the findings seriously and adopted a few policy changes as a result. For
instance, the university began requiring first-year students to live on the campus.

Other universities have made similar decisions as a result of their data analyses. At South Texas
College, a study of grade histories showed that students who enrolled late in courses frequently failed
or dropped them. So, despite protests from students, officials did away with late registration.
"The data gave us the backbone to make a decision which was not very popular," says Shirley A. Reed,
the college's president.

Refining Formulas

So far retention gains from the projects are modest — typically a few percentage points, according to
officials. (Mr. Wild, at Buffalo, says the engineering school's graduation rate has increased by over a
third, however.) They hope for greater gains as the new analytics-inspired policies are refined.

Of course, the predictive models are imperfect. They miss people who do not fit the typical mold of
the at-risk student, and they sometimes catch students who do not need help, officials say. Rajaey
Kased discovered that Buffalo's algorithm for at-risk engineering students — which he helped design
and refine — would have identified him as an at-risk student, given his high-school preparation. But he
says part of the reason he managed to excel — and be recruited for work on the risk algorithm — was
that he voluntarily participated in the extra-help programs that the algorithm would have eventually
referred him to.

Retention experts acknowledge that sometimes students who exhibit warning signs on paper overcome
their statistical destinies.

"Many of the kids who are struggling have always struggled, and they know how to ask for help," says
Jennifer B. Jones, director of academic retention at the University of Alabama. "Those who never
struggled, and expected to get through college easily and can't, don't know what to do."

There are outliers in the other direction, too: students whose high-school records indicate they should
succeed but who have done poorly or dropped out.

In the University of Central Florida's retention-focused analytics project, some of the students who are
pegged as being at highest risk of dropping out are the ones with the strongest high-school résumés,
stellar SAT scores, and high GPA's, according to Ronald H. Atwell, director of the university's office
of assessment and planning. "We speculate that they get to the university and they're not challenged or
not motivated," he says. The university is still figuring out how to better retain those students.

'Sounds Like Big Brother'

Students' reactions to these efforts to scrutinize them and predict their futures are unclear. In most
cases, the students are unaware of the efforts, and in some cases the universities try to keep the
students from finding out.

"I don't care what they think of the program; I only care if it improves their grades," says Laurie E.
Iten, an associate biology professor at Purdue whose class is being used to test an early-warning system
based on a risk algorithm. The university declined to put The Chronicle in touch with any students in the
course because the students are unaware that they are being studied.

Another student in the department, however, questioned the decision to keep most students in the

"I kind of feel like this is an intrusion of privacy," says Misha R. Ownbey, a junior majoring in
biological sciences and a member of Purdue's Science Student Council. "We're supposed to be adults,
and this sort of sounds like Big Brother's watching. Maybe there are some people who might like it,
who are too shy or intimidated to ask people for help directly. For me, I don't feel that way."

She suggests that Purdue, which is expanding its automated early-warning system to several other
courses in the fall, should obtain written consent from students who wish to have their demographic
and behavioral data mined.

But administrators at other universities say students appreciate the interventions, whether or not data
mining is involved, because the reactions can be so personalized.

"This is kind of like in loco parentis reincarnated," says Cameron S. Cruickshank, vice president for
enrollment management at Tiffin University, which assigns students who have been identified by a risk
algorithm to "success coaches," or mentors, who help students manage their time and communicate
with professors.

"These are not impersonal drill sergeants," he says. "It doesn't take long for students to figure out that
this school really cares about them."

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Conference participants discuss key issues in international education
Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Washington – More than 9,000 participants from 110 countries gathered here to talk about the future
of international education as the 60th annual meeting of Nafsa: Association of International Educators
kicked off this week.

The conference, which runs through Friday, will examine some of the most salient issues in the field,
including the ethical management of education abroad, the establishment of overseas campuses and
partnerships, and the effect of visa policies on attracting foreign students to study in the United States.
Other sessions will focus on global work-force demands and trends in international-student mobility,
and advisers to the presidential candidates will speak on international education.

As the conference got under way on Tuesday, participants paused to renew acquaintances or exchange
pleasantries with new colleagues. Others strolled the convention center's cavernous exhibit hall, which
had been transformed into a supersize study-abroad fair. Some 600 exhibitors offered information
about overseas study, global internships, and immigration-software solutions, among others.

The Global Campus

One standing-room-only panel discussion on Tuesday looked at internationalizing the campus
experience. Three college leaders—from Australia, Canada, and the United States—talked about the
challenges of infusing more of a global perspective on campus. Two ingredients are necessary, they
agreed: resources and leadership.

"There's no substitute for leadership," said Steven Schwartz, vice chancellor of Macquarie University,
in Sydney.

Another panel member, Lois B. DeFleur, president of the State University of New York at
Binghamton, noted ways in which a leader "can set the tone and provide direction."

When Ms. DeFleur came to Binghamton, in 1990, she made internationalization a strategic priority.
She backed up that stand by establishing a fund to encourage the development of new international
programs, and she started an award to recognize outstanding contributions by faculty members. And
the university modified its general-education requirements to include a focus on global studies.

Another panelist, Luc Vinet, rector of the University of Montreal, said he had sought to establish
partnerships with local business and trade groups with an international focus. The partners have
supported university programs and research in key areas and helped recruit international students and
faculty members.

Mr. Vinet said the university also was able to take advantage of efforts by the provincial and federal
governments to increase the number of Canadian students studying overseas through scholarships and

Indeed, Ms. DeFleur said she thought the United States was behind other countries in supporting
international-education programs, and she encouraged her American colleagues to lobby more
forcefully for such government support.

Mr. Schwartz said colleges have to make spending for international efforts a financial priority.

At Macquarie, about 11,000 of the university's 31,000 students are from outside the country, largely
because of the Australian government's policy of recruiting foreign students. But it is not enough to
expect that students will get an international experience just by being in a classroom with a student
from another country, Mr. Schwartz said. The university has overhauled its curriculum and will require
students to undertake an international service-learning experience, something Ms. Schwartz
characterized as akin to an Australian Peace Corps. Students who cannot go abroad because of family
obligations or other reasons will work with aboriginal communities.

A Mobile Force

At another heavily attended session, on international student mobility, representatives of universities in
Australia, China, and Germany discussed their countries' recent experiences in both recruiting foreign
students and sending their own students abroad.

Australia, whose success in attracting foreign students is well known in recruiting circles, has seen a big
jump in the number of international students enrolled in vocational-education programs, said Jen
Nielsen, with Australian Education International, an arm of the country's education department. She
said that increase probably had to do with the relative ease with which foreign students could enter the
work force after graduation.

Christian Müller, head of communications for DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service,
painted a rather different portrait when he described his country's efforts at internationalization.
German universities, he said, are just now beginning to talk seriously about international-student
recruitment. Such students are a key to the future health of the higher-education sector, he said.
Domestic enrollments have grown only 5 percent since 1998, while international-student enrollments
have grown 82 percent, to nearly 190,000.

"The enlargement of our higher-education system over the last several years is mainly driven by
international demand," Mr. Müller noted.

China is the top source country for foreign students in Germany, followed by Bulgaria, Poland, and
Russia. Yet those last three countries are projecting declining numbers of young people, said Mr.
Müller, which means Germany will have to look elsewhere if it wants to expand the number of foreign
students. Germany also faces a serious shortage of researchers and engineers, he said, which makes the
recruitment of foreign students and scholars all the more pressing. Germany plans to start marketing
more heavily in India, where it has not had much success so far.

Welcoming Students to China

Among recruiters, China is primarily known for the sheer numbers of students it sends overseas, but
that image may soon change. Zong Wa, executive director of the China Education Association for
International Exchange, said that China is fast becoming a destination country. In 2007, 196,000
international students came to China to study.

Most international students in China hail from Asia, primarily Korea and Japan, Mr. Zong said. And
many foreign students are there to study language and literature. About 50,000 are there on short-term,
nondegree programs.

Mr. Zong also discussed the results of a survey of several thousand Chinese students attending
education fairs in China. Asked where they preferred to study, 22 percent said the United States, 16
percent said Britain, 11 percent said Canada, and 10 percent said Australia. The top three reasons for

picking a particular institution were university rankings, the student's major, and career prospects after

Rajika Bhandari, director of research and evaluation at the Institute of International Education,
finished up the session by speaking about broad trends in student mobility. She noted that the United
States is host to about 22 percent of all international students, followed by Britain, France, Germany,
and Australia.

The United States may be the top destination country, she said, but given that foreign students make
up only 4 percent of higher-education enrollments in the United States, there is "tremendous room to
grow" in this area.

Ms. Bhandari said that it was extremely hard to predict future patterns based on past behavior, as
student choices are heavily influenced by what is happening in both the host countries and their home
countries. India and China, she noted, have aggressively moved to expand their own higher-education

Mr. Zong illustrated that point when he noted that China is just now beginning to think about
developing a national strategy to recruit more international students.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Scholars urge colleges to retain data on race that new federal rules would blur
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Seattle – Colleges should continue to collect detailed data on their students' racial and ethnic identities,
notwithstanding new federal guidelines that will categorize many students simply as "two or more
races," two scholars urged on Wednesday at the annual conference of the Association for Institutional

The new federal rules, which were debated over several years and made final in guidance released last
October, have weighed on the minds of scholars attending the conference here this week. Beginning in
the 2010-11 academic year, colleges will be required to collect and report racial and ethnic data to the
U.S. Department of Education according to a specified format or risk losing eligibility for federal
student loans. At many institutions, the transition to the new system will entail drastic changes in
application forms and databases.

During Wednesday's session, C. Anthony Broh, director of research policy at the Consortium on
Financing Higher Education, and Stephen D. Minicucci, the consortium's director of analytic studies,
offered a model for collecting racial and ethnic data that they said would minimize disruption and
maintain continuity with colleges' existing records. Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci have developed their
system in collaboration with staff members at the Common Application and the College Board, but
those organizations have not yet made firm commitments to use the system.

Mr. Broh was sharply critical of the new federal rules but said that colleges had to come to terms with
them. "We lost that battle," he said. "Our purpose here today is not to gripe but rather to move on.
We're going to try to make lemonade out of lemons."

The central complaint raised by Mr. Broh and others has to do with the new rules' treatment of
students who mark more than one racial category. Under the new federal guidelines, colleges must
report those students to the government as belonging to "two or more races," with no further detail
given. But that framework, Mr. Broh said, will not allow colleges to keep adequate track of historically
underrepresented minorities. A student who is African-American and American Indian belongs to
groups that have historically been ill-served by higher education; a student who is white and Asian does
not necessarily fit the same profile.

A second frequent complaint is that the new federal guidelines unreasonably privilege "Latino"
identities. Under the new rules, when colleges collect data about race and ethnicity, they must use a
"two-question" format like the one recently used by the U.S. Census Bureau. In the first question,
students will be asked if they are of Hispanic or Latino background. In the second question, students
who are not Latino will be asked to categorize themselves in one or more racial categories: American
Indian, Asian, Black or African-American, Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander, white, or two or more
races. In colleges' reports to the government, a Latino identity must always trump all others, because
Latino students do not answer the second question.

Racial and Ethnic Subgroups

In a paper that they distributed at Wednesday's session, Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci write that the
two-question format "amounts to a visual statement that groups are not treated equally in higher-
education policy."

The new federal guidelines do permit colleges to collect and analyze additional data for their own
purposes. Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci's mission on Wednesday was to persuade institutional
researchers to take advantage of that flexibility.

Their first recommendation was that colleges should continue to ask Latino students to answer the
second question, about racial identity, even though the official federal reports will always regard those
students simply as "Latino." Second, Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci urged colleges to ask about
membership in racial and ethnic subgroups. (The new federal rules permit colleges to do this as long as
the subgroups "roll up" into one of the major federal categories.)

For example, if a student reports on an online application that she is Asian, the Web site could offer a
drop-down menu that asks, "Which best describes your background?" with options including Chinese,
Indian, Japanese, Korean, Pakistani, Filipino, Vietnamese, Other East Asian, Other Indian
Subcontinent, and Other Southeast Asian.

Finally, and most controversially, Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci offered a strategy for colleges to
maintain internal data about students who fall into more than one racial category. These groups must
be reported to the federal government simply as "two or more races," but Mr. Broh said that colleges
should internally class them as belonging to one race or another.

"I'm not saying that there isn't such a thing as a multiracial identity in the United States," Mr. Broh
said. But for purposes of redressing historic injustices and maintaining continuity with existing data, he
said, it is worthwhile to force the students into a particular classification.

For students who are Asian and white, Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci recommend that they be internally
classed as Asian to maintain data about a salient minority identity. For the same reason, the scholars
recommend that students who are African-American and white be classed as African-American.

Sensitive Questions

Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci offered roughly a dozen other similar "decision rules," two of which were
sensitive enough that they prompted questions from the audience.

First, they recommended that students who are Latino and black be internally classified as black—in
other words, the opposite of the new federal policy. That decision, they said, was based on a survey of
admissions officers' existing practices. To maintain continuity with colleges' present data, they said, the
practice should be continued. But at least one audience member said that important information about
Afro-Caribbean students might be lost under that method and that admissions offices might be
interested in giving a falsely high impression of the number of African-American students at their

The second thorny recommendation was that students who are American Indian and white be
classified as white. Mr. Broh said that the consortium's research suggests that some students claim a
partial American Indian identity on flimsy grounds and that students who report being white and
American Indian have, on average, a relatively high household income.

Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci ended with a side-by-side comparison between their system with and the
new federal rules, using data from a 2007 survey of more than 100,000 students at the consortium's 31

In the new official reports to the federal government, 4.7 percent of those consortium students would
be classed as "two or more races." But under Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci's recommended system for

internal record keeping, only 0.8 percent of them would be classed as multiracial. (Mr. Broh and Mr.
Minicucci's system allows students to count as multiracial if they report being members of three or
more groups.)

In Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci's system, a sharply larger proportion of students are classified as black:
5.3 percent, as opposed to 4.1 percent under the new federal rules. And 15.8 percent of students in Mr.
Broh and Mr. Minicucci's system are classed as Asian, but only 13.3 percent of students in the federal
system are counted as Asian.

Those gains for the black and Asian categories come almost entirely at the expense of the "two or
more races" slot. Most other categories are nearly equal in the two systems: 6.9 percent of the
consortium students are counted as Latino in Mr. Broh's system, while 7.1 percent of them are classed
as Latino under the new federal rules. White students are 60.5 percent of the total under Mr. Broh's
system and 59.9 percent under the federal rules.

Members of the audience seemed broadly sympathetic to Mr. Broh and Mr. Minicucci's model, but
some asked whether it would be cumbersome for colleges to maintain, in effect, two sets of books—
one for federal record keeping and one for internal purposes.

Mr. Broh acknowledged that challenge but said that the right database programming could make the
system feasible. In any case, he said, most colleges will have to change their databases to accommodate
the new federal rules.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Journals find fakery in many images submitted to support research
Thursday, May 29, 2008

Kristin Roovers was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Pennsylvania with a bright career ahead
of her—a trusted member of a research laboratory at the medical school studying the role of cell
growth in diabetes.

But when an editor of The Journal of Clinical Investigation did a spot-check of one of her images for an
article in 2005, Roovers's research proved a little too perfect.

The image had dark bands on it, supposedly showing different proteins in different conditions. "As we
looked at it, we realized the person had cut and pasted the exact same bands" over and over again, says
Ushma S. Neill, the journal's executive editor. In some cases a copied part of the image had been
flipped or reversed to make it look like a new finding. "The closer we took a look, the more we were
convinced that the data had been fabricated or manipulated in order to support the conclusions."

As computer programs make images easier than ever to manipulate, editors at a growing number of
scientific publications are turning into image detectives, examining figures to test their authenticity.

And the level of tampering they find is alarming. "The magnitude of the fraud is phenomenal," says
Hany Farid, a computer-science professor at Dartmouth College who has been working with journal
editors to help them detect image manipulation. Doctored images are troubling because they can
mislead scientists and even derail a search for the causes and cures of disease.

Ten to 20 of the articles accepted by The Journal of Clinical Investigation each year show some evidence of
tampering, and about five to 10 of those papers warrant a thorough investigation, says Ms. Neill. (The
journal publishes about 300 to 350 articles per year.)

In the case of Ms. Roovers, editors notified the federal Office of Research Integrity, which polices
government-financed science projects. The office concluded that the images had been improperly
manipulated, as had images the researcher had produced for papers published in three other journals.
That finding led two of those journals to retract papers that Ms. Roovers had co-authored, papers that
had been cited by other researchers dozens of times.

The episode damaged a career—Ms. Roovers resigned from the lab and is ineligible for U.S.
government grants for five years—and delayed progress in an important line of scientific inquiry.

Experts say that many young researchers may not even realize that tampering with their images is
inappropriate. After all, people now commonly alter digital snapshots to take red out of eyes, so why
not clean up a protein image in Photoshop to make it clearer?

"This is one of the dirty little secrets—that everybody massages the data like this," says Mr. Farid. Yet
changing some pixels for the sake of "clarity" can actually change an image's scientific meaning.
The Office of Research Integrity says that 44 percent of its cases in 2005-6 involved accusations of
image fraud, compared with about 6 percent a decade earlier.

New tools, such as software developed by Mr. Farid, are helping journal editors detect manipulated
images. But some researchers are concerned about this level of scrutiny, arguing that it could lead to
false accusations and unnecessarily delay research.

Easy to Alter

The alterations made by Ms. Roovers at the University of Pennsylvania were "very easy" to do, says
Richard K. Assoian, a professor of pharmacology at Penn who worked with the young researcher and
served as her mentor while she was a doctoral student at the University of Miami. "It's basic
Photoshopping," he says.

Ms. Roovers admitted that she used the software, though she says she was not the only one in the lab
to do so.

"I certainly did something wrong, but I don't think I was alone in the whole thing," she says, adding
that it was not her intent to deceive. "It was trying to present it even better."

Morris J. Birnbaum, director of the laboratory and a professor of diabetes and metabolic disease at
Penn, says he never thought to look for such tampering, partly because he was trained back when
images from scientific instruments were captured on film rather than digitally. "It's pretty hard to
doctor film," he says.

Now Mr. Birnbaum checks every image in the lab carefully. "It doesn't take that long, it's just a
question of doing it," he says.

He says it was a difficult way to learn a lesson.

Ms. Roovers might have gotten away with the image enhancements if the paper had been accepted by
a different journal.

"Only a few journals are doing full image screening," says Mike Rossner, executive director of
Rockefeller University Press. Mr. Rossner became a leading crusader for such checks after he
accidentally stumbled upon manipulated images in an article submitted to The Journal of Cell Biology six
years ago, when he was the publication's managing editor.

He worked with researchers to develop guidelines for the journal outlining proper treatment of images,
and several other journals have since adopted them. Some enhancements are actually allowed—such as
adjusting the contrast of an entire figure to make it clearer. But adjusting one part of an image is not
permitted, because that changes the meaning of the data.

He says all papers accepted by The Journal of Cell Biology now go through an image check by production
editors that adds about 30 minutes to the process. If anything seems amiss, the authors are asked to
send an original copy of the data—without any enhancements.

So far the journal's editors have identified 250 papers with questionable figures. Out of those, 25 were
rejected because the editors determined the alterations affected the data's interpretation.
The level of manipulation detected by Mr. Rossner helped persuade several other journal editors to
confront the issue.

At Nature Publishing Group, which produces some of the world's leading science journals, image
guidelines were developed in 2006, and last year the company's research journals began checking two
randomly selected papers in each issue for image tampering, says Linda J. Miller, U.S. executive editor
of Nature and the Nature Publishing Group's research journals.

So far no article has been rejected as a result of the checking, she says.

Ms. Miller and other editors say that in most cases of image tampering, scientists intend to beautify
their figures rather than lie about their findings. In one case, an author notified the journal that a
scientist working in his lab had gone too far in trying to make figures look clean. The journal
determined that the conclusions were sound, but "they wound up having to print a huge correction,
and this was quite embarrassing for the authors," she says.

Ms. Miller wrote an editorial for Nature stressing that scientists should present their images without
alterations, rather than thinking polished images will help them get published. Many images are of gels,
which are ways to detect proteins or other molecules in a sample, and often they are blurry.
No matter, says Ms. Miller. "We like dirt—not all gels run perfectly," she says. "Beautification is not
necessary. If your data is solid, it shines through."

Automated Detection

Mr. Farid, of Dartmouth, has developed software tools that can automatically check for image
tampering. The software looks for patterns in the digital code underlying an image. When files are
opened and altered in Photoshop, for instance, codes are added that Mr. Farid's software can detect.
Likewise, when scientists copy and paste parts of images in any software programs, their actions leave
a digital mark.

"No matter how good you are at it, there's always going to be some trace left behind," he says.
Some journal editors have hired Mr. Farid to analyze difficult cases. "In the last year, I've worked on
four," he says, though he would not say which journals he worked with.

Cadmus Professional Communications, which provides publishing services to several scientific
journals, has also developed software to automatically check the integrity of scientific images.

The Journal of Biological Chemistry, which uses Cadmus for its printing, sends 20 to 30 papers a year
through this system, at a charge of $30 per paper, says Nancy J. Rodnan, director of publications at the
American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, which publishes the journal. She says the
journal cannot afford to send every paper through (without passing the cost on to authors), so its
editors send only those that they suspect, usually because some figures look like they have gel patterns
that have been reused. Last year about six of the checked papers led to more serious investigations,
and a couple of those were eventually found to have been altered inappropriately.
Some editors and researchers worry, however, that automated tools might not be as accurate as human
inspectors and that the software could flag false positives.

Mr. Birnbaum, of the University of Pennsylvania, says a friend of his was wrongly accused of image
tampering, though he would not say who. "He was pretty upset about it," says Mr. Birnbaum, even
though, he says, the researcher was able to prove the image was not fraudulent. "My guess is it's going
to happen more and more."

Reporting Suspected Fraud

As more journals search for image manipulation, they also need to develop clear procedures for how
to report suspicious cases, says John Krueger, an investigator at the U.S. research-integrity office. For
instance, simply contacting the authors of a suspect paper, rather than someone else at the authors'
universities, could leave the door open for authors to submit the paper to another, less careful journal

"That's happened," admits Mr. Rossner, of Rockefeller University Press. "We had a paper where we
revoked the acceptance, and it was subsequently published in another journal with the same problems

that we detected." The authors and the journal were overseas, he says, so "we had a difficult time
trying to find out how to go about reporting the case."

"It was definitely frustrating," he adds. "My obligation as a journal editor is to protect the published
record in any way we can."

Mr. Krueger, the federal investigator, says some journals are reluctant to investigate suspicious images
in cases that involve prominent research.

"They're sort of in a conflict with themselves for wanting to accept the hot stuff," he says. "Sometimes
they accept less-than-ideal material."

One new check on science images, though, is the blogosphere. As more papers are published in open-
access journals, an informal group of watchdogs has emerged online.

"There's a lot of folks who in their idle moments just take a good look at some figures randomly," says
John E. Dahlberg, director of the division of investigative oversight at the Office of Research Integrity.
"We get allegations almost weekly involving people picking up problems with figures in grant
applications or papers."

Such online watchdogs were among those who first identified problems with images and other data in
a cloning paper published in Science by Woo Suk Hwang, a South Korean researcher. The research was
eventually found to be fraudulent, and the journal retracted the paper.

Katrina L. Kelner, deputy editor of life sciences at Science, argues that the level of fabrication in the
Hwang paper was so pervasive that it would not have been detected even if the journal had used the
latest image-checking tools.

Since that instance, however, the journal has started spot-checking images in every paper before

Ms. Roovers, the former researcher who tampered with images, has landed a new job as a postdoctoral
researcher at the Ottawa Health Research Institute. The Canadian institution is outside the jurisdiction
of the U.S. Office of Research Integrity that ruled against her.

She is still publishing—she is listed as a co-author on a new paper published in April by PLoS ONE.
But she will never adjust images again, she says: "It's not worth it."

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Higher Education is in flux as demographics change, federal report shows
Friday, May 30, 2008
Washington – For-profit colleges are serving a bigger a share of a market that includes an increasing
number of women and minority students, according to report released on Thursday by the U.S. Education
The report, a compendium of data published annually by the National Center for Education Statistics,
confirms several significant changes in higher education over recent years. It found that women and
minority students accounted for a large proportion of enrollment growth at colleges and universities in the
decade leading up to the 2005-6 academic year.
Despite the growing diversity at colleges, however, the nation's minority populations continue to face major
educational obstacles, cautions the report, titled "The Condition of Education 2008." Compared with other
minority groups, Hispanic students remain underrepresented in colleges and universities, largely because
many of them are immigrants who have poor English skills and attend schools in low-income areas.
In a statement released with the report, Mark S. Schneider, commissioner of the National Center for
Education Statistics, said the document shows that the nation had made some gains, such as increased
college enrollment and higher reading and mathematics scores among fourth and eighth graders. "But," he
said, "persistent challenges remain in educating a growing and increasingly diverse population."
The Girls Are All Right
The report's findings show that women made great strides relative to men over the 10 years leading up to
2005-6. Women account for nearly two-thirds of the increase in the number of bachelor's and master's
degrees and 85 percent of the increase in the number of doctorates awarded by higher-education
Women's share of total undergraduate enrollment has risen to 57 percent and will most likely remain at that
level for the next decade, according to the report.
Men continue to outnumber women among recipients of bachelor's degrees in mathematics, the physical
sciences, and engineering, but women earn a larger share of degrees in nearly every major field of study than
they did in the mid-1990s. The glaring exceptions are in math, statistics, and computer and information
sciences, which men dominate even more than they did before.
Since the 1980s, women have earned more bachelor's degrees than men in the biological and biomedical
sciences, and women have nearly caught up in the social sciences, business, and history. And women have
increased their lead over men in bachelor's degrees awarded in fields such as education, psychology, and
Women were still earning fewer doctorates than men as of 2005-6, but just barely, having increased their
share of all doctorates received to 49 percent from 40 percent over the past decade.
Tough Transitions
Hispanic students have made the least progress of any group, largely because of problems assimilating,
according to the report.
Hispanics born outside the United States account for 7 percent of the nation's population ages 16 through
25, but they make up 28 percent of all U.S. residents in that age group who are not enrolled in high school
and have not earned a high-school diploma. They are three times as likely to lack such a credential as
Hispanic people whose families have lived in the United States a generation or more.

Of the one-fourth of children in the United States who speak a language other than English at home, more
than 70 percent speak Spanish, the report says.
As of 2007, just 34 percent of the nation's Hispanic population in the 25-to-29 age bracket had completed
at least some college, compared with 66 percent of white and 50 percent of black U.S. residents in the same
age group.
Although Hispanic people have made some gains in this area since the early 1970s, their progress has been
slower than that of other groups. Now they are even less likely than white students to enter college the fall
after they graduate from high school.
Exploiting Growth
The report predicts that overall growth in degree-granting college programs will reach 15.6 million this fall.
With the number of students entering the nation's elementary and secondary schools projected to continue
rising through the coming decade—especially in the South—the Education Department does not project a
slackening of demand for higher education anytime soon.
As of the 2005-6 academic year, the report says, the nation's higher-education institutions were awarding 28
percent more bachelor's and associate degrees, 46 percent more master's degrees, and 26 percent more
doctorates than they had a decade earlier. Asian-Americans, especially, are far more prevalent in advanced-
degree programs now than they were in the mid-1990s.
For-profit colleges have capitalized on that growth. As of 2005-6, they were awarding more than twice as
many associate degrees than they had a decade earlier, having increased their share of all such degrees
awarded to 15 percent from 9 percent. They were awarding six times as many bachelor's degrees and nearly
12 times as many master's degrees.
The report also described several major shifts in where students attended college from 2000 to 2006.
For instance, the share of part-time college students dropped to 37 percent from 40 percent in the first six
years of the current decade, while full-time enrollments grew nearly three times as fast as part-time
Enrollments at four-year colleges grew at nearly twice the rate of those at two-year colleges, and
enrollments at private colleges grew more than twice as fast as those at public institutions.
Students in most Southern states were far more likely to attend in-state institutions than were students in
most parts of the Northeast. But in four states—Alaska, Florida, Nevada, and New Mexico—the share of
recent high-school graduates who chose in-state over out-of-state institutions rose by more than 10
percentage points in the decade after 1996.
Among the report's other findings:
 Young adults with bachelor's degrees earned 28 percent more than those with associate degrees and 50
   percent more than those with just high-school diplomas in 2006. For the first time, however, there was
   no measurable difference in the earnings of young white, black, or Hispanic adults with master's
   degrees or higher, although Asian-Americans with such high levels of education earned more.
 Students with disabilities have made substantial strides in high schools. About 57 percent were earning
   regular diplomas as of 2006, up from 43 percent a decade earlier.
 The proportion of school-age children living in two-parent households remained fairly stable, at about
   67 percent, over the decade studied, after falling throughout the 1980s and early 1990s.
 About one in three black and Hispanic children and one in four Native American children attended
   schools with high poverty levels, compared with one in 10 Asian-Americans and Pacific Islanders and
   one in 25 white children.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Government red tape is a top concern for international educators
Thursday, May 29, 2008
Washington – What does it take to run an international education office? A detailed understanding of
obtuse federal regulations, the ability to recruit foreign students on a shoestring budget, and a talent for
creating study-abroad programs that are both academically rigorous and very popular.
That was the message in dozens of sessions Wednesday at the annual conference of Nafsa: Association of
International Educators. The meeting, which has drawn more than 9,300 people to Washington this week,
illustrates the increasing complexity of the field for international educators.
The discussions ranged from the pragmatic to the lofty. One session on the finer points of the Student and
Exchange Visitor Information System, more commonly known as Sevis, drew hundreds of attendees eager
to hear government officials explain new and existing regulations that govern how international students are
registered and tracked in the United States. Other workshops focused on how colleges can and should
develop study-abroad programs that create "global citizens," draw nontraditional students, and are less
stressful on the environment.
Regulatory Changes
Federal regulation, though, was the main thing on many attendees' minds. Many of those here this week are
the front-line workers who must process the paperwork that keeps their international students in good
standing with the government. The stakes are high: If students slip into noncompliance, even accidentally,
they can be deported.
In several sessions, administrators complained about proposed regulatory changes.
One would nearly double the fee that foreign students pay toward maintaining the Sevis system. Another
allows students to work for longer periods of time after graduation under something known as optional
practical training. But the restrictions on who qualifies and where they can work are so limiting, some said,
that the expansion seemed self-defeating.
"People are frustrated on the ground level dealing with the regulatory challenges right now," said Ursula
Oaks, Nafsa's director of media relations.
Short-term English-language programs are seeing some of the deepest effects with the proposed Sevis fee
increase. At a session with government officials, program directors said that it was unfair to make students
who are here for such a brief period of time pay a high fee.
"If you charge $500 in tuition and the fee is $200, it's not going to happen," said one attendee. "We will lose
these programs and they will not come back."
Dianne Currie, acting chief of the certification branch of the government's Student and Exchange Visitor
Program, which oversees Sevis, said she was sympathetic to people's concerns and that she would bring
their complaints and suggestions back to those in charge of the system. The public comment period on the
proposed fee increase ends on June 20.
"If we start closing doors to these students and not enabling them to come, we are damaging our national
economic security," she said.
Using Paid Recruiters Abroad
Recruiting was also a hot topic, particularly in the exhibit hall where a number of independent agents were
selling their services. Representatives from some of the companies said that while universities in Britain,
Australia, Canada, and elsewhere have long used paid recruiters abroad, American colleges were just
becoming comfortable with the idea of hiring outside providers to do their recruiting for them. Before,

these agents said, colleges either did little to recruit foreign students or relied on traditional venues such as
college fairs.
Percy Ho, vice president of overseas development for Aoji Education Group, a recruiting agency in China,
said he had seen much more interest among American colleges in using agents. His group, which he said
sent more than 10,000 students from China abroad last year, helps students put together their college
applications and also prepares them for the visa process. Colleges, he said, "now see the value added in the
service we provide" because it reduces their own workloads.
Study abroad was the focus of a number of sessions. Nafsa has been urging its members to lobby their
legislators to support the Senator Paul Simon Study Abroad Foundation Act, which would expand nearly
fivefold the number of college students who participate in overseas education. The measure has been
passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee but awaits
approval by the full Senate.
Nafsa has set up phone banks at the meeting and organized a letter-writing campaign for members.
Between Sunday, when attendees first starting arriving in Washington, and Tuesday, Ms. Oaks said that
people sent 1,203 letters and made 163 calls urging its passage.
"Literally, if this bill doesn't pass this year, it'll die and we'll have to start all over," she said. "That would be
a huge loss."
Marshaling the political will to pass international-education legislation will be a challenge, educators agree.
And significantly increasing the number of students who study abroad, as envisioned in the Simon bill, also
will test institutions. The legislation sets a goal of having 50 percent of American students studying overseas
within a decade.
Today just 76 institutions, most of them liberal-arts colleges, send at least half of their students abroad,
pointed out John C. Sunnygard, an international-education consultant who spoke at a panel discussion on
expanding access to education abroad.
In fact, just 107 institutions account for half of all American students who study overseas.
Mr. Sunnygard, who previously was director of the Center for Global Education Opportunities at the
University of Texas at Austin, surveyed institutions that send large numbers of students abroad and found
common traits among successful programs. Among them: Faculty and staff members, from the president
on, share a "global vision" and agree on the value of overseas study. Students expect and believe that they
can study abroad.
"There's a buzz in the air," Mr. Sunnygard said. "People can hear it, can feel it."
But even as colleges seek to expand the share of students getting an international education, they face new
challenges, he said. The demographic makeup of colleges is shifting: Students are older, more racially and
ethnically diverse, and more likely to attend two-year institutions. Yet the study-abroad population remains
largely white, female, and enrolled at liberal-arts colleges.
Increased Scrutiny
Another pressure is the increased scrutiny on the field by the attorneys general of New York and
Connecticut, who last year opened investigations into the business practices of colleges and study-abroad
providers. The inquiries have examined how colleges select overseas-study programs and the financial
relationships they have with provider organizations.
But Brian J. Whalen, who was also on the panel with Mr. Sunnygard and is president of the Forum on
Education Abroad, said the ethics investigation, while painful, may actually be an opportunity to build
study-abroad capacity.

For example, Mr. Whalen—whose organization is a consortium of American and overseas colleges and
outside providers founded six years ago to create standards of good practices for colleges and companies—
said the increased need for transparency brought about by the investigations may encourage colleges to
think more clearly about how to institutionalize their study-abroad efforts.
The tone of the investigations suggests that the attorneys general regard overseas study as an "add-on" and
that colleges select programs like shoppers in the cereal aisle, searching for the best price, Mr. Whalen said.
Colleges should use the opening created by the inquiries to more fully articulate why they approve certain
programs and how such programs reflect the central components of their institutions' curriculum, he
Still, study-abroad directors participating in another session said they were wrestling with how to best
review their practices under heightened scrutiny. Dlynn F. Armstrong-Williams, director of the Center for
Global Engagement at North Georgia College and State University, said her "immediate fear" was that top
administrators would expect her to fix any problems instantaneously.
Instead, Ms. Armstrong-Williams said she was gratified that Georgia's public-university system had formed
a subcommittee of international-education officials to consider business and ethical practices.
Codes of Conduct
Both Nafsa and the Forum on Education Abroad have issued ethical guidelines and codes of conduct to
guide member institutions.
Mr. Whalen said he also expected the attorneys general to issue their own codes of conduct, as they did in
an earlier inquiry into the practices of financial-aid officials. He suggested that legislation recently
introduced by Sen. Kenneth P. LaValle, chairman of the higher-education committee in the New York State
Senate, may provide a preview of what is to come. The bill would require colleges to detail any perks they
may receive from study-abroad providers and to disclose the actual costs to the institution for their students
to participate in a particular program.
International educators can find themselves overwhelmed by the day-to-day challenges of managing their
offices. But several speakers encouraged them to take on a more public role.
Surveys show that cultural and educational exchanges promote a positive view of Americans abroad, said
Keith Reinhard, president of Business for Diplomatic Action, a nonprofit group of corporate leaders who
seek to improve the United States' image overseas. "People getting together with people works," Mr.
Reinhard said.
But Mr. Reinhard and other speakers on the same panel said that exchanges had not received greater
government support because taxpayers do not see them as critical.
It is up to international educators and others who understand the value of exchanges to make a "robust"
case for them to elected officials, said Patricia de Stacy Harrison, a former U.S. assistant secretary of state
for educational and cultural affairs under President Bush. The issue of exchanges may not "resonate"
politically, but advocates can and should highlight their importance to national security, said Ms. Harrison,
who is now president and chief executive of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

The Chronicle of Higher Education
Cold reality intrudes on diversity conference in Disney World
Friday, May 30, 2008
Orlando, Fla. – The brochures for the 21st annual National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in American
Higher Education boasted of its being "the leading and most comprehensive national forum" on the issues
it covers. About 2,000 people registered for the event, held this week at the Coronado Springs Resort in
Disney World's Animal Kingdom.
In a move befitting this wild locale, one of the nation's leading proponents of diversity in higher education
turned on her audience in a biting speech delivered on Thursday. Evelyn Hu-DeHart, director of Brown
University's Center for the Study of Race and Ethnicity in America, suggested that colleges let people attend
this annual conference—typically held in family-friendly tourist destinations—to reward them for not
making waves by pushing for more equity and black and Hispanic representation on campus.
Calling herself "a hard-nosed critic from the inside," Ms. Hu-DeHart said, "Let's face it: Diversity has
created jobs for all of us. It is a career. It is an industry."
"We do what we need to keep our jobs," she said. "But as long as we keep doing our job the way we are
told to do it, we are covering up for our universities."
"You all are covering up," she said. "You all are complicit in this."
Driven by Business, not Social Justice
The problem, she argued, is that those who attend the conference—and work in college offices dealing with
diversity and minority issues—help their institutions create the impression that they are far more concerned
with diversity and equity than is actually the case.
To try to prove her point, she asked her audience to comb through the program for the five-day meeting
and note the job descriptions of those who would be speaking, and think about those who seemed absent
from this event. The group found plenty of listings for chief diversity officers, administrators and staff
members from campus offices in charge of student support, outside diversity consultants, and faculty
members in the fields of education, psychology, and ethnic studies. But they found little evidence of the
presence of college trustees, presidents, provosts, academic deans, or professors in more traditional
academic fields, especially mathematics and science.
Many of those missing, she said, are "the heart of the academic side" of colleges, people who have power
over research, curriculum, and the hiring and evaluation of faculty members.
Meanwhile, she said, the reality on campuses is that ethnic-studies programs account for a disproportionate
share of black and Hispanic professors, and that a large share of the faculty members that colleges count as
minority members are either Asian-Americans or from abroad. The ideal of diversity being pursued by
colleges, she said, is far more rooted in a business-driven desire to have different types of people on
campuses than the pursuit of social justice for those who have historically been excluded from education in
the United States.
Ms. Hu-DeHart was especially hard on chief diversity officers, arguing that their existence within college
administrations helps distract attention from the responsibility that presidents and provosts bear for the
lack of diversity on campus.
"Walk away from your job as it is and renegotiate," Ms. Hu-DeHart urged.
Her audience seemed receptive to her message, although none said they would be threatening to quit their
jobs anytime soon.


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