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Update on capital campaigns May 27 2022
Starting Off St. Norbert College is starting a campaign to raise $125 million by next year, the college’s 125th birthday. The college has raised $83.5 million so far. Wilmington College, in Ohio, has started a campaign to raise $45 million. The college has already raised $40 million. Finishing Up Kettering University has raised $155 million in its campaign. The original goal was $150 million. Editorial Tags: Fund-RaisingIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 3In-Article Advertisement High: 6In-Article related stories: 9In-Article Advertisement Low: 12
Polish president delays academic's promotion May 27 2022
Image: Poland’s president has been accused of blocking the promotion of a researcher who explores the psychology of genocide. Michał Bilewicz, head of the Center for Research on Prejudice at the University of Warsaw, has been waiting more than three years for Andrzej Duda to sign off his appointment as full professor. The impasse has been seen as part of what critics say is a concerted effort by Poland’s right-wing government—which Duda heads—to pressure scholars who implicate Poles in the Holocaust and to aggressively enforce a narrative of exclusive victimhood. “This postponing is a way to harass those academics who are doing research on the topics that our nationalist government doesn’t want to be studied,” Bilewicz told Times Higher Education. Bilewicz, who currently holds the rank of associate professor, has published several papers on antisemitism and the aftermath of the Holocaust in Poland. His application for a professorship cited work exploring why countries deny their dark histories. He said that this was a “very dangerous topic in a nationalist state.” In Poland the path to full professorship requires habilitation, a postdoctoral qualification awarded by a central committee based on feedback from external reviewers. Bilewicz sailed through until the final stage: a signature from the head of state. There is understood to be only one other ongoing instance of the president refusing to sign off a full professorship, involving Walter Żelazny, an opposition activist and sociologist at the University of Białystok, who has reportedly been waiting four years for his professorship. Duda’s office said it declined to sign off Bilewicz’s promotion as too many of the reviewers were from the same institution. “Psychology is a discipline practiced in many other Polish universities,” a spokesperson said. The office said the decision to grant a professorship was “made solely on merit, and not on any other non-substantive aspects,” adding that the president was “not bound by any deadline to make a decision on awarding the title of professor.” Bilewicz said the shared affiliation of the reviewers was an “absurd justification,” as they were deliberately chosen for their lack of connection to him. Five psychologists wrote an open letter to the president’s office last year offering to provide alternative international reviewers, but this was reportedly declined. Bilewicz’s plight is now the subject of a letter sent to Duda by members of the University of Oxford’s Centre for the Study of Social Justice, calling on the president to sign off the promotion. They signed the letter in a personal capacity. “Bilewicz’s research amplifies negative facts about prejudice that the ruling populist-nationalist party, that also includes the president, do not take as seriously as they should,” said Zofia Stemplowska, the center’s director and one of the signatories. “The worry about this violation of the rule of law is that it will have a chilling effect on researchers, such as Bilewicz, who are researching antisemitism.” A 2018 legal amendment would have threatened jail for those who implied the Polish “state” or “nation” was complicit in Nazi crimes, although the law was repeatedly watered down after international outcry and stripped of its criminal component. Last year a Warsaw court ordered two scholars based in Warsaw and Ottawa to apologize after they wrote about the case of a mayor of a Polish village who had allegedly betrayed a group of Jews to Nazi occupiers. Researchers have subsequently expressed caution about writing about the postwar trials of Poles, for fear of being sued by their living relatives. “Polish citizens have fought heroically in the past for our current freedoms, and it is shocking to see that they are being rolled back,” said Stemplowska, who is Polish. GlobalEditorial Tags: Times Higher EdIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 3In-Article Advertisement High: 6In-Article related stories: 9In-Article Advertisement Low: 12
Changing from college to university driven by image, prestige May 27 2022
Image: Dominican College in Orangeburg, N.Y., was one of several colleges in the state working for the last several years to convince the state’s Board of Regents to change its definition of the types of higher ed institutions that could or could not be called a “university.” When the board officially amended the regulation and expanded the definition in January, the college’s administrators applied to be officially designated a university. Its application was approved by the board on May 17—and on May 18, Dominican College became Dominican University. The new designation more accurately fits what Dominican, a Catholic institution, offers academically and culturally, said Sister Mary Eileen O’Brien, president of the university. She pointed to the expansion of the undergraduate and graduate curricula over the years, from mostly liberal arts courses to the addition of more business, science and technology courses, as well as doctoral programs in nursing and physical therapy. She said the cachet of “university” also suits the institution. Under the state board’s previous definition, an institution could only be designated as a university if it offered “a range of registered undergraduate and graduate curricula in the liberal arts and sciences, degrees in two or more professional fields, and doctoral programs in at least three academic fields.” The amendment approved in January removed the requirement for professional and doctoral programs. Universities are now defined as “including graduate programs registered in at least three of the following discipline areas: agriculture, biological sciences, business, education, engineering, fine arts, health professions, humanities, physical sciences and social sciences.” Several other New York colleges have pending applications requesting the university designation, and a handful of former colleges have become universities since January. “We wanted to make sure the title reflected the level of commitment to” the rigor, quality and quantity of courses offered by Dominican, Sister Mary Eileen said of the pursuit of the university designation. Institutions outside New York that have made the change from college to university had similar motivations, marketing consultants say. But New York was the only state that required any doctorate programs, much less three, for an institution to be defined as a university. “Over the years, whenever the topic came up, we encouraged New York State to become more like the other 49,” Sister Mary Eileen said. Dominican, a small institution just north of New York City, is a Hispanic-serving institution. Sister Mary Eileen said her concern about how Hispanic students view the name change is due to perceptions of “college” versus “university” among people of Hispanic origin. In many countries, including in Central and South America, “college” refers to secondary education, or high school. This can be confusing to international students considering studying in the United States and makes it difficult for American colleges to recruit students from abroad. Sister Mary Eileen said being known as a university makes “clear the level of education, particularly for our Spanish-speaking students, and it presents the offerings of this institution as more prestigious.” When William Murphy, New York State’s deputy commissioner of higher education, recommended the amended definition in a memo to the Higher Education Committee of the Board of Regents last December, he cited “increasing competition from institutions chartered in other states recruiting students in New York, nationally and internationally, where the term ‘college’ presents a significant marketing challenge.” Changing the requirements, which had been in place since 1969, would allow the state’s institutions “to more effectively compete and market their programs within the state, nationally and globally,” he wrote in a memo to the committee. This was the case for Utica College in central New York, St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn and Molloy College in Long Island, which all have since been officially recognized as universities. At least two private institutions in the Rochester area, St. John Fisher College and Nazareth College, are considering changing their designations from colleges to universities.” (Note: This sentence was revised to reflect that St. John Fisher and Nazareth are considering becoming universities but have not formally sought a change in designation by the state Board of Regents.) “For us, university status conveys greater prestige, has stronger reputational value domestically and internationally, and better represents the type of institution we are today and what we have already been in practice for many years,” a spokesperson for St. John Fisher College said in an emailed statement. At least one public institution in New York is also considering seeking authorization to call itself a university. SUNY Old Westbury in Long Island, one of 34 four-year institutions in the State University of New York system, still considers itself a college, but it changed its branding about eight years ago from SUNY College at Old Westbury. Michael Kinane, a college spokesperson, said formal discussions will begin this summer and continue through the fall semester on whether the institution should formally be designated a university.  “It has been a while since we discussed who we thought we were and what students thought about themselves,” Kinane said. He said the goal is to strike a balance between a marketable brand, an identity that represents its presence in the SUNY system as an institution that fits the definition of “university” and the culture of a close-knit college with small classes and a connection between students and faculty members. “We’re going to talk about what it would mean, what our history would mean and how it reflects who we are,” he said. Dominican University officials will spend the summer removing “college” from and adding “university” to its name on everything from business cards to bank accounts to signage—including on the university’s website, which still refers to it as a college in some places. The sign at the entrance to the university was changed on the same day the university announced the approval of the university designation. “That was going to be first,” Sister Mary Eileen said. The newly named university has since publicized the change, and the reception has “been very positive" among faculty members, students, alumni and the surrounding community, she said. “They’re congratulating us,” she said, noting that the new name will not reflect negatively on the history and nature of the university. “That closeness, that level of collegiality with each other, that’s the culture of this college, and we don’t think that’s going to change.” Thomas Hayes, dean of the Williams College of Business at Xavier University in Ohio and co-founder of an education marketing company, SimpsonScarborough, said the image presented to students, faculty members, alumni, the academic community and the outside world is what historically has driven name changes, not just in New York and not just name changes from “college” to “university.” “The idea of being a university gives the impression that a school is larger, with more breadth,” Hayes said. “That’s an indication of where you should be moving from college to university. It gives it a little more gravitas.” The changes are not always universally welcomed. Hayes’s company worked with administrators at Loyola College in Baltimore in the late 2000s to rename the institution Loyola University of Maryland to match its expansion of program offerings. (By the time the name change became official in 2009, nearly every other institution named Loyola in the U.S. had long ago been designated as a university.) There was significant pushback from alumni who opposed the name change, said Elizabeth Johnson, co-founder and chairperson of SimpsonScarborough. “They thought the institution was losing its personal appeal, its small community feel,” she said. Johnson said the distinction between “college” and “university” carries great weight in the U.S. as well as internationally. She said surveys the company has conducted with administrators, prospective students and their parents indicate “They prefer universities to colleges. They think they’re bigger, they think they’re better, they think they’re more prestigious.” Image Source: Studio Eleven ProductionsImage Caption: After years of campaigning for designation as universities, Dominican and other institutions in New York moved quickly to publicize their new names.Additional/Custom Ad Keywords: curriculum, recruitmentIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Trending text: College to UniversityTrending order: 2Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 3In-Article Advertisement High: 6In-Article related stories: 9In-Article Advertisement Low: 12
Debt relief has public support, but will that be enough? May 27 2022
Image: The political debate over whether President Biden should move to cancel some or all of the $1.7 trillion in student loan debt currently owed to the federal government is largely focused on perceptions of the role the government should take in making higher education affordable and accessible. Although the debate is sharply divided among party lines in Congress, public perception has largely shifted in recent years. Currently, one in five voters is in support of broad-based cancellation. Younger voters, however, are an outlier. Existing in a world of skyrocketing tuition rates, record inflation, stagnant wages and increasing need for a college degree, 71 percent of voters under the age of 34 support some form of loan cancellation, including a majority—56 percent—of young Republican voters, according to a 2022 survey. The heightened attention to the federal role in higher education is new, according to higher education experts, and follows a rapid shift in public opinion that the government should take a stronger role in helping students cover the costs of college. This shift, followed by presumed economic gains related to Biden’s impending decision on student debt, could serve as a catalyst for a stronger federal role in addressing the high costs of college. “I think when we cancel debt … [it] is a way of the government saying we made a mistake as a government, we make a mistake with student loans, we are owning up to that mistake, we are canceling these debts. It is an acknowledgment that student loans are not a viable way to pay for higher education moving forward,” said Charlie Eaton, professor of sociology at the University of California, Merced. How We Got Here The shift in public opinion informing the debt relief debate is largely informed by a greater understanding of the impacts of debt, financial struggles in the face of the changing global economy and recent changes in the role the federal government has taken to address financial struggle, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since 2010, there has been a rapid shift in public opinion toward the government assuming greater responsibility to cover the costs of higher education, according to Who Should Pay by Brian Powell, a professor of sociology at Indiana University, and Natasha Quadlin, an assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. “There are very few cases in which public opinion has changed this quickly in such a short period of time,” said Powell. The authors found that in 2010, an overwhelming majority of Americans—80 percent—believed it was primarily the responsibility of students and parents to bear the cost of college. On the other hand, 27 percent believed college cost should be a shared burden between individuals and the government. The authors found that this trend was consistent since the 1980s. However, between 2010 and 2015, something changed: there was an 18 percent increase in public belief that the government should play a role in helping students pay for college. Powell noted that although many still believed students and parents should have the main responsibility of paying for college, this shift demonstrated increasing public support for a stronger federal role in helping students pay for college. “If any of these any of these questions related to debt relief were asked in 2010, public opinion would be absolutely opposed to it,” said Powell. “People increasingly moved to this idea that the government should be responsible or the government should be in partnership with parents and students. So what this means is the public right now is receptive to plans to make college affordable.” The shift in public opinion, according to Powell, can be attributed to multiple factors, including new pressures in the economy and an increasing number of Americans who are realizing the value of a college degree, as well as rising costs of higher education. Additionally, the public has a greater awareness of education debt and the normalization of taking out debt to be able to afford a college degree. “Tuition skyrocketing over the last decade as well as wages being stagnant as well as a double effect of people having a hyper view of who holds debt, because there’s more people who have debt and have to take on debt,” Braxton Brewington, a spokesperson for the Debt Collective, said has all had a great effect on pushing higher education into the national agenda. Between 1993 and 2012, both the number of students taking out loans to pay for college and the amount borrowed increased dramatically. A Pew Research Center study found that in 1993, 49 percent of students were taking out loans. By 2012 this figure had risen to around 69 percent of students taking on debt to pay for college. According to federal data, one in five Americans has student loans, but most borrowers have relatively small amounts of debt, with 53 percent of borrowers holding less than $20,000 in federal student loans. Younger Americans disproportionately hold student loan debt compared to older Americans. Considering individuals aged 18 to 34, 57 percent had student loans, compared to 16 percent of those above the age of 50. These younger Americans are also faced with a nearly 40 percent increase in tuition costs at public four-year universities in the last decade. “The great publicity about student debt has made people much more aware. A large number of people are much more receptive to the idea that you cannot rely only on individuals themselves,” said Powell. “The issue about student debt is one of the very reasons people have become more receptive to the idea of government structuring.” According to Brewington, increased public awareness of racial inequality in recent years has also played a role. For Black borrowers, whose wealth accumulation disproportionately lags behind that of white borrowers, the impacts of student debt are more severe. A study conducted in 2019 by The Journal of Consumer Affairs found that student debt accounted for 3 to 7 percent of the racial wealth gap in 2016. Recent actions by the federal government have also increased public awareness of the economic impacts of federal action to address economic hardship. Experts noted that the expansion of the federal government’s role in health-care coverage after the passage of the Affordable Care Act in 2010 provided an example of how the federal government could address the costs Powell called “bread-and-butter” issues like health care and education. Additionally, broad-based public support for the Trump and Biden administrations’ pause on student loan payments and universal distribution of stimulus checks to help alleviate some of the financial burdens caused by COVID-19 have also contributed, experts said. Biden’s recent actions on student debt—his administration has already canceled $18.5 billion owed to the federal government—are also significant. These include the changes to the Public Student Loan Forgiveness program and forgiveness for individuals with permanent disabilities. “We’ve gotten a preview for what mass cancellation will look like from the expansion of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and the correction of some of the problems with it,” said Eaton. The potential economic impacts of debt forgiveness have also entered the national debate. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said in May that student loan relief would yield benefits for the economy, especially for low-income individuals. “Student debt is a substantial burden to many people, especially those who end up with low incomes,” said Yellen. “[Student loan relief] could be good for the economy.” Although Biden’s final proposal is still unknown, debt relief of $10,000 per borrower, which was one of the president’s central campaign promises, could provide economic relief to more than 15 million people, according to 2021 data from the Education Department. The Political Climate Ideas about government responsibility inform the current debate in Congress on debt relief. However, it is also coupled with intense polarization over the idea of whether Biden can use executive authority to erase debts owed to the federal government. Most Democrats have largely supported the idea that Biden has the authority to cancel student debt, however, Republicans have held that such executive authority does not exist. Republicans, despite disagreeing with the concept of debt relief over all, believe that Biden should have to go through Congress to cancel debt. Both congressional staff and higher education experts are expecting pushback from Republicans when Biden announces his plan to address student debt. Already, a coalition of Republican Senators has introduced a bill that would prohibit Biden from canceling student debt. Experts say that these efforts will likely die due to the lack of a Republican majority in Congress. In the eyes of the public, polarization and dysfunction in Congress could be informing a general consensus that Biden should be the one to take action. “I also think that has something to do with a growing understanding of the dysfunctionality of Congress. So I do think that’s also tied to a demand or call for Biden to take action,” said Brewington. Higher education experts believe the increased public consciousness on student debt relief could push other issues related to the affordability of higher education into the national agenda, acting as a political catalyst that could increase the federal government’s role in covering the costs of higher education. This includes changes to the student loan system itself, which many higher education leaders have long called for. “The gains from across-the-board loan forgiveness will soon disappear, like water poured into sand, unless we ask and answer some basic questions about the design of federal student loans,” said Terry Hartle, senior vice president of government relations and public affairs at the American Council on Education. Hartle said reauthorization of the Higher Education Act, which governs the federal student loan system at large and historically was regularly revised by Congress, has been thwarted by increased polarization in Congress, and as a result the legislation has not been updated since 2008. “This is less of a policy debate than a political issue,” said Hartle. “As long as it remains a political food fight, it is going to be hard to have a discussion on good public policies that will help students and be fair to taxpayers.” Student Aid and LoansImage Source: tommy/Getty Images Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 0Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Magazine treatment: Trending: Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 3In-Article Advertisement High: 6In-Article related stories: 9In-Article Advertisement Low: 12