Tagfuture of higher education

Colleges publicly offer to match tuition at rival schools

This has been going on for years in secret, as institutions track the pricing of their peers (when I was in IR, the most common question I heard was, “What are other schools doing?”) and by negotiating privately with admitted students. Now it’s finally in the open: Escalating the heated battle for students, some private colleges are offering to match public in-state tuition...

Vermont Law strips tenure from 14 professors

After being informed by the chair of Vermont Law School’s retention committee that the school stripped 14 law professors of tenure, the American Association of University Professors has questioned whether the school followed proper regulations. In a June 19 letter sent to the school’s tenure and retention committee chair, the AAUP conceded that under “extraordinary circumstances because of...

Half of American colleges will be bankrupt in 10 to 15 years?

There are over 4,000 colleges and universities in the United States, but Harvard Business School professor Clayton Christensen says that half are bound for bankruptcy in the next few decades. Christensen is known for coining the theory of disruptive innovation in his 1997 book, “The Innovator’s Dilemma.” Since then, he has applied his theory of disruption to a wide range of...

Faculty may review consultant’s report only in presence of Dean’s assistant after signing NDA!

In an effort to chart the future of the law school, SLU recently hired the consulting firm Alix Partners to compile potential changes to the law school’s operations. At least some of the recent staffing moves followed. Both the law school and Alix partners agreed to keep the report confidential. In an email obtained by the Post-Dispatch, Wolff told faculty and staff the report would be made...

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 percent of the budget will be dedicated to the pension...

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 government owes to...

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 fixed effects and...

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 was ultimately...

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.

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. The story of Sweet Briar College is a perfect example of...

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Professor and quant guy. Libertarian turned populist Republican. Trying to learn Japanese and play Spanish Baroque music on the ukulele.

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