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.
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 a follow-up to my piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education, I was recently a guest on the Navigating Change podcast, where I talked more lessons for college and university leaders from the Sandusky scandal at Penn State University and the Nassar scandal at Michigan State University.
In the heavily-politicized and racially-charged environment in which our nation finds itself today, I suppose it is not surprising that some observers would seize upon a program like the University of San Francisco’s Black Student Orientationand criticize it as promoting segregation, or providing a benefit from which other students are excluded.
Earlier this week, under the direction of President Donald Trump, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the elimination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program. Under his order the approximately 800,000 registered DACA individuals will see their legalized status in this country end in six months, subjecting them to deportation and other administrative actions. The president encouraged Congress to pass legislation that would provide a permanent legalization of the status of DACA registrants, but only if it did so as part of a comprehensive immigration reform plan – something Congress, whether controlled by Democrats or Republicans, has been unable to do for decades.