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Behind the News

Subordinated and marginalized. That’s how faculty of color at community colleges are feeling.

More higher ed leaders are concerned about maintaining enrollment levels at the same time Census numbers have revealed that colleges and universities lost half a million students in 2012. A drop-off had been anticipated for some time, but now institutions must scramble to manage.

Leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill and elsewhere can take actions to ensure that athletics don’t get too great a focus to the detriment of academics.

After several years of well-publicized scandals in the athletics programs at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a new report by the Association of American Universities (AAU) urges UNC to put as much energy into academics as it does into winning national championships.

Higher ed has a new recruitment tool available with LinkedIn’s University Pages, which not only promote a school, but add a powerful networking platform for current and future alumni.

“A LinkedIn University Page includes all the things that touch a university in one space,” says John Hill, LinkedIn’s higher education evangelist. “It’s rich media, so it can have videos, imagery, blog posts, and so on.”

Shop24, shown here on SUNY Old Westbury’s campus, has locations at 10 campuses nationwide, with another 30 slated to open in the next year.

To meet the modern college student’s need for late-night munchies or grocery items, self-service vending stores have begun popping up on some campuses. One of the newest such store is SUNY Old Westbury’s Shop24, which opened this fall and serves the campus’ 4,400 students.

More than 165 college and university presidents have asked President Obama and Congress to help close the “innovation deficit.” In an open letter coordinated by the Association of American Universities (AAU) and the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), the presidents urge them not to cut additional research and education discretionary spending. By coining the phrase “innovation deficit,” they hope to spark national and local conversations.

Campus HR directors have begun taking action on health benefits changes spurred by the Affordable Care Act, but major uncertainties remain as they cope with the legislation. Hence, when CUPA-HR put together its 2013 “Employee Health Benefits in Higher Education Survey,” the Act got its own section.

Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are a key part of safety systems.  Image courtesy of Siemens.

New York public and private colleges are now required to give every student written information about fire safety in residence halls and off-campus housing. Known as the Kerry Rose Fire Sprinkler Notification Act, it was named after one of three victims of the deadly fire that burned through a privately owned housing unit near the campus of Marist College in January 2012.

There’s been much buzz about what the new student loan legislation means for students. It lowered interest rates and made borrowing more affordable in the short term, but how will it affect colleges and universities?

Signed into law by President Obama on Aug. 9 after a summer of negotiations, the bill allows undergraduates to borrow at a 3.9 percent rate for subsidized and unsubsidized federal loans.

Paul Brown, president of Monmouth University (N.J.)

Paul R. Brown began his new role as president of Monmouth University (N.J.) on Aug. 1. Previously, he served as dean of the College of Business and Economics at Lehigh University (Pa.), where he raised more than $40 million for endowed faculty chairs and in unrestricted funds. Under Brown’s leadership, the school completed a transformative strategic plan. He also managed historically high levels of enrollment in both undergraduate and graduate programs. At Monmouth, Brown succeeded Paul G. Gaffney II, who retired on July 31 after 10 years of leadership.