New Book On Changes In Management And Governance Of Higher Education

March 27th, 2015

Governance Reconsidered: How Boards, Presidents, Administrators, and Faculty Can Help Their Colleges Thrive

Excerpt of Review  by Andrew Saultz & Tiffany J. Williams — March 23, 2015 in Teachers College record online

coverTitle: Governance Reconsidered: How Boards, Presidents, Administrators, and Faculty Can Help Their Colleges Thrive
Author(s): Susan R. Pierce & Stephen Trachtenberg
Publisher: Jossey-Bass Publishers, San Francisco
ISBN: 1118738497, Pages: 256, Year: 2014

Susan Resneck Pierce’s new book, Governance Reconsidered, examines the changes in the management and governance of higher education. She draws heavily on her vast experience as a professor, department chair, dean, and the former president of the University of Puget Sound. Pierce’s central theme is that shared governance in higher education is being challenged due to financial pressures, the growing reliance on non-tenure track faculty, and questions about the value and cost of higher education. She weaves detailed case studies into her historical analyses to provide a rich overview of the changes and obstacles facing higher education.

Pierce argues that communication is key to success. Despite the many changes to the landscape of higher education, faculty, presidents, and boards can thrive if they strategize and communicate effectively. She gives concrete examples for trustees, faculty, and presidents on how to best navigate the many changes within the academy. Her skill for being able to explain how the larger contextual factors influence the historic relationships among various constituencies in higher education is valuable, and she has a keen ability to condense complex ideas into clear, concise lessons.

The author uses specific cases to exemplify and illustrate her larger points about governance and leadership. These examples demonstrate her argument more clearly, and provide valuable evidence for her recommendations. She blends positive and negative exemplars of various relationships among trustees, presidents, and faculty. The case studies, scattered throughout the book, leave the reader with an understanding of how easy it is for university administrators to lose sight of the diverse facets and perceptions of change within the academy. For example, in many of the illustrations where presidents experienced disruptions on campus, the president did not anticipate the faculty skepticism. Pierce uses a historical approach to not only explain the faculty perspective, but to empathize with it. She reiterates that the faculty is the core of the academy.


More Community Colleges Become Minority-Serving Institutions

March 26th, 2015

Role as minority-serving institutions expands for community colleges

Although they often operate at the margins, nearly 22 percent of the nation’s community colleges are minority-serving institutions and are responsible for enrolling about 55 percent of college-going minorities, according to a new report. (Diverse Issues in Higher Education, March 1)

Students Report Applications Stressful And Support the Old SAT

March 25th, 2015

Based upon Princeton Review survey-see survey basis at end

· Applications are stressssssss-ful.

73% of respondents gauged their stress levels as “High” or “Very high” – a 17% increase over the 56% who reported such stress levels in the survey’s initial year, 2003.  Students reported higher stress levels than parents.

 · Toughest factor? Tests.

Asked which aspect of the application process was the toughest, 34% (the plurality) chose the answer, “Taking the SAT, ACT or APs” while 33% said “Completing applications for admission and financial aid.”

 · ACT or current SAT more preferred than forthcoming new SAT.

Asked which college admission test they’d prefer to take (or see their child take) if each of these were current options: the ACT, SAT, or new SAT (which won’t debut until spring 2016), 39% said the ACT, 37% said the SAT, and 24% said the new SAT. 

 · Biggest worry? Debt.

39% (the plurality) said their biggest concern was “Level of debt to pay for the degree.” For 35% their biggest worry was “Will get into first-choice college, but won’t have sufficient funds/aid to attend.” Given the $28,400 average debt of 2013 college grads, these concerns are understandable. In 2009, the answer most selected was “Won’t get into first-choice college.”

College cost estimate? $50,000+

87% estimated their degree to cost “More than $50,000.” Within that cohort, 42% said “More than $100,000.” Parents’ estimates were higher than students’.

· Main benefit of college? Jobs.

45% said the biggest benefit of a degree was a “Potentially better job / income” while 24% said the “Education” and 31% said “Exposure to new ideas.”

· Distance from home of “ideal” college? Near say parents.  Far say students.

52% of parents chose “Less than 250 miles” as distance of ideal college: 63% of students chose answers in ranges from 250 to 1,000 miles.

Other findings report: how many colleges students were applying to, and what will influence their college choice when commitment decisions are due May 1. The Princeton Review also asked respondents their advice for next year’s applicants. The most repeated advice: “Start early.”

A complete survey report is at

The survey upon which these findings are based is Princeton Review “College Hopes & Worries” 15-question survey.  Respondents were users of Best 379 Colleges book and  site, They were all college applicants and parents of college applicants.



5 Things Every Student Should Know before Taking up Web Design

March 24th, 2015

By Melissa Burns

The Internet opens up a lot of possibilities for students themselves while at college. If you have skills and a creative mindset, you may try yourself at web design, and some students manage to pull it off. However, there are a few things you should learn before your make this decision.

1.     Web Design Became a Mass Product

Once upon a time web design was a kind of handicraft. Even a bad web designer had special skills that gave him advantage over laymen. Today, it turned into mass production: industry entry barrier is much lower than it used to be, and even a person who has nothing to do with either web or design can easily create his own site using a do-it-yourself solution like WordPress or Joomla, especially if he wants to cut costs. It means that your potential clients have a lot of alternatives to choose from, and if they don’t have a reason to prefer this particular student freelancer to all the others, they won’t do it.

2.     You Won’t Earn Much on Your Own

Freelancers can make good money, but this scheme grows steadily less viable in web design, especially if you have studies to consider. According to Magicdust, a Sydney web design company, studios and partnerships generate much greater revenues, even though you have to share with other members. It means that in order to support yourself with web design you have to look for partners and to turn your venture into a full-fledged business – and as a student, you may be not ready to invest so much time, effort and money into it.

3.     You’ll Have to Learn How to Sell

You may think very highly of your tech skills, but they alone won’t get you far. Some people believe that word of mouth is enough to get you paying customers, but the truth is, before you get any word of mouth, you need to find mouths that would spread this word – and it means actively seeking out customers. So, you’ll either have to learn how to sell or cooperate with someone who can do it for you – which, again, means a lot of commitment. On the other hand, this knowledge can help you a great deal in future, whatever career you decide to pursue.

4.     People Don’t Care about Your Skills

Potential clients are not interested in how good you are at HTML – after all, these days we have kids learning it at school, so for a lot of people have hard time persuading themselves that they have to pay someone for work they can ask their 12-year-old son to do. People don’t care about skills – they care about results. They want something that will either get money into their pockets or keep it there. So if you cannot prove your work is a difference between earning and losing money, you aren’t needed.

5.     You’ll Have to Keep up with Tech and Trends

Web design changes constantly. What was considered a good website a couple of years ago looks outdated now – and a site designed 5 or 7 years ago feels like something out of the Stone Age. Keeping up with altering trends, technological solutions, coding techniques and so on is a challenge. It is just like a never-ending college course that you’ll have to take simultaneously with the one you are already taking. Do you have time for it?

This article is not  aimed at discouraging you from trying yourself at web design. It just gives some food for thought: do you really want it? Do you have what it takes to succeed in it? If not – do you really need to be yet another mediocre designer?

 Author’s bio:

Melissa Burns  graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she

is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, information

technologies and how these ones may be implemented in the sphere of education. You may contact

Melissa via e-mail:

What Works To Increase Graduation From Community College

March 23rd, 2015

Raising community college grad rates
The City University of New York increased graduation rates for full-time students at community colleges by offering tuition waivers, free Metro cards and comprehensive advisement. Researchers concluded the Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) initiative was well implemented, improved student outcomes and the cost per degree was less than the control. (MDRC) and ECS

Why So Much More Government Intervention In k-12 Compared to Higher Education

March 19th, 2015

Higher Ed Flies Under the Radar

Why has K-12 undergone waves of reform while higher education remains relatively unscathed?

When the Common Core debate crescendoed back around 2010, the education sector, the reformers, the public, and the policymakers regularly waged pitched battles over student outcomes, teachers’ job security, and the overall quality of public school education. Major national media offered in-depth investigations and passionate op-eds for and against, pushing the issue into the national spotlight and turning the contest into a political flash point.

Common Core struck a nerve in the national discourse—as did President Bush’s No Child Left Behind Act; as does the ongoing debate over the merits of charter schools. Today, primary and secondary education is a highly scrutinized industry, beset by ever-shifting public opinion and interventionist policymakers.

This reformist impulse in the K-12 space is not new to the United States: it has been the focus of the last half-century of education policy. But while policymakers and primary and secondary school stakeholders take each other to the mat over how to best allocate resources, measure success, and help students achieve more, most higher education institutions operate in their own largely autonomous ecosystem, without much awareness of or engagement in state and federal policy.

How is it that colleges and universities have escaped the public scrutiny and policymaking zeal that has characterized primary and secondary schooling?

Michael Kirst, co-editor of Remaking College, and William Doyle, contributor to the selfsame volume, argue that policy reform in K-12 is more stringent because of a remarkable difference of opinion about educational quality and who is responsible for educational achievement in a college or university setting, versus who is responsible in a primary or secondary school setting.

On the former point, Kirst contends that top-tier higher education institutions, the likes of the Ivy League, capture an outsized portion of the American imagination when they think of postsecondary schooling. The prestige of this segment of schools gets extrapolated across the entire postsecondary system, despite widely ranging student outcomes from one college or university degree program to the next.


Kirst and Doyle also maintain that what parties are responsible for educational attainment shift from the primary and secondary school context to the college and university setting. Citing a study by John Immerwahr, Kirst and Doyle note that 75% of Americans believe that almost all K-12 students can learn and succeed in school given enough help and attention. Compare that figure to this one: 91% of Americans believe that the benefit of a college education depends on how much effort the student puts into it. The perception of most Americans is that, while it is incumbent upon K-12 schools to offer the best possible resources and the highest possible quality of instruction, the onus for academic success shifts to the student in a postsecondary setting.

This insight may help explain why the public is generally slower to call into question the quality of the higher education system. Though recent Pew research polls reveal the public’s growing skepticism about the value of an education relative to ever-inflating costs, these concerns generally do not include a low evaluation of the education itself, just anxiety over the price tag.

Yet as postsecondary degrees become an increasingly necessary prerequisite for career success and as college and university education becomes steadily more expensive, perhaps an era of greater transparency on the postsecondary stage has come. Perhaps it is time to turn the same rigorous attention we apply to local K-12 public schools to our higher education system as well.





Why Student Loans Are Different

March 18th, 2015


To better understand student loan struggles, New America’s Education Policy Program commissioned a series of focus groups in six American cities. The result of that research is new report, Why Student Loans Are Different

Multiple Measures For College Readiness: A Review

March 17th, 2015

Multiple measures for college readiness

A new ECS Policy Trends report by Lexi Anderson and Mary Fulton reviews the multiple measures to assess a student’s college readiness, provides a deeper look at competency-based assessments and offers policy considerations for state and system leaders.

Gates Foundation Provides Ambitious and Costly Agenda

March 16th, 2015

Gates Foundation pushes next phase of its agenda 
After spending roughly half a billion dollars on the college completion agenda, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is ready to be more assertive about what it thinks should happen in four key areas of higher education policy. A new document lays out the focus areas: data and information, finance and financial aid, college readiness, and innovation and scale. (Inside Higher Ed, March 11 )

5 Tips for Improving Your Online Presence for Students

March 13th, 2015

By Melissa Burns

Such things as social networks, personal blogs and websites, accounts on forums and suchlike are no longer your personal business – as recruiters grow more and more tech-savvy the importance of having widespread and professional-looking online presence gets more and more important for every student who thinks about his or her future employment. Online presence can make favorable impression on a potential employer even before he ever sees you. Let’s take a look at how it is done.

1.     Establish Accounts in Multiple Places

If your online identity is limited to Facebook, you should reconsider it. It is not a professional network, and if you have an account here and not, let’s say, LinkedIn, it shows that you pay more attention to personal matters than to professional ones. So, think about other social media where you should promote your name. The aforementioned LinkedIn, Twitter, Tumblr and Behance immediately come to mind.

2.     Create a Hub and Interconnect Your Accounts

All your accounts in social media, personal websites and blogs (if you have them) should be carefully interconnected and be consistent enough so that will make it obvious that all of them belong to one and the same person. There should also be a website to serve as a kind of hub – you can give a link to it when you apply for a job so that your potential employer can easily find it. is a good choice – it was created specifically for this purpose, it is widely known and is used by people coming from all walks of life, not only students looking for future employments, but also CEOs, senior partners in firms and well-known businessmen and specialists, like, for example, Doctor Shahram Shirkhani.

3.     Google Your Name

It is the first thing a potential employer will do. See what they are going to see. If it is lackluster, do your best to improve it. If there is something outright negative – take it down. You may have forgotten that drunken selfie you’ve posted three years ago, but Google remembers everything. According to Microsoft survey, 79% of employers in the USA check Internet identities of applicants to their jobs, and 70% admit that they refused people jobs based on what they’ve found. And we don’t just mean naked photos, drunken antics and suchlike. Jokes, silly gifs, offensive language – everything that an employer may find inconsistent with an image of their employee is a bad idea to have around.

4.     Keep Your Online Presence Consistent with Your Profession

Some social media are more suitable for certain jobs, some are less. If you are a designer, photographer or artist, accounts on Pinterest or Flickr will do just nicely. If you are a lawyer… not very much so. These specialized websites may be used to host not just pretty pictures, but your portfolio – it is much easier to direct people to a well-known website than send it via e-mail or use a website of your own on a free hosting.

5.     Start a Blog

Naturally, it should have something to do with your preferred field of work, which means that it should not be an outlet for your rants on personal matters – if you want to write something like this, by all means, do it, but separately from your professional blog and under a pseudonym.

Online presence can do you both a world of good and a world of hurt, depending on how you approach it. Play your cards right, and even without any experience, fresh out of college you will produce a good enough impression for even a large company to consider hiring you.

Author’s bio:

Melissa Burns  graduated from the faculty of Journalism of Iowa State University in 2008. Nowadays she

is an entrepreneur and independent journalist. Her sphere of interests includes startups, inf