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John B. King Jr. tapped to lead SUNY system December 6 2022
Image: Former U.S. education secretary John B. King Jr. will be the next chancellor of the State University of New York system, SUNY officials announced Monday. King led the U.S. Department of Education from January 2016 to January 2017 after previously serving as acting deputy secretary under Arne Duncan. Prior to joining the Department of Education during the Obama administration, King was the New York State education commissioner from 2011 to 2014. Following his stint at the Department of Education, King served as president and CEO of the Education Trust, a nonprofit organization focused on equitable academic achievement. Last year King ran unsuccessfully as a Democrat in Maryland’s gubernatorial election, losing in the primary. Now he’ll step into the top spot in New York’s 64-campus public education system, replacing interim chancellor Deborah Stanley, who has led SUNY following the resignation of Jim Malatras in late 2021. Malatras stepped down amid allegations of a toxic management style and controversy over his close ties to disgraced former New York governor Andrew Cuomo, for whom he previously worked. King is set to begin his role at SUNY next month. The Announcement “I am humbled and honored to accept the position of chancellor and to advance Governor Kathy Hochul’s vision to make SUNY the best statewide system of public higher education in our nation,” King said in a statement Monday. “Public education quite literally saved my life when I lost both of my parents at a young age, and I have dedicated my professional career ever since to ensuring that every student has access to the academic opportunities that they need and deserve. I look forward to working with all members of our campus communities, lawmakers, and stakeholders to bring SUNY to new heights and maximize its potential.” In announcing the hire, SUNY leaders praised King for his lengthy résumé in education. “As we work to continue to transform SUNY to meet the needs of the next generation of students and New York’s economy, we need a leader who understands how to balance striving for both excellence and equity,” Merryl H. Tisch, chair of the SUNY Board of Trustees, said in a statement. “John King has a proven record of doing both.” SUNY students also championed the hire. “A lifelong educator and former U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. King has proven over his long career that he prioritizes some of the core issues that matter most to us as students. As student debt has grown over the past few decades into a national crisis, he has shown time and again that he prioritizes college affordability as a platform for future success, closing opportunity gaps for students of color and low-income students, and excellence in education,” SUNY Student Assembly president Alexandria Chun said in an emailed statement following the announcement. Frederick E. Kowal, president of United University Professions, the union that represents SUNY faculty, congratulated King in a statement that praised his past work on underrepresented students while emphasizing the need for more funding for the system. “UUP shares Dr. King’s commitment to equity and excellence for all students and making a college education affordable and accessible. These are attributes we believe SUNY’s new chancellor must have to be effective,” Kowal said in an emailed statement. “We are hopeful that Dr. King, a Brooklyn native, will be a strong advocate for SUNY, especially when it comes to securing more state funding for our public higher education system and our public teaching hospitals. A fully funded SUNY system will support the working conditions that UUP-represented employees deserve and guarantee that our students and patients will receive the rigorous education, high-quality academic services, and excellent health care that they are entitled to.” Kowal said UUP would be a “strong ally” in helping King reach those goals. As education commissioner, King clashed with parents on Common Core curriculum standards and other issues, which his critics made clear they haven’t forgotten. “SUNY Faculty and students should be forewarned!” Lisa Rudley, the executive director of NY State Allies for Public Education, said in a statement. “John King consistently ignored the legitimate concerns of parents and teachers regarding the policies he pursued as NY State Education Commissioner, by rewriting the standards, imposing an arduous high stakes testing regime, and basing teacher evaluation on student test scores, none of which had any research behind it and all of which undermined the quality of education in our public schools. This led to a no-confidence vote of the state teachers union, and if the state’s parents had been able to carry out such a vote, you can be sure they would have done so as well.” King’s Résumé Before joining the Department of Education, King spent most of his career in K-12 education. He initially taught history before becoming New York State education commissioner, overseeing a vast number of K-12 schools and higher education institutions. As secretary of education, King criticized inequality in higher education, calling out wealthy institutions for not graduating greater numbers of low-income students. King also clashed with for-profit colleges, a frequent target of the Obama administration, which sought to rein in common abuses within the sector that left many students with heavy debt and credentials of questionable value. That battle has continued under Joe Biden’s administration. In his gubernatorial run in Maryland, King called for universal preschool access for 3- and 4-year-olds and a starting salary of $60,000 for teachers. King’s agenda also included a “blueprint for higher education” that sought to have 70 percent of state residents earn a degree or credential by 2030. King fared poorly in the Democratic primary, earning a sixth-place finish. The Reactions Outside the SUNY system, higher education observers hailed the hire. “John King is one of America’s premier educators and a tireless force for expanding student access and success. He is the perfect choice to lead @SUNY, one of this country’s most effective engines of economic and social mobility,” Ted Mitchell, president of the American Council on Education, a major higher education lobbying group, said in a statement on Twitter. New York’s Democratic governor, Kathy Hochul, also praised the hire, tweeting, “Congratulations @JohnBKing on being appointed @SUNY Chancellor! With his New York roots & his work as Secretary of Education under President Obama, I know he’ll be an outstanding leader as we work together to make SUNY the best public higher education system in the nation.” LeadershipAdministrationEditorial Tags: PresidentsTrustees/regentsImage Source: Getty Images North AmericaImage Caption: John B. King brings a wealth of experience as SUNY’s next leader, including a stint as education secretary during the Obama administration.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
Democrats want more oversight of online program providers December 6 2022
Image: The chairs of the Senate and House education committees want the U.S. Department of Education to step up oversight of the outside contractors that colleges and universities use to run online programs in order to ensure the third-party companies aren’t engaging in abusive recruiting practices. Specifically, the chairs and other congressional Democrats recommended in a letter sent Friday that the department conduct a “formal legal review” of the current rules for online program managers (OPMs), which is a step further than what the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office suggested in a report on the companies earlier this year. They also want the department to review disclosure requirements for OPM arrangements and to provide data on documented violations regarding OPMs. The lawmakers requested data on documented violations regarding OPMs and details on how the department is planning to revise its guidance. They want to hear back from the department in two weeks. Colleges and universities have increasingly turned to online program management companies in an effort to boost their online academic programs, with at least 550 working with an outside company, according to the GAO report. In some cases, the companies receive a share of the programs’ tuition revenue, which some critics of the companies say violates a federal ban on offering incentives for student recruitment for institutions that receive federal financial aid. The Education Department created an exception for bundled services in 2011 guidance, which allows a company to receive financial benefits for enrolling students as long as it also paid for other services, such as technology support, in addition to student recruitment. Several OPM companies have previously indicated their support for the GAO’s report as well as for greater transparency. “We reviewed the report, and we are very supportive of the GAO’s recommendation,” 2U CEO Chip Paucek said during a May earnings call with investors. “So, No. 1, we have led the industry in transparency. We put out transparency reports for multiple years. We have always complied with the rules regarding incentive compensation. Whenever our university partners have been asked for information about how we can compensate employees when they had any kind of audit, we have happily provided it. And the reality is as the OPM industry continues to grow, [to] become vital part of the higher ed ecosystem.” Pearson, which has a division focused on online learning services, said in a statement that it supports efforts to enhance transparency and ensure quality and accountability in online higher education. “We strongly believe that all people should have access to quality online education and are proud of the contributions we are making toward that goal,” the statement read. “We look forward to working with stakeholders and helping inform any policy considerations coming out of the [GAO] report.” The lawmakers said in the letter that the level of transparency about OPMs and the agreements with colleges and universities was concerning. They also pointed to findings from the GAO report that found the Education Department isn’t asking for enough information about the OPM arrangements to determine whether they are legal. The report also found that the department doesn’t know exactly how many OPM arrangements with colleges and universities currently exist. GAO relied on market research data for its report. “The GAO report confirmed the current higher education accountability system, the triad of the department, state authorizers, and private nonprofit accreditors, lacks adequate oversight of OPM arrangements, especially considering the significant amount of federal funding flowing to OPMs,” the letter states. “However, based on what’s publicly known about IHE-OPM arrangements, it is clear how these arrangements may create incentives for OPMs to guide students to less selective, more expensive programs, at all levels of higher education.” The lawmakers cited several public news reports that accused OPMs of using aggressive recruiting practices and playing a role in institutional-level decision-making, among other practices. “The department is responsible for ensuring colleges and universities comply with the law banning incentive compensation and the regulatory safeguards of the bundled services exception,” the letter states. “However, GAO found there is a high risk that the department does not have the information it needs to detect violations of the incentive compensation ban.” The lawmakers wrote that they were encouraged by the department’s acceptance of GAO’s recommendations, which included giving instructions to auditors to better assess the legality of a college’s contracts with an OPM and clarifying to colleges and universities what information they need to provide about their OPM arrangements. “We believe more can be done to prevent harmful recruiting practices and provide more transparency about OPM arrangements” with institutions of higher education, the letter states. The Student Borrower Protection Center, which has been critical of OPMs and the Education Department’s oversight of the industry, said on social media that “this letter is a key step toward ending abuses and protecting borrowers.” Stephanie Hall, a senior fellow at the Century Foundation, a left-leaning think tank, said she’s looking forward to seeing the information that the department provides in response, and she thinks the letter is a “great step” toward getting more information about the department’s plans out to the public. Hall, who’s also been critical of OPMs, said a key part of the letter is having the department formally review the 2011 guidance that created the bundled-services exception, but any changes will likely take time. “Institutions and OPMs might initially have this knee-jerk reaction, like, ‘Oh, no, this is going to shut down our programs,’ but it really won’t,” she said. “Nothing would happen really quickly. They aren’t just going to suddenly revoke a piece of guidance and leave everybody else to deal with the fallout. Editorial Tags: Federal policyImage Source: AndreaObzerova/iStock/Getty Images PlusImage Caption: At least 550 colleges and universities have contracted with an online program manager to operate online education programs.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
Study finds true faculty diversity is possible by 2050 December 6 2022
Image: College and universities will need to diversify their faculties at about 3.5 times the current pace if they want the professoriate to reflect the U.S. population in terms of race by 2050. And they’ll need to work together to do it. This is the upshot of a new analysis in Nature Human Behavior that challenges the persistent idea that faculty diversity amounts to a “pipeline” problem. “Overall, the lack of progress on faculty diversity in the U.S. is a collective failure perpetuated by our focus on institution-level changes,” wrote authors J. Nathan Matias, assistant professor of communication and information science at Cornell University; Neil A. Lewis, assistant professor of communication at Cornell; and Elan C. Hope, assistant professor of psychology at North Carolina State University. “Fortunately, the available evidence offers hope for achieving faculty parity in our lifetime. This bold goal may seem small compared to university press releases and interminable when viewed as a hole-riddled pipeline. Yet, when pursued at a systemic level in an evidence-based manner, faculty parity could be within our reach.” Looking at data from the U.S. Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, the researchers found that the racial diversity of U.S. tenure-track and tenured faculty is not increasing any faster than the diversity of the American public. Across 1,250 institutions, the percentage of underrepresented tenure-line faculty members increased by 0.23 percentage points each year on average between 2013 and 2020. Meanwhile, the U.S. Census projects that the percentage of these same demographic groups among the general population will increase by 0.2 percentage points per year. At this rate, the paper says, “higher education will never achieve demographic parity among tenure-track faculty.” Among the most selective and the most research-intensive institutions, in particular, the percentage of underrepresented tenure-line faculty members increased by 0.22 percentage points per year in the period studied. The rate was a bit higher among liberal arts colleges: an increase of 0.33 percentage points per year. Projecting ahead at these rates of change, the percentage of underrepresented tenure-line faculty at liberal arts colleges in 2060 would be 19 percentage points behind the general population, compared to a gap of 22 percentage points across institutions studied. Regarding the common “leaky pipeline” analogy that attributes a lack of faculty diversity to a dearth of available candidates, the authors say it “underestimates of the diversity of higher education, because it fails to account for the fact that many people can and do re-enter academic pathways after time away. As a result, the pipeline-repair model directs institutions and researchers towards imagining small changes rather than more substantive sector-wide partnerships that could achieve parity within several decades.” Urging higher education to think bigger, the authors ask, what if higher education as a sector committed to demographic parity by 2050—and, if it did so, “would it have access to qualified candidates?” Accounting for time to tenure, the researchers estimate that between 2013 and 2020, 45,309 Ph.D.s from 2007 onward from underrepresented groups were not hired into tenure-track positions, with the number increasing by some 3,300 people year on average during that time. So, over all, since 2007, the number of unhired Ph.D.s from underrepresented groups is equivalent to about 11 percent of all tenure-line faculty members in the U.S. in 2020, the paper says. Circling back to their question, the authors say, “Clearly, there has been an increase in the pool of qualified candidates from underrepresented groups.” While colleges and universities are falling behind on their faculty diversity goals, there is reason for hope, according to the paper: “We estimate the sector could reach demographic parity by 2050 by collectively increasing underrepresented faculty by one percentage point per year—an increase of 0.78 percentage points on the current rate of change.” Achieving demographic parity is “impossible without a collective effort,” however, the authors stress, as “individualistic solutions will not solve the larger systemic problem.” Cluster-hiring initiatives, for instance, can contribute to the problem of faculty “poaching.” Coordinated innovation, along with funding, are required to move the needle, the authors continue. “We must consistently provide people with the resources needed to do their work, pay them what they are worth, provide consistent and predictable opportunities for raises and advancement (outside of tenure), and be transparent in these practices. This financial commitment must run concurrently with the commitment to innovation, to maximize the potential for long-lasting change.” Higher education also “must acknowledge and address” higher education’s history of exclusion and its “contemporary implications for how the sector values the work of faculty of color,” then “commit to empowering leaders who do more than talk about these issues.” Perhaps most significantly, this commitment “must be shared across institutions to make meaningful shifts towards parity by 2050.” Lewis told Inside Higher Ed that if institutions take away anything from his analysis, he hopes it’s that they “won’t achieve the diversity goals they so often profess to have” at current rates, and, simultaneously, that it’s “possible for them to meet their goals.” Lewis—who has previously written about diversity “storytelling,” or how institutions’ diversity, equity and inclusion policies don’t always translate to action—said his newest results were only surprising “if you take all of the university press releases about their diversity initiatives at face value.” “Lots of new initiatives get announced without deeper thought about the broader systems in which those initiatives are expected to operate, and what those systems mean for the effectiveness of the new initiatives,” he continued. “This paper shows what happens—how little progress gets made when you don’t fully consider the broader system.” As for how Lewis and his team chose to measure faculty diversity against the general U.S. population, he said it’s “in alignment with the ways that universities themselves talk about these issues. The population as a whole is increasing in diversity, and student bodies are becoming more diverse as well. So many universities talk about the need for the faculty to start reflecting those changes.” How can faculty diversity be accelerated? Lewis said he was hesitant about “speeding up the process too much. There is a danger, as we’ve learned from the tech world, in moving too fast and breaking things.” Using another analogy, he compared colleges and universities to aircraft carriers that can’t quickly change direction. That said, he added, “with all hands on deck” and the parity goal in mind, an increase of 0.78 percentage points on the current rate of change “is an achievable goal.” Part of the struggle in faculty diversity conversations is a “misunderstanding of the timelines over which change is possible,” Lewis also said. “We overestimate how much progress is possible in the short run but underestimate how much progress is possible in the long run. It’s not possible to completely transform these universities overnight—these are institutions with long histories, cultures and processes that have put them on the trajectories they are currently on.” Asked about the possibility that the last two years, with their many institutional commitments to racial justice, have led to unprecedented rates of faculty diversification that aren’t yet apparent due to the slow nature of academic hiring, Matias, one of Lewis’s co-authors, said this was unlikely. “Up through the end of the 2020–21 academic year, our statistical models don’t find any dramatic change in faculty diversity,” he said. “Whether work on faculty diversity is a fight against the current or universities are just drifting, U.S. higher education is continuing on average at the same pace it has for years.” Matias added, “People often believe that while inequality was bad in the past, recent developments are solving the problem, even when that’s not empirically true. Psychologists call this the mythology of racial progress. That’s why it’s important to build our understanding on the data and develop realistic, evidence-based plans for change.” The Nature Human Behavior paper certainly isn’t the first to warn that that relatively little progress has been made on faculty diversity. An analysis released last week by the Education Trust painted a troubling picture of faculty diversity over the last 15 years, contrasting those findings with existing research on how faculty diversity contributes to success for students, including but not limited to those students from underrepresented groups. (The Ed Trust paper defined racial parity as underrepresented minority faculty representation relative to the student population instead of the U.S. population, as in Lewis and Matias’s study, but the findings were similar.) Another study from 2019 found faculty diversity increased very little nationwide from 2013 to 2017, with large research institutions showing the least progress of all. Miguel Centeno, Musgrave Professor of Sociology at Princeton University, whose is currently analyzing underrepresented minority representation among the faculty of seven disciplines at 60 different colleges and universities, praised the new paper Monday, particularly its “projections of future goals.” Still, Centeno said there's value in research that isn't “too aggregate,” as some fields and institutions do show “areas of moving ahead, and others where no motion is visible.” Centeno's working paper, for instance, found a few significant patterns in the origins and professional homes of underrepresented minority professors: institutions with more resources seem to play a predominant role in hiring these faculty members, while historically Black colleges and universities, Latin American universities, large publics and the most selective institutions "all play important roles in producing these professors." The paper notes that institutions including the University of Michigan and the University of California system play important roles "in not only preparing future faculty, but in hiring them, as well." FacultyEditorial Tags: FacultyRaceImage Source: Peepo/iStock/Getty Images PlusImage Caption: The professoriate won’t racially reflect the U.S. population it serves at current rates.Is this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 1Diversity Newsletter publication date: Tuesday, December 6, 2022Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Email Teaser: Faculty Diversification Must Accelerate, Report SaysMagazine treatment: Trending: Trending text: Achieving Faculty DiversityTrending order: 1Display Promo Box: Live Updates: liveupdates0Most Popular: 3In-Article Advertisement High: 6In-Article related stories: 9In-Article Advertisement Low: 12
Colleges start new programs December 5 2022
Aims Community College is starting a bachelor of applied science in public safety. It is the first bachelor’s degree at the college. Immaculata University now offers an online M.B.A. Virginia Tech is starting a professional development certificate for product safety experts. Editorial Tags: TeachingIs 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