I recently published a blog post with two colleagues, Gigi Jones and Abby Miller, taking a look at merit aid awarded by institutions to students. We used the recently-released NPSAS:2020 data to look at the trends in who received merit aid.
I recently authored an op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education titled How weak leadership enables campus scandals. In the piece, I describe the critical role that campus leaders play in addressing campus scandals that arise, particularly with college athletics, and highlight cases at Michigan State University, Ohio State University, Pennsylvania State University, University of Michigan, University of Southern California, and University of San Francisco.
[updated 11/6/23] I was a guest on the podcast, “Trustees and Presidents: A Podcast for Senior Campus Leaders on College Athletics,” hosted by Karen Weaver of the U. of Pennsylvania, talking about this op-ed and scandals in athletics in general.
Last spring, I wrote about Senator Elizabeth Warren’s college financing proposal for the San Francisco Chronicle. This week, I analyzed for The Conversation former Vice President Joe Biden’s recent proposal to double the maximum Pell Grant as a way of increasing college affordability. The two have taken very different approaches, and assuming they both stay in the race as viable candidates for the Democratic nomination, it will be interesting to see the attention each proposal receives.
U.S. News & World Report released its annual compendium of rankings of undergraduate colleges and universities across the nation last week. This is usually an eagerly-awaited event at many institutions around the country, and one with which most of us in leadership positions have a love-hate relationship. On the one hand, we all decry how the process attempts to reduce what are in most cases large, complex, and multi-mission institutions into a single number. On the other, we all recognize the attention it generates and the potential impact it can have on the decisions of millions of college-going students.
I’ll cut to the chase and the news everyone is most interested in – USF maintained its top 100 position from the prior year, dropping just one spot from tied for #96 last year to tied for #97. But like the proverbial duck on the surface of the water, this small change masks a lot what is happening below the surface.
The 2020 campaign for president is already heating up, and the Democratic field includes almost two dozen candidates. One of them, Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, recently unleashed a widely-covered proposal offering “free college” and elimination of student debt for millions of Americans. In an op-ed in the San Francisco Chronicle, I analyzed why Warren’s proposal is not in the best interests of the nation.
Like many universities, during the spring semester USF announces its tuition and fee rates for the following academic year and sends the announcement to continuing students (as well as the parents of undergraduate students). This year, we received a lot of pushback from students because we had not included information about why tuition was going up next year. A grassroots group of students formed and mounted a protest during our Board of Trustees meeting earlier this month. Our student newspaper, The San Francisco Foghorn, published an op-ed and staff editorial complaining about the lack of transparency. Continue reading “The reasons behind tuition increases”
As so often happens in the digital age, the news came first via an alert on my cell phone. “Shooting at Pittsburgh synagogue, fatalities reported.” I was in Connecticut that Saturday morning, sitting in a hotel room with my wife, getting ready to celebrate my mother’s 97th birthday with my family. The name Tree of Life Synagogue sounded familiar, so I asked my wife if she remembered if that was the synagogue where we had attended the Bat Mitzvahs of the daughters of very close friends of ours some years earlier.
Continue reading “On Charlottesville, and Squirrel Hill, and . . .”
This week the Pew Research Center issued a report on the public’s view of higher education in the United States, and the news is not good. The Pew report builds on a similar survey conducted last year, which also found a lack of support for the nation’s colleges and universities.
Continue reading “Public support for higher education is in trouble again (part 1)”
I spent much time the last couple of weeks following the sentencing hearing of former Michigan State University professor and doctor Larry Nassar. I was watching from the perspective of having been associated with now a second university embroiled in a sexual abuse scandal, having worked at Michigan State before coming to USF, and before that, at Penn State University when the Sandusky scandal broke there. This week I wrote an op-ed in The Chronicle of Higher Education about my experience at these two institutions, and what it tells us about the responsibility of university leaders.