Higher Ed NewsWeekly
from the Illinois Board of Higher Education
October 14, 2010
Page 37 Gates offers major money for technology-
1 ISU police chief Swan retiring inspired learning
2 Nobel Prize goes to Northwestern economics 39 New college social networks, unlike Facebook,
professor foster academic interaction
4 Northwestern prof. selected for influential group
ON CAMPUS 41 Fundraising big business at UI
5 ICC grad represents college at White House 42 A groundbreaking school alliance
summit 43 Now is not the time to fight budget cuts
6 Richland officially dedicates Center for 45 Community colleges have key role to play
Sustainability and Innovation 46 Still waiting
7 Harper, high schools team up 48 Support for education offers many benefits
9 Community college program helps LPNs earn 49 Help students stay in college
advanced degree in just one year 50 The university vs. liberal education
11 New campus, focus on commu nity colleges
please Moraine Valley ODDS AND ENDS
13 Law school unveils expansion plans 52 As textbooks go digital, will professors build
14 Cheng talks about day closures, future their own books?
15 Going green, aiming for gold 53 For many, no college means no wedding
54 British plan suggests large loans for university
17 At rallies across the country, students turn out in 55 Medical schools slowly grow
defense of public education
19 Delivering an influx of federal dollars, Obama OTHER STATES
administration wants results 57 Georgia regents ban illegal immigrants from
23 Obama praises community colleges amid doubts selective public colleges
about his commitment 58 Massachusetts: Where for-profit and nonprofit
25 College dropouts cost taxpayers billions, report meet
26 Misplaced from the start
28 Online colleges and states are at odds over
29 Obama: U.S. in 'educational arms race'
30 President promotes new education tax credit as
he calls for making it permanent
MONEY AND BUDGET
31 COD asking voters to OK $168 million in bonds
33 Study: Students who quit after a year waste
millions in taxpayer funds
36 Fundraising for minority students at new high
Bloomington, The Pantagraph, October 11, 2010
ISU police chief Swan retiring
By Michele Steinbacher | firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Monday, October 11, 2010 10:56 am
NORMAL — After nearly three decades leading the Illinois State University Police Department, Chief Ron
Swan is retiring in November.
Deputy Chief Aaron Woodruff will become acting chief on Dec. 1. A national search for Swan’s
replacement should begin next year, said Brent Paterson, ISU student affairs associate vice president.
Swan has been a police officer for 45 years — 37 of those as chief for three police departments. He
previously was chief of the Monticello and Beverly Hills, Mo., police departments.
Among his accomplishments at ISU, the chief increased the number of women and minorities on the 27-
member force, and those holding bachelor’s degrees. When Swan started, the force had only one
university graduate, one female officer and no minorities.
“He’s known for increasing the diversity of the police force, as well as developing MAPP (Minority and
Police Partnership program),” said Paterson.
In 2001, Swan and other community leaders created MAPP to improve communication between police
and minorities in the Twin Cities. The group includes representatives from local law enforcement
agencies and minority advocacy groups.
Swan is an active member of the Bloomington-Normal chapter of the NAACP and in 2009, he was named
the chapter’s Roy Wilkins Award recipient.
Swan has earned several college degrees, including a master’s degree in urban affairs from Webster
University in St. Louis, and he completed post-graduate work at St. Petersburg University of the Ministry
of Interior in Russia. He also completed numerous police training programs.
Besides Woodruff’s upcoming promotion, ISU police will see several other position shifts upon Swan’s
Sgt. Nikki Bleichner will become provisional police captain, assuming command of the patrol division and
criminal investigation divisions, while maintaining her command of telecommunications. Her shift
sergeant role will be filled internally.
The department also is in the process of hiring three more officers, with the trio expected to enroll in
January at the Illinois State Police Academy for basic training.
The Chicago Sun-Times, October 11, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Nobel Prize goes to Northwestern
Dale Mortensen, 71, of Evanston, got the news before giving a lecture in Denmark
BY KARA SPAK Staff Reporter / email@example.com
A Northwestern University professor was named one of three winners Monday of the 2010 Nobel Prize in
Economics for developing a theory that helps explain why many people can remain unemployed despite a
large number of job vacancies.
Dale Mortensen, who lives in Evanston, shares the $1.5 million prize with Federal Reserve Board
nominee Peter Diamond and Christopher Pissarides for their analysis of the obstacles that keep buyers
and sellers from efficiently pairing up in markets.
Mortensen, 71, got the news in Denmark, where he is the Niels Bohr Visiting Professor of Economics at
Aarhus University. He was told just before a lecture that he’d won the prize, university spokesman Anders
“He was very very happy but composed at the same time,” Correll said.
Beverly Mortensen, who’s a religion professor at Northwestern, said her husband called from Denmark
and woke her with the news at 5:30 a.m.
“It’s very exciting,” she said. “He’s sort of humble about it, a little embarrassed, sort of excited. He doesn’t
know how to react. He’s quite a humble guy.”
The Nobel Prize alarm clock continued when Beverly Mortensen woke two of the couple’s three adult
children to give them the news.
“Everyone is very excited,” she said, including an Evanston neighbor who joined her to celebrate early
Mortensen’s first job in academia was at Northwestern, where he's been on the faculty since 1965 and is
now the Ida C. Cook Professor of Economics.
He is also a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and a research fellow at
the Institute for the Study of Labor.
And he has also held visiting appointments during his tenure at Northwestern at the University of Essex,
Hebrew University, New York University, the California Institute of Technology and Cornell University.
The Oregon native received his bachelor of arts degree in economics from Willamette University in that
state in 1961 and his doctorate in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh in 1967.
He and his wife met at Carnegie-Mellon. They’ve been married for 47 years and frequently discuss their
research with each other.
The Chicago Sun-Times, October 11, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
Diamond — a former mentor to current Federal Reserve chairman Ben Bernanke — analyzed the
foundations of so-called search markets, while Mortensen and Pissarides expanded the theory and
applied it to the labor market.
Since searching for jobs takes time and resources, it creates frictions in the job market, helping explain
why there can be job vacancies and unemployment at the same time, the academy said.
“The laureates’ models help us understand the ways in which unemployment, job vacancies and wages
are affected by regulation and economic policy,” the Nobel citation said.
Diamond, 70, is an economist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is an authority on Social
Security, pensions and taxation.
President Obama has nominated Diamond to become a member of the Federal Reserve. But the Senate
failed to approve his nomination before leaving to campaign for the midterm elections. Senate
Republicans have objected to what they see as Diamond’s limited experience in dissecting the inner
workings of the national economy.
Bernanke was one of Diamond’s students at MIT. When Bernanke turned in his doctoral dissertation back
in 1979, one of the people he thanked was Diamond for being generous with his time and reading and
discussing Bernanke’s work.
Pissarides, a 62-year-old professor at the London School of Economics, told The Associated Press that
the win was “a complete surprise.”
“The happiness is even more when it comes as a surprise,” Pissarides said, speaking from his north
Pissarides said his work had already helped shape official thinking on both sides of the Atlantic. For
example, he said that the New Deal for Young People — a British government initiative aimed at getting
18- to 24-year-olds back to work after long spells of unemployment — “is very much based on our work.”
Diamond wrote a paper in the early 1980s that found that unemployment compensation can lead to better
job matches. Workers “become more selective in the jobs they accept” because of the employment aid.
And that makes for better matches and increases efficiency, he found.
He told a Senate committee during his nomination hearing in July that a central theme of his research has
been how the economy deals with risks that affect both individuals, and the entire economy.
The economics prize isn’t among the original awards established by Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel in
his 1895 will but was created in 1968 by the Swedish central bank in his memory.
The economics jury was the last of the Nobel committees to announce 2010 winners.
The awards are always handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel’s death in 1896.
The Chicago Tribune, October 12, 2010
Northwestern prof. selected for influential group
A Northwestern University scientist has been elected to the prestigious Institute of Medicine.
Chad Mirkin is among 65 new members the IOM announced on Monday. Northwestern says he's the first
in the Midwest to be elected to all three branches of the National Academies. He also serves on the
National Academy of Sciences and National Academy of Engineering.
The Institute of Medicine is the Academies' health arm and advises the government on health issues.
Mirkin directs Northwestern's International Institute for Nanotechnology. He's known for inventing
diagnostic systems based on nanomaterials, and also new approaches to cancer treatment based on
Peoria Journal Star, October 7, 2010
ICC grad represents college at White House summit
BU student Thomas Aguilar meets with top officials in discussion of the
importance of community colleges
By DAVE HANEY (firstname.lastname@example.org)
OF THE JOURNAL STAR
Thomas Aguilar on Thursday was looking at making up an exam on lathes for a manufacturing class, but
the Bradley University student just two days prior shared a room with the president, vice president and
other dignitaries who convened the first-ever White House summit on community colleges.
Aguilar, 28, who graduated earlier this year from Illinois Central College after serving in the Marine Corps,
including service in both Iraq and Afghanistan, was one of about 100 students from across the nation who
weighed in on how two-year education institutions play a key role in the country's competitiveness.
"The main thing I took from it is that it seemed to mark the beginning of a strong effort to unify a lot of
organizations coming together to work on increasing graduation rates in line with President Obama's plan
and the role community colleges will play in that plan," said Aguilar, who later spoke during a break-out
session on how community colleges could better reach out to veterans. "It left me with more to look
forward to as far as the direction that higher education is going in America - to turn it around. They
mentioned we've gone from - as far as graduation rates in higher education - first to 12th place."
Obama on Tuesday called for community colleges to produce an additional 5 million graduates by 2020,
calling the two-year institutions the "unsung heroes of America's education system," and adding the
colleges "may not get the credit they deserve, they may not get the same resources as other schools, but
they provide a gateway to millions of Americans to good jobs and a better life."
Community colleges saw a 17 percent enrollment surge between 2007 and 2009 as the economic
downturn sent laid-off workers searching for new skills, and tight budgets forced families to reconsider
education expenses for their children. At the same time, the colleges are badly underfunded.
Aguilar said he met Vice President Joe Biden, Biden's wife, Jill Biden - a community college teacher - as
well as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen and Melinda Gates.
Aguilar, a Richwoods High School graduate, offered "gratitude for all the opportunities" ICC gave him,
saying he had planned to attend a four-year college after his military service but said he would not have
been able to attend based on tests he took.
Aguilar said he started out taking remedial, non-transferable classes at ICC and by the time he left he had
earned an associate's degree, was a member of the All-USA Community College First Academic Team
and was named an Illinois New Century Scholar. He is now majoring in engineering at Bradley University.
Illinois Community College paid for Aguilar's visit to Washington D.C.
"I was honored to be there representing ICC," Aguilar said.
Dave Haney can be reached at 686-3181 or email@example.com.
Herald & Review, October 7, 2010
Richland officially dedicates Center for Sustainability
By VALERIE WELLS - H&R Staff Writer | Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 4:01 am
DECATUR - The Innovations Laboratory in the Center for Sustainability and Innovation at Richland
Community College is so quiet that a dance class met there this week, and the folks working on the floor
below couldn't hear them.
"We put cork in the floor," said Todd Cyrulik, one of the architects for BLDD Architects, the design firm.
The CSI, as it's commonly known, officially was dedicated Wednesday. The building is a "green" building,
already designated as a "Platinum" level building by Leadership, Engineering and Environmental Design.
Most of the building materials are made from recycled and recyclable sources. The concrete is recycled
and uses coal ash that would otherwise be discarded; the carpet is made from recycled carpet and plastic
bottles; the wood in the doorways comes from sustainable forestry, where trees are not clear-cut but
replanted as they're harvested. Geothermal power heats the building. Windows provide natural light to cut
down on electricity usage, and the wind turbine outside, the first wind turbine on a community college
campus in Illinois, provides most of the power the building does use.
Richland President Gayle Saunders called the turbine "iconic."
"In February, the board of trustees adopted a new core tenet: Creating a culture of sustainability," board
Chairwoman Amy Bliefnick said.
Richland wants to lead the way in meeting the needs of the present generation without compromising the
environment for future generations, she said.
The college broke ground on the center in August 2008. The innovations lab was the last step in
completing the project. The lab, said Doug Brauer, vice president of economic development and
innovative work force solutions, will provide a flexible space for ideas to be born, and with SmartBoard
technology, those ideas can be sent immediately to other students in the engineering and drafting
departments in the main building, who can build the models and prototypes.
Plans are in the works to create cooperative programs with the University of Illinois and Millikin University,
while the University of Illinois Extension already occupies offices on the ground floor of the center and
cooperates with Richland in agribusiness and horticulture projects.
"We're the envy of the rest of the state Extensions," joked Doug Harlan, director of the Macon and Piatt
Extension. "They say, 'How did you get that building?' and I tell them, 'It's all in who you know.' "
Daily Herald, October 10, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Harper, high schools team up
By Kimberly Pohl
Student success rates at Harper College in Palatine may be above the national norm, but don’t expect to
hear anyone bragging.
School officials can’t, Harper President Ken Ender says, not when 39 percent of students have to begin in
developmental classes, and only half of that group ever reach credit-bearing courses.
That’s why Harper intends to partner with its three high school feeder districts to form the Northwest
Educational Council for Student Success, a consortium aimed at developing programs, sharing talent and
data, and leveraging joint resources to prepare every high school and college graduate for 21st century
“We’re doing fine by ourselves, but together we can be great, Ender said.
Ender and the superintendents of Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, Northwest Suburban
High School District 214 and Barrington Unit District 220 last week shared their vision with the Daily
Herald and announced Harper’s $250,000 commitment to help launch the four-year pilot program.
The four leaders have been meeting regularly since last year to discuss the disconnect between the
college and high schools.
District 214 Superintendent David Schuler said career pathway partnerships are already in place, but
they’re geared toward vocational fields such as EMT training and cosmetology. And while it’s not
abnormal for a senior to make the trip to Harper for a class not offered in high school, two class periods
are wasted in the commute.
The council’s focus is purely on core academics such as math and English areas that haven’t been the
subject of much articulation between Harper and the three high school districts.
District 220 Superintendent Tom Leonard said that besides aligning certain curriculum, they want to offer
developmental, or noncredit remedial, courses at the high school.
He also foresees students taking their college math requirement while still in high school, earning credit at
both the high school and college level, with the credit being transferable to a four-year institution.
“Students moving from eighth to ninth grade, those conversations have happened, Leonard said. “But it’s
never happened 12th to 13th.
Data sharing would also be vital to sooner identify students who need those developmental noncredit
classes once they arrive at Harper.
“It became a moral imperative for the four of us to eliminate (those hurdles) for a vast majority of those
kids, Schuler said. “When we sent them into a developmental class, we’re almost sentencing them or
assuring them they were not going to finish their college education.
District 211 Superintendent Nancy Robb said a study conducted by the district last year showed many
Daily Herald, October 10, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
students who end up in developmental classes at Harper do so because they do not take math their
senior year. It’s simply a matter of not retaining the knowledge, she said.
As part of the study, District 211 students took the Compass test, which is the same assessment test
Harper uses to place incoming freshmen. After some learned they’d likely end up taking a developmental
class in college, 15 percent more juniors decided to take math as seniors.
Ender said the new partnership is not only about improving student success, but it’s also a good business
model. Harper officials hope fewer students will drop out if they start taking credit courses immediately.
And with funding whittling away, this is an opportunity to leverage resources, he said.
In the coming days, Ender, Schuler, Leonard and Robb will each seek approval from their boards on a
memorandum of understanding. Assuming they have support, they’ll plan on meeting at least quarterly
and involve staff members.
All three superintendents credited Ender with creating a new culture at Harper. Leonard said the
president came to visit the three districts as soon as he came to Palatine last year, which had never
happened in their tenures.
“Walls that have been up for years are being broken, Leonard said.
Belleville News Democrat, October 11, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Community college program helps LPNs earn
advanced degree in just one year
The (Alton) Telegraph --
As demand climbs for skilled health care professionals, Lewis and Clark Community College established
an accelerated pilot program to help experienced nursing students earn an advanced degree in just one
Warren Ribley, director of the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity, announced
Thursday that the college would receive a $309,440 workforce grant to support a Registered Nurse
Bridge Program. The program would help students who already have earned their licensed practical
nurse (LPN) certificate to complete their associate degree in nursing in one year, graduating as registered
"By giving LPNs the opportunity to move upward in their careers, we are also raising their ability to better
support their families," Ribley said. "Workers in Illinois deserve good-paying jobs, and citizens who need
treatment deserve the best-trained medical professionals.
"By targeting our federal workforce dollars into health care -- one of the fastest-growing jobs sectors -- we
are ensuring both in the metro-east," he said.
The grant is part of the $5.3 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) dollars being
targeted by DCEO's Office of Employment and Training to fund programs statewide. The funds will be
used to train more than 4,200 health care professionals in statewide programs as varied as electronic
medical records conversion, online and weekend nurse training, and training RNs to teach more nurses.
"Just yesterday, a report came out from the Institute of Medicine that said 'nurses should achieve higher
levels of education and training through an improved education system that promotes seamless academic
progression,'" LCCC Dean of Health Sciences Donna Meyer said. "We're already doing this here."
All 16 of the nurses in the program have prior nursing experience in a wide variety of clinical settings,
including in rural communities, which allows the cohort to focus on more advanced skills as they move
through the program.
Two faculty members, Dawna Egelhoff and Sheila Jones, serve as mentors to the group, expected to
graduate in December.
Traditionally the class would have been merged into classes with students lacking clinical experience.
The smaller, more cohesive class allowed for a different level of conversation to occur, said student
Jennifer Hoisington from Litchfield.
The group received more than emotional support; they also qualified for financial aid, making it possible
for many of them to pursue the advanced degree.
"We weren't able to receive financial support before this grant, so we had to rely on our savings or take
out student loans," said student Lisa Clark, who lives in White Hall. "Because we have classes for two full
Belleville News Democrat, October 11, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
days plus clinical hours, this meant we also lost income from our regular jobs, as well as trying to balance
the needs of our families."
Clark said that she and her fellow students found the program intense but rewarding.
"We eat, breathe and sleep nursing," she said. "And we would all do it again in a heartbeat."
Meyer said that she believes that an even greater demand for nurses will emerge through health care
reform as more emphasis is placed on prevention and education.
Along with LCCC President Dale Chapman, state Sen. Deanna DeMuzio, D-Carlinville, state Rep. Jay
Hoffman, D-Collinsville, Godfrey Mayor Mike McCormick and River Bend Growth Association Executive
Director Monica Bristow were present for the announcement. State Sen. Bill Haine, D-Alton, could not
attend because of illness.
The college's nursing program also was recognized recently with the MetLife Foundation Community
College Excellence Award 2010 for service through innovation, awarding the college a $50,000 grant.
Southtown Star, October 11, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
New campus, focus on community colleges please
BY STEVE METSCH
The unsung heroes are busier than ever.
President Barack Obama's focus on education last week was not lost on those attending the opening of a
new building for Moraine Valley Community College.
Obama, who called community colleges "the unsung heroes of America's education system," hopes to
see an additional 5 million graduates by 2020.
For Moraine Valley, presidential attention is a good thing as the $10.5 million Southwest Education
Center, 17900 S. 94th Ave., opens for classes today.
On Wednesday, several hundred people attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new campus.
Afterward, Margaret Lehner, vice president for institutional advancement and executive assistant to the
college president, discussed Obama's comments.
"We are the heroes of American education because we are the people's college. We are the college that
gives people entrance, very often first-generation, to college," Lehner said.
"And we give them the whole gamut of the educational experience. Not only what happens in the
classroom, but assistance with job searches," Lehner said.
The 32,000-square-foot building has 15 classrooms, a science lab, two computer rooms and multipurpose
It was built in Tinley Park to reach students in the district's far southern reaches. Moraine Valley serves
26 communities in the Southland.
"Thirty-six percent of all high school graduates in our district come to Moraine Valley," Lehner said.
There's a need for affordable education, she said, noting that enrollment at Moraine Valley has increased
by 11 percent since 2006, and 34 percent since 2000.
The Tinley Park site will serve 700 students to go with the 500 at the Blue Island site and 19,000 at the
main campus in Palos Hills, assistant dean Maureen Farrell said.
Nationwide, enrollment in community colleges is up 17 percent, said Norma Kent, spokeswoman for the
American Association of Community Colleges.
"It's the recession. Every time we have one, we see a spike in enrollment. This one is so long and so
protracted, we have a bigger increase," Kent said.
Much of the increased enrollment is attributed to "more adult learners," Kent said, people who've lost their
Southtown Star, October 11, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
jobs and are seeking new skills.
"We also have traditional-age students out of high school. Suddenly, for them, a community college
education is a very good value," Kent said.
Nationwide, tuition at community colleges averages $2,500. At Moraine Valley, it's about $3,000 for one
"People come for a variety of reasons. Some come for non-credit courses, skills they can pick up. Others
may come here to transfer to a four-year institution. Some may be returning adults who want to take a
certain course," Lehner said.
At the new Tinley Park building, classes will include a mix of general education, introductory career
courses, non-credit and continuing education classes.
Obama this year signed legislation that will pump $2 billion into community colleges over four years.
Moraine will get a piece of that pie.
Among federal funding already in place are a $1.5 million grant for health information technology,
$502,000 in a grant to help dislocated workers seeking to learn new skills, and a $116,000 grant for the
new building's geothermal heating and cooling system.
The system is among "green" features that earned the building the college's first Leadership in Energy
and Environmental Design certification.
Bike racks sit in front of the building, which has 20 parking spaces dedicated to fuel-efficient vehicles.
There are even four outlets where electric cars can be recharged.
Inside, recycled seat belts are used for chair upholstery in the cyber cafe.
There's even a green roof, covered with vegetation. Normal roofing material is painted white to reflect
sunlight and keep the interior cooler.
Extensive use of windows with a southerly exposure is expected to reduce lighting costs. Lights don't turn
on until someone enters a room, and they turn off when everyone leaves.
Tinley Park and area restaurants may benefit from the building, too.
There are vending machines, not a cafeteria, in the building. That's because the college wants to "be a
good neighbor" and urge students to visit local restaurants, Farrell said.
The Chicago Sun-Times, October 12, 2010
Law school unveils expansion plans
John Marshall project to add 50,000 square feet
The John Marshall Law School will be able to open its doors to State Street in the coming years.
Officials at the school unveiled plans Monday to expand its downtown campus -- including adding an
entrance that will face South State.
Construction of the 50,000-square-foot expansion will begin in April, with a goal of finishing by fall 2012.
The expansion includes using 38,000 square feet at 19 W. Jackson, which is now anchored by The Dollar
Daze store. It will also use 12,000 square feet in the building it owns at 304-308 S. State, now home to a
Walgreens in the ground level.
"We had to consider what to do with the space, and we decided to use it for student resources," said John
Corkery, the law school's dean.
"John Marshall's new State Street entrance gives us more of a presence along that South Loop
educational corridor, and the expanded space will help consolidate our classroom, administrative, student
group and clinical facilities," Corkery said in a statement. "We have long considered expanding our
campus, and the right opportunity finally presented itself."
When the work is done, the school will more closely share the area with universities such as DePaul and
Robert Morris, as well as Columbia and Roosevelt.
The law school is launching the work to accommodate a growing student body, which is now up to 1,600.
The school last expanded in 1996 when it purchased nine floors in the nearby 321 S. Plymouth Court
building, which is considered the main campus.
A student commons area is the plan for the State Street property, giving it a feel much like the other
schools nearby. They are "still reviewing options" for the site on Jackson.
The Southern Illinoisan, October 13, 2010
Cheng talks about day closures, future
By Codell Rodriguez, The Southern | Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:00 am
CARBONDALE - SIUC Chancellor answered questions about administrative closure days and plans to
survive financial shortfall.
Cheng addressed the issues Tuesday at the SIUC Faculty Senate meeting in the Student Center.
Cheng said the university faces a more than $15 million shortfall, with fiscal year 2010 state
appropriations arriving by the calendar year and fiscal year 2011 appropriations not coming until the
beginning of the calendar year.
"We will not be able to close that gap without the administrative closure days or layoffs," Cheng said.
She said the reason for granting the chancellors the ability to begin the process of instituting closure
days, which the SIU Board of Trustees approved at its September meeting, was to avoid having to
institute mass layoffs.
Allan Karnes, professor of accountancy and faculty senate member, said the university is facing
extraordinary times that it has never had to face and said he is willing to make a small sacrifice so that
someone else can keep his or her job.
"We need to pull together to get through these times because things will come around," Karnes said.
Questions about the closures included a two-year limit on the authority that was taken off before the
Board of Trustees approved it. Cheng said the measure was taken off by the board's legal council to keep
from having to recreate the policy if needed in the future.
She was also asked about long-term plans for weathering tough financial times. She admitted that closure
days and hiring freezes are short-term measures and said she is looking at other ideas.
The Chicago Tribune, October 13, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Going green, aiming for gold
Sustainably designed education center opens in Tinley Park
By Ashley Rueff, TRIBUNE REPORTER
Moraine Valley Community College is big on green initiatives, but the college really dived headfirst into
sustainability with its new Southwest Education Center in Tinley Park.
The $10.5 million building was the final project to be built with the funds from a 2006 bond referendum
that raised $89 million for the college's capital projects, both at the main Palos Hills campus and in Tinley
The building was designed and constructed with the hope of receiving a gold rating, the second-highest
LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) level from the U.S. Green Building Council, said
Andy Duren, executive vice president of administrative services.
So far, the project has been awarded all 30 possible points for the design, but other categories such as
construction materials have yet to be evaluated for LEED certification.
"Sustainability is becoming kind of the new thing for us," Duren said. "It's the new vision."
Tinley Park resident Lise Bolden was tickled to learn that no programs were printed for the dedication
ceremony last week and that the poster boards detailing all the green initiatives of the event would be
"The forks are made out of potato starches," she read from the poster board. "It's just great."
From prime parking spaces for fuel-efficient cars to biodegradable refreshment cups made out of pressed
yellow corn, everything about the dedication of the school's newest and most sustainable building was
College and local officials sat on chairs made from recycled seatbelts before cutting a ribbon made of
organically grown cotton.
The building includes a geothermal heating and cooling system expected to cut normal energy costs by
more than a third. Two bioswales, or vegetative trenches, are designed to filter pollution from parking lot
runoff, and a garden of sedum is planted on the rooftop to fight against the urban heat effect and help
insulate the building.
Joseph Murphy, chairman of the college's board of trustees, said a large motivation for the heightened
environmental responsibility has come from a push by their students.
"They're looking for it and they feel a sense of obligation to the environment, more so than a lot of us
naturally think," Murphy said.
Additional open houses of the new facility will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday.
The college won't offer a full slate of classes at the new building until the spring semester, but 350
The Chicago Tribune, October 13, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
students were signed up to start classes there this week, said Mark Horstmeyer, director of college and
Moraine Valley has been teaching night classes through the college at Andrew High School in Tinley Park
and most recently had an enrollment of about 500 students, Horstmeyer said.
"We think a lot of the area community members will take advantage of this," he said.
The Tinley Park location was chosen for a new campus because a study of Moraine Valley students
showed many of them were coming from the southwest corner of the district, Murphy said.
"We're trying to reach out more and more to the 26 communities we have," Murphy said. "There was a
definite need for locating in the southwest corridor."
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 7, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
At rallies across the country, students turn out in
defense of public education
By Paige Chapman and Eric Kelderman
October 7, 2010
Less than a month before midterm elections, students, faculty members, and advocacy groups held
rallies on campuses across the country on Thursday to show elected officials their support for public
At Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, for example, several hundred people gathered on the
campus's parade grounds for a jazz-inspired "funeral" for higher education. Some participants, dressed in
black carried a coffin labeled "education," while others carried flags representing language programs that
the university has cut to cope with shrinking state appropriations.
More program and job cuts are likely, as the state is struggling to close a deficit in its current budget year,
and Gov. Bobby Jindal, a Republican, has said that higher-education funds could be cut by as much as
35 percent in the budget that lawmakers will craft next year.
The Baton Rouge event was organized by a grass-roots group called Proud Students, along with the LSU
Graduate Student Association, the Faculty Senate, and union groups representing university staff
members and schoolteachers. Bradley Wood, a senior at Louisiana State and co-founder of Proud
Students, said the group has sent letters to candidates for statewide office warning about the effects of
such deep cuts, but it has yet to get responses from those politicians.
On several campuses of the University of California, which lost $637-million in state appropriations last
year, groups also held events to mark Thursday's "National Day of Action to Defend Public Education."
At the University of California at Berkeley, demonstrators at a variety of events protested the cuts and
their effects on public colleges and universities. One event, a sit-in in a library reading room, drew some
500 participants before the campus police blocked access. The demonstrators banged on desks and
chanted "Whose university? Our university!" and several hundred remained in the room as of late
afternoon, but there were no reports of arrests, according to the university's News Center.
Other demonstrations at Berkeley included a large outdoor rally and "teach-outs," in which professors
held classes outside. Ignacio Chapela, an associate professor of environmental science at Berkeley, was
one who held his classes outside on Thursday. Mr. Chapela said many students are upset about the
university's student-fee increase of more than 30 percent, as well as an influx of out-of-state enrollment,
to compensate for lost funds.
"Students are becoming the cash cow for the institution because the university is banking on whatever
they can pay," Mr. Chapela said. "They're standing up for what they believe to be wrong budgetary
policies in both the state and the nation."
Elsewhere, students, faculty and staff members, and concerned community members gathered at a rally
at the University of Minnesota and urged state officials to designate money for "education, not
administration," reported Minnesota Public Radio.
In Massachusetts, a rally at the Statehouse was scheduled to cap a six-day march across the state
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 7, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
protesting cuts in state money for higher education.
And at Northeastern University, a private institution in Boston, a student group that advocates on behalf of
nonunion workers held a teach-in about the growing involvement of corporations in the operations and
support of higher education.
Claire Lewis, a sophomore at Northeastern and a member of the Progressive Student Alliance, said the
university is becoming "corporatized" by hiring nonunion workers for custodial and food services, and by
relying too much on adjunct faculty members without concern for the quality of education.
Not all groups that sympathize with the issues raised by the National Day of Action chose to stage events
Brian Turner, chairman of the department of political science at Randolph-Macon College and secretary
of the Assembly of State for the American Association of University Professors in Virginia, said his
organization is concerned about the effect of budget cuts, but would focus its activities around the
beginning of the calendar year, "when the General Assembly is in session."
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 1 of 4)
Delivering an Influx of Federal Dollars, Obama
Administration Wants Results
By Kelly Field
President Obama campaigned on a promise to provide billions more dollars to students and colleges, and
he has delivered.
Since he took office, almost two years ago, spending on student aid has grown by nearly 50 percent, to
$145-billion, while aid to colleges has exploded. Much of the new money has come with no strings
attached, including $36-billion for Pell Grants in a student-loan bill he signed in March.
But the president has also sought to use federal funds as leverage, offering carrots to colleges and states
that embrace his goals, and sticks to those that hinder them. More than any of his predecessors, he has
demanded results in exchange for federal dollars, requiring grant applicants to set benchmarks for
improvement and threatening to withhold aid from programs that fail to prepare students for jobs.
That approach has rankled some higher-education leaders, who accuse the administration of meddling in
academic affairs, but it has won praise from advocates of greater accountability and assessment for
Secretary of Education Arne Duncan says the administration sees itself as a "partner" in a nationwide
effort to improve schools and colleges. In a speech he gave a year ago, Mr. Duncan sought to reassure
state education leaders that he was not seeking to seize control of the education agenda.
"Education reform starts locally, ... and my job is to help you succeed," he said. "I want to be a partner in
your success, not the boss of it."
Still, he continued, "I'm not willing to be a silent partner who puts a stamp of approval on the status quo."
"I plan to be an active partner."
It's too soon to say whether the president's accountability agenda will succeed. Though Congress has
embraced his ideas, his proposals have run into budget constraints. So far lawmakers have provided only
a fraction of the money the president has sought for new incentive grants to states and community
He has also faced significant pushback on his plan to tie federal aid to graduates' debt levels and
employment. While the administration is unlikely to abandon the proposal, it is under intense pressure
from for-profit colleges to soften the so-called gainful-employment rule, and it recently postponed putting
out the regulation until after the midterm elections.
An Ambitious Agenda
The president set ambitious goals for the nation's colleges early in his presidency, calling for the United
States to lead the world in college-completion rates by 2020 and asking every American to obtain a "year
or more" of higher education.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 2 of 4)
To make college more affordable for the millions of Americans without degrees, he proposed ending
subsidies to student lenders and using the savings to significantly expand federal support to students,
states, and colleges.
The president put community colleges at the center of his plan, asking Congress to give the institutions
$12-billion over 10 years to educate five million more students. Much of the money would have come with
conditions: To qualify for federal support, community colleges would have had to set goals tied to
program completion, work-force preparation, and job placement. Grantees would have chosen their own
benchmarks, but those would have had to be approved by the U.S. education secretary.
The proposal represented a significant shift in the way federal aid has been awarded to community
colleges, requiring them to negotiate individual goals for the first time. It also broke from the tradition of
distributing aid based on enrollments, instead tying awards to students' graduation.
The administration also sought to enlist governors in its goals, proposing a $2.5-billion College Access
and Completion Fund to support states' efforts to improve college attendance and completion rates. The
money, which was to be competitively awarded, would have rewarded states that embraced the
administration's vision of reform, much like the new Race to the Top grants for elementary and secondary
Both the community-college and state-grant proposals sought to change the incentive structure for higher
education, encouraging colleges to focus on graduating students, not just enrolling them. As Mr. Arne
Duncan explained to reporters in a 2009 briefing on the president's budget, "there have been very few
incentives on the graduation side."
"There's been a lot of push to get students in the door, but not to graduate," he said. "We really have to
change the status quo."
An 'Activist' President
Not surprisingly, the plans met with skepticism from colleges. Some community-college leaders worried
that benchmarking could shift the balance of power from state and local governing boards to Washington,
setting the stage for federal meddling in curricula. Private colleges, meanwhile, objected to the plan to
funnel the Access and Completion grants through the states, arguing that it would be inefficient and could
compromise their cherished independence. While public colleges must answer to state higher-education
offices, private colleges are independently governed.
"We couldn't have states setting benchmarks for private colleges," said Sarah A. Flanagan, vice president
for government relations and policy at the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.
Colleges were also ambivalent about the president's plan to expand the Perkins Loan program and award
a portion of the new aid to colleges that held down their tuition and did a good job graduating Pell Grant
recipients. While college officials welcomed the money, they warned that the plan would penalize public
colleges in states whose legislatures set tuition, often raising it to offset budget cuts.
Terry W. Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on
Education, said Mr. Obama has taken a more "activist" and "expansive" approach to higher education
than his predecessors, "both in terms of investing in education and moving the industry in ways it wants it
"The good news is that they think higher education is important," Mr. Hartle said. "The bad news is that
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 3 of 4)
they would like more say over it than any other administration has had."
So far, though, Mr. Obama has had limited success in advancing his accountability agenda. Though
Democrats included the president's proposals in legislation that ended the bank-based student-loan
system, they were forced to scale back many of the programs when the bill yielded less savings than
In the end, the measure provided only $750-million of the $2.5-billion Mr. Obama had sought for grants to
states that advance his agenda on college completion. It included just $2-billion of the $12-billion the
president was seeking for community colleges, and nothing for the program that would have required
recipients to set benchmarks for improvement.
A 'Free Pass' for Colleges?
The president got another opportunity to shape education policy with the passage of the economic-
stimulus bill, a multibillion-dollar bailout for cash-strapped states. The bill, which doubled the size of the
Department of Education's budget, gave Mr. Duncan more money than any previous education secretary
and the power to distribute it as he saw fit.
Though much of the bill's education aid, some $48.6-billion, was distributed by formula, governors had to
provide four "assurances" to receive awards, including having "national college and career-ready
standards" and tracking students from pre-kindergarten through college and careers.
The goal, said MaryEllen McGuire, who served until recently as Mr. Obama's senior adviser for education,
was to leverage federal dollars for reform and build state capacity in the process.
"We weren't just giving money away," she said. "We had assurances in place."
But it was the bill's Race to the Top fund that gave the administration the most influence over education
policy. Though only $4.35-billion in size, the fund has driven significant change at the state level,
prompting governors and state legislatures to adopt common standards in elementary and secondary
education, lift caps on charter schools, and begin to evaluate teachers based on their students'
performance. Secretary Duncan recently credited the program with driving a "quiet revolution" of
Critics of the Race to the Top program see it as an example of federal micromanagement of education.
"This is the federal government telling states that if you want this money, you have to make your priorities
Washington's priorities," said Neal McCluskey, associate director of the Center for Educational Freedom,
at the Cato Institute.
But supporters of the program say it's a model that should be extended to higher education. Kevin Carey,
policy director of Education Sector, and a frequent contributor to The Chronicle, says colleges got a "free
pass" in the stimulus bill, receiving millions of dollars with virtually no strings attached.
He argues that colleges would be better off if they accepted more federal oversight in exchange for more
"There should be a Race to the Top for colleges," Mr. Carey said. He suggests, among other things, that
the money go only to states that are open about their colleges' graduation rates, provide evidence of
student learning, and publicly report their job-placement rates.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 4 of 4)
Meanwhile, the president has pursued an aggressive regulatory agenda, proposing a slew of rules aimed
at safeguarding the federal student -aid program from fraud and abuse. The most controversial of these is
the "gainful-employment rule," which would cut off federal student aid to programs whose graduates have
high debt-to-income ratios and low loan-repayment rates.
While the rule is aimed at for-profit colleges, some nonprofit colleges fear it could set a precedent for
evaluating all colleges based on their graduates' earnings. That could hurt programs in regions with high
unemployment and discourage colleges from offering degrees in low-paying fields, lobbyists say. "They're
fairly well crossing the Rubicon," said David S. Baime, senior vice president for government relations at
the American Association of Community Colleges. "You're not that many steps away from forgetting about
debt and just looking at earnings."
Other rules the Obama administration has proposed would apply to all institutions, including a plan to
establish a federal definition of credit-hour and expand state-authorization requirements for colleges.
Colleges say the proposals invite federal intrusion into academic and state affairs and would limit
innovation in higher education.
With the first round of rules due out at the start of November, the Education Department is under intense
pressure from colleges to soften its proposals.
But it's clear that President Obama hasn't given up on using federal dollars to push for change in higher
education. In his budget for the 2010 fiscal year, the president proposed putting schools of education in
direct competition with alternative-certification programs like Teach for America when seeking federal
grants. And he's also expected to use $2-billion in grants to community colleges to reward programs that
emphasize reform and innovation.
Mr. Carey, of Education Sector, sees signs that the days of free money to colleges are over.
"In the future, if colleges expect to get additional investments, they're going to have to make the case for
what that money will buy," he said.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Obama Praises Community Colleges Amid Doubts
About His Commitment
By Jennifer Gonzalez
Community colleges got a much-anticipated afternoon in the national spotlight last week when President
Obama and Jill Biden, wife of the vice president and a community-college instructor herself, led the first
White House Summit on Community Colleges.
The president opened the meeting, attended by officials from some of the nation's 1,200 community
colleges along with leaders from business and philanthropy, by calling community colleges the "unsung
heroes" of America's education system and emphasizing the crucial role they play in keeping the country
"These are places where young people can continue their education without taking on a lot of debt," Mr.
Obama said. "These are places where workers can gain new skills to move up in their careers."
Several new national efforts to improve community colleges and expand their programs were announced
at the summit.
They include a public-private partnership linking major companies, including the Gap and McDonald's,
with community colleges to improve job training; a $35-million competitive grant program, financed by the
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to increase the graduation rates of community-college students; and a
$1-million annual Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence to reward colleges that demonstrate
outstanding results in their academic and work-force-training roles.
While many community-college leaders welcomed the summit and the attention it brought to their
institutions, which educate almost half of the nation's undergraduates, some viewed the event as a sort of
Faculty members, particularly adjuncts, criticized their limited presence at the meeting, arguing that the
summit could not seriously address community colleges' role in achieving national college-completion
goals without significant and direct input from the non-tenure-track instructors who make up most of the
professoriate on those campuses.
A number of people criticized the White House for the way it prepared for the summit, saying its efforts
seemed disorganized, with basic details like invitation lists coming together only at the last minute. That
led critics to question the administration's commitment to the sector.
President Obama made community colleges a centerpiece of his higher-education agenda shortly after
he took office, proposing a $12-billion program that would rebuild community-college facilities; increase
the number of students who graduate and transfer to four-year colleges; improve remedial education;
create stronger ties between colleges and employers; and start inexpensive, open-source courses for
students to take online. It would be, he said, the most historic effort on behalf of community colleges since
President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the GI Bill, in 1944.
Now, a year after the president proposed his plan, it is in ruins. It was gutted during negotiations over
legislation to overhaul student aid and the nation's health-care system, with the final legislation leaving
community colleges with only a $2-billion career-training program, under the Department of Labor.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
When the president signed the bill, in March, he did so on a community-college campus and made a point
of praising two-year institutions, announcing that the White House would hold the summit in the fall. But a
date was not set until mid-September.
There is evidence that community-college leaders were not consulted on the summit's agenda but rather
offered an opportunity to provide feedback on several topics that the administration had already chosen to
The White House did set up a blog on its Web site, inviting thoughts and questions for the summit, but
that was just three weeks before the meeting. Some invitations were sent to participants just a few days
before the summit, and one invitee said he was told the day before that his invitation was being
Some of the participants who were scheduled to speak at the event's breakout sessions, when contacted
by a reporter less than a week before the summit, said they didn't know which sessions they were
assigned to attend, making it hard to prepare remarks and contribute thoughtfully to the discussion.
"It sounds to me that the summit is just a piece of public relations," said Betsy Smith, who has taught
English as a second language at Cape Cod Community College.
Regardless of the criticism, most participants said they appreciated the fact that the summit would put
community colleges into the spotlight and give participants ample opportunity to put forth their ideas about
how community colleges can meet the president's college-completion goal. He wants five million more
community-college graduates to earn certificates or degrees by 2020.
Looking for Respect
Participants also hoped that the sector could finally shed what some have referred to as its "Rodney
Dangerfield" image and gain more respect for its work. Community colleges educate about 11 million
students nationwide, with over half of them taking for-credit classes that lead to degrees or certificates.
Casey Maliszewski, a 26-year-old graduate student at Columbia University who was invited to the
summit, said community college not only made it possible for her to attend college but also influenced her
current graduate studies in educational policy. She had been set to attend a four-year university but
changed her mind when she realized she couldn't afford the student-loan debt she would need to take on.
Instead she enrolled at Raritan Valley Community College, in her native New Jersey, and went on to earn
a bachelor's degree at Mount Holyoke College. "There is really no limit to what you can accomplish at a
community college," she said. "There is an unfortunate stigma associated with community colleges, but I
think that is breaking down. Look at me. I was able to go on to an Ivy League school."
One of the main goals of the summit was to delve into particular issues facing community colleges.
Participants took part in six sessions, on topics that included making college affordable, increasing
graduation rates, and supporting military veterans. At the session on affordability, the discussion centered
on the frustrations of nontraditional students who, because of their part-time academic and full-time work
status, are ineligible for federal aid.
George R. Boggs, president of the American Association of Community Colleges, said the summit's
success would hinge on what happened after the participants left the White House and went back to their
"I hope this is not just a one-time event," he said, "but that it will affect policy down the road."
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 11, 2010
College Dropouts Cost Taxpayers Billions,
By Eric Kelderman
State and federal governments spent an estimated $9-billion between 2003 and 2008 on students who
dropped out of college during their freshman year, according to a report scheduled for release on
While that sum may be a small portion of the overall amount that governments spent on higher education
during that time, it's still a high cost for failing to keep students in college, said Mark S. Schneider, vice
president for education, human development, and the work force at the American Institutes for Research,
which compiled the data for the report.
And since the report considered only first-time, full-time freshmen at four-year colleges, the $9-billion total
is also just a portion of the overall cost of dropouts, Mr. Schneider said on Thursday during a conference
call with reporters.
Because the report is based on data from the U.S. Education Department, it does not take account of
students who attend part time, who leave college in order to transfer to another institution, or who drop
out but return later to receive their degrees. So the report's conclusions are incomplete.
The report makes no recommendations about how to better retain college students, but Mr. Schneider
said that states should base a much larger percentage of their higher-education spending on the number
of students who complete degrees, not the number enrolled, at a given institution.
In addition to the report, the institute is unveiling a new Web site that allows users to compare a variety of
performance measures for more than 1,500 public and private colleges and universities and all 50 states,
including the percentage of freshmen who drop out of college, the amount spent on those who drop out,
and the amount spent on instruction and administration.
The Web site also wades into the controversial area of "gainful employment" by providing some data on
the ratio of student-loan repayments to earnings for recent graduates at each of the 1,500 institutions.
The U.S. Department of Education is formulating a new regulation that could disqualify some institutions,
in particular for-profit colleges, from receiving federal financial aid if their students incur too much student-
loan debt in comparison to their earnings.
The Web site is meant to provide accountability and openness for consumers and policy makers about
how well a state or a particular institution is performing, said Larry Giammo, managing director of Matrix
Knowledge Group, an international consulting company that works with nonprofit and government groups
and that helped to create the new site.
Inside Higher Ed, October 11, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Misplaced From the Start
Community college placement tests are a big deal. They determine whether someone can enroll in credit-
bearing courses or is in need of serious remediation. But, according to a new report, many students
simply don’t understand the high-stakes nature of these tests and are, more often than not, completely
unprepared to take them.
WestEd, an education research organization, released a report Friday about “students’ perceptions of
assessment and course placement” in California’s community colleges. The report is based, in part, on
interviews with 257 students at five California community colleges. Though the report’s authors also
analyzed community college assessment and placement policies statewide to show their rampant
inconsistency, they stress the importance of documenting student confusion about how this system
“In the national debates about improving college readiness and increasing college completion, student
voices have largely been absent,” said Kathy Reeves Bracco, senior research associate at WestEd and
report co-author, in a statement. “Our systems of K-12 education and postsecondary education are not
connected and it’s students who pay the price by not being prepared for college.”
This disconnect is particularly worrying in California, the authors argue, given that unprecedented budget
cuts have forced community colleges around the state to turn away students by the thousands. By more
effectively assessing and placing students, they continue, the state’s community colleges could “not only
help improve student success but also make more efficient use of scarce resources.”
While still in high school, the students interviewed said that they did not think they needed to “do anything
extra” to prepare for community college. In other words, most thought “graduating from high school” was
With this in mind upon enrolling at community college, many students said they thought the placement
tests were meant to capture them “at a point in time without the benefit of studying.” This is a clear
misunderstanding, as California community college officials note that students should review for these
“Normally I don’t really like to prepare for anything that has to do with things like placement tests,
because in a way it feels like I’m cheating myself a little,” said one student quoted in the report. “I’m
thinking, ‘Well, I didn’t know these concepts before the test, and all of a sudden they tell me that I have a
test coming up. So let me prepare for that.’ And it feels like I’m sort of cheating.”
Similarly, many students reported that they did not realize, or were not told, that the test would
immediately affect their ability to take credit-bearing courses.
“[The woman at the test center] said, ‘It doesn’t matter how you place. It’s just to see where you are,’”
recalled another student quoted in the report. “Looking back, that’s not true. It’s really important.”
The fallout from being placed into remedial courses frustrates students in many ways. Some said there
wasn’t enough information from the colleges about how to challenge the scores on their placement tests.
Others, after being in a remedial course for a few sessions, said that it was too easy for them. Mostly,
though, the students reported that their educational aspirations had been dampened significantly.
“If you take a placement test and find out you’re one or two classes behind, that’s OK — three years [to
Inside Higher Ed, October 11, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
earn an associate degree],” said a student quoted in the report. “That’s if you place right below transfer-
level classes. If you place further down, you’re going to be here for a while. And I think that’s the
community college’s way. I see people that have been here, it seems like, forever and they’re kind of
Aside from these troubling student impressions, the study found that local policies regarding the waiting
period for students to retake placement tests range from no time at all to upward of three years.
Additionally, cut scores, or the minimum students can earn on a test and still enroll in credit-bearing
courses, vary. As a result, many community colleges in the state do not accept placement scores from
other institutions. Finally, of course, the number of levels of remediation offered vary from one college to
The report’s authors offer a set of recommendations to remedy this situation. For instance, they suggest
that “diagnostic assessment for college courses begin in high school,” ideally by the junior year, so that
students have the chance to do the work necessary to avoid remediation. Also, though the authors do not
call for colleges around the state to adopt uniform policies and practices regarding placement, they do
argue that the state should encourage institutions to develop clearer messages about what they expect
from incoming students.
“Let’s hope that California community colleges can agree on common assessments and communicate
unified messages about the level of preparation that students need for college,” said Andrea Venezia,
another senior research associate at WestEd and report co-author. “But we urge the state, system and
institutions not to have uniformity around a poor set of policies or practices. The current assessments are
not diagnostic for helping students know what specific areas they need to focus on in become better
prepared, and they are not connected to high-school expectations.”
Few education officials around the state were surprised by the report’s findings. They, too, have ideas
about how the state should work to alleviate this assessment confusion.
Jane Patton, president of the Academic Senate for California Community Colleges and a communications
professor at Mission College, noted that many faculty members around the state would prefer to maintain
local control over placement. Currently, the state’s 112 community colleges set their own cut scores for
placement tests and have their own sequence of remedial courses.
“We’re not a factory,” said Patton, dismissing the idea of establishing state-wide cut scores. “We’re not
churning out widgets.... Faculty want control of this. One size doesn’t fit all.”
Still, Patton acknowledged that there would be significant merit in streamlining the assessment process,
and pointed out a number of initiatives going on around the state to do just that.
For instance, CCCAssess, a grant-funded project, is aiming to leverage the purchasing power of the
system to generate a common assessment tool for California community colleges that wish to participate.
And California State University’s Early Assessment Program gives prospective students the opportunity
“to measure their readiness for college-level English and mathematics in their junior year of high school,
and to facilitate opportunities for them to improve their skills during their senior year.”
— David Moltz
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 12, 2010
Online colleges and states are at odds
over quality standards
October 12, 2010, 6:10 pm
By Travis Kaya
Responding to what they call unfair scrutiny from state and federal regulators, representatives from online
colleges discussed a self-imposed quality-assurance framework at today’s Presidents’ Forum in
Washington, convened by Excelsior College.
But state officials said they are still concerned that self-imposed standards are not good enough and that
online programs are not consistent in providing students with high-quality education.
Echoing federal government concerns about the quality of online institutions (reflected in the “gainful
employment” rule debated by the U.S. Department of Education earlier this year), a panel of education
officials from four states and the Western Interstate Commission on Higher Education—which represents
15 states—said it was their responsibility to ensure that all students of online colleges received a good
education, and they are skeptical that the institutions consistently deliver.
According to Byron Connell, associate in higher education for the New York State Education Department,
his agency looks for “strong assurance of quality for online-education programs,” no matter where the
schools are based.
“We’re very interested in making sure that as many good opportunities are available to students as
possible,” added David Longanecker, president of the Western Interstate Commission.
College officials, however, said New York’s official definition of “quality” may not match up with definitions
in New Jersey, Wisconsin, or Ohio. Those policy differences, panelists said, create a series of regulatory
hoops that online colleges need to jump through before being able to expand nationally—and limit access
to higher education to students in their states.
To remedy this problem, the group called for a more uniform accreditation standard across state lines as
well as a formal framework for getting a conversation on regulation started. Even with the framework in
place, however, the state representatives said it will be difficult to get state-education agencies and state
legislatures to agree. “Trying to bring 50 different people together is really tough,” Mr. Longanecker said.
College officials claim that what states really mean when they discuss quality in online education is the
credibility of online education in general. John F. Ebersole, president of Excelsior College, said “there is a
bit of a double standard” when it comes to regulating online institutions; states, he feels, apply stricter
standards to the online world.
Excelsior opened the conference up to government officials, he said, so the colleges “know there’s some
empathy with what they’re going through” among state and federal regulators.
In order to avoid harsh government regulation, colleges are looking to develop their own quality
standards. “If we don’t do something about addressing quality, somebody else will do it for us,” said
Judith Eaton, president for the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.
Like state regulators, colleges are also facing hard decisions on quality standards. With such a diversity in
online institutions, Ms. Eaton said it will be difficult to impose a uniform set of standards. “If we were in
agreement about quality,” she said, “somebody’s freedom would be compromised.”
USA TODAY, October 13, 2010
Obama: U.S. in 'educational arms race'
Posted by David Jackson
Oct 13, 2010
President Obama said today the United States is engaged in an "educational arms race" with growing
nations such as China and India, and cannot afford to lose if the economy is to recover.
"The nation that educates its children the best will be the nation that leads the global economy in the 21st
century," Obama said during brief remarks in the White House Rose Garden.
Obama singled out one weapon in particular: a college education tax credit set to expire at the end of the
year. The president called on Congress to extend the credit that covers college tuition of up to $10,000
over four years.
"We've got to make sure that in good times or bad, our families can invest in their children's future and in
the future of our country," Obama said during the speech that followed a meeting with a group of college
students and their parents.
The president again said Republican budget cuts would lead to cuts in education, likening that to
Republicans such as Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who developed the GOP's Pledge to America, said
that Obama is misrepresenting their plan and that reduced federal spending would not target education
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2010
President promotes new education tax credit as he
calls for making it permanent
By Kelly Field
October 13, 2010
More students and families received a higher-education tax credit in 2009 than in 2008, and the average
credit was 75 percent higher than the previous year, according to a report out today by the U.S.
Department of the Treasury.
The report compares the American Opportunity Tax Credit, created in the 2009 economic-stimulus bill,
with its predecessor, the Hope tax credit. The new credit expires in 2010, but President Obama has
proposed making it permanent, at a cost of $58-billion over 10 years.
The Opportunity tax credit is more generous than the Hope version, providing a credit of up to $2,500,
rather than $1,800, and it phases out at a higher income level: $160,000 for married couples filing jointly,
instead of $100,000. It is also partially refundable, so students and families with little or no tax liability can
receive up to $1,000 of it as a tax refund.
According to the report, 4.5 million students and families received tax refunds averaging $800 in 2009,
thanks to the Opportunity tax credit. The average credit claimed by students and families in 2009 was
In all, some 12.5 million students and families received a higher-education tax benefit, an increase of
more than 400,000 from the year before.
The report comes as lawmakers are debating a bill to extend several expiring tax credits. Recent versions
of that measure would not extend the American Opportunity Tax Credit, but President Obama hopes
lawmakers will reconsider.
"The president obviously feels strongly that this is an important relief for middle-class families," said Gene
Sperling, counselor to the Treasury secretary, in a call with reporters on Tuesday.
President Obama will meet with college students and their families today to discuss the credit.
The Naperville Sun, October 4, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
COD asking voters to OK $168 million in bonds
By Hank Beckman - For The Sun
Last Modified: Oct 4, 2010 03:17PM
With an eye on finishing the makeover it began in 2003, the College of DuPage is asking District 502
voters in November to approve a $168 million bond referendum.
But with the district poised to take advantage of a 2009 refinancing of existing debt, the impact on the
average taxpayer stands to be minimal, officials say.
“If this referendum passes, the tax rate will not go up,” board of trustees Chairwoman Kathy Wessel
Wessel stressed the value of COD to the entire DuPage community. “We provide workforce development
in so many areas,” she said, “and we are an asset to the entire community ... we are used by the entire
Wessel said the project would be valuable to the local economy in tough times. The college estimates
that the 2002 referendum produced 3,600 construction jobs; projections for the new round of refurbishing
are an additional 3,300.
To avoid any misunderstanding in what is still a soft economic climate, Wessel sought to make clear that
approval of the no-tax-rate increase referendum didn’t necessarily mean that a property owner’s entire tax
bill wouldn’t increase; the college has no influence over property assessments or the rates of other local
“But if it isn’t approved,” she said, “a taxpayer with a property valued at $200,000 only saves about $20
The proposal includes completing the next phase of the Homeland Security Education Center, which will
serve as a base for the 7,600 COD students enrolled in various public safety programs, including fire
science, criminal justice, paramedics and emergency medical technicians. College officials say 80 percent
of the nation’s first responders are educated, at least in part, at community colleges.
The Berg Instructional Center also is getting an upgrade, and the chronic parking problem will be
addressed with the addition of a new parking structure.
But the bulk of the project focuses on renovating and refurbishing the Student Resource Center and
Library, the McAninch Fine Arts Center, and the Physical Education center.
With the MAC and the PE building both 25 years old, much of the work proposed goes beyond cosmetics,
officials say, and addresses evolving program needs and ensuring structural integrity of the buildings.
“They are in deep need of deep infrastructure improvements,” COD spokesman Joe Moore said.
During a recent tour of the campus, COD Director of Facilities John Wandolowski pointed out basic needs
in each of the buildings. Among them are: outdated electrical systems, pipes that needed refurbishing and
windows where gaskets hinder insulation.
The Naperville Sun, October 4, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
The PE Center’s locker rooms include showers that are of the open, communal type. “The flooring is in
bad shape,” Wandolowski said of the buildings, “the fixtures are in bad shape ... and the roofs are aging.”
Changing needs also provide challenges for the renovation, officials say, especially in the PE Center
(estimated cost: $18.9 million).
While racquetball was all the rage a quarter century ago, today it is an afterthought to many; an aging
population is more likely to be interested in the spin classes currently crammed into old racquetball courts
that don’t have the proper ventilation for 20 or 30 sweating cyclists.
The Aerobics Fitness Lab has outgrown its space, officials say, which makes for a crowded environment
for not only the students who use it, but also the 1,000 community residents who are members.
In the “MAC” ($22.9 million), the Main Stage, Theater Two and Studio Theater are scheduled for updates.
Classrooms will be converted into collaborative teaching environments and photography studios are
slated to be transformed into spaces more appropriate for the digital age.
Environmental concerns will be addressed, officials say, with the MAC getting a white rubber roof to make
it more energy efficient.
The SRC ($33.4 million) will get a complete overhaul. Aside from reconfiguring the building to keep pace
with the modern learning environment, the refurbishing should eliminate the need to use so many of its
hallways as storage space.
“Is this where they should be stored,” Wandolowski asked pointing to a copier, desk and file cabinets in a
Total infrastructure, including floors, roofs and mechanical systems, will add up to $55.3 million.
Wandolowski stressed that the original concept and construction of the campus was sound, but with
much of it more than 25 years old, much of it was also worn out. He stressed that renovation done now
can make the COD campus viable for years to come. “We’re looking 25 years into the future,” he said.
The Chicago Sun-Times, October 12, 2010 (Page 1 of 3)
Study: Students who quit after a year waste millions in
BY KIM JANSSEN Staff Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
Dropping out of college after a year can leave students mired in debt and confused about their next step
But the one-in-five students dropping out of state four-year universities before their sophomore year are
also a big burden on Illinois taxpayers, according to a report released Monday.
ONE AND OUT
Percentage of first-year students who didn't immediately return as sophomores (2009)
Chicago State: 42 percent
Eastern Illinois: 21 percent
Illinois State: 15 percent
Northeastern: 33 percent
NIU: 28 percent
SIU: 32 percent
UIC: 19 percent
University of Illinois-Springfield: 26 percent
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign: 7 percent
Western Illinois: 26 percent
Columbia College Chicago: 37 percent
DePaul: 15 percent
DeVry-Illinois: 51 percent
Illinois Institute of Technology: 14 percent
Illinois Wesleyan: 7 percent
The Chicago Sun-Times, October 12, 2010 (Page 2 of 3)
Loyola: 15 percent
Northwestern: 3 percent
Roosevelt University: 48 percent
University of Chicago: 2 percent
Source: Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System
Between 2003 and 2008, freshman dropouts cost Illinois taxpayers $321 million and federal taxpayers
another $75 million, the American Institutes for Research study estimates.
The high cost of dropouts -- $9.1 billion in state and federal funding to colleges and students nationwide
over a five-year period -- threatens President Obama's goal of the U.S. having the highest rate of college
graduates in the world by 2020, according to Mark Schneider, vice president of the research organization.
And the findings also could give ammunition to critics who say too many students are attending four-year
schools -- and that pushing them to finish wastes even more taxpayer money.
Among public universities, none in Illinois fare worse than Chicago State University, where two in five
freshmen don't immediately return for their sophomore year.
CSU president Wayne Watson hired a freshman dean to tackle the problem and an early warning system
that prompts aggressive intervention for failing students has seen retention rates rise for the last two
"Our students are not academically challenged, they're financially challenged," he said, adding that many
CSU students who don't return in the fall do eventually re-enroll once finances allow, "and if it takes eight
or nine years, they still finish their degrees, and it doesn't cost the taxpayer any more than if they did it in
Even the student who stays dropped out adds to "a more literate society," he said, adding, "There's a
value to having read Macbeth, to learning basic calculus, to learning how to write a job application letter,
and you don't unlearn that just because you can't come back to school."
But state Sen. Edward Maloney (D-Chicago), who sponsored legislation earlier this year that helps high
schoolers prepare for college-level classes, said "There's better things to spend money on" than students
who don't graduate.
"We have to be truthful with some students and say that four-year college is not a proposition for you," he
The cost of educating students who drop out after one year accounts for 2 percent to 8 percent of states'
total higher education appropriations, according to the report's authors.
The Illinois Board of Higher Education is due to report later this year how state funding of universities
might be tied to graduation or course completion rates, the board's executive director Don Sevener said.
Ohio already has moved toward such a system.
The Chicago Sun-Times, October 12, 2010 (Page 3 of 3)
The American Institutes for Research report doesn't include part-timers, transfers or students who come
back later and graduate.
Robert Lerman, an American University economics professor who questions promoting college for all,
said the report does flesh out the reality of high dropout rates. But he said it could just as easily be used
to argue that less-prepared, less-motivated students are better off not going to college.
"Getting them to go a second year might waste even more money," Lerman said.
The Southern Illinoisan, October 13, 2010
Fundraising for minority students at new high
THE SOUTHERN | Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 1:00 am
In three years, donors have given $1 million to the SIUC Hope and Opportunity initiative, which provides
financial assistance to minority students and underrepresented populations.
SIUC Chancellor Rita Cheng said access to higher education is a very important issue for the campus
and reaching the $1 million milestone is a great start to continuing SIUC's commitment to students.
"Our commitment to minority students is historic," Cheng said.
Rickey McCurry, vice chancellor for institutional advancement and chief executive officer of the SIU
Foundation said the project supports scholar-ships and financial aid for minorities and women. He said
the $1 million is just the beginning of what can be accomplished.
"The success of Hope and Opportunity demonstrates that alumni and friends of SIU Carbondale truly care
about the next generation, Bryson said. "Thanks to their generosity, many students will receive an
opportunity to pursue dreams that otherwise, may not have been possible. Although we have attained our
$1 million goal, the University will continue to seek funds to support the academic endeavors of
minorities, women, and all underrepresented populations on campus."
Seymour Bryson, retired associate vice chancellor for diversity, led the initiative and said support was
"We're very pleased and excited that people responded so positively to this effort. We raised funds that
will help allow a lot of students to receive a quality education," Bryson said. "This effort reflects the
University's longstanding commitment to racial, ethnic, economic and gender diversity. We are also
pleased that University leadership has expressed an interest in continuing forward efforts to raise funds
for under-represented populations."
- Comments by McCurry and Bryson were provided by University Communications.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Gates Offers Major Money
for Technology-Inspired Learning
By Marc Parry
Get ready. The Gates money is coming to education technology. Waves of it.
This fall the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and several partners will announce a project aimed at
harnessing technology to help prepare students for college and get them to graduation. The senior
program officer is Josh Jarrett, a former software entrepreneur with a Harvard M.B.A. who joined Gates
after five years with the consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Here he previews the program and offers
his take on online learning.
Q. You've teamed with Educause, the college-IT group, among other partners, to start the
program, called Next Gen Learning Challenges. Describe the project.
A. What we envision is a multiyear, multiwave program, where every six to 12 months we issue a new set
of challenges. And we'll issue a set of challenges this fall around shared open-core courseware, around
learning analytics, around blended learning, and around new, deeper forms of learning and engagement
using interactive technologies. There's a big gap between R&D and high-impact solutions at scale. We're
trying to participate in some of the effort to help those most promising solutions get across that chasm.
Q. How much money do you intend to spend?
A. We'll probably be in a better position to answer that in a month or so, when we do the formal launch.
Q. There are lots of approaches to learning online. What are some you find promising?
A. Much of the impetus of going online in the first place was around access. I think that we've reached
critical mass there. Folks are starting to turn their attention toward quality. For instance, the Open
Learning Initiative, at Carnegie Mellon, represents what strategies afford themselves in an online context.
The first thing they do is team-based development of courses, and then sharing those many times. We're
not stuck having to recreate the wheel in every classroom. A second thing that they do is rigorous data
capture that informs the moment of learning for the student, that informs the instructor to know what to
focus on in the face-to-face time, and that informs the course designer to know what parts people are
really struggling with.
The third thing that we're starting to see—and I don't know that OLI necessarily embodies this—is new
types of relationships forming. If in a traditional world my faculty is my primary relationship—and maybe
some of the 29 other students in the classroom—technology is starting to afford different types of
relationships between the people who were two years ahead of me, who I want to emulate, or people who
are professionals out in the community.
Q. What are some examples of these new relationships?
A. Look at FinalsClub.org, and you see students sharing their understanding of different subjects, sharing
their notes. Some of these things are somewhat controversial or even threatening to how a faculty
member might see their controlled environment of their classroom, but you're seeing those students help
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
each other out. You also see companies like Inigral. They run Schools on Facebook. They're using the
underlying Facebook platform and technology, but to build real social context for education.
It's not that you access somebody's profile and you can find out what their favorite color is. You find out
what their transcript was and what classes they're taking, what programs they're interested in. You start to
create these social connections that aren't related to what I did on Friday night. It's what I did on Friday at
9 o'clock in the classroom, and folks who are interested in some of the same content, struggling with
some of the same material, looking to get into a study group, looking to share resources.
Q. What are the big challenges you see in online education?
A. Breaking down this division between "online education" and education. Increasingly, we're bringing
digital assets and digital experiences into the traditional classroom or at home. One of the big challenges
is the reunification, if you will, of online learning with offline learning. And creating these blended contexts,
which, based on the U.S. Department of Education meta-study and other work, seem to be the place
where it's not an either-or, it's trying to figure out how to do the best of both.
Secondly, given some of the conversations in Washington and other places around for-profit education,
there's a real danger that we overlap the actions of the bad actors in the for-profit sector with all of the for-
profit sector, and overlap all the for-profit sector with all of online learning in general and all strategies that
might be different and innovative. There's a real risk that in looking at some bad actions within the for-
profit sector, that we take a step backwards from some of the innovative strategies that institutions are
Q. You've spoken about the idea of an "H&M brand" emerging in higher education. What do you
mean by that?
A. I'm referring to the retailer. Shopping there versus at Brooks Brothers, your Brooks Brothers suit might
be a little bit nicer than mine, but I paid one-tenth the price. People look admiringly on my choice of
shopping at H&M, as opposed to "Oh, poor guy, he could only go to H&M." And so I think that's the
question: Is there an opportunity for brands to emerge that are very cost-effective for students but do not
symbolize degradation in quality?
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
New College Social Networks, Unlike Facebook,
Foster Academic Interaction
By Travis Kaya
Universities are turning to social networking to create online learning communities that mix serious
academic work, and connections among working scholars, with Facebook-style fun.
At the City University of New York, a new project called Academic Commons is connecting faculty, staff,
and graduate students across the system's 23 institutions. The CUNY -only network allows its more than
1,300 users—out of a potential user base of 10,000 eligible students and faculty and staff members—to
write and share blogs, join subject groups, and participate in academic discussions.
"We're trying to create a kind of online virtual community that is open and organic in its nature," said
Matthew Gold, Academic Commons' director.
Another effort, at the University of Pennsylvania, is connecting online learners in a similar fashion. And
unlike the original Facebook, celebrated in the movie The Social Network , these platforms build scholars
and administrators in.
As Mr. Gold put it, "You may not want to friend your dean on Facebook, but you still want to be connected
to your dean."
At CUNY, registered members of Academic Commons get their own publicly accessible profile, where
they can post information about themselves and link up with friends in groups online. Such groups focus
on topics that include open-source publishing, graduate admissions, educational games, and—on the
nonacademic side—New York City pizza joints. "It allows members of the CUNY community to find one
another," Mr. Gold said.
In the fall of 2008, the university's Committee on Academic Technology, which includes faculty and
administrators from each CUNY campus, met to figure out what a systemwide social network should look
like. Rather than setting the Academic Commons in stone, the committee decided that it would leave the
platform design—and the source code—open for user input, allowing it to evolve over time.
Monica Berger, a technical-services and electronic-resources librarian at CUNY's New York City College
of Technology, said the site has helped her connect with faculty members and fellow librarians she
otherwise might never have met. "It really is about networking," she said. "It's a way to see what your
colleagues are involved with, what they're doing, what they're interested in."
Online and Global
The University of Pennsylvania's College of Liberal and Professional Studies used its social-networking
platform, Open Learning Commons, to foster student communities in online learning courses. The site
lets faculty members post course material online and allows students to download, blog, and discuss the
curriculum in forums.
Since the platform made its debut in the spring of 2009, it has hosted close to 2,000 students in 44 online
courses. The college has also made some course material and class discussions—including a course on
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 10, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
global environmental sustainability leading up to last year's climate-change talks in Copenhagen—
available to the public to read through and comment on.
"We're really excited that we created an online space that a global audience could come together and
interact around with Penn content," said Lisa Minetti, a Penn curriculum design and assessment specialist
who helped build the Commons.
According to Nora E. Lewis, vice dean of the college, faculty members have also been receptive. Ms.
Lewis said that a music professor teaching an online course found the platform especially convenient for
collecting feedback from students to guide the curriculum. "The student-to-student interaction drives the
teaching," Ms. Lewis said. In traditional classrooms, students "don't get to extend the conversation in
between the live sessions," she said.
Mr. Gold and Ms. Lewis said they had been in contact with a handful of universities interested in setting
up social-netwoking sites of their own.
Academic Commons users have been posting open-source code written for Academic Commons,
allowing it to be adapted by Web developers at other university networks.
Ms. Lewis says that universities seem to be exploring new ways to incorporate social learning into the
curriculum. "Everybody is excited about the fact that user-generated content is driving the learning
community," she said.
The News-Gazette, EDITORIAL, October 7, 2010
Fundraising big business at UI
Thu, 10/07/2010 - 10:35am | The News-Gazette
Private giving is helping to keep public universities going.
With the state of Illinois in such deep financial trouble that it's reneging on its financial commitments to
higher education, the importance of private giving will grow in importance.
So it was good to see the University of Illinois report last weekend that, despite the slow economy, private
donors continue to provide financial support. With the addition of more than $200 million in gifts during the
2010 fiscal year, the UI is 89 per cent of the way toward reaching its fundraising goal in the Brilliant
Announced in 2003, the Brilliant Futures plan calls for raising $2.25 billion. It is scheduled to conclude in
December 2011, a little more than a year from now.
There's no question that Illinois' financial future is not bright. Even allowing for the possibility of a state
income tax increase, the state's elected officials have spent in such a reckless, haphazard fashion that
predicted revenue increases would not come close to solving the problem.
So austerity in state budgeting will be required for the foreseeable future to put Illinois' financial house
back in order – at least 10 years according to the estimate of one UI economics professor.
That means the state's support for higher education, in all likelihood, will continue to decline as a
percentage of public university budgets, requiring UI officials to look elsewhere to generate the money
needed to operate. One place they have looked and will continue to look is at private donors.
They are a gift that literally keeps on giving, and the degree to which they have stepped up to help is
One should never underestimate the joy that comes of giving. But there are many worthy causes, higher
education being just one. So it's gratifying to see so many successful UI graduates feel not only great
loyalty to the UI but a desire to make such significant investments in the education of future generations.
They have played a hugely beneficial role in the life of the UI, and they matter now more than ever.
Daily Herald, EDITORIAL, October 10, 2010
A groundbreaking school alliance
Article updated: 10/11/2010 07:42 AM | published: 10/10/2010 06:31 PM
By It is an idea that makes so much sense that it doesn't seem possible that it could be groundbreaking.
The wonder is that it is news at all.
The wonder is that it hasn't been done before.
Harper College in Palatine and the three school districts containing the public high schools that funnel
students into it are proposing a strategic partnership to smooth the transition from high school to college.
The Northwest Educational Council for Student Success would be a consortium that includes Harper,
Palatine-Schaumburg High School District 211, Northwest Suburban High School District 214 and
Barrington Unit District 220.
The notion makes inordinate sense. It is commonplace for high schools and elementary schools to work
together to coordinate a student's growth from eighth grade to freshman year. Why, then, shouldn't similar
working relationships exist between high schools and community colleges?
The tax-supported high school has a stake in that relationship. The tax-supported community college has
a stake in it.
But most importantly, the student has a stake in it. And in a global economy of increasing competition, the
country does too.
Make no mistake about it. This partnership is not just about the traditional articulation that takes place
between elementary and high schools. Its motivations and ambitions are higher than that.
The council's vision would be to “develop programs, share talent and data, and leverage joint resources
to ensure that every high school and college graduate will have the opportunity to be prepared for 21st-
century careers and postsecondary readiness (and) success.
Harper College, under the vision of President Kenneth Ender, has been espousing an interconnected
approach to education for the better part of a year. With this partnership, it indeed is putting its money
where its mouth is. The college will seed the partnership with $250,000 to be spent by the council on
innovative projects that support and improve student success.
How close is the working relationship in this consortium apt to be?
In a meeting on the topic with the Daily Herald editorial board, Ender and superintendents Tom Leonard
of District 220, Nancy Robb of District 211 and David Schuler of District 214 were downright bubbly with
enthusiasm and excitement.
That bodes well for the relationships now being built.
But particularly given the credentials of the four educators in the room, it also underscores the
tremendous promise this initiative holds.
The four truly are on a groundbreaking path that could reduce the need for remediation and improve the
chances for widespread success.
The Southern Illinoisan, OPINION, October 10, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Now is not the time to fight budget cuts
OUR VIEW: Students and faculty by all means have the right to protest budget cuts, but the time is
coming when they must sit down with the administration and talk.
The students and faculty who gathered outside Anthony Hall on the SIUC campus last Thursday had
every right to protest cuts to higher education funding.
To recap, they had two primary messages. The first, "Stop the Cuts," was largely aimed at the state, as it
should be. Facing a deficit somewhere around $13 billion and an even more horrid long-term debt
obligation, Illinois has become a deadbeat state - not even fulfilling promises to its own institutions.
But unless the state can raise more revenue - and that will take both will and sacrifice by citizens and
politicians - to believe public education won't take its share of the pain is naïve. If education doesn't take a
share of the lesser pie, which area takes an even smaller slice or none?
The group's second message, "Cut from the Top," has some merit, but it's far from a solution.
First, the major cost of most business is personnel. One could in theory take large chunks away from
President Glenn Poshard or Chancellor Rita Cheng, but to think that's going to cover the bill is silly. And,
let's face it; leadership, supervision and coordination are necessary for the success of any large
Further, there are questions of fairness. For instance, who will be defined as pure faculty or pure ad-
ministrators? Some calls are easy; others are tougher.
Another fairness issue: How equitable is it to reduce t the salary of a $150,000 administrator as op-posed
to a professor who makes the same amount?
To be sure, no one wants the quality of education to suffer. But we run into a question of semantics here.
Bargaining units (unions, for academics who will tolerate the term) prefer "furlough days." They like that
term because it's in contract language.
SIU calls the proposed unpaid time - remember, nothing is cast in stone yet - administrative closure days.
The top echelon at SIU has its own real-world reasons for choosing the term, but note that the "closure
days" are planned for days when students are not in attendance.
And it should be noted that the planned closure days, or furlough days if you prefer, would affect eve-
ryone from Poshard and Cheng on down. Granted, a day's pay sliced from Poshard's or Cheng's
paychecks is a bigger slice than from a young instructor's - but Poshard and Cheng, and they're salaries,
were selected by the Board of Trustees. Show us a private-sector venture of similar size that's different.
Illinois current fiscal crisis and the world's lagging economy aren't good for anyone at SIU, in Carbondale
or in Southern Illinois. A workday at SIUC is worth about $550,000 in payroll.
We can't help but wonder, what would be worse for everyone: A day's shortage of pay here and there,
perhaps four times a year, or the layoffs of 40, 50 or 60 people. The latter sounds brutal, not only on the
individuals, but on the local economy.
The Southern Illinoisan, OPINION, October 10, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
As any strategist knows, there's a time to roar and a time to whisper. The bargaining units need to sit
down with the administration and start talking. If everyone can agree to a top priority - we'd suggest
what's best for the students - the groups would be on their way to an acceptable compromise.
Finally, a couple of things to think about.
First, few people in Illinois can read political tea leaves as well as Glenn Poshard. He saw what was
coming, and he and then-Chancellor Sam Goldman did a pretty fair job of saving money and warning the
university and local communities of what we would face.
Second, before any professors or students decide to go ballistic, remember there are giant corpo-rations
all over America that have cut many, many jobs (blue and white collar) and issued furlough days in
double digits to management personnel. There are people who lost their retirement savings in this
recession. There are people scraping by on two jobs at minimum wage and little, if any, health care.
Put down the pickets and find a chair at the table. Everyone in the SIUC community must sit down and
talk. We'd ask they keep two objectives in mind: Teach your students well and keep as many of your
people working as possible.
Bloomington, The Pantagraph, EDITORIAL, October 12, 2010
Community colleges have key role to play
By The Pantagraph Editorial Board | Posted: Tuesday, October 12, 2010 7:00 am
With the cost of a university education going up and unemployed Americans seeking job training,
community colleges such as Heartland Community College have an opportunity to make a major
contribution — if they can handle the demand.
At a recent community college summit in Washington, D.C., President Barack Obama called community
colleges the “unsung heroes of America’s education system.”
Americans need their community colleges, perhaps more now than ever. And Obama needs community
colleges if the United States is to achieve his goal of being a world leader in the proportion of its
population with college degrees.
Meeting that goal will require about 8 million more graduates by 2020 — about 5 million of them from
community colleges. That would be about a 50 percent increase over the number of graduates
community colleges produce today.
The federal government plans to infuse about $500 million a year into community colleges over the next
four years. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation also has launched a $35 million competitive grant
program aimed at increasing graduation rates.
It makes sense to put greater resources into community colleges, especially with the demands being
placed on them — so long as the money is going into programs that are directly helping students, not just
bricks and mortar.
There are several reasons why community colleges are seeing greater demand now.
Recent high school graduates who otherwise might have gone directly into the job market are turning to
community colleges because they are having trouble finding jobs.
Students who planned to go to four-year universities are turning to community colleges because they are
more affordable — and many students can live at home.
Workers who have lost jobs are going to community colleges to upgrade their skills or train for a different
field with greater opportunities.
However, increasing the number of graduates to the level Obama is seeking will be challenging for
Only a quarter of the students attending community colleges get a certificate or associate’s degree or
transfer to a four-year school within three years of enrollment.
That’s not necessarily the fault of the community college or something they can change. Community
colleges attract many students who attend parttime while working fulltime.
However, some students drop out because they run out of money for schooling. Community colleges
need to remember their mission is also to be affordable.
Also high schools will need to do a better job of preparing students for college so community colleges do
not have to devote so many resources to remedial education.
Despite these hurdles, community colleges remain an important resource to be tapped to improve our
economy and our competitiveness internationally.
The Chicago Tribune, EDITORIAL, October 12, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
The families gather in the school auditorium or the gym. They're nervous. They're hopeful. They share a
single goal: Getting their child out of a bad neighborhood school and into a top-notch charter school.
It's charter school lottery time. In cities around the country, much the same scene unfolds. There are
more kids than places for them in the local charter school. Some will win a seat. Many more will not.
The parents know their children's future is on the line.
School officials draw numbered pingpong balls or slips of paper and call out the winning numbers for a
coveted slot in the fall class. Each announcement brings a jubilant shriek from the winner. For everyone
else, the odds get a little steeper.
That's what you see in the final wrenching scenes of "Waiting for Superman." We don't usually review
movies here, but you should see this one. You won't forget the crestfallen faces of the kids whose number
isn't called. Bring some Kleenex.
Think about this: There are some 420,000 children on waiting lists to get into charter schools across the
nation, including about 15,000 children in Illinois. These are kids whose parents want a better education
for them. These kids and parents are being told to wait.
They don't have time to wait.
If you take nothing else from "Waiting for Superman," you'll understand the urgency of families who
desperately want a better school, but are trapped in the public education monopoly.
Charter schools aren't a magic bullet. Not every charter does better than the traditional public schools.
But many do. In Chicago, 25 of 27 charter high schools outperform their neighborhood counterparts on
state tests, according to 2009 Chicago Public Schools figures. Every one of the charters graduates
students at a higher rate than the neighborhood schools. Every one has a stronger attendance rate.
"Waiting for Superman" has drawn a lot of blowback. Critics say the film unfairly casts teachers unions as
the villains and that many charters don't perform as well as public schools. Director Davis Guggenheim
has said of his film: "It's not 'pro' anything or 'anti' anything. It's really: Why can't we have enough great
Great question. Why doesn't Illinois have a charter school for every kid who wants to go to one?
One reason: There's still a cap on how many charter schools can operate in Illinois. Last year, Illinois
lawmakers doubled the cap to 120 schools as part of the state's Race to the Top bid. They should have
abolished the cap.
Too many school boards and teachers unions still see charter schools as unwelcome competition. They
operate outside the regular school rules. They receive tax revenues. Their teachers often don't belong to
a union. So the unions and the school boards continue to resist them. Even as Illinois raised the cap on
charters, it put new restrictions on their independent operation.
Illinois hasn't attracted as many high-quality charter operators as it should. The state ties funding for
charters to a school district's tuition rate, which is generally lower than what a school actually spends per
student. Bottom line: many charters may receive as little as 75 percent of the per-pupil tax money that
goes to regular public schools. Private funding helps make up some of the difference. But lawmakers
The Chicago Tribune, EDITORIAL, October 12, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
need to change the rules so charters get the same public dollars as regular schools.
The state needs another way for charters to get approved. An independent state commission or a local
community institution, such as a college, should get approval authority so reluctant local school boards
can't stall them. Let good charter schools flourish.
And beyond charters, it needs to give children more choices in education. The legislature should approve
legislation that would give tuition vouchers to 30,000 students in Chicago's worst-performing schools.
That bill passed the Senate but was stuffed by the House earlier this year.
Go see "Waiting for Superman." You'll meet Daisy, a Los Angeles fifth grader who wants to be a
veterinarian. You'll meet Anthony, a Washington, D.C., fifth grader who lost his father to drug addiction
and wants to do better for his own kids someday. Bianca, a Harlem kindergartner raised by a single
mother struggling to afford a decent education for her daughter.
Let's give parents and students more choices. No child should have to wait to be rescued from a poor
Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, LETTER TO THE EDITOR, October 13, 2010
Support for education offers many benefits
By BAILEY K. YOUNG , Charleston | Posted: Wednesday, October 13, 2010 7:15 am
On Oct. 7, EIU's Faculty Senate and UPI Chapter co-sponsored a Forum on the theme "Funding Public
Higher Education: Who Pays and How?" featuring two members of the State Higher Education Finance
Committee Commission, which is now finalizing its report for the State Legislature.
University of Illinois emeritus professor of economics Walter MacMahon, who recently published a book
entitled Higher Learning, Greater Good: the Private and Social Benefits of Higher Education, offered an
overview of recent research, both in the United States and the wider world, which emphasizes how much
we have to gain, as individuals, as families and as communities through a robust system of high quality
Most people understand, he said, that a two-or-four year college degree translates into many thousands
of dollars more pay for graduates. But the non-market value of these degrees may be worth even more to
individuals, their families and communities.
Studies prove that graduates spend more time with their families, are more engaged with school and
volunteer activities, spend more money on travel and services, and this translates into lower rates of
crime and costs of incarceration.
By his figures, every year the average four-year college graduate in Illinois today adds about $30,000
worth of these non-market benefits to the economy.
Investment in high-quality education pays off big.
Eastern Illinois University's mission is provide this high-quality education at an affordable cost to students
It has been doing a great job, to the great benefit of the Coles County community, and the rest of the
Less state support would mean lowering quality, or steeply raising tuition and fees.
Let your legislators know that robust state support for public education, K-12 and higher, is a vital part of
rebuilding the economy of our state and moving away from fiscal crisis toward renewed prosperity.
Chicago Sun-Times, LETTER TO THE EDITOR, October 14, 2010
Help students stay in college
The story "Freshman Fallout" in the Oct. 12 paper misses the point by assuming that college students
who leave after one year simply can't hack it. The article fails to recognize the systemic failures that keep
so many from succeeding in college.
Research suggests that many students who leave college without a degree are low-wage workers who
simply cannot afford to continue with their education, especially since financial aid in Illinois has been
In addition, years of funding cuts mean many students do not receive adequate academic advisement
and career counseling, and end up spending hard-earned dollars on classes they don't need or that won't
move them closer to their career goals.
We need better student support systems and more stable financial aid financing to improve graduation
rates. Investment in higher education pays off -- with higher tax revenues and a more highly skilled work
force -- but only if we hold our colleges, universities and governments at least as accountable for success
as we hold our students.
Meegan Dugan Bassett, senior policy associate,
Inside Higher Ed, OPINION, October 14, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
The university vs. liberal education
October 14, 2010
By Dan Edelstein
It has by now become received wisdom: college students today are less interested in traditional subjects,
and have become more professionally oriented. They’ve voted with their feet, choosing business, pre-
med, and engineering majors over German, art history, or comparative literature. Clearly, it’s in the
zeitgeist. Unfortunately for humanities professors, however, lower enrollment can translate into the
elimination of entire departments: just ask German professors at the University of Southern California. But
what’s to be done? The client is king, and students are our clients in higher education. The only problem
with this logic is that universities in fact bear a considerable responsibility for the brain drain away from
the humanities. By raising the cost of education to stratospheric levels, we oblige students to seek a
higher return on their investment. It is this sort of economic calculation, I suggest, and not some alleged
generational change, that is driving students in droves towards preprofessional degrees.
The rising cost of undergraduate education, especially at elite private institutions, has understandably
become in these unforgiving economic times a target of much angst. Particularly jarring, for critics, is the
increase in expenses related to administrative support: the percentage of staff who do not teach at
Williams College – 70! – is routinely portrayed as thick layer of glut, ready-made for the chopping block.
I happen to disagree with most of these critics. Having gone to a public university in Europe, I am
incessantly amazed by the advising, counseling, curricular opportunities, and overall support that
students receive at Stanford University, where I teach. I remain profoundly jealous of their education,
which I believe is second to none. At the same time, I am not blind to the source of this charmed life. It’s
frightfully expensive to employ the staff needed to run the overseas programs, writing centers, freshman
seminars, extracurricular activities, summer school, etc., that help make Stanford the university it is. I do
not doubt administrators when they say that the average cost per student exceeds the already obscene
tuition fees charged.
While the skyrocketing cost of college education is no doubt inexplicable from the outside (why should
tuitions increase at a pace far faster than inflation?), the answer, from the inside, appears fairly humdrum.
Put simply, universities are engaged in an arms race: they compete to bring the best-armed students to
their campuses. This means incessantly inventing new programs. Stanford offers freshman seminars?
Harvard will too! Yale has highly rated residential education? Penn must improve! Top schools similarly
compete for faculty academostars, luring them not only with high salaries and other perks, but also a
reduced teaching load. The price for such celebrity academics, of course, gets passed on to the student.
This arms race at the top – and liberal arts colleges seem to suffer from the same educational-industrial
complex – thus drives the cost of attending the Ivies way up. And when students have to pay 40 grand to
attend Cornell, other colleges and universities must raise their tuitions as well, to stay in competition.
The exponential rise of tuition costs is not, therefore, the result of some nefarious plot. Most professors
(alas) are not lining their pockets, and the salaries of top administrators are still dwarfed by those of
CEOs in the private sector. The money raised by higher tuitions does actually provide students with more
services and opportunities. To repeat: I am unceasingly jealous of my students at Stanford. But there is a
hidden cost: once students (or their parents) are called upon to deliver their pound of flesh, they fall under
a huge amount of pressure to make that investment pay.
I cannot help contrasting this situation with my own experience as a student, at a public university in
Switzerland. I paid the equivalent of $35 a semester in tuition; halfway through my studies, the price was
raised, after much protest, to $300. It was a fairly bare-bones experience: our professors were world
Inside Higher Ed, OPINION, October 14, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
class, but there was zero support for students. We had no advisers, no writing center, no extracurricular
activities, no dorm – we didn’t even have a graduation ceremony. Because the cost was so low, however,
we had remarkable freedom – freedom to take as many seminars as we wanted, to space out our exams,
to try out new subjects, and more generally, to take as long as we wanted. I spent six years as an
undergraduate, the norm at the time (although you could technically graduate in four).
European universities are now in a different sort of financial crisis, and I doubt we have many
administrative or curricular lessons to learn from them. But they do remind us that the cost of an
education can act as a filter for intellectual choices. Students will be far less willing to take risks when
they’re paying a fortune to enroll. It’s not the zeitgeist: it’s common sense.
The irony, of course, is that a B.A. in French or classics provides students with many of the qualities that
employers most commonly request, such as critical thinking, cultural proficiency, and good writing and
communication skills. A solid liberal education is just as beneficial for the vast majority of professions; in
addition, it prepares for a life well-lived, and not just for a career. But if universities continue to charge as
much as they do, they will progressively steer students away from the very subjects that, until recently,
constituted the very core of the university.
There is no easy or obvious remedy for this situation. It is hard to imagine an incoming university
president at a leading institution, say, pledging to halve tuition. Of course, at institutions with large enough
endowments to offer generous financial aid packages, a considerable percentage of students do not even
pay full tuition. But these institutions can probably be counted on two hands; the vast majority of colleges
and universities depend heavily on tuition to fund instructors and staff, sustain campus buildings, pay
heating bills, etc. Some have suggested cutting back on athletic facilities or other extracurricular
programs, yet in many cases the funding for these expenditures comes from targeted donations.
Until the tuition imbalance stabilizes – and eventually Congress may well intervene to ensure that it does
– humanities departments need to act more aggressively to ensure their survival. Increasing the turnout
of majors may be beyond our reach, but we perhaps need to rethink the relationship between research
and teaching. Do highly specialized courses offered by individual departments provide the best kind of
background in the humanities for students headed for careers in law, engineering, finance, or science? Or
do we need to offer more cross-disciplinary courses, ideally team-taught by faculty from different
departments, on core questions and topics in the humanities? The bulk of our teaching is geared toward
majors and graduate students. If we do not want to be the victims of the next recession (or, if it lasts long
enough, the current one), we also need to target those students who feel they do no longer have the
luxury of specializing in a humanistic subject.
Dan Edelstein is assistant professor of French at Stanford University.
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 8, 2010
As Textbooks Go Digital, Will Professors Build Their
By Jeffrey R. Young
For years, major textbook publishers have offered professors the option of customizing textbooks—
cutting unneeded chapters or adding original material—but the vast majority have stuck with the official
versions. As e-textbooks gain popularity, however, publishers are betting that the "build-a-book" option,
as it is sometimes called, will take off.
Next week McGraw-Hill Higher Education plans to announce its revamped custom-publishing system,
called Create, with an emphasis on electronic versions of mix-and-match books. Macmillan Publishers
this year announced a similar custom-textbook platform, called DynamicBooks. And upstart Flat World
Knowledge touts the customization features of its textbooks, which it gives away online, charging only for
printed copies and study guides. Other publishers have long offered custom-textbook services in print as
well, though they have always represented just a sliver of sales.
"The reality is by and large they don’t customize," said Ed Stanford, president of McGraw-Hill Higher
Education, in an interview. "We think the more all this becomes digital, the more people will want to
customze, and we want to be able to do that." McGraw-Hill officials say custom textbooks are now the
fastest-growing area of the industry.
The new Create system lets professors go to a Web site and select sections of 4,000 McGraw-Hill books,
thousands of articles and case studies, or any document that the professors themselves upload. A price
tag displays how much the resulting book will cost. Professors can then choose whether to make the
book available to students as a printed book or an e-book. In a demonstration for The Chronicle this
week, a book on health care cost about $6 as an e-book but jumped to $16.96 as printed book.
The system does not include material from other textbook publishers. That is typical of custom systems
but makes it impossible for professors to blend a chapter from one publisher with a competitor's. When
Macmillan announced its system, in February, it said it hoped that other publishers would join in its effort.
But Mr. Stanford said McGraw-Hill had no intention of doing that, and he doesn't expect other publishers
to want to join his company's project, either.
He said that as much as his company would love to become the iTunes store of e-textbooks, he didn't
expect that to happen. "If any of us could be the distributor," he added, "we would."
Major publishers did team up to create an online e-textbook distribution service called Coursesmart, but it
does not include custom-publishing features or some of the latest evaluation materials that publishers
offer on their own advanced online platforms.
That means the textbook landscape is becoming more and more fragmented—and more confusing for
professors, who may have to learn different interfaces for the different textbooks they use.
One reason publishers may like customization is that it makes selling used copies difficult for students,
unless they sell to those taking the course from the same professor.
"In many, many ways, it's up for grabs," said Mr. Stanford of the future of textbook distribution. "It’s just
not at all clear where this is going to end up."
Chicago Tribune, October 8, 2010
For many, no college means no wedding
October 8, 2010
WASHINGTON -- Young adults with college degrees are now more likely to be married than those who
are less educated, a reversal of longtime trends as the struggling economy pushes weddings to all-time
About 62 percent of college-educated 30-year-olds were married or had been married, compared with 60
percent of those without a bachelor's degree, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of census
data. That is a significant shift from the 1990s, when young adults who didn't finish college were more
likely to have wed than their better-educated counterparts, 75 percent to 69 percent.
The median age at first marriage for those lacking degrees has now risen to 28, drawing even with those
who are college-educated. As recently as 1990, the gap had been as much as three years apart -- age 27
for college-educated, age 24 for those not.
Demographers attributed the shift partly to an economic downturn that has hit lesser-educated workers
harder. As a whole, more younger adults are postponing marriage while they struggle to find work, and
those lacking college degrees are seeing sharper declines in marriage.
The rising number of unmarried couples choosing to live together -- common particularly for those who
are not college-educated -- is also contributing to the decreases in marriage.
"The labor market has not been kind to young, less educated workers," said Richard Fry, a senior
researcher at Pew who wrote the report. "College used to delay marriage. Now, not completing college
delays marriage." AP
Inside Higher Ed, October 12, 2010
British Plan Suggests Large Loans
for University Students
A long-awaited report from the British government calls for removing most federal support for university
degrees and providing large government-backed loans to students to replace those funds, The Telegraph
reported. The report also calls for expanding university enrollments and increasing the quality of the
Inside Higher Ed, October 14, 2010 (Page 1 of 2)
Medical schools slowly grow
October 14, 2010
As projections indicate a growing shortage of new physicians, U.S. medical schools this fall reported their
highest-ever enrollments of first-year students -- and increasing percentages of students from
underrepresented minorities, the Association of American Medical Colleges said Wednesday.
Total first-year enrollments at the association’s member institutions totaled 18,665, up 1.5 percent from a
year ago. The most dramatic gains in matriculants were among students from underrepresented minority
groups. In all, 3,141 students who self-identified as African-American or black, Hispanic, American Indian,
and Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander began medical school this fall, up from 2,944 last fall.
“You don’t improve the health of communities without having a work force that reflects the diversity of
those communities,” said Darrell G. Kirch, president and CEO of AAMC, referring to the changing ethnic
and racial demographics of the United States. According to the association's data, students from
underrepresented minority groups represented 16.8 percent of new students at the 133 U.S. medical
schools and 17 Canadian schools that award M.D.s. Last year, they accounted for 16.0 percent of the
18,390 new students at those institutions.
About 53 percent of applicants and matriculants were male, while 47 percent were female. Last year, 52
percent were male and 48 percent were female.
The demographic showing the largest percentage growth in number of students entering medical school
was Hispanic men. This fall, there were 786 Hispanic male matriculants, up 17.1 percent from 671 a year
ago. Association officials couldn’t point to any one reason for the gains. “We’ve been active for decades
around improving the diversity of the profession,” Kirch said, as have many individual schools. But, he
added, “it’s very hard to make causal links.”
The only group to enroll in smaller numbers this fall was Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, down to 61
new students this year, six fewer than a year ago. The number of white students enrolling grew far less
dramatically than other groups -- by 0.4 percent -- to 12,094 students.
The racial and ethnic shifts, though, haven’t brought with them a change in the economic backgrounds of
new students. Gwen Garrison, AAMC’s director of student and applicant studies, said that about 80
percent of applicants in the last decade have come from the top two quintiles of income. The
underrepresentation of low-income students is “something we’ve been monitoring very closely” and a
“definite concern” at the association, said Henry Sondheimer, senior director of student affairs and
First-year enrollments at the 26 U.S. osteopathic medical schools -- which award D.O. degrees -- are also
higher this fall than they were in 2009. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine
said that more than 5,500 students entered osteopathic programs this fall. Last year, the schools reported
5,162 new students. Wendy Fernando, AACOM’s vice president for communications and marketing, said
the group plans to release final statistics for fall 2010 in December.
The AAMC began a push in mid-2006 to encourage the creation of new medical schools and branch
campuses, as well as the addition of new seats at existing schools. Its goal was to increase first-year
enrollments to more than 21,000 by 2015, up 30 percent from 2002 levels. Kirch said that while AAMC’s
30 percent growth goal won’t be reached by 2015, it should be possible by 2018.
Inside Higher Ed, October 14, 2010 (Page 2 of 2)
One new school, Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine in Roanoke, opened this fall with 42 first-year
students. Two other institutions, Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine, in Michigan,
and the Hofstra North Shore-Long Island Jewish School of Medicine, in New York, have received
preliminary accreditation from the Liaison Committee on Medical Education and will open their doors to
first-year students in 2011. Several other new schools are in the pipeline to open in the next few years.
As of now, the association isn’t advocating for more first-year seats beyond the goal of about 21,000.
Rather, its focus is on expanding the capacity of residency programs for medical school graduates, which
have not kept pace with the growth in the number of M.D. and D.O. degrees being awarded by U.S.
— Jennifer Epstein
The Chronicle of Higher Education, October 13, 2010
Georgia regents ban illegal immigrants from selective
By Sara Hebel
October 13, 2010
Illegal immigrants will be denied admission to public colleges in Georgia that have to turn away applicants
who are academically qualified, legal residents of the state, under a policy adopted on Wednesday by the
state's Board of Regents.
In practice, few immigrants and institutions will be affected by the change. But the policy responds to a
recent flurry of political debate over immigration in the state and concerns voiced by some Georgia
residents and lawmakers that illegal immigrants were taking seats away from qualified legal residents
seeking access to the state's most-selective colleges.
The ban, which is set to take effect next fall, makes Georgia only the second state to prohibit the
admission of illegal immigrants to public four-year institutions. South Carolina bans such students from all
of its public colleges, and Alabama prevents them from enrolling in its two-year institutions.
In Georgia a total of 27 undocumented students were enrolled this fall at the five colleges that currently
fall under the new admissions ban, according to the Board of Regents. The five institutions are Georgia
College & State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, the Medical
College of Georgia, and the University of Georgia.
The colleges affected by the ban could change from year to year as their selectivity changes. The
admissions policy states that it applies each year to public colleges that, in the two most recent academic
years, did not admit all academically qualified applicants.
Tougher Scrutiny of Residency
Across the 35 colleges of the University System of Georgia, 501 students are undocumented, less than
0.2 percent of the system's 310,000 students, according to a report presented to the regents on
Wednesday. All of those undocumented students are paying out -of-state tuition, as required by Georgia
The admissions change was adopted along with other new requirements designed to make sure
Georgia's colleges are properly classifying students, and identifying those who are illegal immigrants, for
tuition purposes. The Board of Regents had appointed a committee to examine its colleges' methods of
verifying students' immigration status after a Kennesaw State University student, stopped by police for a
traffic violation, was discovered to be in the United States illegally. The student had been paying in-state
tuition instead of the higher out-of-state rate.
Georgia is one of four states that explicitly prohibit illegal immigrants from paying in-state tuition. Ten
states have policies that make some of those students eligible for in-state rates, typically if they have lived
in the state for a certain period of time and graduated from one of its high schools.
The Georgia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union had urged the regents to vote against the
admissions ban, which also prompted some students and others to protest outside the regents' meeting.
But others have argued the policy doesn't go far enough, including some state lawmakers who have
vowed to push legislation that would extend the ban on admitting illegal immigrants to all public colleges.
Inside Higher Ed, October 13, 2010 (Page 1 of 3)
Where for-profit and nonprofit meet
October 13, 2010
The line between for-profit and nonprofit education continues to blur in Massachusetts.
Earlier this year, the Princeton Review signed a deal with Bristol Community College, in Fall River, to offer
accelerated health science degree programs to students willing to pay a higher tuition. These programs
are offered in hybrid fashion, combining online coursework with in-person lab time. They are taught by
Bristol faculty members but delivered by the Princeton Review, which pays for the expensive lab
equipment and new teaching facilities. Otherwise, the only difference between these and traditional health
science programs at Bristol is that the Princeton Review-sponsored programs can be completed in about
half the time, but only if students fork over $100 more per credit hour — $246 instead of $146. This tuition
differential is then given to the Princeton Review.
After months of planning and negotiations with concerned faculty, the accelerated classes in medical
information and coding, massage therapy and general health science began last week at Bristol. While
officials there defend their decision to team up with the Princeton Review — arguing that they have found
a way to expand access for their students in tough economic times without surrendering their academic
integrity — administrators at other institutions around the state are considering whether they should enter
into similar agreements with the for-profit company. Faculty groups, however, remained concerned about
Princeton Review’s plans to expand within Massachusetts, arguing that those plans threaten the
traditional public mission of community colleges.
This summer, the Princeton Review approached Quinsigamond Community College, in Worcester, about
entering into a health science partnership similar to the one with Bristol. As in that one, students would
pay a higher tuition for an accelerated program.
Gail Carberry, president at Quinsigamond, noted at a Board of Trustees meeting in July that the
partnership is “still in the early exploratory stage” and is “not without controversy.” She added that once
college officials had the opportunity to “discuss the concept” and meet with relevant officials at the
Princeton Review and Bristol, she would return to the trustees with a recommendation. This has yet to be
Upon hearing of the idea at the board meeting, the college’s union representatives expressed concern
about any partnership with the Princeton Review. Andria Schwortz, physics professor and president of the
Quinsigamond Community College Professional Association — a local union chapter affiliated with the
National Education Association — wrote in a letter to faculty last month that she had heard two main
concerns: a “philosophical aversion to a for-profit model of education” and the “retention of ownership of
course material.” For instance, in the Princeton Review’s deal with Bristol, the company gains ownership
over all course materials after paying faculty members a stipend for creation of these materials.
In an interview with Inside Higher Ed, Schwortz further explained the faculty opposition to any partnership
with the for-profit company.
“It’s the union’s opinion that it’s never a good idea to go looking into these types of partnerships,”
Schwortz said. “Our president might see this as a good source of revenue during tough economic times.
But the worry I have is, if we show the state legislature that we can find funding for expansion of our
programs elsewhere, then they would see that and say they don’t need to bother funding us at all. Also,
there’s a lot of concern among community college faculty that partnering with Princeton Review is against
Inside Higher Ed, October 13, 2010 (Page 2 of 3)
the philosophy of community college, against the philosophy of public higher education. Charging that
extra tuition differential is all about making money for their shareholders.”
Schwortz is encouraging Quinsigamond’s administration, instead, to consider partnerships with nonprofit
entities to expand health science capacity, such as working with a local hospital or medical school. So far,
though, union faculty members have had no voice in the college’s discussions of a potential partnership
with Princeton Review, she said.
Dale Allen, Quinsigamond’s vice president for community engagement, confirmed the lack of union
involvement so far but cautioned that the college’s administration had only had cursory discussions about
the partnership’s viability. He added that if the conversation proceeds beyond that to issues of curriculum,
faculty voices would be included.
As for the college’s immediate interest in the Princeton Review’s offer, Allen noted it was mostly because
of ballooning enrollment and concern about crowded facilities. Quinsigamond’s enrollment has grown 49
percent in five years. Allen also noted that the college has been considering expanding its health science
programs in some way for at least two years, but lacked the funding to do so.
“If there’s a private partner that would provide increased access for our students and provide new
facilities … we would be very interested in that conversation,” said Allen, explicitly noting that the
college’s administration had no upfront aversion to working with a for-profit entity. “As long as we’re doing
it for the greater good.”
Though Allen admitted he was aware of the controversial nature of such a partnership, he said the
college was interested in at least gathering some more information about how the deal has played out so
far at Bristol.
“We want to gather the facts, first and foremost, and present the pros and cons in a way so that we can
understand what they are,” Allen said. “We agreed that once this was up and running at Bristol we’d get
down there and see how it’s working.”
Defending the Deal
After hammering out a 37-page contract with Princeton Review and negotiating a three-year agreement
with the state’s faculty union, Bristol Community College was finally able to offer accelerated delivery of
its health science programs this semester.
Sally Cameron, Bristol spokeswoman, noted that about 100 students have started classes in three degree
programs so far. Many of them, she said, are students who would not otherwise have been able to enroll
in the college’s traditional face-to-face programs.
For instance, Carin Doyle is a 32-year-old single mother of two who works as an assistant at an alcohol
and drug rehab center in the area. She is studying to earn a certificate in medical coding. Eventually, she
hopes to pursue an associate degree in medical technology so she can help her rehab center with digital
conversion of its medical files.
“If it weren’t for this option, I wouldn’t have been able to take any classes here at the college,” Doyle said.
“With a job and kids, I just couldn’t go to school normally for four or five days a week. Being online, this
makes the classes flexible. But also, I like being able to go in and have my lab in person every now and
then to interact with my professor and classmates.”
Doyle, who did stints at two online for-profit institutions, Katharine Gibbs College and Ashford University,
without earning a credential, said she probably would have considered yet another online offering if not
for Bristol’s new program. She also said that between financial aid and some assistance from her parents,
she has been able to cover the program’s higher tuition.
Inside Higher Ed, October 13, 2010 (Page 3 of 3)
Without support from the Princeton Review, Cameron said, the college would not have had the resources
to expand its health science program in this way, potentially leaving working students like Doyle with
fewer options to further their educations. Ultimately, Cameron believes that Bristol has found a way to
work with a for-profit entity in a way that serves students while upholding the college’s traditional
“Princeton Review has not interfered with any of our academic decisions,” said Cameron, noting that, for
example, admission criteria for the new accelerated programs are identical to those for Bristol's traditional
offerings. “I hope we’ve found a way to make this work. ... This is not a for-profit looking to come in and
hijack our academic integrity. They want this to be a program that works to address work force needs in
various communities, which is what community colleges also want.”
Cameron, who calls herself “community college born and bred,” admitted that a sour financial situation
had encouraged Bristol’s consideration of this deal. Still, she defended it.
“That’s been the biggest challenge for us, showing that we can lead our state in making this happen and
show it’s possible to maintain academic integrity and maintain our soul as an institution,” Cameron said.
“We’re in a new world. There’s just not enough state money to do what you’re needing to do. It’s to the
private sector’s benefit to have well-trained nurses. I, myself, would prefer that these students not have to
pay extra, but to make expensive projects run, that’s what we need to do.”
Princeton Review officials could not be reached for comment. Statewide faculty union representatives,
however, question the partnership at Bristol and have significant concerns about the expansion of
Princeton Review-sponsored programs to other Massachusetts community colleges.
“I’m still not crazy about the idea,” said Joe LeBlanc, president of the Massachusetts Community College
Council, which is affiliated with the NEA. “In the purist world, the state would give us all the aid we
required and we would have all full-time tenured faculty. But after meeting with Bristol faculty in a big
group — not saying that there weren’t some folks who were opposed to the concept — it appeared that
instructors in the allied health fields were on board. So, we tried to negotiate a [mutual memorandum of
agreement] to protect them in the best way that we could.”
Though LeBlanc and the statewide union finally agreed to a deal, he still has some reservations about it.
For instance, he said he would prefer it if full-time faculty members could count any courses taught in this
Princeton Review model as part of their regular load. Under the current deal, they cannot. Also, like the
faculty union at Quinsigamond, he does not like that Bristol faculty lose ownership of their course
materials when they teach a Princeton Review-sponsored course.
Still, LeBlanc noted that the current deal with the faculty union only lasts three years, at which point it can
be either renewed or discontinued, and that the union will have a seat at the table when it comes to
reviewing the program. Also, he said the deal reached by the statewide union only concerns Bristol. If
other community colleges around the state wish to enter into similar deals with the Princeton Review,
there will have to be similar union negotiations for permission to be granted.
“If [the Quinsigamond union chapter], for example, wants to dig in its heels on this issue, the Princeton
Review won’t have a program at the college,” said LeBlanc, noting that he was not sure whether the
partnerships had any possibility of working elsewhere in the state. “If there wasn’t broad-based support
for it and they couldn’t find folks to teach the courses, then they’d pass it up and take away the idea
entirely. Right now, we just have to wait and see what happens.”
— David Moltz