Behind the News

Administrators and Faculty Split on Online Learning’s Value

77 percent of academic leaders surveyed believe online education results in the same or superior learning outcomes as in face-to-face classes.

The number of students taking at least one course online is on the rise; the 2012 Survey of Online Learning conducted by the Babson Survey Research Group and released this year indicated that number surpassed 6.7 million for the fall 2011 semester.

That said, there is a divergence between higher ed administrators and faculty on the value of online learning. Seventy-seven percent of academic leaders surveyed believe online education results in the same or superior learning outcomes as in face-to-face classes.

Campus Engagement Centers See Funding Boost

Students have been driving force behind increased commnunity engagement

As other campus departments experience cut or stagnant budgets, campus engagement centers have been an exception. Although they’re generally smaller departments, their budgets have been steadily growing over the past few years. That’s according to a survey of Campus Compact’s member institutions.

Boston Bombings Bring Scrutiny of Student Visas

Immigration bill could improve flow of information to customs officials

The student visa process has come under scrutiny after investigators in the Boston bombings learned that a friend of suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev entered the U.S. with an expired student visa.

Azamat Tazhayakov, a student from Kazakhstan, was arrested on suspicion of obstructing justice after investigators say items were removed from Tsarnaev’s University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth dorm room three days after the attack.

Where the Happy Staff Are

Texas Tech University is the only school in Texas to have an undergraduate institution, law school, and medical school on the same campus. It is also the U.S. university with the happiest employees, according to a new top 10 list released by CareerBliss, an online community featuring company reviews, salaries, and job listings.

Birth Control Ban

Disciplining students for condom distribution in dorms

When Boston College leaders sent a letter to a student group in March saying its members could expect disciplinary sanctions if they distributed condoms from dorm rooms on campus, a game of sides followed. Some students, members of the media, and the local chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union stood by the unofficial student group, Boston College Students for Sexual Health.

Out in Four or the School Pays for More

It used to be that when a student left high school and entered college, he or she could expect to graduate four years later. But the pressures of jobs (to support rising education costs) and the demands of family have increased time spent in school so much that a Time magazine article earlier this year focused on “The Myth of the Four-Year College Degree.”

Textbooks on Reserve

When students in an honors business and professional communications course at Robert Morris University (Pa.) conducted research on textbooks, a survey revealed that 14 percent of their peers knew at least one student who dropped out of school because he or she could not afford to pay for textbooks. And when administrators learned of that finding, they took action.

Cornell Names Logevall Vice Provost for International Relations

People Watch

Frederik Logevall, the John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University, has been appointed the university’s vice provost for international relations, to begin July 1. He will succeed Alice Pell, who has served as vice provost since 2008. A history professor with expertise in U.S. foreign relations, Logevall will remain director of the Einaudi Center and will assist the office of the vice provost for undergraduate education in the oversight of the Cornell Abroad program.

Sequestering Minority Education

Government cuts to hit minority-serving institutions hardest

As a result of March’s sequestration, colleges and universities are starting to figure out how to deal with government cuts from student loan funding and the trickle down of major cuts to agencies that support the bulk of institutional research and development. Tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and historically black colleges and universities have even more to contend with than the average school with cuts from separate federal grant funding they rely on to operate.

1-2-3-4, They Love What They Wore

Not many colleges have a four-star general at the helm, but students at Birmingham-Southern College (Ala.) are such big fans of their president, former Marine Corps Commandant Charles C. Krulak, that the campus bookstore wanted to come up with a t-shirt reflecting how they feel. When the store received a copy of a USMC poster featuring Krulak (known on campus as "the General") with his arm around a young recruit, they decided to use the image and make it their own.

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