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J. Nelson Wilkinson is a labor and education law attorney with Williams Mullen who represents small, medium and large businesses and higher ed academic institutions.

A January memorandum issued by Richard Griffin, the current general counsel of the National Labor Relations Board, has further stoked long-running debate over whether university students should be deemed “employees” who can assert collective bargaining rights under the National Labor Relations Act.

Some local agencies across the country help colleges plant trees where the campus community can enjoy them, even if it’s not on campus. (Photo courtesy of Arbor Day Foundation).

Besides reducing emissions, higher ed institutions can reduce the impact of their carbon footprint in other ways, including getting credit for trees planted.

An income-share agreement (ISA) is an alternative to using student loans to finance higher education. Rather than a loan, a student agrees to pay a percentage of their future income for a set number of years back to the investor, which could be a university that funds its own ISA or a pool of investors that has launched an ISA.

ISA provider 13th Avenue, which is currently talking to several institutions about setting up ISA pilot programs, has found that funding is a key challenge. “The schools are interested, but they are reluctant to fund the program so we are busy trying to raise money,” says Casey Jennings, chief operating officer.

ISA provider Vemo Education and the Jain Family Institute, a nonprofit think tank that supports the development of ISAs, are also in the exploratory phase with a handful of higher ed institutions interested in making the investment to launch their own ISAs.

CLICK AND LEARN–The University of Washington’s sustainability map features seven main categories related to higher ed campus sustainability and dozens  of examples, from the location of charging stations to recycling bins.

Many institutions shine a spotlight on their sustainability efforts by creating online maps to showcase eco-friendly sites and green activities on campus—areas of interest to both the student body and the general public.

BACK A BOILER—Purdue's self-funded ISA program has served 160 juniors and seniors since its launch in fall 2016 and will include sophomores as of next school year. Students with any major may participate in the program, launched as part of a broader effort to make college affordable.

The ISA concept, which many describe as selling stock in yourself, is now an emerging hot topic within the higher ed financing debate.

THE BIG EVENT—In 2016, when President Barack Obama visited the University of Nebraska at Omaha, more than 10,000 higher ed students, faculty, staff and community members attended an event at the campus arena.

Colleges may already prepare extensively for VIPs, but a deeper level of cross-campus coordination can ensure a smooth visit even when protests or other disruptions occur.

Most higher ed institutions have issued plastic campus cards for decades based on a 30-year business model. Perhaps it’s time for administrators to review this process in light of current technology and dramatic shifts in generational expectations.

In 2015, Moravian College created a new rehabilitation sciences department—but administrators knew these wouldn’t be traditional classrooms. They wanted students to master the physical sciences using hands-on learning and cutting-edge technologies. A similar approach can be used for any higher ed facility looking to boost interest and enrollment. 

In 1992 Henry Rowan pledged $100 million to create a new kind of engineering school. Rowan’s legacy transformed Glassboro State College into a public research university that would change the lives of South New Jersey citizens and businesses. Rowan’s gift is still rewriting the history of public campus partnering and co-development, creating a contemporary business parable that other flagship state universities can learn from.

James Martin is a professor of English at Mount Ida College in Massachusetts. James Samels is the CEO and president of The Education Alliance and the founder of Samels & Associates, a law firm concentrating in higher ed law.

In Consolidating Colleges and Merging Universities (2017, Johns Hopkins University Press), James Martin and James Samels bring together higher education leaders to discuss how institutions might cooperate with their competitors to survive.

Adults need more flexible higher ed programs that allow them to do college coursework remotely and at their own pace and at any time. (GettyImages.com: Kali9)

A newly formed advocacy organization hopes to smooth the process for busy adults looking to attend college.

Juan Salgado, a Hispanic community leader, is the new chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago. (John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation)

Hispanic community leader Juan Salgado has been appointed chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago.

No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal assistance. —20 U.S.C. § 1681(a), better known as Title IX

SAFE ZONE—Kent State higher ed students with gluten intolerance need not worry when eating at Prentice Café, since the entire facility is gluten-free.

The number of U.S. colleges offering gluten-free dining options is rising, as more people learn about the seriousness of celiac disease, says Chris Rich, vice president of development for the Gluten Intolerance Group.

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