Behind the News

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.

Campus groundbreakings: Infinity Hall at the University of Florida

William Jessup University opens 40,000-square-foot residence hall

Infinity Hall at the University of Florida

This $15.9 million residence hall—billed as the nation’s first entrepreneurial-based academic residential community—is being privately developed by Signet Development (Jacksonville, Fla.) in partnership with the university’s Department of Housing and Residence Education.

Its 90,000 square feet will include four floors of suites, team meeting rooms, an entertainment room, flexible spaces to support the school’s entrepreneurship programs, a resident apartment and a maintenance shop.

Ivies change alcohol policies to curb dangerous behavior

Crafting a comprehensive plan is key when creating a safer campus environment

Dartmouth College has launched a new campaign to combat harmful student behavior, including sexual assault and high-risk drinking.

Under the “Moving Dartmouth Forward” plan, the Ivy League school will no longer serve hard alcohol (30 proof or higher) on campus and will increase penalties for underage students found in possession of hard alcohol. Also in the works:

Which college presidents published the most op-eds in 2014?

Leaders tackle big-picture pieces and hot-button issues

There were big-picture pieces on race relations, immigration, climate change, incarceration, veterans, gender issues and the proliferation of firearms.

And there were hot-button campus issues such as sexual assaults, alcohol, college access, free speech, college cost and debt, emotionally unstable students, and abuses in sports programs.

Outbreak forces review of college vaccination mandates

Many states not requiring immunizations for college students

Recent campus outbreaks of easily spread but preventable diseases have forced administrators across the nation to review their institutions’ immunization policies.

Immunization policy on potentially deadly illnesses—including measles, meningitis, rubella and mumps—has a rather dense structure that varies by state (and often, by university or system). And these policies are becoming ever more important to clarify, define and enforce on campus.

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