BEHIND the NEWS
Colleges and universities turn to food delivery, quarantine to serve ill students
WITH FLU SEASON UNDER WAY and H1N1 still a prevalent concern, administrators are implementing policies and procedures?covering areas from housing and dining to health services and class attendance?to help prevent and manage its spread.
A modular clinic adjacent to Oregon State University’s student health services allows students likely affected by H1N1 to avoid mingling with students who have other medical needs, says spokesperson Todd Simmons. At Gustavus Adolphus College (Minn.), students can be evaluated at a satellite influenza clinic, explains Director of Health Service Heather Dale. If a patient meets certain criteria, a provider is called to the clinic for examinations and treatment.
At Oregon State, a “food buddy” program provides two options for ill students: order food online and have it brought to the dorm’s front desk, or allow a friend to pick up a takeout meal. Parkhurst Dining Services has collaborated with its 16 higher ed clients to establish drop-off areas for food deliveries in the lobbies of their residence halls, says Director of Safety and Security Bill Moore. The company has also relaxed HR policies so if employees are ill they feel more comfortable calling in sick.
Wheelock College (Mass.) has partnered with Sodexo to provide and deliver “comfort food” to flu victims who may not be able to return home while they heal, says Dean of Students Barbara Morgan. A small number of private rooms have been reserved for ill students unable to return to their homes.
Two on-campus houses at Berea College (Ky.) have been specially equipped and designated as isolation houses for up to 30 students needing to be quarantined, says spokesperson Tim Jordan. A team of student life professionals who live in residence halls make periodic visits daily to each house.
Butler University (Ind.) students on a meal plan can submit a food request via an online sick tray form, according to Public Relations Director Courtney Tuell. Student Affairs notifies faculty when students diagnosed with an influenza virus should refrain from attending classes (that is, until they are fever-free without medication for 24 hours).
Ohio Wesleyan University officials are asking students diagnosed with the flu to go home to recuperate if at all possible, according to spokesperson Cole E. Hatcher. If unable to leave campus, ill students are asked to move to a special isolation area.
Students are reportedly appreciative of these efforts and have been taking the threat of flu seriously. “We’ve seen a heightened interest in taking health precautions,” says OSU’s Simmons. ?Michele Herrmann
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON SPOKESMAN Norm Arkans is quick to explain that study abroad policy changes were in the works long before student Amanda Knox’s trial for the murder of her roommate in Perugia, Italy, which began early this year.
The new guidelines result from problems related to a summer 2007 faculty-led program in a remote village in Ghana. An investigation later found the 17 students on the trip were mistreated and about half of them had to be medically evacuated out of the country after becoming seriously ill.
“Some of the changes have to do with a better review of proposals that faculty put in for new programs to take students to different places,” says Arkans. “We’re doing more orientation and training of faculty and students on what they might encounter when they go abroad.” The adjustments are intended to help faculty better think and plan out programs they will oversee. As for students, the changes will ensure they’re aware of what’s expected from them academically, that they serve as the university’s “ambassadors,” and that they understand cultural differences, such as those between the U.S. legal system and those elsewhere.The developments also include having a formal support system in place for students.
On average, Arkans says 2,500 students participate in UW’s study abroad program. “We think global education is really important,” he adds, “and we want more of our students to participate in more programs around the world.” ?M.H.
THE CHOICE OF T. ALAN HURWITZ as the 10th president of Gallaudet University (D.C.) has been well accepted at this institution for the deaf and hard of hearing. Students and faculty protested the 2006 appointment of Jane Fernandes, who was born deaf but did not grow up using American Sign Language, and her appointment was later revoked. Since 2003, Hurwitz has led the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at the Rochester Institute of Technology (N.Y.). Starting at NTID/RIT in 1970, he was an instructor in RIT’s College of Engineering and, subsequently, an NTID professor, department chair, and dean. He’ll begin his new post in January. ? Waldorf College (Iowa) President Dick Hanson has been named interim president of North Dakota State University, following Joseph A. Chapman’s resignation due to uproar about more than $2 million in cost overruns while constructing a new home. Hanson will remain Waldorf’s president until an acquisition of the college by Columbia Southern University (Ala.) is completed in December. No stranger to NDSU, Hanson is an alumnus and was both associate vice president and interim vice president for academic affairs. ... Gregory Williams, former president of The City College of New York, has begun his term as president of the University of Cincinnati. He is the author of three books and a memoir. Monica Rimai, who acted as the University of Cincinnati’s interim president since May, will now work at The State University of New York as its senior vice chancellor and chief operating officer. ? Brennan O’Donnell is the first layperson to serve as president of Manhattan College (N.Y.) in the Catholic institution’s 156-year history. ... Waded Cruzado, executive vice president and provost of New Mexico State University, will become Montana State University’s next president, the first woman or minority to do so. ... Michael F. McLean, dean at Thomas Aquinas College (Calif.), has been promoted to president. His predecessor, Thomas Dillon, died in a car accident in Ireland in April. ?M.H.
IT IS A TRUISM THAT earning a college degree will increase a person’s chances of moving up the economic ladder. According to the Pew Charitable Trusts, earning a BA quadruples the chance that a child born at the bottom of the income scale will move to the top. But does the same hold true for community college graduates? A new report from the Pew Economic Mobility Project found it does.
Findings in “Strengthening Community Colleges’ Influence on Economic Mobility” indicate that an associate degree provides a 29 percent increase in earnings over just a high school diploma. High-performing students with low incomes can benefit even more if they are in a high-return field such as health care, says Ianna Kachoris, manager of the Economic Mobility Project.
Researchers looked at data from Florida public education students that tracked the high school class of 2000 through college and into the workforce. It showed that low-performing high school students in high-return industries earned $48,000 annually, which is more than high-performing students in low-return fields, such as fine arts and humanities. It’s crucial not only that they go to college, but that they complete college, reminds Kachoris. “Students need good counseling in high school, but also college counseling at both the two- and four-year level. We think there should be greater resources in high school and college to help students navigate their course options to take the next step up the ladder.”
The full report is available at www.economicmobility.org. ?Ann McClure
WIND POWER IS CLEAN AND green but not widespread. Most turbine installations on college campuses involve an electric provider leasing land, or one or two turbines that belong to a community college for job training purposes. Quinnipiac University (Conn.) has broken the trend with 25 turbines on its York Hill Campus. “We anticipate the wind turbines should generate enough power to light a good piece of the 2,000-car parking garage adjacent to the wind garden,” says Keith Woodward, associate director of facilities.
In contrast to traditional War of the Worlds-style turbines, the Quinnipiac installation consists of cylindrical, vertical-axis units called windspires. Woodward says the building permits and project budget for the York Hill Campus, which opened in January 2007, included the turbines, so there were no extra hurdles to overcome before installation.
AASHE maintains a list of other campus wind farms at www.aashe.org/resources/wind_campus.php. ?A.M.
A SURVEY OF 380 SENIOR ADMISSIONS officers on the impact of the recession on this year’s entering class also shed light on these administrators’ daily tasks and challenges. Conducted by Maguire Associates, the survey revealed some good, if somewhat surprising, news: Four out of five respondents said fall 2009 enrollments would meet or exceed the expectations set by officials at the start of the enrollment cycle last fall.
It appears these successes were hardly just good luck. Four out of five admissions officers agree or strongly agree that their offices must work harder each year to produce enrollment outcomes equal to those in the recent past. They are increasingly incorporating the internet for recruitment and communications, with nearly all using personalized e-mails and at least half using social networking sites, virtual campus tours, blogs, and surveys.
The survey revealed that admissions officers rely heavily on input and statistics from other departments. They indicated having the greatest satisfaction with their relationships with the financial aid and the president’s offices. And which offices are not as cooperative? The advancement/development/alumni relations offices and the faculty departments, according to responses.
“The factors most strongly associated with enrollment satisfaction involved relationships with the president, board of trustees, and academic affairs,” says Robert Mirabile, associate vice president for research at Maguire, adding that “the greater the perceived cooperation provided by these offices to undergraduate admissions, the higher enrollment satisfaction tended to be.” Mirabile points to “the critical need for college leaders to create a vision of future enrollment and how it will be achieved.” That vision, he says, must be shared by all of those who are charged with fulfilling it. ?Melissa Ezarik
IT HAS LONG BEEN THOUGHT that values specific to a region of the United States affect charitable giving motivations. But a new analysis by the Center of Philanthropy at Indiana University has revealed that donor income and education are bigger clues to donor motivation. The center’s new report, “Understanding Donor Motivations,” which was funded by the fundraising, consulting, and management firm CCS, draws on data from more than 10,000 households. Research shows that 18 percent of donors report that helping meet people’s basic needs (e.g., food, shelter, clothing) and making the world a better place are the most important reasons for giving. Yet higher-income donors (those with more than $100,000 annual income) and those with at least some college education were much less likely than those with lower incomes and less education to mention basic needs and helping the poor to help themselves as reasons. Higher-income donors were more likely to give to “make community better” and “for equity.” Making the world a better place was the top motivation for donors with at least some college.
Average donation amounts differed by income and top motivation for giving. Those most motivated by providing basic needs tended to give a lower average amount than those reporting “ties across communities” or “for equity.” Higher-income donors motivated by wanting to make their “own decisions about money” gave a larger average amount to charity compared to higher-income donors motivated to give for “diversity” reasons.
The report concludes that development officers approaching donors with income of $100,000 or more or donors with at least a college degree:
? Emphasize how the gift would help them help those with less (equity).
? Demonstrate how the organization can “help make the world a better place” or help make the community better.
Still, it’s important to remember that donors are individuals, so personalized engagement is crucial, notes Robert Kissane, president of CCS. “Today’s donors want to make a difference, see real impact, and understand the return on investment of their gifts.”
To learn more, visit www.philanthropy.iupui.edu/research (click on “Giving and Volunteering,” then “Donor Motivations”). ?M.E.
ONLINE LEARNING IS BECOMING MORE widely accepted by the day. That acceptance brings providers higher enrollments but it also means more encounters with state regulations. Higher education is subject to individual state regulations, which makes sense for place-based providers but can be problematic for online institutions. Having even one enrolled student subjects an online provider to out-of-state regulations.
“The problem is, the regulatory framework in higher education is not appropriate to a 21st-century institution,” says John F. Ebersole, president of Albany, N.Y.-based Excelsior College. In October, the Presidents’ Forum (http://presidentsforum.excelsior.edu), a collaborative of more than 150 institutions offering distance higher education, conducted a panel to discuss how to straighten out the maze of regulations.
The panel developed four goals. The first is to reduce bureaucracy. “There is a lot of data required,” says Ebersole. “Many trees have died because states ask us for all the syllabuses of our classes.”
The second is to increase mutual recognition and reciprocity. “If you are authorized to operate in a highly regulated state such as New York, what do the other states need to know that hasn’t already been asked?” Ebersole notes.
The other two goals are to increase access and contribute to workforce development.
The panel members also agreed upon strategies for guiding policies. “We want to work with the states,” Ebersole says. “No one is suggesting they don’t have the right to regulate education within their borders.” But he believes an easier-to-navigate regulatory structure will benefit everyone. The initiative is inclusive of all institutional models, for-profit or nonprofit, statewide or nationwide.
The Presidents Forum is also pursuing a collaborative model by reaching out to Sloan-C, CHEA, and other higher ed and distance learning organizations.
The next step is preparing a report for the Lumina Foundation, which provided the grant to make the panel possible, and developing pilot programs to test standardization efforts.
An indication states are open to the effort, Ebersole shares, is that “some regulators have offered to reach out to other states and develop a regional set of requirements.” ?A.M.
SITTING ON THE ECONO-SHUTTLE (en route to a Southwest flight) provides a new perspective on the current higher education economic landscape. Faced with a loss of jobs, and tapped out of collateral to secure subprime mortgages, the American middle class is now scrambling to avoid defaulting on their tuition payment schedules.
If you think these trend lines are reversible, think again. Doing more with less is no longer a concept targeted to small postsecondary schools. These days we are witnessing a summer melt?that is, applicants with deposits on the line are walking away from traditional residential campuses to attend weekend colleges at no-frills campuses closer to home and work.
Price points and value propositions rule the day. While risk-averse institutions debate the merits of no-frills campuses, entrepreneurial schools such as Southern New Hampshire University, Wheelock College-Singapore, Drexel University’s Center for Graduate Studies in Sacramento (Calif.), Nichols College (Mass.), Quinsigamond Community College (Mass.), the Lone Star College System in Houston, Roosevelt University (Ill.), Regis University in Denver, ITT Tech (Ind.), and Branford Hall (Conn.) are cleaning the clocks of their competitors by providing highly functional and accessible satellite campus options for student consumers who expect more for less.
Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc says he isn’t sure that luxury amenities improve education. “It just drives the price up. Not everybody needs it and, frankly, not everybody can afford it.”
To learn more, see the full version of this column online at http://www2.universitybusiness.com/viewarticlepf.aspx?articleid=1476
? James Martin and James E. Samels, Future Shock columnists, are authors of Turnaround: Leading Stressed Colleges and Universities to Excellence (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2009). Martin is a professor of English at Mount Ida College (Mass.), and Samels is president and CEO of The Education Alliance.