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University Business, November 2016

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Feature

Faculty members are finding exciting new directions once they retire from their tenured professorships. But data suggests that faculty members are waiting longer to retire than they once did, with sometimes problematic implications for their institutions.

From construction workers and machinists to occupational therapists and fire fighters, skilled laborers are in high demand—and shortages of employees are making it difficult for companies to fill jobs. Community colleges are well-positioned to train workers to fill these skills gaps.

When a trio of students at Christopher Newport University in Virginia wanted to start a program to collect leftover food from the dining halls each night and deliver it to a rescue mission, the director of the university’s dining services had some questions.

Focus

There’s no doubt mobile devices anchor our technology-enabled lives. We may not use their small screens on the go, all the time, but when we do, we have high expectations—if a web page takes more than a few seconds to load on mobile, many of us move on to another website. Patience has never been in shorter supply.

By 2015, the number of law school applicants declined by 46 percent from a 2004 peak, a result of a shrinking job market and “offshoring” of some legal work. Most law schools were forced to change the way they recruited, admitted, awarded and enrolled students to respond to the drop.

The smartphone has become ubiquitous on college campuses. In the U.S., some estimates indicate that 95 percent of 18- to 24-years-olds have a smartphone, and that number will continue to grow.

Technology

Colleges and universities have used student response systems for years to take attendance, administer pop quizzes and register informal polls in larger classes where verbal discussions are limited. But as technology improves, student response systems are becoming more versatile than ever—and instructors are increasingly creative in using them.

Campus Finance News

When Teri McIntyre was a University of Wisconsin undergrad in the early ‘90s, she volunteered to call alumni to ask for college fund donations and—believe it or not—she liked making those calls. A university development officer noticed and offered McIntyre a job after graduation.

On Topic

Steve Mims’ new film, "Starving the Beast," documents a political and philosophical shift that seeks to reframe public higher education—not as a public good for society, but as a “value proposition” to be borne by those pursuing a college degree.

Behind the News

Some advocacy groups see student loan debt as not just a financial problem, but a growing social justice concern, as well. Now, some 40 civil rights, legal aid and public interest are urging the Department of Education to determine whether debt disproportionately impacts minorities.

Higher ed has become the latest target of retirement plan fee litigation. One firm in particular has filed class-action suits against dozens of universities, alleging breaches of ERISA fiduciary duties.

Universities are creating scholarships and entrepreneurial opportunities to help the unemployed and underemployed gain footing in an ever-greening economy.

A bipartisan bill intended to improve college access and graduation rates would impose college-loan program penalties on institutions that perform poorly in these areas. In turn, schools that do enroll a significant number of low-income students would be eligible for up to $8 million over five years.

Dakota Wesleyan University's $1.2 million theater department will provide more versatile performance space. Manchester Community College at work on $9 million HVAC/electrical tech training facility. And community will share clinic space at Creighton University's school of dentistry.

University of Wyoming President Laurie Nichols has been traveling to local Native American reservations in an effort to improve recruitment of these students.

Students who arrive at college with a declared major don’t necessarily graduate in a timely manner, and taking the time to explore different academic routes doesn’t always add time to a student’s college career, according to recent research from EAB.

Professional Opinion

There is a great need for infrastructure such as classrooms, student housing, dining and wellness facilities. Public-private partnerships (P3s) are a form of contracting between the public sector and private industry that capitalizes on the potential for private investment in a project, while sharing risk between the public and private partners.

Universities welcome media coverage of college sports, groundbreaking research and alumni achievement—all of which generate recognition and revenues supporting their educational mission. Too often, however, racially charged events at universities have dominated those headlines.