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Aim: To boost enrollment of the top 1 percent of high school students who qualify for Oregon State’s Presidential Scholarship, admissions officers treat academic standouts like blue-chip athletes.

The program began three years ago.


Link to main story: Colleges should always woo would-be students


In the box

At the Hyatt Regency Cambridge, along the scenic Charles River overlooking Boston, a few dozen college presidents and provosts gathered in early May for a day focused on achieving campus harmony. Called the Campus Climate Summit: Getting from Contention to Consensus, the event was sponsored by Thoughtexchange, a provider of stakeholder engagement solutions for leaders of colleges and other organizations.

In a higher education landscape marked by a shrinking student population and increasing uncertainty, institutional longevity—if not short-term survival—is top of mind for most. What many at-risk institutions fail to see, however, is that a primary focus on competition is a precarious survival strategy that more often than not, backfires. Cooperation, not competition is the way out.

University and college professors face new and exciting challenges today due to technological advances in smartphones and smartwatches and the implanted devices that are currently being tested. Students’ growing dependence on smartphones does not stop at the classroom door. Some students use these hand-held computers during class time to listen to music, check the time, text others, surf the web, visit social sites (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.), shop, watch television, view movies, search for information during examinations, answer phone calls, and so forth.

Institutional resiliency is a daunting challenge for smaller, tuition-dependent, change-resistant institutions. Indeed, the most vulnerable of these fragile colleges and universities may soon face extinction.

Astrid Tuminez will become president of Utah Valley University, effective this fall.

Astrid Tuminez will leave Microsoft to hold her first executive-level higher ed leadership position when she becomes president of Utah Valley University, effective this fall.

At Boise State University's Micron Center for Materials Research, students and faculty will have access to 40 research laboratories and other spaces.

ENERGETIC ALLIES—Hampshire College, which operates a solar farm on its Massachusetts campus (above), has joined a coalition of four other small colleges to buy power from a new solar farm in Maine.

Five New England colleges have teamed up in a unique partnership, choosing a site in Farmington, Maine, for a solar-power farm that will reduce carbon footprints on each campus and show students sustainability in action.

Source: Alcohol and Other Drug Use at UMass Amherst Survey, 2012

Continued binge drinking and destructive student behavior have driven higher ed leaders to refine off-campus behavior policies.

Taking on more loan debt with age.

Americans age 50 years and older saw their federal student loan debt grow by $18 billion between the second quarter of fiscal year 2017 and the first quarter of 2018.

1. Tackle issues head-on and promptly.

This may be especially important for tech staff who ignore policies, fail to carry their load or can’t seem to get along with co-workers.

“Don’t let the bad behavior of a few poison those who want to work,” says CIO Yvette Brown Koottungal at Barry University in Florida. She is also vice president for technology at the university, where she manages a team of 63.

Developing and maintaining a strong customer service ethos sometimes brings IT managers into unexpected territory. Following are tips on how to handle four such scenarios.

Jack Buckley of the American Institutes for Research edited Measuring Success: Testing, Grades, and the Future of College Admissions (2018, Johns Hopkins).

Measuring Success: Testing, Grades, and the Future of College Admissions (2018, Johns Hopkins) investigates the implications of admissions testing with experts from both sides of the debate.

As huddle rooms within academic buildings grow in popularity, what challenges—perhaps unexpected ones—tend to crop up for administrators and professors? 

Providers were asked: How well are colleges using data to measure faculty performance, and what related areas need the most improvements?

“Colleges will typically show the faculty how their scores compare to others at the school, usually those in the same department. But they rarely ask the instructors how they plan to improve any low scores they've earned or coach them how to do so. Closing this feedback loop will improve the students' experience.”

—Howard Walters, SmartEvals.com

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