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News Feeds - Chronicle’s Breaking News
Below is a news feed from the Chronicle of Higher Education’s "The Ticker” blog, providing breaking news in higher education.  Fresh content is pulled from the feed at 15 minute intervals.

How Would You Describe College in 5 Words? The Question Is Burning Up TwitterOpen in a New Window

The hottest hashtag in the higher-ed Twittersphere right now is #collegein5words, an admirable undertaking to boil down the college experience to just five words. Everybody’s getting in on the action, from the White House …

… to Domino’s Pizza …

Here are some of my favo...


Bankruptcy Trustees Are Asking (and Getting) Colleges to Return Parents’ MoneyOpen in a New Window

The Wall Street Journal is out with an article taking stock of what appears to be a new trend: bankruptcy trustees who are seeking to take back insolvent parents' tuition payments. The newspaper cites several examples of colleges' agreeing to return payments, ranging from $4,000 to over $23,000. At least 25 colleges have been asked by bankruptcy lawyers to return money since 2008, the article states, and bankruptcy lawyers say such collection was unheard of several years ago.

Soaring college tuition payments are drawing attention from unexpected quarters: bankruptcy courts. In a growing number of personal bankruptcy cases, trustees responsible for collecting money for creditors have moved to claw back tuition payments that insolvent parents made for their children. The trustees argue the funds should be recovered to pay off the parents' debts instead.

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Ariz. Judge Backs Community College’s Tuition Break for Immigrant StudentsOpen in a New Window

An Arizona judge ruled on Tuesday that students brought to the United States illegally by their parents were eligible to pay cheaper in-state tuition in the Maricopa County Community College District, the Associated Press reported.

The ruling, in a lawsuit filed in 2013 by the state’s attorney general at the time, represents a victory for the students, known as Dreamers, and the community college, which contended that President Obama’s deferred-action program on such immigrants enabled them to d...


Length of Education Dept.’s Sexual-Violence Investigations Has Increased SharplyOpen in a New Window

The average length of sexual-violence investigations conducted by the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has increased sharply in recent years, according to a letter that the department sent to U.S. senators who have asked for more transparency in the department’s efforts to curb campus sexual assaults.

The federal office, known as OCR, has already been facing the dual pressures of a sharply increasing caseload and declines in staffing. Catherine E. Lhamon, the department’s assistant...


Adjuncts Blame Workplace Disrespect for Job DissatisfactionOpen in a New Window

Although nearly three-fourths of part-time college instructors said in a survey that they would rather be working full time, their chief source of job dissatisfaction was not their underemployment but a perceived lack of respect from their full-time colleagues and administrators, according to a new study.

The study, published this month in The Journal of Higher Education, found that adjuncts who involuntarily work only part time feel less satisfied in their jobs, and less respected by faculty me...


Wis. Lawmakers Drop Governor’s Autonomy Plan for University SystemOpen in a New Window

State lawmakers in Wisconsin are abandoning a proposal by Gov. Scott Walker to give the University of Wisconsin system more autonomy by spinning it off as a separate government authority, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports.

Mr. Walker, a Republican, had proposed giving the system more independence in exchange for cutting its budget by about $300 million over two years. The proposal generated significant controversy, and several Wisconsin campuses have cut positions or offered buyouts in anti...


Miami U. Calls Off Plan to Demolish Historic Building After OutcryOpen in a New Window

Miami University has called off a plan to demolish a historic building on its campus and build a residence hall in its place after preservation activists called the plan illegal, the Cincinnati Enquirer reported. The plan angered some alumnae of the Western College for Women, which became part of the Ohio university in 1974. The building that was to have been demolished, Patterson Place, is a short distance from two stone pillars that used to mark the college's entrance. David C. Hodge, Miami's president, sent an email to the campus this week stating that the university would not move forward with the plan. He said university officials were working to create a fund-raising plan to renovate the building instead.

Miami University President David Hodge sent an email Monday saying plans to demolish the building have been canceled. Hodge said he received feedback that the demolition "could seriously undermine our sense of place, our sense of self and our sense of community." "The decision to seek an alternate site will create significant challenges as we move forward. There almost certainly will be additional costs and obstacles, and we will be challenged to meet our goals in the time frame before us," Hodge said in the email.

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Western Michigan U. Will Pay $35,000 to Settle Free-Speech SuitOpen in a New Window

Western Michigan University will pay $35,000 to settle a student group’s lawsuit asserting that the institution’s policies restricted free speech on the campus, MLive reports. The lawsuit, by a group known as the Kalamazoo Peace Center, concerned efforts to bring the musician and activist Boots Riley to the campus as a keynote speaker for one of the group’s events. The suit said the university had tried to place improper restrictions on the event. A spokeswoman for Western Michigan told MLive that the settlement was not an admission of fault, and that it represented a fraction of the amount initially requested in the dispute.

WMU spokeswoman Cheryl Roland confirmed Monday that the university agreed to pay $35,000 in attorney fees to settle the case "mostly to come to a quick resolution and to let everyone move forward."The university will not pay any damages in the case, she said.

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Penn Foster College Will Pay $70,000 to Settle Complaint Over Deceptive AdsOpen in a New Window

Penn Foster College, a for-profit institution with affiliated career and high schools in the United States and abroad, agreed last week to pay some $70,000 to settle an Oregon man's complaint that it had misled him about whether his credits were transferrable, The Oregonian reports. Under the settlement, announced by the Oregon Justice Department, Penn Foster will refund $1,900 in tuition to Malcolm Strand, will pay the department $22,000 for the cost of its investigation of the matter, and will donate as much as $50,000 to nonprofit or government organizations that help facilitate education for disadvantaged young people in the state. Mr. Strand filed a complaint after he attempted to transfer his Penn Foster credits to Portland Community College but was told the credits could not be accepted because Penn Foster was not regionally accredited — even though it claimed it was. The agreement also requires Penn Foster to make restitution to anyone else who reports an experience like Mr. Strand's and to be honest in its advertising about its accreditation and credit transferrability.

"The agreement does not represent any admission of wrongdoing," Warn said. "It did not find intent to deceive, or manifestly false statements, on the part of Penn Foster." Warn acknowledged that the settlement amounted to an expensive lesson. "We've been at this for 125 years," she said of the school. "We've not been through many, or any, reviews like this."

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Most Minority Students at U. of Illinois Report Being Racially StereotypedOpen in a New Window

More than half of minority students at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign say they have been the object of racial stereotypes in the classroom, according to the results of a new survey conducted by a faculty group at the university.

The results were based on responses to an online survey of nearly 5,000 students of color, and focused on the prevalence of racial microaggressions, or subtle instances of racism carried out unintentionally. Among the findings:

  • Fifty-one percent of respo...
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