Behind the News

University building’s namesake stirs controversy

Students, faculty demand The University of North Carolina change name of building named for Ku Klux Klan member

As high-profile racial incidents on college campuses make headlines across the country, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is grappling with controversy surrounding Saunders Hall.

The history building—named for former student, North Carolina secretary of state and Ku Klux Klan member William Saunders—has spurred petitions and demonstrations by students and faculty demanding a name change.

Religious freedom law faces higher ed backlash

Presidents from several Indiana colleges and universities express opposition

When Indiana Gov. Mike Pence signed into law a controversial “religious freedom” bill, he probably didn’t expect the backlash that resulted. Although supporters claim the law provides protection for individuals with sincerely held religious beliefs, opponents say it opens the door for legal discrimination.

Community colleges strengthening tech career paths

Eight L.A.-area community colleges team with high schools and employers to support workforce

Partnerships between eight Los Angeles-area community colleges, 16 high schools and more than 100 employers launched in March to open tech career pathways to students and to strengthen the region’s workforce.

Campuses combat Yik Yak with positivity

UB reader survey finds administrators urging students to drown out harmful comments

Nearly half of the approximately 500 respondents (48 percent) to a UB reader survey said bullying and insults posted on Yik Yak make the social network and its app a “serious threat.” Nearly the same number of respondents said the network is “benign” and called it a fad that would fade over the next year.

Growth in giving expected in higher education

Contributions from individuals/households, estates, corporations and foundations are all expected to increase in both years

Anticipating and planning future giving to nonprofits has been difficult, with scant reliable resources to help understand the outlook.

But thanks to a new report from the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, institutions now have some predictions—and positive ones, at that.

Documentary highlights survivors’ search for justice

'The Hunting Ground' features interviews with numerous campus sexual assault survivors

A new documentary is sparking calls for reform on campuses across the country for humanizing a topic that is too often conveyed in the media as a set of statistics.

The Hunting Ground features interviews with numerous campus sexual assault survivors who tell of their frustration with getting justice from a system that often protects perpetrators.

Adjuncts act for awareness and change

Coordinated protests on National Adjunct Walkout Day draw faculty and student support

Faculty and students who demonstrated during the first National Adjunct Walkout Day on Feb. 25 aimed to raise awareness about the working conditions faced by part-time instructors. Despite the day’s title, walkouts were not only discouraged by many unions, but illegal in some states.

Suspects’ race dropped from some campus crime alerts

Descriptions limited to race offend students, do little to help track down suspects

Race has been eliminated from some suspect descriptions included in crime alerts sent out by two major public universities.

University of Maryland and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities made the change after minorities on campus raised concerns about profiling. Police agreed that descriptions limited to race did little to help track down suspects.

National spotlight on campus gender accommodations

As more people realize self-identification is not a fad, more institutions may change policies

The University of Vermont allows its students to identify their own gender around campus, even if it’s no gender at all.

Though the policy has existed for nearly five years, it wasn’t until a February New York Times article that UVM received significant attention, says Dot Brauer, director of the LGBTQA Center@UVM.

“Nothing prepared us for this level of excitement,” says Brauer, who received several requests for interviews and advice from other higher ed institutions. “The feedback has been nothing but positive and encouraging.”

Community colleges moving further into baccalaureate territory

California may join 21 other states whose community colleges are permitted to offer baccalaureate degrees

Fifteen California community colleges received initial approval in January to offer four-year degrees in a limited number of specialties as soon as next year.

If approved, the plan could—at a fraction of the cost of four-year schools—produce thousands of new workers in a state that needs more employees in areas such as healthcare and the automotive industries.

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