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  • Colleges award tenure February 25 2020
    Carleton College Shaohua Guo, Chinese Jessica Keating, art history Alex Knodell, classics Anna Rafferty, computer science Prathi Seneviratne, economics Julia Strand, psychology Clarkson University Mahesh Banavar, electrical and computer engineering Natasha Banerjee, computer science Sean Banerjee, computer science Arthur Michalek, mechanical and aeronautical engineering Amir Mousavian, engineering and management Jan Scrimgeour, physics Shantanu Sur, biology Missouri State University West Plains Lindsay Hill, nursing Jason McCollom, history Benjamin Wheeler, biology Editorial Tags: Tenure listIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: College: Carleton CollegeClarkson UniversityMissouri State University-West PlainsDisplay Promo Box: 
    Author discusses his new book, 'The Rise of Women in Higher Education' February 25 2020
    Gary A. Berg's new book, The Rise of Women in Higher Education: How, Why and What's Next (Rowman & Littlefield), covers the dramatic gains made by women in higher education and the areas where they have not achieved equity. Berg, a former associate vice president at California State University Channel Islands, responded to questions about the book via email. Q: Your book seems a reminder of the incredible progress women have made in higher education, and of the areas where progress has been more limited. Let's start with the progress that has taken place. What do you see as particularly significant? A: The premise of my book is that the most important change in higher education in recent history is the increase of women leaders, faculty and students. I first became interested in the topic through observing the encouraging impact of Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and women’s athletics on campus cultures. The changes are broad and international. At the turn of the 21st century, women worldwide finally surpassed men in higher education participation. The forces behind this historical transformation internationally reflect declining birth rates and important social-political changes, echoing what occurred in America at the beginning of the 20th century, when women overcame almost complete restriction from postsecondary education. The growth in female faculty members, and in doctoral programs, is a crucial trend because of the implication for the future. The change in the college environment from a male domain too often hostile to women to one now evolving into a welcoming place encouraging personal and professional growth for young female students, is far from perfect but cause for acknowledgment. Q: Now let's talk about the obstacles. Where are women held back? A: The legacy of gendered majors and academic disciplines has a long history that limited women primarily to classroom teacher and nursing professions. Female students are still not as present in STEM majors, especially economically lucrative fields such as engineering. Women typically pursue majors leading to lower-paying occupations and end up with larger college debt on average than men after graduation. Women faculty tend to be disproportionately employed in community colleges and less prestigious four-year institutions, and are paid approximately 80 percent of what men receive (a figure that is remarkably constant internationally). While there are more females in university leadership than in the past, the percentage is still lower, especially at research institutions. Q: How important has Title IX been (both in athletics and outside it)? A: Title IX had an immediate impact on women’s athletics participation and funding. The positive influence on individual students and overall campus life has been immense. While it is hard to quantify the effect of positive change on the overall university, combined with broader social changes, it is clear that college campuses are different today partly because of Title IX. Although women athletes over all shine academically (unlike male athletes), and benefit from other clear advantages of participation in team sports, financial support for women’s athletics is still unequal, especially when looking at differences in compensation rates for coaches. Q: Why are women less likely to get presidencies, particularly of research universities? A: Many of the elite institutions in the past were resistant to admitting women students, or did so only through linked coordinate colleges, so it is no surprise that they would have less diverse leadership. In some cases, the traditions at universities surrounding doctoral programs, tenure and promotion work against encouraging rapid change in leadership gender, especially at research universities. In addition to creating an open pipeline to top positions, institutions need to more actively encourage and develop women leaders. Over time, one would expect to see college presidencies more appropriately reflect the ever more diverse student population. Q: In five to 10 years, do you think we'll see more progress, or is progress slowing down? A: The story of how women came to higher learning is one of self-education outside inaccessible colleges. Despite heavy opposition by men and rigid socio-political structures, women educated themselves by every means available, becoming especially skillful in writing and reading. This same learning activism will continue with or without support from others globally. I am hopeful that obstacles will become increasingly clear and unacceptable. The leadership and compensation inequality issues are already much discussed within and outside universities. The gendered major problem is more difficult and likely to take some time to change, partly because of the larger industrial and social forces out of the academy’s direct control. In terms of the increasing popularity of women’s sports, their historical links to academic departments with a focus on human development offer a model men’s sports should emulate going forward. Over all, colleges are viewing inequity in a more nuanced manner with a better understanding of the complex nature of individual student identity beyond single demographic categories. Unlike the retrenchment that was seen in the early 20th century, when women entered universities in large numbers, we have passed a tipping point and will not turn back. Universities with empowered female students, faculty and leadership will more and more be centers for positive change in the world. New Books About Higher EducationEditorial Tags: WomenIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: 
    NYC's tech training landscape must change to improve diversity, report says February 25 2020
    Over the past 15 years, job creation in New York City has grown quickly. But most of those jobs have been in sectors that pay the least, such as food service and retail. The industry growing the fastest in the city that also pays well is technology. But the workforce of this sector doesn't reflect the city's diversity, according to Eli Dvorkin, editorial and policy director at the Center for an Urban Future, a think tank focused on the city and its economy. A recent report from the center helps explain why. The group surveyed the landscape of tech training in the city and found that most of the programs, which range from adult continuing education programs at community colleges to nonprofit organizations to popular for-profit boot camps, focus on basic digital literacy and beginner-level skills, with the more advanced programs focused on the wealthier boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn. "Only a tiny fraction of the tech programs that we have today are actually aligned with the needs that tech employers have," Dvorkin said. "We want to make sure that we’re not just talking about what the city can do to help more students get on the path to a college credential, but to really look at where are the good jobs growing and what does that skills-building ecosystem look like." While the report applauds the city for its 506 tech training programs now in place, as well as Mayor Bill de Blasio's commitment to offer computer science courses in every public school by 2025, it points to disparities that must be remedied to increase the diversity of the tech workforce and create opportunities for low-income New Yorkers to move into the middle class. For instance, Manhattan and Brooklyn are home to 317 of the 467 sites that offer adult tech training programs and 303 of the 378 sites offering K-12 programs. In contrast, eight census-defined neighborhoods in the city, mostly in the Bronx and Staten Island, had zero K-12 programs in tech training. Dvorkin wasn't necessarily surprised by this, he said. "I do think, though, it’s alarming and it’s significant given all of the rhetoric and attention that the lack of access to STEM careers is getting," he added. Tech:NYC, a network of tech leaders, partnered with the center to create the report because the industry wanted to map what was already out there to find the gaps, said Julie Samuels, executive director of the network. "Tech has to support the K-12 and adult education ecosystem in the city," Samuels said. "In order for the tech sector to be part of that, they need to understand the landscape." The network plans to use the information to help companies plug in to existing programs to create pipelines, she said. It also hopes to talk with policy makers about the report. One of the largest obstacles identified in the report is a lack of bridge programs. Ninety percent of tech training programs for low-income adults focus on basic literacy and skills. But only 4 percent of nearly 160 adult tech training programs offered for free by nonprofits teach advanced coding or engineering skills, and only 6 percent provide training oriented toward careers for midlevel jobs. The city needs to invest in bridge programs so that New Yorkers can get the basic skills they need and then transition into more advanced training programs, Dvorkin said. Creating bridges from training to employment is also key. Employers often take a cautious approach of looking for hires who have already done the job they're hiring for, which can put entry-level positions out of reach for many, according to Ryan Craig, co-founder and managing director of University Ventures (and an occasional columnist for Inside Higher Ed). When switching from a traditional model of getting a four-year degree to one based on certificates and skills, Craig said it's important to reduce hiring friction. For example, Talent Path, a hybrid of a boot camp and a recruiting company, pays students to serve as technology consultants at companies for short contracts. After students learn enough skills, they're hired on full-time. This lets employers "try before they buy," Craig said. "Reducing hiring friction requires becoming the employer of record for a period of time, and probably also incurring the cost of sourcing, screening and training candidates," he said. "That’s a lot of working capital that’s often difficult for public and not-for-profit organizations to muster." The report also recommends investing in more financial supports for low-income New Yorkers who are interested in tech training. While some programs may be free, adults also experience an opportunity cost from not working for however long the training lasts, Dvorkin said. This may be why there are so many basic skills programs, as it's easier to spend a few hours on that than commit to a months-long program, even if the results would be better. "It's not just free tuition when we're talking about low-income students," Liz Eggleston, co-founder of the tech education site Course Report, said in an email. "As the report points out, transportation and childcare, the opportunity cost of being away from work, etc., are huge barriers." Eggleston highlighted the Tech Talent Pipeline initiative, launched in 2014. The public-private partnership between the city and companies aims to provide resources to New Yorkers, as well as connections with employers. While many of the boot camps connected with the pipeline are full-time, students can get childcare and Metrocards to help, she said. In its report, the center recommends investing $50 million in initiatives like the Tech Talent Pipeline to help the city reach its goals. TechnologyEditorial Tags: Adult educationInformation TechnologyNew YorkImage Source: Getty Images/Westend61Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: 
    Long Island University freezes enrollments in many liberal arts programs February 25 2020
    Long Island University has frozen new enrollments in undergraduate programs in fields including chemistry, history, philosophy, photography, physics, sociology and public relations in what some faculty view as an assault on the liberal arts core of the institution. The enrollment freezes follow on eliminations or freezes in recent years of other programs at the New York institution's Post campus, including programs in art history, earth system science, French, Italian, music performance, Spanish, geography and geology. ​A list of frozen programs provided by the chair of LIU Post's Faculty Council also includes a number of education-related undergraduate programs as well as master's programs predominantly in the liberal arts and education fields. Ed Weis, LIU's vice president for academic affairs, said in a statement that "most" of the education programs identified as frozen had been renamed or restructured, but he confirmed that some humanities programs had been frozen in line with what he described as a national trend of declining student interest in these areas. "Over the last several years, LIU has been expanding program offerings in high-demand areas while assessing programs with low enrollment," Weis said. "All academic programs are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are competitive, relevant and of the highest quality for our students. As a result of this best practice, certain programs with very low enrollment of entering students for a number of years were frozen. While new students will not be admitted to these programs, the university will continue to offer the necessary courses for current students to be able to graduate on time within these majors. "The university has a fiduciary responsibility to provide a rigorous and engaging educational experience for our students," Weis added. "The classroom experience is at its best when faculty engage their students in challenging and interesting peer-to-peer discussions. Classes with a very limited number of students do not allow for this desired level of engagement. In fact, academic programs with only a handful of majors can result in these students taking their upper-level courses as independent studies." LIU Post, like many private institutions, has seen enrollment declines. Total full-time-equivalent undergraduate and graduate enrollment at the Post campus has declined from 6,029 in 2015 to 5,458 in 2019, a drop of about 9.5 percent, according to data LIU provides to its bondholders. However, the number of enrolled freshmen spiked last fall to 771 students, up from 564 the fall before, an approximately 37 percent increase. Universitywide, across all campuses, the number of total faculty has declined by 21 percent since 2015, from 1,979 to 1,558. Audited financial statements show a 14 percent drop in universitywide operating revenues from 2014 to 2019, from about $396.5 million to $341.4 million. But net assets have risen substantially in that time, from about $291 million to roughly $506.9 million. Faculty at Post say they are alarmed by the program freezes in core liberal arts areas. “It’s dismaying,” said Jeremy Buchman, the chair of the Faculty Council at LIU Post and an associate professor of political science. “There are a lot of very apprehensive faculty in the affected programs, especially in the arts and sciences. There’s concern about where the arts and sciences stand. There’s concern about our current students and their ability to finish the program that they signed on for. The university has said that current students in the frozen programs will be able to finish. But logistically speaking, it makes life a lot harder for students if you don’t have a new crop of majors, even if it’s a relatively small group that’s going to have an impact on the range of course offerings that current students will have to choose from.” "Many of the faculty are heartbroken by the choice not to support these programs," said Wendy Ryden, an associate professor of English and the acting president of the faculty union at the Post campus. "We feel that it negatively impacts faculty in their workload and it negatively impacts student choice in terms of what they can be allowed to study when they come here." The program freezes were first reported by Ashley Bowden, the co-editor of LIU Post campus’s student newspaper, The Pioneer. Bowden, a senior, said other students were dismayed to learn the news. “They’re just disappointed in seeing these kinds of things happen,” she said. “It’s disheartening for me to have to report something like this where I go to school. As a student in the liberal arts, it’s not very encouraging at all.” Weis said that the frozen programs "may become viable with curriculum changes. The university has consistently encouraged its academic departments over the years to update their programs to align with student demand." He noted that the "national trend of declining student demand for certain majors in the humanities is not unique to LIU" and that the university "is deeply committed to a liberal arts education through our core curriculum." "The recent successful launch of new, in-demand programs is expected to more than offset the loss of small new enrollments in programs that have recently been frozen," Weis said. "These new programs are also driving demand for additional classes in the liberal arts and sciences." At the same time as enrollment by new majors in core liberal arts disciplines is being frozen, the university is planning to enroll its first students in a new veterinary college this fall. Some faculty have expressed opposition to the opening of the veterinary college at a tuition-driven liberal arts institution. Most veterinary schools are located at major research universities. Michael A. Soupios, a professor of political science who has taught at LIU for more than 30 years, said that in his opinion, LIU has lost sight of what is meant by “university.” “I think we’ve lost track of who we are institutionally,” Soupios said. “I am not sure that we are adequately in touch with the very definition, the very meaning of the word 'university.' We seem to be hurtling headlong in the direction of becoming essentially a vocational school. I understand that’s what people are looking for in terms of jobs, but if you want to flatter yourself by calling yourself a university, then you have to act like it, and you have to maintain a curriculum that reflects that.” Soupios described the use of the word “freeze” as “euphemistic rubbish … Frozen is tantamount to death. You’re not going to be thawed.” Molly Tambor, an associate professor in history, one of the programs frozen, said she is willing to hold onto the word "freeze" because she is hopeful administrators will work with faculty to unfreeze the affected programs. The history department has already met with administrators and has another meeting planned. She said administrators seem interested in faculty ideas for renewing the program. "If we’re measuring by student interest and engagement in our courses and in students who declare a major and a minor at any point in their career, then it seems to us that the history program is actually very healthy," she said. "We also feel that a history program at a liberal arts institution is a necessary and vital one and deserves to have investment and resources." 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