Go back

This week in higher ed

•The federal Education Department has warned the state of New York that an effort to force public universities to steer students away from direct federal loans and toward loans administered through banks would violate federal law. The effort, which appeared in an amendment to Gov. George Patakis 2004-05 budget, required City University of New York and State University of New York campuses to sign agreements aimed at increasing their use of loans handled by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation as a condition of receiving $25.6 million in aid. •The federal Education Department has warned the state of New York that an effort to force public universities to steer students away from direct federal loans and toward loans administered through banks would violate federal law. The effort, which appeared in an amendment to Gov. George Pataki's 2004-05 budget, required City University of New York and State University of New York campuses to sign agreements aimed at increasing their use of loans handled by the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation as a condition of receiving $25.6 million in aid. (The New York Times, 5/10/04)

•Things aren't looking good for Colorado's groundbreaking college voucher plan. Student vouchers will be cut from $2,400 to $1,600 each unless voters ease fiscal restraints embedded in the state constitution or agree to use national tobacco settlement money. (USA Today, 5/10/04)

•Nine universities are protesting language the Ford Foundation has added to its grant conditions, saying the changes could threaten academic freedom by inhibiting campus presentations or partisan lectures of films. The grant rules were amended last year, when evidence surfaced that grants from a prominent charitable foundation had funded a radical Palestinian group. (Chicago Sun-Times, 5/10/04)

•The University of Colorado Foundation has refused to turn over records to the panel investigating football recruiting practices. The Independent Investigative Commission, formed to look into charges that the football program used sex and alcohol to recruit players, had sought minutes from meetings of the foundation's audit committee as well as communications between the committee and the foundation's top officers. (The Rocky Mountain News, 5/7/04)

•Faculty at the University of Southern Mississippi want assurances that their campus e-mails aren't being read by administrators. The Faculty Senate is expected to introduce a resolution asking the state College Board about the e-mail monitoring President Shelby Thames used to investigate two tenured professors. (Hattieburg American, 5/6/04)

•The use of excuses by college students is on the rise. Some educators lump it with grade inflation as evidence of declining standards, a sense of student entitlement and a coddling campus structure. Others make exceptions for students with heavy workloads and significant family responsibilities. If they can't think of a creative excuse on their own, there's always Student.com, a Web site that generates excuse e-mails. See for yourself at http://www.student.com. (Associated Press, 5/6/04)

•With state aid to public universities in decline, universities are asking for more independence. For example, Miami University announced it will charge $16,300 in tuition to in-state and out-of-state students alike. (Associated Press, 5/5/04)

•This year's college-admission process is shaping up to be error-filled. College administrators blame the movement toward automation and outsourcing of technological functions, like Web-based notifications. In addition, many admissions offices have been overwhelmed by an increase in applicants. (The Wall Street Journal, 5/4/04)

•America Online is expanding its partnership with Upromise, a service that allows members to save for their children's college tuition with automatic rebates from participating grocery stores, gas stations and other retailers. AOL began a $30 million campaign May 10 to promote the benefits of Upromise. (The New York Times, 5/4/04)

•Loyola College in Maryland, Saint Xavier University and Champlain College have signed on to use LiquidMatrix's ActiveCampus eRecruitment package to recruit students via personalized e-mails and Web pages.