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Dr. Kathleen Murray, Provost, Dean of the Faculty, Professor of Music, and former Acting President of Macalester College, will become Whitman's 14th President on July 1, 2015. The Whitman College board voted unanimously to appoint Kathy after having received the same endorsement from the Presidential Search Committee.
More than a quarter of college students (26 percent) are raising dependent children, according to a new report by the Institute for Women's Policy Research. A majority of the parent population is made up of single parents, most of them women. Single mothers make up 43 percent of the student parent population, while single fathers make up 11 percent.
With President Obama promising to release his controversial college-rating plan this fall, college leaders are on high alert. They worry that they'll look bad, that they'll be judged unfairly, and that the plan will have a host of unintended consequences. But if recent history is any guide, they needn’t be so nervous. Time and again, when confronted with criticism from colleges, this administration has softened its stance or bent the rules to accommodate them.
With just weeks left before he retires from Congress, Senator Tom Harkin has finalized his proposal to rewrite the Higher Education Act. Harkin, the Iowa Democrat who chairs the Senate education committee, on Thursday filed an 874-page bill to reauthorize the main federal law governing higher education.
The federal government has made a big push to help prospective students understand what college might cost them. But there have been unintended consequences. That’s the case Phillip B. Levine makes in a new working paper for the Brookings Institution. "Past efforts by the federal government to clarify college costs are insufficient," he writes. "They have had limited success and, in some instances, they may even provide misleading information."
College as a commodity is the kind of thinking that has fueled enrollment at for-profit colleges, places that often promise a direct route from the classroom to the workplace. Revelations of the shady marketing practices, overpriced services and uneven performance of some of these schools ultimately led the government to impose restrictions on how much debt their graduates can hold. Some say those rules should be extended to all colleges to reign in the runaway costs of attendance that has grown faster than the rate of inflation.
Jeffrey Dorfman writes: Humanities degrees have received a bad rap recently, even from President Obama. Many people, including top policy makers, routinely push policies to encourage more students to major in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics). Some governors have even suggested that state subsidies for public universities should be focused on STEM disciplines, with less money going to “less useful” degrees such as the humanities. Yet, in contravention to this perceived truth, the data show that humanities degrees are still worth a great deal.
The Chronicle wanted to start a conversation in conjunction with this week’s articles on red tape in higher education. We put out a call on social media, asking those tangled in red tape to share their observations. Several dozen of you responded. Your answers weren’t entirely unexpected, but they were revealing nonetheless.
New federal measures to halt deportation of many illegal immigrants will spotlight a question of growing urgency for colleges: How should they handle applications from undocumented students for admissions and financial aid? The issue emerged in President Obama’s first term amid a national debate about the “Dream Act,” which in various versions sought to protect certain students who entered into the United States illegally as young children, grew up in the country and graduated from U.S. high schools.
Alexandra W. Logue writes: There is a large group of students — often overlooked — whose completion of college we need to better track and encourage: transfer students. We need to do a better job of collecting and following transfer students’ data and of instituting policies that help them to graduate, such as ensuring that their credits transfer. There are many reasons that these students deserve our full attention.
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