The University of Puget Sound in February became the first higher ed institution to accept a gift of digital currency, when alumnus Nicolas Cary gave the Washington school 14.5 bitcoins—equal to $10,000.
Historically black colleges and universities are coming together to encourage entrepreneurial ventures and thinking among their students and faculty. Kicking off the initiative is the first HBCU Innovation and Entrepreneurship Collaborative Symposium in late March in conjunction with the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance’s Annual OPEN Conference.
Administrators at public colleges and universities received larger raises in 2013 than did their private-institution counterparts. That’s a key finding in the “2013-14 Administrators in Higher Education Salary Survey,” conducted by the College and University Professional Association for Human Resources.
Institutions in nine states are experimenting with using papers and coursework—instead of tests—to judge whether students are learning skills employers need.
University representatives from these states will develop standards for judging students’ critical thinking, problem solving, intercultural competence and more. These skills were determined to be what employees most value in graduates, says Carol Geary Schneider, president of the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
When Colorado legalized marijuana for recreational use in January, many people also noted a simultaneous jump—nearly 30 percent—in out-of-state student applications to the University of Colorado, Boulder. The reason, says Director of Admissions Kevin MacLennan, was not the pursuit of “higher education” but merely the fact that the state also began allowing the Common Application.
Bard College doesn’t judge the success of its prison initiative by the number of students who stay out of jail. Recidivism is an extremely low bar, says Executive Director Max Kenner. “We judge by how many people are becoming middle-class taxpayers, how many people are involved in deeply meaningful ways in their communities. We think by those measures we are thriving.”
While details of President Obama’s college affordability proposals are not fully known, what is clear is that higher education is going under the microscope to prove its value. Add to that a growing chorus of pundits who believe that a liberal arts education is a waste of time and a relic of the past. But two college presidents argue in a new book that a liberal arts education is, in fact, crucial to not just boosting the economy but to solving many of the world’s problems.