June 2, 2017
Advocates for university-based research are working hard to make sure Congress doesn't buy into what they say is a specious argument made by the Trump administration: that the federal government can cut reimbursement payments to research institutions without undermining the quality of the studies themselves. In March, after the release of the White House's skinny budget for the 2018 fiscal year, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price told congressional appropriators that large proposed cuts to the National Institutes of Health could be covered by reducing indirect-cost payments to universities.
May 31, 2017
Not every student walking away with a liberal arts degree from the University of Utah -- or any other institution, for that matter -- feels confident picking a profession or finding a job in an often tepid market. So the university has introduced an option growing in popularity -- a certificate program, what it has labeled as “degree-plus.” Though certificates often are geared toward older adults returning to academe and seeking to diversify their skill sets, the University of Utah has concentrated on recent liberal arts graduates, largely in the humanities and social sciences.
May 18, 2017
A new bipartisan bill introduced this week in the United States Senate and House of Representatives aims to increase transparency on higher education outcomes. The College Transparency Act of 2017 proposes a student data reporting system that tracks outcomes such as enrollment, completion and post-college success. It would overturn a ban on federal student-level data collection that came about with the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
May 18, 2017
Facing a vast array of food and nutrition security problems in the U.S. and abroad that pose significant humanitarian, environmental and national security risks, a commission of prominent researchers and leaders from public universities, government, non-governmental organizations and the private sector announced a comprehensive, coordinated effort to solve these challenges. While many important efforts are being undertaken to address the vast array of problems that comprise food and nutrition insecurity, a truly comprehensive, holistic approach that fully engages arguably the world’s greatest scientific and educational resource in food and nutrition security – public research universities – has been lacking before now.
May 17, 2017
New legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by a bipartisan group of legislators that would allow the government to measure the educational and professional outcomes of students from colleges and universities, according to reports from the Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed. Advocates for the bill, including Association of Public and Land-grant Universities President Peter McPherson, said the data collected now was far too incomplete and might paint a false picture for students and parents who rely on it, saying the data only currently tracks students who start and finish at the same institution and attend all time. In light of the increasing number of non-traditional students, this should be amended even if the final legislation does not take its current proposed shape. The current view of student outcomes may be too skewed.
May 17, 2017
The Challenge of Change Commission, established by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), last year, has released a report identifying solutions for the global food system. The APLU convened the commission to examine challenges to food security and make recommendations on the actions required by public research universities to meet global food needs by 2050. The group is comprised of prominent university, government, non-governmental organizations, and business leaders.
May 16, 2017
A bipartisan group of senators Monday introduced legislation to overturn a ban on a federal data system that would track employment and graduation outcomes of college students. The ban written into the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act has meant that while colleges report data at the institutional level, efforts to evaluate outcomes at a more targeted level have been stymied. While the bill has support from some Democrats and Republicans alike, its passage remains in doubt because opposition to a federal data system remains on the right and the left, based on privacy concerns and philosophical differences over the role of the federal government in higher ed.
May 16, 2017
A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is starting a push to repeal the federal ban on tracking the educational and employment outcomes of college students, Politico reports. The prohibition was enacted as part of the 2008 reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The legislation they plan to propose would allow the federal government, families, and prospective students to glean more “accurate and complete data” about students at a particular college or in a certain major, whether they graduate on time, and what kinds of jobs they land upon graduation, among other things.
May 16, 2017
House Democrats on Monday said they plan to seek an increase in the Pell Grant to make college more affordable but conceded the increase would only be by a couple hundred dollars. The plan is part of a new “Aim Higher” legislative campaign that touches on broad issues of access, affordability and completion, although lawmakers offered few details about the specific policy solutions they intend to introduce.
May 15, 2017
A bipartisan group of senators is proposing a major overhaul of the way the federal government collects data on college students, setting the stage for a showdown over how to balance student privacy with a growing interest in measuring college outcomes. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R., Utah), Elizabeth Warren (D., Mass.), Bill Cassidy (R., La.) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D., R.I.)—all members of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions committee—on Monday introduced legislation that would overturn a decade-old ban on collecting individual student data that track enrollment, completion and graduate success.