Pensions costs are killing Northern Kentucky U

The university’s payments into the state pension system have skyrocketed from $3.9 million in 2010 to $15.3 million this year. The projected cost for 2018 is $19.4 million. Mearns, who laid out the budget situation in a presentation here, said 2 percent of NKU’s operating budget went into pension costs in 2010 and that nearly 10…

Pension crisis at public universities

While massive state- and city-pension debts across the country have gotten anxious scrutiny from lawmakers and the public, their effect on public universities and colleges has gone largely unnoticed. But an independent board that oversees state and local accounting standards nationwide has recently put into effect new rules, requiring more disclosure of how much the…

Contingent faculty are better teachers than tenure track faculty

This study makes use of detailed student-level data from eight cohorts of first-year students at Northwestern University to investigate the relative effects of tenure track/tenured versus contingent faculty on student learning. We focus on classes taken during a student’s first term at Northwestern and employ an identification strategy in which we control for both student-level…

Solution to higher ed woes: have athletics pay for everything

In 2013, Auburn University’s curriculum review committee took up the case of a small, unpopular undergraduate major called public administration. After concluding that the major added very little to the school’s academic mission, the committee voted to eliminate it. But according to internal documents and emails reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the committee’s decision…

Tenured professor fired for saying “fuck”

Winter is coming to higher education. This month, Louisiana State University fired—outright fired—a tenured professor of education, Teresa Buchanan, ostensibly for creating a “hostile work environment” via sexual harassment. Her infraction? Allowing profanities to pass from her tenured lips, and unleashing a single ill-advised bon mot about sexual intercourse. http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2015/06/30/lsu_professor_fired_over_f_word_p_word_off_color_joke_finally_academia_s.html

How many colleges do we really need?

But colleges rarely go under because they are heavily subsidized and regulated by the government. They receive hundreds of billions of dollars in direct subsidies (and indirect tax breaks as non-profits) and the only way to get access to those funds is to be an accredited institution, under a system controlled by the colleges themselves.…

Law firm bans hiring Ivy League grads

Adam Leitman Bailey, a Manhattan attorney who runs a real estate firm, says he looks to hire law school graduates who have grit, ambition and a resolve to succeed in the legal profession. For that reason, he says, his firm has instituted a rule: If your resume lists your law school as Yale, Harvard, Columbia,…

Congress outlaws ordinary least squares!

Not really, but close. Via a posting by Jeff Strohl on the postsecondary-data google group: It is important to keep an eye on some growing language that seeming aims to ‘outlaw’ predictive analytics (When regressions are outlawed, only Social Scientists will regress!!) http://www.vitter.senate.gov/newsroom/press/vitter-introduces-student-privacy-protection-act “(C) NO NATIONAL DATABASE.—Nothing in this section shall be construed to authorize the…