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University Business, October 2015

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Cover Story

Picture this: sticky notes on every screen. And if there are none on the monitor, lift up the keyboard. Nothing there? Try opening the pencil drawer.

Feature

For all the advantages of online learning—flexibility, personalization and affordability among them—there can be downsides for some students. Online students may feel isolated and disconnected from their peers and from their college or university—and risk losing the engagement so crucial to student success.

Community colleges have achieved the goal of providing broader and cheaper access to higher education. Now, experts and administrators say, the focus must turn more aggressively toward student success and completion.

In an era when prospective students and their parents can learn about hundreds of schools from the comfort of their homes, the in-person campus tour offers a golden opportunity to tip the scales in your favor. But too often, these tours follow the same staid formulas.

Focus

Earlier this year, CUPA-HR—an HR association for higher education—conducted its 2015 Employee Healthcare Benefits in Higher Education Survey. Of the 525 public and private institutions that responded, 70 percent offer healthcare coverage to same-sex domestic partners.

Technology

Picture this: sticky notes on every screen. And if there are none on the monitor, lift up the keyboard. Nothing there? Try opening the pencil drawer.

Campus Finance News

Students may forget their campus cards in their rooms or figure they don’t need their wallet for a short walk around the quad. But the one thing they are likely never to be without is a phone.

On Topic

In the eyes of many, higher education has become an industry focused on a singular goal—career training—and college students these days forgo the big questions about who they are and how they can change the world. But sociology professor Tim Clydesdale says higher education can retain its deeper cultural role.

Behind the News

More colleges and universities now offer digital badges as a form of micro-credential or “subdegree” to students who pass individual courses or certifications, and want to show potential employers what they’ve learned. The programs target professionals needing a skills boosts and hobbyists.

Located in downtown Manhattan, the 23,000-square-foot Innovation Center at The New School is an AV-intensive facility that’s open 24/7.

States that have not offered veterans discounted tuition at public universities are now required by law to do so, reflecting the oft-nomadic lifestyle of vets and their need for greater access to higher education.

Criminal justice professor and public safety expert Robin Engel’s extensive background working with both law enforcement and community advocates should give plenty of credibility to her leadership of the police reform initiative launched by University of Cincinnati after an officer-involved shooting near campus this summer.

Brian W. Casey, president of DePauw University in Indiana, will become the 17th president of Colgate University in New York.

President Obama scrapped his long proposed college rating system in favor of a “scorecard” system unveiled in September. The news caught higher ed leaders by surprise, leaving some dismayed to be left out of the planning process.

Professional Opinion

We are in danger of creating an environment where the “best” (meaning the wealthiest) colleges and universities are perceived to be reserved for those with sufficient status, money and influence. Everyone else is effectively relegated to struggling institutions that cost too much yet that cannot provide sufficient financial aid to meet the needs of their students.

With student debt in the trillions and other economic concerns looming over families, college stores often bear the brunt of public anger over course material costs.

For centuries, colleges and universities have been exempt from paying property taxes, and there’s no good reason to change. But that’s not stopping people from trying.

Decades ago, U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell eloquently stated: “The strength of the United States is not the gold in Fort Knox or the weapons of mass destruction we have, but the sum total of the education and character of our people.”