Republicans and North Carolina higher ed: “Winter is coming”

A right-leaning public policy foundation is making waves in North Carolina’s public university system. The Chronicle of Higher Education reports on how the John William Pope Center for Higher Education Policy is getting traction among the state’s Republican political leadership. The Center, the Chronicle tells us, aims to “[make] public colleges more accountable to the public, by holding them to their ‘chief goals…

The future of college? Or just another over-hyped MOOC story?

Great article on a new start-up college that claims to be upending higher ed. Minerva, which operates for profit, started teaching its inaugural class of 33 students this month. To seed this first class with talent, Minerva gave every admitted student a full-tuition scholarship of $10,000 a year for four years, plus free housing in…

The cult of the Ph.D.

The primary, overarching purpose of doctoral programs is to produce professors. Graduate school has a cult-like effect on what you think you should want as a graduate student. I have seen it turn people who thought they wanted to go work for the Defense Department turn into quivering blobs of jelly because they failed, five…

Peter Thiel: higher ed is fucked up and everyone knows it

From a great interview of Thiel by Tyler Cowen: Well there are lots of things that are true that everyone agrees with me on. I think for example even this idea that the university system is somewhat screwed up and somewhat broken at this point. This is not even a heterodox or a very controversial…

U Albany prez: Declining enrollment a major financial threat

The number of students at the University at Albany has dropped by 1,000 over the last eight years, making declining enrollment the college’s most “significant financial threat,” President Robert J. Jones said Wednesday in his spring address. Solution? They’re going to expand into STEM. http://www.timesunion.com/news/article/UAlbany-president-Declining-enrollment-a-major-6172980.php

Why college isn’t always worth it

Regardless of your opinion of the study’s methods, it only feeds the public perception that college has been oversold, and may not be worth the cost. So more bad news for higher ed, as this appears in a major newspaper: http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2015/01/30/college-is-worth-it-if-you-graduate-on-time/

Future of higher ed: survey of 2,800 academic leaders

Scroll down to the 2nd chart: http://chronicle.com/blogs/wiredcampus/the-mooc-fades-in-3-charts/55701 Note the top four factors having “the greatest impact on the future of higher education”; on the chart the first is cost, and the next three are essentially “proving the value of a college degree”: Cost/student debt – 62% Work force development/gainful employment – 42% Assessment of learning…

Repay as you earn loan programs are not looking good

According to Politico: In obscure data tables buried deep in its 2016 budget proposal, the Obama administration revealed this week that its student loan program had a $21.8 billion shortfall last year, apparently the largest ever recorded for any government credit program. The main cause of the shortfall was President Barack Obama’s recent efforts to…

Law school dean whines about competition for students

I would be worried if I were a faculty member under this associate dean – he is clearly clueless about higher education in general, and the competitive trends within legal education: I am glad that some in the media — even if just the legal blogosphere — are finally paying attention to what GW Law…

Future of higher education: hand-to-hand combat

What’s sad is that faculty and administrators have their heads in the sand as to what is coming down the pike. As usual, law schools are the canary in the coalmine: Summer was waning and students were already packing for the fall semester, but Prof. Daniel B. Rodriguez, dean of the Northwestern University School of…