1 THE CHRONICLE chronicle.com Earmark Ban Would Cost Colleges Dearly By Kev in Kiley of Higher Education Volume LVII, Number 17 C to lose billions of dollars for research, facilities, and other purposes if Congressional leaders hold firm in their pledge to ban earmarks, the spending that individual members direct to their home states and favorite projects outside of the competitive processes. Some of the biggest losers would be colleges in states whose lawmakers in Washington hold top positions on appropriations committees, and which have traditionally received substantial earmarks. In spending bills for the 2010 fiscal year, colleges in Texas, Mississippi, and California received the most Congressionally directed money for academic projects, according to an analysis of data by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonprofit watchdog group. House Republicans, who will take control of their chamber in January after picking up 63 seats last month, have vowed to eliminate earmarks from appropriations bills. And President Obama has said he supports overhauling the earmark process to eliminate waste and abuse. The federal-deficit commission he appointed has recommended cutting earmarks out of spending legislation, estimating that doing so would save about $16-billion annually. With the political momentum shifting against such spending, colleges government-relations officials are telling campus leaders not Continued on Page A15 Darrell Shandrow, a journalism student who is blind, can navigate around Arizona State U. just fine (above, he uses Foursquare, a location-based cellphone app). But he was stymied by Spanish 101, which uses an online workbook inaccessible to blind students. By Ma rc Pa r ry M 19,000 people have visited a new student union that Arizona State University put up last year to build a better sense of campus community. Darrell Shandrow, a blind senior studying journalism, can t get through the front door. He s stuck because the new social hub is built of bits, not bricks a private Facebook application for Arizona State students. And, like so much technology used by colleges, the software doesn t work with the programs that blind people depend on to navigate the Web. Basically, I m locked out, Mr. Shandrow, 37, says. So are many others. Colleges that wouldn t dare put up a new building without wheelchair access now routinely roll out digital services that, for blind people, are the Internet equivalent of impassable stairs. Roughly 75,000 students at DAV ID WA LLACE FOR THE CHRONICLE Colleges Lock Out Blind Students Online colleges and trade schools are visually impaired, according to Education Department figures. Bar- riers to access could deny them equal learning opportunities. And colleges are finding that the problems are lawsuit bait, generating litigation and complaints. This is a distressing trend because technology should actually benefit the blind. Mr. Shandrow s life is a daily demonstration of that potential. In his apartment near the campus here, he uses text- Continued on Page A5 BENJAMIN RASMUSSEN Costen Aytes, Naropa U. s landscape manager, waters a Buddhistinspired garden he designed. The flags represent the five wisdoms. By Law r ence Biem iller S and I know I m one of them, can be skeptical when confronted with anything unfamiliar, whether it be a recording, a recipe, or a religion. So I was a little worried when I stopped by Naropa University which describes itself as Buddhist-inspired and says it is dedicated to advancing contemplative education and people started talking to me earnestly about consciousness. To be honest, I was afraid my eyes might glaze over, the way they do when people try to talk to me earnestly about, say, football or rap music. It was Costen Aytes, Naropa s friendly, plainspoken landscape manager, who came to my rescue, taking me on a tour that started with the main campus s tidy sandstone paths, towering sycamores, quiet nooks, and busy bikelending shack a tour that explained Naropa in terms I m a lot more familiar with. By the time we had visited the Continued on Page A12 Who Are the Undergraduates? F coddled by helicopter par- ents to underage drinkers mad for Four Loco, popular depictions of undergraduates often paint them as young adults feeling their way through postadolescence. But while a cadre of undergraduates certainly does leave home at 18 to live on leafy campuses and party hard many others are commuters, full-time workers, and parents. More than a third of all undergraduates attend parttime, and most are not af- fluent. That s reflected in where students go to college more than twice as many undergraduates attend the University of Phoenix s online campus as go to an Ivy League college. Explore the demographics of undergraduates on Page A17 or at chronicle.com/undergrads. This week s news briefing: Page A2 The Chronicle Review: Section B 403 job opportunities: Page A34
2 THE BRIEFING For more news and analysis, see chronicle.com December 17, 2010 Let It Snow Please SERGIO LÓPEZ-PIÑEIRO Snow and Buffalo are synonymous and thus the white stuff is potentially a rich medium for a Buffalo artist. Sergio López-Piñeiro, an assistant professor of architecture at SUNY s University at Buffalo, plans to take full advantage of nature s bounty this winter, plowing the snow in the parking lot of Buffalo s Front Park into 15 giant mounds. By February, he hopes, each hillock will be about 42 feet wide and seven feet high. For months he has been plotting his steps with a scale model of the park (above ), using toy plows to push drifts of heavy salt into the desired designs. Graduate Enrollments Decline in Foreign-Language Programs Undergraduate enrollments in foreignlanguage courses reached an all-time high in the fall of 2009, with a 6.6-per- cent increase since the fall of But graduate-level enrollments declined for the first time in a decade, reported the Modern Language Association. That decline could mean a shortage of qualified foreign-language instructors for the next generation of students, MLA officials said. 2 For-Profit Institutions Announce Big Cuts in Jobs Faced with slowing enrollments, Kaplan Inc. said last week that it would eliminate about 770 jobs, or about 5 percent of the work force, in its Kaplan Higher Education division. The company, part of the Washington Post Company, did not say where the cuts would be made, but an executive said personnel needs were changing because we have made a strategic decision to become more selective in the students we enroll. A week earlier, the Apollo Group said it would lay off about 700 people, most of whom worked in admissions for its University of Phoenix. Lambuth and Fisk Face Accreditation Penalties Two financially struggling universities in Tennessee have been penalized by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It removed the accreditation of Lambuth University, but the institution plans to appeal and will retain its accreditation while that process is under way. The commission placed Fisk University on warning status for six months. Judge Dismisses Challenge to Racial-Preference Ban A federal judge has rejected the latest challenge to California s Proposition 209, which bans the use of affirmativeaction preferences by public colleges and other state and local agencies. In dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Samuel Conti, of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, said the plaintiffs in the case had failed to convince him that the legal landscape changed enough in recent years to undermine a previous appealscourt decision upholding the state measure. Movie-Industry Group Warns Colleges About Digital Piracy The Motion Picture Association of American has started to send letters to thousands of college and university presidents, alerting them that it would notify colleges whenever it detects illegal trading of Hollywood films and TV shows on their campuses. The entertainment-industry group s letter begins by reminding college leaders of legal regulations on digital piracy that went into effect this summer as part of the Higher Education Opportunity Act. The chairman of the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees abruptly resigned over what colleagues said he viewed as increasing political interference in oversight of the university Some professors at DePaul University are asking the institution s trustees to investigate the reasons behind a string of recent failed tenure bids by minority faculty members A part-time accounting instructor at Kennesaw State University was arrested after a student complained that the faculty member had disrobed during a class Harvard University has made the first substantial changes in its primary governing board since 1650, when the university was chartered India s third-richest man, Azim Premji, has donated $2-billion toward efforts to improve education in the country Keep up with the latest higher-education news from around the Web at THE TICKER chronicle.com/ticker Inside The Chronicle Review A WEEKLY MAGAZINE OF IDEAS The Chronicle of Higher Education Section B December 17, 2010 On chronicle.com INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY Many colleges lock blind students out of the growing online world for course materials A5 MONEY & MANAGEMENT Dear college president: 7 stakeholders share their views on educational quality A10 INTERNATIONAL Students from Caribbean medical schools flock to New York for clinical training, angering officials of programs in the state A18 As cuts hit European higher education, students and professors take to the streets A20 COMMENTARY Paradise lost: The academy becomes a commodity A21 Gazette A23 Careers A31 Jobs A34 Among the evangelicals Why WikiLeaks is bad for scholars Terry Castle, critical outlaw Two cheers for nature Correction Among the Evangelicals Inside a fractured movement By TIMOTHY BEAL Why WikiLeaks Is Bad For Scholars Terry Castle, Critical Outlaw Two Cheers For Nature An article about the digital imaging of an eighth-century manuscript known as the St. Chad Gospels (The Chronicle, December 10) misstated the nature of the damage caused in the 1960s when its pages were dipped in a conservation chemical. The procedure did not lead to more wrinkling and warping of the pages but may have caused pigments used in the manuscript to flake and fade. The Chronicle now takes its end-of-year print-publishing break. The next print edition will be dated January 7 and will be mailed to subscribers on Friday, December 31. Regular news updates continue at chronicle.com through December 21 and will resume on January 3. A Bit of a Culture Shock Jonathan Curtiss, a sophomore at Boise State University, explains in the newest installment of Say Something why he left Los Angeles to go to college in a part of the country that is mostly white and rural. Audio: Cyberbullies Beware! A writing class at the University of Southern California spent the fall semester creating resources to help victims of online bullies. Mark Marino, an assistant professor of writing at the University of Southern California who led the effort, tells the Tech Therapists why his students took on the task. Most-Viewed Articles 1. How to Fail in Grant Writing: Six ex- perts offer a beginner s guide to getting your federal grant proposal declined. 2. The Cautionary Tale of a Short- Lived College: As strange as the par- ticulars of Founders College are, they do raise questions about the standards for opening an institution of higher education. 3. Graduation Rates Fall at One- Third of 4-Year Colleges: Campus officials cite competing priorities, longer time to degree, and students difficult financial straits. 4. Why WikiLeaks Is Bad for Scholars: The cumulative effect of governments likely responses will make it harder for political scientists and historians to piece together how foreign-policy decisions were made. 5. As Tuition Discounts Climb, 3 Private Colleges Try a Different Approach: California Lutheran, Centre College, and the College of Notre Dame of Maryland seek to raise enrollment while reducing student aid. If you are a subscriber and do not yet have a password for The Chronicle s Web site, go to chronicle.com/activate
3 A3 THE BRIEFING Best Sellers What They re Reading on College Campuses 1. Decision Points by George W. Bush The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Presents Earth (the Book): A Visitor s Guide to the Human Race by Jon Stewart Towers of Midnight by Robert Jordan Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk by David Sedaris The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth by Jeff Kinney Sh*t My Dad Says by Justin Halpern The Girl Who Played With Fire by Stieg Larsson Chelsea Chelsea Bang Bang by Chelsea Handler Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner The Chronicle s list of best-selling books was compiled from information supplied by stores serving the following campuses: American U., Beloit College, Case Western Reserve U., College of William & Mary, Drew U., Florida State U., George Washington U., Georgetown U., Geor- gia State U., Harvard U., James Madison U., Johns Hopkins U., Kent State U., Pennsylvania State U. at University Park, San Francisco State U., Stanford U., Tulane U., U. at Buffalo, U. of California at Berkeley, U. of Chicago, U. of Florida, U. of Miami, U. of Nebraska at Lincoln, U. of New Hampshire, U. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U. of North Dakota, U. of North Texas, U. of Northern Colorado, U. of Oklahoma at Norman, Vanderbilt U., Washington State U., Washington U. in St. Louis, Wayne State U., Williams College, Winthrop U., and Xavier U. (Ohio). Reports, which include data provided by Barnes & Noble and the Follett Higher Education Group, are for sales of hardcover and paperback trade books in November. On Route 66, Get Your Kicks From Tourist Sites L is Northern Arizona University s mascot a 22-foot-tall fiberglass giant who stands, ax at the ready, outside the university s Walkup Dome. I went to the university library s special-collections section in search of more information about Louie, and that s where I met R. Sean Evans, university ar- chivist. He told me that the Paul-Bunyanesque Louie had been designed to adver- tise mufflers but ended up as an extra. In the mid-1960s, Mr. Evans said, an enterprising fiberglass-company salesman loaded Louie up and trucked him along the old Route 66 until he found a willing buyer, the owner of a Flagstaff establishment called the Lumberjack Cafe. After the restaurant changed hands it s now Granny s Closet, and a 10-foot cedar Louie has replaced the original the fiberglass gent took over as the university s mascot. I should mention that Mr. Evans, who curated a recent Route 66 exhibit at the university library, was wearing a Route CHRONICLE PHOTOGRAPH BY LAWRENCE BIEMILLER 66 shirt while he was telling me all this over breakfast at Miz Zip s, a diner on old Route 66. Also, his car has Route 66 seat covers. He and his wife became Route 66 fans one day in 1965 when they were driving over to Williams, Ariz., and got caught in a traffic jam caused by the decommissioning ceremony for the last stretch of Route 66 to be replaced by Interstate 40. His interest piqued, he deter- mined to photograph all that remained of the highway. He is, he said, nowhere near finished. Route 66 was laid out in 1926 by connecting existing roads not all of them paved into a route from Chicago to Los Angeles. It always came through downtown Flagstaff, where it ran right beside the tracks of the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe. But elsewhere highway officials changed the alignment from time to time. The most notable item in the library s exhibit, Mr. Evans said, was a chunk of pavement from a longtime alignment in which visitors could see layers of asphalt going all the way back to the earliest alignment. The exhibit was on display for a year and remains accessible online. He said it attracted Route 66 fans from as far away as France and Belgium. From Miz Zip s we drove back toward downtown Flagstaff, where we walked around several old Route 66 motels that survive as hostels or apartments, in some cases with tall neon signs still tower- ing above them. Mr. Evans encouraged me to stop by Route 66 landmarks like La Posada, a 1930 hotel in Winslow that was designed by Mary Jane Cotter for the hotel and restaurant magnate Fred Har- vey, whose inventive approach to tourism helped define the American Southwest as a destination. Postcards are dispatches from The Chronicle s Lawrence Biemiller as he visits colleges across America. By Kev in Kiley Chemist Channels Her Energies Into Developing Sustainable Power A the Princeton chemist Emily A. Carter s work is about the fundamental shifts that molecules can undergo when some outside influence acts on them. That kind of major shift can be seen in her own experience, too. Five years ago, Ms. Carter was hit with her own stimulus a report that detailed the evidence of climate change. It was at that point that Ms. Carter, a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and applied and computational mathematics, whose research spans multiple disciplines including physics and chemistry, Peer Review upended her life s work to focus on what she considers the biggest problem of our time: energy. I felt like I had an obligation, a responsibility to use my expertise to solve these big problems, she says. I no longer had the luxury to just do intellectually stimulating research projects. My research had taken on a purposeful perspective. Since then, Ms. Carter has completely shifted her focus to energy issues, ranging from creating lightweight alloys that could improve fuel efficiency in cars to doing research on the materials used in solar panels to make them more efficient. In September she became founding director of Princeton s Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, an interdisciplinary institute that will seek to bring together scientists and engineers, as well as policy makers and economists, to develop new means of sustainable energy production, energy conservation, and environmental protection. The center is financed through a $100-million gift by a Princeton alumnus. Pablo G. Debenedetti, chairman of the committee that selected Ms. Carter and vice dean of Princeton s School of Engineering and Applied Science, said Ms. Carter was the consensus choice for the role, despite her initial hesitation about adding the job to a growing list of research responsibilities. She s articulate, passionate about the energy issue, and very thoughtful. What more could you ask for in a leader? he asks. She can also back up what she says with an excellent record of what she s accomplished. Ms. Carter likes to say her background in both applied and natural science has made her multilingual, capable of conversing with researchers in different disciplines and bridging ideas from one department to another. Within her own lab, she has graduate and postdoctoral students in engineering, chemistry, physics, and math. It will be up to Ms. Carter, as founding director, to bring in researchers. She said she plans to go around the campus asking faculty members to work with the center, as well as inquire about who should be brought in from the outside. Ms. Carter will most likely hire nine new faculty members Emily A. Carter BENTLEY DREZNER for the center. Anyone who has expertise in an area related to this should be working on these problems, she says. Ms. Carter began her career as a chemist focused on quantum mechanics the study of subatomic particle behavior earning a Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology. She spent the next few years studying surface chemistry, earning grants to do research on materials that could withstand the high temperatures of jet engines and energy turbines and developing computational models to predict the behavior of materials at the atomic level. I had been working a lot of different projects and developing software tools to probe the properties of materials, but I hadn t had a laser-beam focus on any one particular issue, she says. That changed when Ms. Carter read a report by the Inter- governmental Panel on Climate Change in She says that report presented clear and convincing evidence that man-made carbon-dioxide emissions were having a significant effect on earth s climate. Of all the directions in which she could have taken her work, she says, energy issues provided her with the best chance to use her expertise to tackle a pressing need. You have to look at your technical strengths and say, Where I can make the best contribution? she says. My expertise is in physical phenomena, and I think that has more applications to the energy field. Outside the traditional reasons for wanting to combat climate change, Ms. Carter has another argument for reducing the amount of carbon released into the atmosphere. Even if you could prove that carbon dioxide has nothing to do with global climate change, it is incredibly stupid as a chemist to continue down the current path, she says. It makes no sense to be blowing all this carbon up into the atmosphere when we could be using it for useful purposes right here on earth. But combating climate change will take more than a science perspective, Ms. Carter recognizes. Part of her goal for the center is to bring in researchers from fields such as economics, policy studies, and even the humanities to figure out the best ways to effect change. And that goal will require Ms. Carter to reach into even more fields, create new bonds, and explore new ideas, three pursuits she has always found stimulating.
4 A4 THE BRIEFING 2 KEVIN T is nearly over, and it s time to find out whether you ve been paying attention to the news in higher education or just watching reality television. Multiple choice, matching and true/false. The answers are at the bottom. No peeking. 1. In an identity mix-up involving a DePaul University philosophy professor who wrote the book Ethical Marxism, the author of which beloved children s book was recommended for exclusion from the third-grade social-studies curriculum in Texas? A. Curious George, by H.A. Rey B. Where the Wild Things Are, by Maurice Sendak C. The Velveteen Rabbit, by Margery Williams D. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? by Bill Martin Jr. E. Goodnight Moon, by Margaret Wise Brown 2. True or false? The proportion of faculty members in the United States who were tenured or on the tenure track dropped to 21 percent in : College presidents who sit on corporate boards have faced criticism and even lawsuits when things go wrong. Some have decided it s not worth the hassle. Match the college leader with the board from which he or she resigned: A. Erroll B. Davis Jr., then-chancellor of the University System of Georgia B. Ruth J. Simmons, president of Brown U. C. E. Gordon Gee, president of Ohio State U. D. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a. Stepped down last year from the board of Massey Energy Company, owner the West Virginia mine where 29 miners died in April. b. Resigned board position at BP five days before the company s Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded in April. c. Left the board of Goldman Sachs in March, a month before the Securities and Exchange Commission charged the company with fraud for its role in the subprime-mortgage crisis. d. Left the board of NYSE Euronext in April, but is paid more than $1-million annually for service on five other boards, in addition to an academic salary of $1.6-million. 4. According to the National Research Council s rankings of 5,000 doctoral programs in the United States, this program has the longest median time to degree, 16.3 years. A. theoretical physics at Princeton U. B. aerospace engineering at MIT C. music at Washington U. in St. Louis D. gerontology at UMass-Amherst 5. In a never-ending quest for the optimal freshman class, America s highly selective colleges expanded their application pools to record numbers this past year. Which university boasted of 57,670 applications and proclaimed itself the most popular campus in the nation? A. UCLA B. Stanford U. C. U. of Texas at Austin D. Harvard U. 6. Which of the following musicianuniversity pairings did not occur this past year? A. Todd Rundgren Indiana U. at Bloomington B. Ted Nugent Wayne State U. C. Wyclef Jean Brown U. D. Steve Miller U. of Southern California 7. Which of the following campus animal relocations did not happen this year? A. 11 feral cats were moved into hutches during a building renovation at Tulane U. B. 240 prairie dogs were moved from the Santa Fe U. of Art and Design. C. 23 beavers were moved downstream from the U. of Iowa. D. More than 600 rabbits were removed from the U. of Victoria. 8. All of these bands have played at Calvin College except this one, which was rejected because of its name. A. The New Pornographers B. Barenaked Ladies C. Death Cab for Cutie D. Jars of Clay Tweed The Higher-Ed News Quiz 0 0 ISTOCKPHOTO 1 KEVIN C. COX, GETTY IMAGES 9. Several college figures left their jobs unexpectedly this year. Match the figure and former institution with the length of tenure and circumstances of departure: A. Lane Kiffin, U. of Tennessee football coach B. Michael J. Hogan, U. of Connecticut president C. Uga VII, U. of Georgia mascot D. Sally Clausen, Louisiana highereducation commissioner E. Damon Evans, U. of Georgia athletic director a. 14 months; burned in effigy by rioting students b. 15 months; died of heart problems c. 2 years; endured bad publicity after pulling retire/rehire maneuver to secure $146,000 annual pension plus $90,000 lump-sum payment for unused vacation and sick leave d. 3 years; left behind life-size cardboard cutouts and a disgruntled governor e. 6 years; arrested for DUI while accompanied by a woman and holding her red panties 10. In the facetious Ph.D. Challenge, grad students were asked to sneak what phrase into a peer-reviewed paper? A. I smoke crack rocks. B. Higher education is the next bubble. C. Please remember to tip your cows. D. Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate. 11. This university paid an unprecedented 10 employees more than $1-million each in A. Harvard U. B. Vanderbilt U. C. Johns Hopkins U. D. Stanford U. E. St. Regis U. 12. Which of the following is not a recently reported research finding? A. Teachers who grade with red pens mark more errors on papers. B. Nearly 8 percent of subjects in one study had performed sexual acts while asleep. C. The optimal annual salary for achieving happiness is $75,000. D. Men with beards are considered more trustworthy. E. All are recent findings. 13. According to a University of Texas/ Texas Tribune poll, what percentage of adults in the Lone Star State either believe that humans and dinosaurs coexisted or don t know one way or the other? A. 23 percent B. 36 percent C. 44 percent D. 59 percent C. COX, GETTY IMAGES 14. A freshman named attends Harvard U. A. Princeton Man B. Ivy Harvard C. Yale Fan D. Cornel West 15. Which of the following did not happen this year? A. Two scientists proposed saving money on a mission to Mars by sending people up but not bringing them back. B. A 90-year-old Canadian-history journal changed its name because the original one had become crude slang for female genitalia. C. A researcher at the U. of Reading infected himself with a computer virus. D. An art professor at NYU had a camera implanted in the back of his head. E. A marketing campaign at the U. of Maryland called Unstoppable was canceled because of snow. F. They all happened. 16. What did a community-college instructor in Mississippi threaten to do to a student who used a four-letter word after class? A. Spank him B. Send him to detention C. Make him write on the chalkboard like Bart Simpson D. Wash his mouth out with soap 17. What personal item belonging to Penn State Coach Joe Paterno was auctioned off to benefit Penn State Public Radio? A. His glasses B. His diploma from Brown U. C. His toupee D. His dentures Don Troop Answers: 1(d); 2(f); 3(A-b, B-c, C-a, D-d); 4(c); 5(a); 6(b); 7(c); 8(a); 9(A-a, B-d, C-b, D-c, E-e); 10(a); 11(b); 12(e); 13(d); 14(c); 15(f); 16(b); 17(a) For more stories that take higher education a little less seriously, follow Tweed chronicle.com/tweed
5 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 A5 information technology PHoToGrAPHS By DAvID WAllACE For THE CHroNIClE Colleges Lock Blind Students Out of Growing Online World In a number of respects, blind students are at a greater disadvantage today than they were 20 years ago. Technology ought to benefit the blind, argues Darrell Shandrow, a senior at Arizona State, who has waged a lengthy battle to make course materials, not just campus facilities, accessible to blind students. (Below, he scans a book to convert text into digital audio.) The Chronicle has found such problems widespread at colleges. Continued From Page A1 to-speech software that reads Web sites out loud. To get around town, he runs iphone applications that identify nearby buildings and even the bills in his wallet. He also blogs, tweets, shoots video, and hosts an online radio show. But even though he can navigate so much of the world, Mr. Shandrow hit a wall when he got to Spanish 101. The obstacle: an online workbook that failed to correctly label images. The Chronicle, after more than two dozen interviews and a review of federal records and recent research, found widespread access problems like that. Some other examples: n College Web pages are widely inaccessible to people with disabilities, according to a recent National Science Foundation-backed study that looked at 127 institutions in the Northwest over five years. A recent study of 183 colleges, nationwide, found similar problems. (See table, Page A6.) n Many colleges have no centralized way to ensure that online courses comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act, says a November report from the Campus Computing Project and the Wiche Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications. n At one of the country s most prominent public institutions, Pennsylvania State University, blind students and professors suffer pervasive and ongoing discrimination because of inaccessible campus technology, says a federal complaint filed in November by the country s largest organization of blind people. The complaint names problem areas that include Penn State s library catalog, departmental Web sites, and, crucially, its almost totally inaccessible course-management software. n At Arizona State last year, advocates including Mr. Shandrow sued the institution over its use of Amazon s Kindle e-reader, which lacked audible menus for blind people. Arizona State agreed that it would strive to use accessible devices if it deployed e-book readers in classes over the next two years. In a number of respects, blind students are at a greater disadvantage today than they were 20 years ago, says Daniel F. Goldstein, counsel to the National Federation of the Blind, who filed the complaint against Penn State. (Both that university and Arizona State have responded to complaints by stating that they are committed to accessible learning for all.) The Vision Problem For Mr. Shandrow, the Kindle suit was the latest episode in a long and sometimes lonely fight to get people to care about this issue, a fight that has put him at odds with technology companies, colleges, other advocates for the blind, employers, even his own family. It s much more than just the use of e-readers that bugs him about Arizona State. For instance, there s the technology adopted by the journalism school, in Phoenix, whose modern downtown campus Mr. Shandrow reaches by light rail. Arizona State participates in News21, a national multimedia project that aims to train a new generation of journalists Continued on Page A7
6 A6 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 information technology Best and Worst College Web Sites for Blind Students Some college Web pages treat blind students who rely on text-to-speech readers better than others do. Jon R. Gunderson, coordinator of assistive communication and information-technology accessibility at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, has reviewed Web pages at 183 institutions. He selected them mostly from 15 major athletic conferences, since those institutions are similar in size and mission. He also surveyed all institutions in California s two university systems, and those in one Colorado university system, because of their large enrollments. He reviewed home pages, main pages from the admissions offices and colleges of liberal arts, as well as all other pages with links on those primary sites. The percentages in each column indicate the proportion of pages that met Mr. Gunderson s accessibility criteria. Here are the top 25 and bottom 25 colleges in his ranking. For the complete list of 183, go to chronicle.com. Top 25 Institutions Rank Total Average Score¹ Web Site Name² Additional Headings³ Online Applications 4 Information Web Site Tables 5 Pictures 6 Design 7 Missouri State U California State U. at Northridge Calif. Polytechnic State U at San Luis Obispo U. of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Indiana U. at Bloomington California State U. at Channel Islands Oregon Institute of Technology Nevada State College n/a U. of Evansville California State U. at Chico Michigan State U U. of Tulsa College of the Holy Cross U. of Minnesota-Twin Cities U. of Illinois at Chicago Loyola U. Chicago California State U.-East Bay U. of Texas at Austin Southern Illinois U. at Carbondale U. of California at San Francisco U. of Kansas Pennsylvania State U. Main Campus Duke U n/a U. of Houston Texas Tech U Bottom 25 Institutions U. of Alabama at Birmingham n/a East Carolina U U. of Southern Mississippi Southern Oregon U U. of North Carolina at Charlotte California State U.-Stanislaus n/a Marshall U U. of California at Santa Cruz Oklahoma State U Lafayette College U. of California at Santa Barbara n/a Georgetown U Southern Methodist U n/a Montana State U U.S. Military Academy La Salle U n/a U. of Cincinnati Providence College n/a Great Basin College U.S. Naval Academy n/a Wright State U Weber State U Youngstown State U n/a Fordham U U.S. Air Force Academy n/a 0 0 ¹The average of all six categories studied. ²The Web site must have text included where a browser s text reader will pick it up. The same must be true for all Web pages on the site. ³All additional headings on a page need to contain text, and font sizes need to be ordered largest to smallest, consecutively. 4 All elements of online applications need to be properly labeled so that text readers will find them. Such elements include: password boxes, radio buttons, file buttons, check boxes, select buttons, submit buttons, and reset buttons. 5 If you use a table to display information, include proper tags in the cells: th tags to indicate categories and td tags to indicate data. 6 If there is a picture included anywhere on the Web site, there should be text, coded for text readers, describing the picture. 7 Tables should be used only for organizing data in rows and columns. If you are designing a Web site, use a cascading style sheet instead of a table. source: Courtesy Jon Gunderson, U. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
7 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 A7 Continued From Page A5 capable of reshaping the news industry. but news21 uses an online video player that gives Mr. shandrow s screen reader a fit. daily frustrations like that drive his one-man advocacy war. When he finds a problem, which is often, the journalism student doesn t hesitate to shame the offender with a volley of messages to his 1,100 Twitter followers. This tendency has earned him criticism from other advocates. publicly scolding people rather than privately counseling them may actually do more harm than good, they argue. And some other blind students don t get all the fuss. rhonda s. partain, 46, remembers the misery of her student life in the early 1980s. inaccessible technology? Try a typewriter. you might write three blank pages, she says, before realizing that your machine had run out of ink. With computers, however imperfect, she was recently able to complete an online degree at Liberty University. This is immensely better, she says. some of these people who are complaining now should have known how it was then, and they wouldn t complain so much. Mr. shandrow takes a harder line. Accessibility is a human right, in his view. if a sighted person can use a piece of technology, he should be able to as well. in person, his appearance is as loud as his advocacy. Unlike some blind people, who favor inconspicuous short canes, Mr. shandrow scrapes the sidewalk with a 63-inch staff that extends beyond his ear. people can see they should watch where they re going, he explains. i m here! his belt advertises his presence, too, with a large turquoise-and-silver buckle and darrell engraved in the leather. About the only thing he hides are his eyes, blinded since childhood by glaucoma and veiled behind gold-tinted aviator sunglasses. Mr. shandrow became a hardened activist as a teen. Craving a mainstream education, he tried to transfer to a local public school from the Arizona state school for the deaf and the blind. officials discouraged him, he says, with irksome questions: how would he go to the bathroom? eat lunch? Long story short: his family went to court, and won access to public school. That early struggle changed him, says Mr. shandrow s wife, Karen, during a late-november dinner at an Applebee s restaurant in Tempe. her guide dog, a golden-retriever/black- Lab cross named Joyce, slurps from a bowl of ice cubes at her feet. Karen, too, is blind. her husband realized early on that blind people can t depend on others to get their needs met, she says. They need to do everything in their power to fight for themselves. Everything. he s still an ethical person and stuff, she continues. but i m willing to go pretty far if i feel the need to, says Mr. shandrow, finishing the sentence. how far? he smiles. Let s just say anything short of violence or terrorism or something like that. Anything short of that goes. do anything, say anything, to get accessibility. E-reader Trouble in 2009, he got the chance to make a big splash for the cause. Amazon was touting its Kindle e- reader in the textbook market with college pilot programs. Advocates for the blind like the national Federation, angry because of the device s inaccessibility, wanted to shape this emerging market by taking a tough legal stance. And Mr. shandrow was in a position to help, since Arizona state, where he had returned in 2008 after dropping out in the 1990s, was one of Amazon s pilot partners. it wasn t a perfect position, because the university s pilot program was limited to the honors college, to which Mr. shandrow didn t belong, so the program didn t directly affect him. still, when a lawyer on the case reached out to him, his answer was instant: sign me up. The fight hit Mr. shandrow close to home. in the 1990s, he virtually bombed out his first two semesters of college and withdrew from most classes, largely because of a lack of textbooks in braille or electronic format. nearly two decades later, access to books remains a very thorny issue. Many publishers have dragged their feet making textbooks available in alternate formats, says Jack Trammell, director of disability-support services at randolph-macon College, in virginia. That creates delays and leaves colleges scrambling to figure out alternative fixes, such as scanning books themselves. Amazon s Kindle had the potential to avoid such problems. Unlike ink on paper, digital texts aren t inherently visual or aural, advocates argue, so they should be equally accessible to blind or sighted users. in fact, the Kindle did come with textto-speech technology. but its menus were not accessible to blind users. Mr. shandrow s family begged him to stay out of the fight: When Continued on Following Page Advertisement paid for with non-state funds. CHE Photo: Gino De Grandis
8 A8 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 information technology Continued From Preceding Page I told my father-in-law about it, he just about went crazy. He said that I would ruin my chances for future employment, and people would see me as a troublemaker. Mr. Shandrow was willing to take the risk. In June 2009, he joined the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind in suing Arizona State to block it from deploying the Kindle. The groups also filed complaints about Kindle pilots at five other colleges. The outcome was mixed. Since Mr. Shandrow was ineligible for the Kindle pilot, a judge dismissed him from the case for failing to identify any clear policy by ASU that will in any way impact him. But then, in January, Arizona State agreed to settle the case. Denying any legal violation, the university said it would strive to use only accessible e-book readers for a two-year period. Similar agreements were soon reached between the Justice Department and other colleges identified by the advocates. In Washington, meanwhile, federal authorities seized on the Kindle controversy to broadcast a sharp message to colleges nationwide: Requiring inaccessible e-readers may run afoul of the law. The warning came in a public letter released jointly by the Departments of Justice and Education. It is unacceptable for universities to use emerging technology without insisting that this technology be accessible to all students, the government said. Assistance from Alex Yet they continue to do just that, Mr. Shandrow says, and a visit to a darkened room in his apartment shows how. He calls this his accessibility command center. The dusty tangle of cords, headphones, gadgets, and Kit Kat wrappers gives off a vibe like a hacker s nocturnal den. Speakers above the desk fill the room with a serene robotic voice that sounds like Hal, the murderous computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey. The sound is Alex, Apple s name for one of the voice options in the text-tospeech feature that is built into Macs. Alex speaks both the words on Web pages and the stage directions that blind people need to surf them: navigation buttons, links, images, punctuation. You could spend days listening to Alex crash into inaccessibility roadblocks. There s Arizona State s new virtual student union, for instance. It s actually a Facebook application, sold to colleges by a company called Inigral. People can use it to find classmates with the same major or see if anyone has an extra ticket to the Roger Waters concert. But to do that, they have to read guidelines and click a button that says, Okay Let s get started! Or, in Alex-speak: Okay. Dash. Let s get started. Button. But Mr. Shandrow can t start, because of an accessibility flaw that is common online. Like most blind people, he controls his computer with a keyboard, not a mouse. This start button isn t keyboard-enabled. There are problems with online courseware, too. Last year Mr. Shandrow took a Spanish class that used a online workbook from a company called Quia Web. It was filled with unlabeled images. Such labels, part of the code under the hood of Web pages, are crucial because screen readers use them to describe pictures. Their absence forced Mr. Shandrow to depend on a sighted aide when he took the class. (The image problem is not limited to higher education. The Chronicle s Web site, for instance, lacks text describing many images for blind readers.) Inaccessibility is a major issue for the movement to post educational content free on the Internet. Hundreds of colleges have spent tens of millions of dollars producing lecture videos, notes, syllabi, and other free online materials. But Hal Plotkin, a senior policy adviser in the Education Department, says he would be surprised if more than 10 percent of these open educational resources are fully accessible. That flaw has dramatically held back their deployment, says Mr. Plotkin, a former community-college trustee in California. Public institutions will not use these materials, Mr. Plotkin says, because The ADA s rules may be amended to specify that the Web, just like a building, is covered by the federal law on accessibility. the lawsuits that would follow would be inevitable, and very costly. And that s too bad, because Alex also shows that some of this software is pretty attractive once past the initial hurdles. After a reporter helps Mr. Shandrow get inside the Inigral Facebook program, for example, he doesn t have much trouble moving around. In fact, he likes it. He s a tech geek with a new toy, one he admits could be a fun app. He finds a comment posted by a woman, soon to be 28, who says how nice it is that the app has a group for older students. Are you kidding? You re only 28? Mr. Shandrow says, rocking back and forth with a smile on his face. I m 37, girl. C mon! I m old! Under her post, he tries another button used for quick evaluations of Facebook posts, and it works fine: Like. Adjusting Attitudes What he doesn t like is the attitude of many software developers, who often fail to consider accessibility. When The Chronicle asks whether the Facebook application is accessible to blind people, Michael Staton, chief executive of Inigral, gives a simple answer: No. But he quickly points out that students aren t required to use it. It s all just part of the social experience, he says. Still, inaccessibility can be bad for business. One college Inigral had been talking with went with a competing product because blind people could use it, Mr. Staton says. So does he plan to make his technology accessible? I wouldn t know how to approach that at the moment, he says. Mr. Shandrow and others argue that the right approach is for universities to force companies to include accessibility by refusing to buy their products without it. What tends to happen, though, is that the issue gets dealt with later, when students report problems to campus disability-services offices. As a result of their history handling accessibility through these offices, college officials have been lulled into complacency on this issue, says Deborah Kaplan, who directed California State University s Accessible Technology Initiative until this year. An Arizona State spokeswoman declined to discuss Mr. Shandrow s specific allegations. But in general, the university bases its technology choices on cost, functionality, suitability, and accessibility, says the spokeswoman, Sharon Keeler. And ASU is committed to providing access to all programs and facilities for students with disabilities. She added, We undertake efforts to provide reasonable accommodations when the students make us aware of the need for them. Penn State, too, says it is committed to accommodating students. It complies with the law by doing things like making sighted aides available to help with inaccessible technology, says a spokeswoman, Annemarie Mountz. It s also studying new course software, including tests by blind students. What we re finding is that all of these learning-management systems have accessibility issues, she says. There are hopeful signs. California State University has shown how powerful colleges can be when they make access a high priority. The nation s largest public-college system turns its size into influence by denying problem companies access to its market of 430,000 students. That helped push Apple, Google, and Blackboard to upgrade their products for the blind. (See article this page.) Blackboard got so much better that in March, the National Federation of the Blind lauded the company for great improvement in the latest release of its course-management software. Navigation is smoother, and so are the forms, allowing blind students to do things like submit assignments and participate in discussions. Blackboard even offers a self-paced course for professors to get guidance on building accessible classes. Meanwhile, the Justice Department is considering amending the ADA s regulations to specify that the Web, like a building, is covered by the law. Alex J. Hurder, a clinical professor at Vanderbilt University Law School, says the potential changes are a big deal, because anyone in the business of preparing content for the Internet would be warned in advance that you need to take these factors into consideration when you re preparing your programs. Otherwise the market will dry up for you, and nobody will be allowed to buy them. A hearing on these issues is scheduled for December 16 in Washington. Mr. Shandrow, guided through the capital by his iphone app, will be there. Jeffrey Brainard provided additional reporting for this article. By Josh Keller San Francisco When Apple launched itunes U in 2006, dozens of prominent colleges joined the service and posted free course lectures, campus tours, and other materials. Stanford, Duke, and MIT praised the software s ability to distribute high-quality education to the public. But California State University balked. Officials at Cal State were troubled that the itunes software was impossible for many disabled people to use. Blind students and faculty couldn t use screen-reader programs with it. Closed captioning for deaf users was not properly supported. Officials approached Apple. We got a lot of glad-handing from them but few substantial fixes, says Deborah Kaplan, who until this year directed Cal State s Accessible Technology Initiative. So Cal State asked its 23 campuses not to use itunes U in most situations until these basic issues were solved. Over the past five years, Cal State has waged one of higher education s most aggressive campaigns for accessible technology. It has adopted stringent standards for vendors and employees. Along with other groups, it has helped force Apple, Google, and Blackboard to improve their software or lose the ability to reach Cal State s 430,000 students. But the system has also struggled, in ways that reflect problems that all colleges face on the Web. Recent budget cuts have reduced the number of staff members who train employees and convert materials to accessible formats. Ms. Kaplan left in July for another job and has yet to be replaced. These cuts hurt, especially because Web use has advanced to the point where anybody on campus can upload large numbers of documents and Web pages that may or may not be accessible. Cal State s dealings with Apple a few years ago, however, show the positive effects that a large university can have. In February 2008, still unhappy with itunes DAVID WALLACE FOR THE CHRONICLE Cal State s Strong Push for Accessible Technology Gets Results and itunes U, the system s chief information officer and others flew to Apple headquarters to press the company to make more significant changes. In the conversation, Ms. Kaplan recalled, Apple officials noted that no other campus had raised such forceful concerns. (Apple declined to comment for this article.) We have an unusual responsibility, given our size, to throw our weight around occasionally, says Mark Turner, director of the system s Center for Accessible Media. Those discussions were followed by additional pressure on Apple from the National Federation of the Blind and the attorney general of Massachusetts. Apple responded by rolling out changes that made itunes much more accessible to blind, lowvision, and deaf users. The company has since become a leader in making its products accessible, advocates say. But Cal State has had to pull back on some ambitious goals of its own as its budgets fell victim to the state s fiscal woes. During the time it was negotiating with Apple three years ago, the system had vowed to make all materials on all campuses meet federal accessibility standards by This year, though, the system shelved that plan. Officials at several campuses had complained it wasn t realistic with available resources. I don t think it was really understood how broad and sweeping those requirements were, what was really involved in a system as big and as diverse as CSU, says Ms. Kaplan, who is now a senior adviser on technology accessibility at the U.S. Social Security Administration. Suggestions, Not Mandates Cal State officials say they realize they were pushing too fast. Instead of trying to require complete compliance, they are now focusing their efforts on encouraging continual improvement on each campus and helping campus officials share best practices. Public colleges in most states are required to show that their technology is accessible under state laws based on Section 508 of the federal
9 A9 Rehabilitation Act or related standards. But Cal State s strategy shift illustrates how difficult it is for colleges to ensure full compliance. The challenges have multiplied in recent years, as the use of technology in the classroom has grown and digital media have become more complex. How, for example, can officials explain accessible ways to format a Word document to every person professor, student, and administrator who can upload materials to a course Web site? How does a campus prevent faculty members from playing uncaptioned videos in class? How can it police a Web site with a half-million pages? Short answer: It can t. Every content producer, every tech person and manager and maintenance worker this goes from the student workers who make eight bucks an hour to full professors every one of them has to understand what accessible technology is and what 508 is, says Eugene R. Chelberg, an associate vice president for student affairs at San Francisco State University. Well, boom, that s not going to happen. That, he says, is because disability officials simply don t have the resources to talk to everybody about each new technology used on campus. Even if they did, changing people s habits when they use computers can be a long, frustrating struggle, he adds. So instead, Cal State officials say they are focusing on big-ticket items. In 2008 the system raised the minimum price at which a technology contract must be vetted for accessibility, from $2,500 to $15,000. Inexpensive programs are often used by small groups, while expensive programs like learning-management systems or billing software are of- ten used campuswide. San Francisco State, for its part, has worked on improving its mosttrafficked Web sites first and then moving down the list, Mr. Chelberg How can offi cials explain accessible ways to format a document to every person who can upload one? How can a campus police a Web site with a half-million pages? Short answer: It can t. says. And instead of explaining to everybody how to make an accessible document independently, of- ficials are building a system that makes it easy for a wide variety of people to produce such material. For instance, when a group on campus redesigns its Web site, the university asks it to use a template that gives the site an accessible foundation, he says. Sites created with the template will have image descriptions used by screen readers, for instance. The university also created syllabus-building software that helps faculty members put their syllabi into accessible formats. Academ e s Balancing Act Mark Turner, the accessible-media official, says what the Cal State system has learned is when to handle things centrally and when to avoid micromanaging the implementation. The system typically handles an issue centrally if it saves money, helps establish common reporting objectives or other priorities, or provides leverage over outside vendors or companies that resist spending money to make their work accessible. But at times, the twin goals of avoiding micromanagement and gaining systemwide leverage conflict. Take textbooks, Mr. Turner says. Because faculty members, not institutions, choose which textbook to use, colleges find it difficult to band together and demand versions that can be read by screen readers or other assistive technology. As a result, publishers have been slow to make both paper and electronic textbooks accessible, he says. But requiring professors who teach similar courses to all use the same textbook would be a nonstarter. Faculty members have complained that efforts to coordinate textbook selection infringe upon their academic freedom. Acknowledging those valid concerns while meeting federal statutes like the Americans With Disabilities Act is a balancing act, Mr. Turner says. One of the gentle conversations that needed to happen in our case was to recognize that things like academic freedom exist in the context of a variety of laws, he says. Academic freedom is not something that provides a pass from, say, ADA. That conversation is critical, he says, because if professors don t insist on accessible texts, publishers won t provide them. When leverage fails, access support wanes. How Cal State Makes Course Materials Accessible Disability offices at California State University campuses translate course materials into versions that blind, deaf, or otherwise impaired students can use. This is how they do so with four common types of media: Textbook Video Microsoft Word document Web site Step 1: Plan Ahead Early deadlines for course registration and for faculty members to select textbooks help offi cials get the materials prepared. Captioning a video to be accessible to the deaf on short notice can be expensive. Faculty members can be trained to identify potential problems with videos early. Develop templates for certain types of documents, such as syllabi, to ensure accessibility. Or train faculty to produce them properly. Discuss accessibility standards with vendors of learning-management systems and other software. Step 2: Consider the Source Contact the publisher, who may have an electronic version of a textbook that could be read by text-to-speech software. It is illegal, in some cases, to caption a video without permission from the copyright holder. The owner might have a transcript of the video or might grant permission to modify it. Ask document owners if they have a version in a more accessible format. Don t rely on inaccesible Web sites to provide core services or required assignments. Step 3: Translate Cut off the spine, scan pages with optical character-recognition software, and manually edit the result for errors and formatting. In some cases, produce a Braille version. To add captions to a DVD, it might be necessary to disassemble the video files and manually type in captions and time stamps. Add more descriptive links, clearly defined text styles, alternative text for images, a larger font size, or other structural elements. Provide somebody to explain the site to affected students. Or put inaccessible text into a readable format and add captions for any online videos. Source: Chronicle reporting
10 A10 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 money & management Dear President 7 Stakeholders Share Their Views on College Quality Virtually everyone agrees that many colleges and universities fail to live up to their promise. But different people mean very different things when they raise concerns about colleges quality. one person might worry that colleges don t do enough to measure their students learning. Another might say the opposite that colleges have embraced soulless testing regimes that are far removed from the classical ideals of mentorship and humanistic learning. one person might believe there are MEASURING STICK too many business majors; another might say there aren t enough. That diversity of interests makes the project of measuring colleges quality extraordinarily complicated. For this final installment in our Measuring Stick series, we invited more than a dozen stakeholders prospective students, parents, and employers to write letters to an imaginary college president, describing how they define quality in higher education and what it would take to persuade them that a particular college is strong. on the following pages are seven letters that answer those questions. one additional contribution, from Bronwen Fetters, a highschool student in huntington, Ind., appears online at chronicle.com/quality, where articles and multimedia features from the entire series can also be found. A Parent Says Teaching and Advising Should Be the Focus Dear College President, I m an educator and the mother of four sons: one currently a sophomore at a large public university, one who will attend an elite private university next fall, another who is working his way through high school while managing dyslexia, and one finishing fifth grade. My three oldest sons have different personalities and needs. I have found we need one university that emphasizes the humanities, another that will prepare my son for a career in medicine, and one that takes seriously its role in helping students who need special assistance with reading and writing. Many universities assure parents they have support programs in place for students who learn differently, but their pledges, we ve found, are shallow. Please don t tell us you will offer our son quality help unless you can. Though our sons are very different, what we expect from their college education is the same: for their worldviews to be broadened, for their love of learning to be inspired, and for their desire to reach out to those in need to be encouraged. At the same time we expect that their degrees will lead to self-supporting lives of meaningful employment. We re also looking for colleges that put a high value on the quality of teaching. As a reading specialist, I believe teaching is as much an art as a science. I would strongly encourage you to focus less on how many articles your professors publish and more on what student evaluations say about them. It may be impressive that they are Nobel laureates, but not if students can t understand them. And from personal experience, I know that when students feel a personal connection and know you are committed to helping them reach their goals, they are much more likely to succeed. When I send my kids off to college, I want to know that their academic advisers are not only meeting with them regularly, but also getting to know them personally. Finally, please don t lose sight of why many students come through your doors in the first place: to prepare for the world of work. Make sure you re forming adequate partnerships with industry, requiring all students to complete multiple internships and have plenty of practical experiences. Sincerely, Stephanie Pratt Director Pratt Program for Students With Dyslexia Bishop Walsh School Cumberland, Md. CourTeSy of STePhANIe PrATT Students and Faculty Must Work Across Boundaries to Meet Real-World Challenges IBM university ProgrAMS Dear University and College Presidents, Working with academia has been a longtime passion of mine, and for the last two years, my full-time job at IBM. In this role, I am often asked to offer advice, from an industry vantage point, on what needs to change in universities and colleges. After much thought and discussions with others, I have distilled my advice to these four points: n help students be more interdisciplinary. Knowledge workers today need a combination of skills that spans technology, business, and social sciences. This requires three distinct parts of universities to work together and bridge their siloed boundaries. n In addition to other types of coursework, ensure that students work on real-world challenges. Design capstone and other team-oriented projects that require students in engineering, business, social sciences, humanities, and others to work together to solve problems. n Find better ways to encourage faculty who are boundary-spanners. Today s measurements (tenure, grants, salary) are optimized too much the other way. Institutions with discipline-oriented departments that seek rigor and ensure depth, as well as cross-cutting research centers that tackle real-world challenges to establish breadth, can provide ample opportunities to motivate both types of faculty. n Provide faculty and students more opportunities to connect locally and globally. Locally, they can partner with businesses, government, and nonprofits to improve regional innovation ecosystems and quality of life. They can also gain experiences, like a semester abroad, that make them more-informed global citizens. universities and colleges are already adapting in many ways, and have nimble and flexible curricula that are updated with changes in technology, business, and social trends, like business analytics and cloud computing. When IBM looks for new employees, the key is to find college graduates who are interdisciplinary, team-oriented, real-world problemsolvers andinformed global citizens. regards, Jim Spohrer Director, IBM university Programs World-Wide
11 A11 The Right College Should Exceed My Son s Academic and Social Expectations I am aware that there is little you can do to change the rules of the admissions game. However, because you are the official representative of your institution, I hope this letter may help you to reflect on the way the higher-education system has evolved in recent years and the way it is affecting the core mission of colleges and universities. Sometimes institutional leaders forget that mission: to prepare the next generation for life and work and to be responsible members of our society. My son is in the process of deciding which institution to apply to. Curiously, he puts little credence in rankings and prestige. I see him much more inclined to find a place where he can fully develop his potential as a student, and, more important, as a human being. During our recent visit to your university, my son was attracted by factors such as the relatively small size of classes, which may allow him to interact more with peers and with professors, and the important efforts the university is making in being more environmentally conscious. He also appreciated the variety of activities organized in connection with the surrounding community and the multiple study-abroad opportunities for students. As a parent, what I am starving for is an institution where my son can fully realize and even exceed his expectations, not only academically, but also socially. I am confident that your institution may be such a fit. Francisco Marmolejo Executive director Consortium for North American Higher Education Collaboration Rankings and Research Dollars Matter Less Than Maximizing Students Potential Surely you must remember when you were a high-school senior preparing to go to college. I am now at that stage in my life and am trying to figure out where to spend my next four years. In today s world, we seem to get caught up with some aspects of educational institutions that, for prospective students, are not highly relevant. This year, I have been inundated with fliers and s from many institutions, all of them claiming to be the best in the world. I don t even read them anymore. Universities like to talk about their rankings: Our school is ranked in the top 10. That school is No. 25. They forget the most important aspect of their work: the students. What is more important? To be among the recipients of the most research dollars or to be the best in making sure that students fully develop their potential? The information I get from colleges doesn t deal with my concerns about where to apply, such as where will I feel most comfortable, where will I fit in, where will I find the most adequate community in which to live and be part of. I try to live life to the fullest, and I don t want to be a slave to textbooks and to the classroom. I m looking for a program recognized not only COURTESY OF FRANCISCO MARMOLEJO for its academic quality but also for the quality of its people. It is very important for me to attend an institution that both creates a positive community for its students and is connected to the larger community in which it is located. I hope your university is such a place. José Marmolejo Senior Catalina Foothills High School Tucson Read more of the Measuring Stick series on quality and assesment at chronicle.com/ quality. Continued on Following Page DOCTOR OF MANAGEMENT IN COMMUNITY COLLEGE POLICY AND ADMINISTRATION SOON, THERE WILL BE A LOT MORE ROOM AT THE TOP. A recent study shows that 60 to 80 percent of community college leaders will retire within 5 to 10 years.* Which makes now the perfect time to earn your Doctor of Management (DM) in community college policy and administration from University of Maryland University College (UMUC). The program includes a three-year leadership component featuring leadership assessments and team-based executive coaching. students throughout the program each semester plan available Copyright 2010 University of Maryland University College Enroll now. *Study by the American Association of Community Colleges UMUC umuc.edu/ccleadership Program is not available to Maryland residents.
12 A12 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 money & management Continued From Preceding Page Students Need Better Financial, Academic, and Social Support to Thrive Dear College President, Giving a good education to those already on track to graduate is only part of what colleges need to do. To produce the increased number of college graduates the nation needs, we need to do a much better job recruiting, retaining, and graduating those especially low-income students of color and African-American and Hispanic males who, without the right kind of support, will face long odds in completing college. As a college president, you should look at three critical drivers of success in educating those students who need education the most: n Reduce the cost of college. Cost is still the biggest obstacle to college completion for low-income students. Scholarships and Pell Grants often leave unmet needs. Colleges can reduce costs by, for example, sharing services with nearby institutions. n Provide a culture of care. Students, especially those who are the first in their families to attend college, need support academic, social, financial, and mentoring to thrive at college. Many schools that specialize in educating these students have had good outcomes from creating learning communities. They go a long way toward integrating students both socially and academically. n Learn from success. Colleges like Claflin University, in South Carolina; Xavier University of Louisiana; and Morehouse and Spelman Colleges serve low-income minority students with tuitions well below those of comparable institutions and graduation rates well above national averages. Other colleges could learn from these successful schools best practices. Michael L. Lomax President UNCF COURTeSY OF MICHAeL L. LOMAX COURTeSY OF MARY ANN WILLIS To Help Prospective Students Find the Right Home, Be Honest Dear CEO (Chief Educational Officer), After decades as a high-school counselor, I have a few thoughts about how colleges might clearly communicate who and what they are, so families can make good college choices. First of all, be honest about what you are and what you are not. Put less effort into soliciting applications and stop marketing your institution as one-size-fits-all. Prove to prospective students and their parents that education at your institution is about more than getting a job. Clearly show us how you prepare students to lead in a changing world, to be lifelong learners, to fly solo or in a team, to be innovative, insightful, investigative, inspirational. Provide more data that would allow prospective students to evaluate and compare educational opportunities, and understand what type of applicant succeeds at your institution. In my mind, success means graduating in a reasonable amount of time, without mountains of debt. Finally, communicate how integrity is cultivated and nourished on your campus. If someone is smart, he or she can learn calculus or nanotechnology but how does one learn how to do right? It s an obligation of colleges to try to develop integrity and character. Failing to do that means your efforts to educate students have failed. Sincerely, Mary Ann Willis College Counselor Bayside Academy Daphne, Ala. Community Colleges Must Embrace Business Partnerships and Step Up Career Advice Dear Community-College President, Your mission is more important today than ever before. Seven in 10 U.S. jobs now require postsecondary education, and your classrooms offer a vital pathway to those careers. That is why you are the fastest-growing segment of higher education, enrolling 43 percent of all college students. But meeting the needs of these students will require a new approach. Most important, your college needs to forge deeper partnerships with local industries. Close ties with businesses in which businesses advise the curriculum, teach hands-on lessons, and provide work exposure will ensure that you are training your students to meet the constantly evolving needs of your local economy. You also need to provide your students with the skills to navigate long-term careers. Adults no longer stay in one occupation over their lifetimes, and career paths rarely follow straight lines. In this rapidly changing economy, workers must learn to define their professional aspirations, assess their skills, and adapt their career plans based on labor-market conditions. The best way to foster such adaptability is to provide students with career coaching alongside their coursework, so that they can begin this important process of self-exploration in a guided setting. Many community colleges already embrace industry partnerships and career coaching, and they are playing indispensable roles in their regions economic vitality. I hope that you will embrace these strategies as well and realize your extraordinary potential as a gateway to our 21st-century economy. Sincerely, Seth Green Director Job Opportunity Investment Network (JOIN) COURTeSY OF SeTH GReeN Costen Aytes, landscape manager at Naropa U., plants wild tulip bulbs in a campus garden. All of the university s gardening is organic. A Landscape That Embodies a University s Values BeNJAMIN RASMUSSeN Continued From Page A1 university s two other campuses nearby, I found myself thinking that Mr. Aytes s work embodies the university s values almost as perfectly as a poem might capture happiness or disappointment. Naropa, as it happens, has a strong connection to poetry. What s now the university was founded in the early 1970s by Chögyam Trungpa, an exiled Tibetan lama who chanced to meet the poet Allen Ginsberg in New York while the two of them were trying to hail a cab on the same street, the story goes. Ginsberg, along with the poet Anne Waldman and the composer John Cage, helped organize Naropa s first summer workshop, out of which grew the university s best-known program, the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics. The name was Ginsberg s doing, of course. Now, though, the writing program is only one of the university s offerings, which also include a full undergraduate curriculum and a well-respected psychology program. All rely to some degree on meditation, people told me. As one administrator put it: You must be willing to go into yourself and see what you discover. With Mr. Aytes as my guide, I went instead into the lovely quadrangle behind the university s main building, a 1903 elementary school. The 15-acre main campus on Arapahoe Avenue, tucked away between a huge University of Colorado
13 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 A13 housing complex and the Boulder Creek Quality Inn and Suites, is in the creek s floodplain, Mr. Aytes said, and it has some of the best soil in Boulder. As a gardener, it s really easy to grow things here, he said. The location may also account for Naropa s being home to Colorado s three largest sycamores, one of them right in front of the Allen Ginsberg Library. At 98 feet tall, it s the state champion. At the far end of the quadrangle is an awkward little hillside sloping down toward a fence that separates Naropa s campus from the University of Colorado s. Mr. Aytes said the hillside was about to become a kitchen garden for Naropa s cramped, popular cafe. That is in keeping, he said, with an increasing emphasis on sustainability on local food, on native plants, and on making sure the grounds don t require more water than the climate would normally provide. All our gardening is organic, he added, noting that this makes Naropa a haven for people sensitive to pesticides. He also pointed out a sign put up by the University of Colorado noting that nudity is prohibited on its campus, which Naropa students are otherwise welcome to visit. weather station. Japanese or not, the garden is a delight, especially considering that it was a parking lot just a couple of years ago. The Paramita campus, by the way, houses the university s psychology programs. Mr. Aytes took me next to the Nalanda campus, which houses arts programs and is named for an ancient university city in India, to show me a much smaller garden he s been working on: In a triangle of earth surrounded by sidewalks, he has represented four kinds of Colorado landscape. He has also contributed to a much bigger project there, a sacred-geometry installation in which buried stacks of rocks describe a rectangle around the campus, creating, as a description puts it, a megalithic monument in weight and purpose. The project s details were lost on me they involve geomancy and lunar quadrilaterals, and I m only an English major but I got the main point, which was to create a harmonized energy field. What wasn t lost on me were the prairie-dog holes dotting a swath of the harmonious field in front of the Nalanda building, and the prairie dogs sitting up beside them. In fact, there were prairie dogs everywhere I looked, and Mr. Aytes said they had popped up in every traffic island in the parking lot. They re a cornerstone species in Colorado, he said, and in any case Buddhism s tradition of respecting all living things means Naropa would never consider trying to exterminate them. BRYanT UnIVeRsITY. The one. Still, they re a nuisance, creating holes in which campus visitors could twist an ankle or worse. So, harmonious energy field or not, the prairie dogs may have to be trapped and moved elsewhere, he said. By the time Mr. Aytes dropped me off back on Arapahoe Avenue, I was pretty sure I understood more about Naropa from seeing how its landscapes embody its values than I d ever have picked up otherwise. And no trace of skepticism remained. Gardening Harmony Mr. Aytes, 35, worked as a landscaper for the City of Boulder and later started his own firm, but he found that he spent too many evenings and weekends meeting clients and doing paperwork. What he likes about working at Naropa, he told me, is that the institution has almost no bureaucracy I come in and do what I see needs to be done. He also likes being a member of the Naropa chorus and taking part in a student s thesis project, which he described as musical dramady burlesque sexcapade. He says he practices meditation regularly and believes in the basic goodness of all humans, but I don t know if that makes me a Buddhist. In any event, he said, he doesn t identify himself as such. But when he designed a new garden to occupy 8,000 square feet of former parking lot on the university s Paramita campus the name, he said, means the land between two shores he added a series of Buddhist motifs. Five tall, narrow, colored flags represent the five wisdoms, he told me, readily translating the wisdoms as service, richness, heart, spaciousness or openness, and quality of mind or meditation. A dharma wheel he set in stone by the entry gate points toward true north, rather than magnetic north, as a reminder that you should consider your own true path rather than the magnetic pull of societal norms. A path for meditating while walking winds around a lawn, passing benches and boulders. I tried not to be overtly Japanese in the design, Mr. Aytes said, walking me past a leaning tower of stacked rocks that he included as a humorous touch. Unseen is the subsurface irrigation system, which is regulated by a high-tech on-site leading InnoVaTIVe education by shattering the thinking that business and liberal arts are separate paths. PRePaRInG students To MaKe a difference as leaders in a diverse global society. InsPIRInG The ChaRaCTeR of success and empowering students to discover their passion and potential. learn more about Bryant by visiting Rhode Island, U.s.a. (800) (401)
14 A14 I ] Z 8] gdc ^XaZ d[ = ^\] Zg :YjXVi ^dc 9ZXZb WZg &,! '%&% MONEY & M ANAGEMENT MEASURING STICK Part of a series Read the entire series at chronicle.com/quality Is Your Psychology 102 Course Any Good? Here are 22 ways to measure quality but some of these measures have quality issues of their own. AFTER THE COURSE DURING THE COURSE THE INSTRUCTOR In The Chronicle s Measuring Stick series this year, we have looked at debates about how to gauge the quality of departments or entire universities. In this final week, we are looking at the individual course, higher education s basic component. We have sketched 22 potentially useful ways to assess a course s quality. Some of them are commonplace, and some are just emerging. We focus on one section of Psychology 102 at an imaginary university. For each of the 22 measures, the table below explains why it might matter; how easy it typically is for the public to find this kind of information about a course; and the potential limits and pitfalls of using the method. David Glenn Information Availability* Criteria Why They Might Matter How many degrees has the instructor earned? Doctoral study = deeper immersion in subject area. HIGH We all know a few Ph.D. s who teach on autopilot. Is the instructor full-time or part-time? Full-time status means better integration into the life of the college, higher odds of knowing how to help students there. HIGH Some part-time professors are superb teachers. Is the instructor tenure-track or contingent? Tenure-track professors are likelier to have offices and other campus resources. HIGH Some tenured professors coast. Did the instructor receive pedagogical training during graduate school? Some scholars believe that graduate students should be formally taught to teach. MEDIUM How strong are the instructor s publication and citation records? Active research program = stronger expertise. HIGH How many students are enrolled in it? Within certain ranges, students seem to learn better in smaller classes. MEDIUM Beyond 60 students, larger class sizes don t harm performance, studies suggest. How much reading and writing are assigned? Students reasoning and communication skills stagnate when their courses do not require much reading and writing. MEDIUM Page counts by themselves obviously don t reveal anything about quality. How often are students quizzed? Frequent quizzing improves fact retention, says a long line of psychological research. MEDIUM Absorbing facts is only part of the learning process. During class time, what is the ratio of lecture, discussion, and active learning activities? All else being equal, students seem to learn less in lecture-heavy courses. How much computer-assisted learning is used? In many courses, well-designed software seems to improve student performance. MEDIUM Not-so-well-designed instructional software wastes time and money. Do the assignments and exams require students to synthesize and apply facts and concepts? If you can t synthesize and apply what you ve learned, have you really learned it? MEDIUM Some courses move quickly to synthesis before students absorb basic facts. What do the students say on their course-evaluation forms? Very low scores often reflect genuine problems. LOW Students statements often don t correlate with measures of what they ve learned. How well prepared were the students for subsequent courses in psychology? In faculty-lounge conversations, 200-level course performance is regarded as the best measure of introductory courses. LOW Statistically reliable conclusions require a few years of data. How do the psychology majors in the course later perform in their senior capstones? Departments with capstones hope that introductory courses begin to build skills that students need. LOW It s difficult to tease out effects of one course that students took three years earlier. How well do psychology majors eventually perform on standardized tests for psychology majors? Test makers are marketing nationally normed subject-area tests to measure skills of new graduates in specific majors. LOW Such tests might not capture students ability to synthesize and apply knowledge. How many psychology majors in the course eventually go to graduate school? At selective colleges, graduate-school placements are an important measure of a department s quality. LOW Again, it s difficult to determine the effects of one first-year course. How many psychology majors have careers in psychology 10 years after taking the course? Some policy makers regard this as important; a few states are building databases to track long-term labor-market outcomes. ZERO Once again, isolating the effects of a single college course is very hard. What is the students average annual income 10 years after taking the course? This is another outcome that policy makers and database-builders have their eyes on. ZERO Income isn t the sole object of a college education. How well do students in this section of Psych 102 later perform on national tests of reasoning and writing skills? Colleges that participate in the Voluntary System of Accountability have promised to publicly report their average scores. ZERO Impossible to draw valid conclusions about a particular course due to small sample size. How well do students later perform on other assessments of the college s general-education learning outcomes? Many colleges have begun to define learning objectives for all of their undergraduates. ZERO Some instructors say they re being asked to add irrelevant material into classes. Did students in this section of Psych 102 continue for another year at the college at unusually high or low rates? Retention is a good thing. LOW But not if instructors improve retention by dumbing down courses. Did students in this section of Psych 102 eventually graduate at unusually high or low rates? Graduation is a good thing. LOW It, too, can be achieved through dumbing down. * Information availability is rated in four categories: HIGH: This information can often be found on c.v.'s and syllabi on colleges' Web sites.; MEDIUM: This information is less often available on Web sites.; LOW: If you call the department chair and the chair is in a candid mood, you might learn about this.; ZERO: Except in rare cases, no one compiles this information. LOW Limits of the Measures The jury is still out on how effective such programs are. Active research program sometimes = weak interest in teaching. There are superb teachers who spend all the class session lecturing. Source: Chronicle analysis BY DAVID GLENN
15 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 A15 GOVERNMENT & POLITICS Colleges Might Lose Billions if Congress Bans Earmarks Continued From Page A1 to count on more federally directed dollars anytime soon. Chancellors and provosts and vice presidents for research need to realize that this is going to be the law of the land for at least two years, says Keith Yehle, director of federal relations at the University of Kansas, which received two earmarks in 2010, totaling $2.8-million, for military-education programs and for research technology in superconductors, according to the watchdog group. They shouldn t expect earmarks to miraculously appear at this time next year. Unique Role Earmarks brought about $2.25-billion to colleges and universities in 2008, the most recent year for which The Chronicle has conducted a comprehensive analysis. Those earmarks financed about 2,300 projects, including campus buildings, research projects, and research centers. In 2010, colleges received an estimated total of $1.5-billion in earmarks, according to data from Taxpayers for Common Sense. Its tally is not directly comparable to the 2008 figure, because of differences in searching methods. Earmarks make up only a small part of colleges revenue, but with state budgets tightening and Republicans in Congress looking for domestic spending to cut, the loss of earmarks would be another blow to campus bottom lines. Several higher-education lobbyists say earmarks fill a unique role in higher-education budgets. Federal dollars can help pay for centers and schools to attract faculty in new fields; buy expensive equipment, like electron microscopes; and develop campus infrastructure. Such projects often aren t supported by competitive grants, which typically finance research programs but not the infrastructure or equipment to make those programs possible, the lobbyists say. Or the projects might Opponents of earmarks in higher education argue that such directed spending subverts peer review, to the detriment of science. Higher-education lobbyists say earmarks can fill a unique role in college budgets, helping to pay for centers and schools to attract faculty in new fields and buy expensive equipment, like this electron microscope at the U. of Kansas. be too expensive to be included in annual budgets. While hundreds of colleges have received money from earmarks over the past few decades, a moratorium would hit some harder than others, especially those that have seen a steady flow of earmarked money coming from members of Congress in powerful positions. The Chronicle s 2008 analysis of highereducation earmarks found that Mississippi State University and the University of Mississippi topped the list of institutions receiving earmarks that year, receiving $40-million and $37.5-million, respectively. Sen. Thad Cochran, who represents Mississippi, is the top Republican on the Senate appropriations committee, and colleges in his state have continued to benefit from his role. In spending bills for 2010, Mississippi State and Ole Miss received $28.5-million and $30.7-million, respectively, according to the watchdog group. In the past few years, other states with prominent appropriators have included Alaska, Florida, Hawaii, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, and their colleges have benefited accordingly. Next year, some states that might have moved into this group as a result of the turnover in Congress might be frozen out by an earmark moratorium. A Republican from Kentucky is set to lead the House appropriations committee, and a Washington State representative is expected to take the top Democratic spot on the panel. Some multiyear projects, too, could take a hit. A handful of college programs, including a number at schools of agriculture, have earmarks that were supposed to be financed for several consecutive years. It is unclear what will happen to those programs if Congress ends its earmarking. Opponents of earmarks within higher education argue that such directed spending subverts the peer-review process to the detriment of scientific progress, financing ideas that might not be the best use of federal dollars. The Association of American Universities has at times pushed its members not to seek earmarks, although its current stance is that members are free to pursue earmarks if they wish. Some colleges argue that earmarks help them branch out into new areas, expanding their ability to receive competitive grants in the future. Because scientists are constantly developing new ideas, says Zachery Moore, director of federal relations at Pennsylvania State University, federal agencies might not update grant programs quickly enough to finance some cutting-edge ideas. Earmarks, he says, have helped Penn State conduct research in these areas. Symbol of Dysfunction Earmarks don t make up a substantial portion of the federal budget, accounting for about one-half of 1 percent of all appropriations in But members of Congress who Continued on Following Page JUlIE DENESHA FOR THE CHRONIClE JUlIE DENESHA FOR THE CHRONIClE Keith Yehle, director of federal relations at the U. of Kansas, says college officials shouldn t expect earmarks to miraculously appear at this time next year.
16 A16 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 GOVERNMENT & POLITICS Continued From Preceding Page have called on their colleagues to significantly change or end the practice say it is a symbol of government waste and an invitation to influencepeddling and corruption. And many lawmakers, especially Republicans, saw November s election as a referendum against excessive government spending. Earmarks have become a symbol of a dysfunctional Congress and serve as a fuel line for the culture of spending that has dominated Washington for too long, Reps. John A. Boehner and Eric I. Cantor, the House s top two Republicans, said in joint remarks a few days before the House Republican caucus unanimously adopted a moratorium on earmarks. House Republicans are expected to extend the moratorium to the entire chamber when they take over control in January, barring Democrats, too, from engaging in the process. Senate Republicans have also adopted a voluntary ban on earmarks, although Democrats still hold a slim majority there. However, more senators than ever 39, including some Democrats have endorsed an end to earmarks, in a December vote to block the practice. While that attempt failed, those lawmakers could stifle the earmarking process. There is a chance, though, that any ban on earmarks wouldn t stick. They have long been popular among members of Congress who see earmarks as a way to provide Congratulations to Western Michigan University s Jaimy Gordon winner of the 2010 National Book Award for Fiction for her novel Lord of Misrule This award-winning author is a professor of English and, since 1981, a faculty member in Western Michigan University s celebrated Creative Writing Program. On Nov. 17, she pulled away from the field to take her well-deserved place in the publishing world s winner s circle. Lord of Misrule, McPherson, 2010 direct benefits to their districts, and who often gain political support in the process. Lawmakers are also likely to face increasing pressure to bring money back to their constituents as state and local governments begin slashing their own budgets. Given those powerful incentives for lawmakers to continue to find ways to allocate aid to their home states, and because the Senate is not expected to ban earmarks outright, the fate of such spending is up in the air. We re in a wait-and-see mode, wmich.edu States That Would Feel the Sting if Congress Outlaws Earmarks Nearly half of the $1.5-billion in earmarks awarded to colleges in the 2010 fiscal year went to institutions in just 10 states. Texas, the top recipient of academic earmarks, has six appropriators on the House and Senate committees. California, No. 3, has seven. The home states of the chairman of the Senate appropriations committee, Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii, and the panel s top Republican, Thad Cochran of Mississippi, also made the list. 1. Texas $119,552, Mississippi $104,456, California $89,293, Alabama $79,555, Florida $73,535, Kentucky $59,234, North Dakota $54,550, West Virginia $45,467, Iowa $43,599, Hawaii $43,253,000 Total of top 10 states with academic earmarks: $712,494,000 Note: This analysis does not include $49-million in earmarks that were shared among institutions in two or more states. It also may exclude some earmarks that were awarded to centers and institutes within colleges. Sources: Taxpayers for Common Sense; Chronicle reporting by Alex Richards and Kelly Field says Penn State s Mr. Moore. Come January, Pennsylvania s Congressional delegation will comprise eight Democrats and 13 Republicans. In the meantime, colleges federal-relations officials say they still expect to talk with campus researchers next year to identify where federal money could do some good. They want to be prepared if lawmakers ask them how they can help, they said. Colleges are also working to develop other avenues and partnerships that could bring in money to make up for the loss of earmarks. One lobbyist says his college is looking to develop partnerships with federal agencies to support research facilities or projects that would be financed at least in part through the agencies operating budgets, rather than by earmarks. Other colleges say they are developing partnerships with businesses or trying to secure private money to pay for projects that would have come from federal dollars. Even if the earmark moratorium holds, colleges government-relations officers say they face much bigger fights in coming years if federal research dollars are threatened by Republicans who vow to cut domestic spending. The National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation have combined research budgets of about $38-billion, and cuts in their spending could harm colleges much more than a ban on earmarks. The dynamics of funding will change. That much we know, says James W. Tracy, vice president for research at the University of Kentucky. But where it ends up, nobody really knows. Alex Richards contributed to this article.
17 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 A17 STUDENTS Who Are the Undergraduates? Explore the data at chronicle.com/undergrads Much discussion of college focuses on how to get into and pay for highly selective private institutions that charge upward of $50,000 a year. The vast majority of students, however, attend community colleges and public four-year colleges. And perhaps one of the most overlooked aspects of the American college experience is the number of students who attend part time: over 35 percent. The Chronicle crunched numbers in two data sets from the National Center for Education Statistics and found some trends that challenge accepted norms. Four in 10 Attend Community Colleges Most Part-Timers Are Under 30 Community colleges 39.4% California community colleges 9.4% Miami Dade College 0.3% Age 30 or above 41.8% % % Half Are Independent Students Unmarried 15.7% Community colleges part-time* 17.5% Community colleges full-time* 12.2% Independent 47% Married 5.9% Unmarried with children 13.4% Married with children 12% Dependent 53% Public 4-year 37.5% Very-high-research public colleges 9.2% Most Students Do Not Fit the Wealthy Label In part because so many students are on their own, undergraduates are not generally as wealthy as popular depictions make them seem. Total income of parents and/or independents Less than $20, % $20,000-$40, % $40,000-$60, % $60,000-$90,000 16% White students at public 4-year colleges 17.7 % Minority students at public 4-year colleges 10.6% $90,000-$120,000 $120,000-$160, % 6.6% $160,000-$200, % $200,000 or more 2.1% Colleges attended by students from families earning less than $40,000 Private Nonprofits 16.5% For-profits 6.6% The poorest undergraduates tend to be concentrated at community colleges, for-profit colleges, and less selective colleges. Public 2-yr % Public 4-yr. research-extensive % Private nonprofits full-time** 13.2% Private nonprofits part-time** 2.9% Other for-profit colleges 5.5% Other public 4-yr % Nonprofit research-extensive and lib.-arts colleges.. 1.6% Other private, nonprofit 4-yr % Private for-profit % Others % * Does not include Miami Dade College and California community colleges. ** Does not include Ivy League colleges Ivy League colleges 0.4% Women attending Phoenix-Online 0.7% Men attending Phoenix-Online 0.4% Source: Chronicle analysis of the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study and 2007 data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System. The two data sets are similar but do not perfectly correlate. Every college that participates in the federal aid program is required to report data to IPEDs, while the NPSAS is a nationally representative survey of students. IPEDs also commonly looks at fall enrollment data, as with those in the large chart AT LEFT, while NPSAS looks at enrollment over an entire academic year.
18 A18 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 international PHOTOGRAPH BY YANA PASkOvA for THE CHRONICLE Todd J. Mekles, from St. George s U., in Grenada, trains at a New York Cityarea hospital. He believes his clinical experience is as closely supervised as any American program s. Students From Caribbean Med Schools Head for New York The trend angers some local medical educators, who say their students are being crowded out of clinical rotations By Katherine Mangan Thousands of students from offshore medical schools flock to teaching hospitals in the United States each year to complete the clinical portion of their education. In New York, the number of students performing third- and fourth-year hospital rotations from these offshore programs now almost equals the number of students from the state s own medical schools. That is making a number of medical educators in the state angry. They say their students are being crowded out of opportunities, in part because the offshore medical schools are paying hospitals to secure the spots ST. GEORGE S UNIvERSITY Charles Modica, of St. George s U., says it has 1,000 students training in New York. something they say their budgets prohibit them from doing. Some also say many offshore students have been poorly supervised and are inadequately prepared to practice medicine. The offshore schools counter that their students are not only qualified but badly needed at a time when the United States faces a looming shortage of doctors. The New York State Board of Regents is weighing those arguments as it decides whether to tighten requirements for offshore medical-school students to participate in clinical rotations, commonly referred to as clerkships, at the state s teaching hospitals. Students enrolled in offshore, or dual campus, medical schools spend the first two years of basic-science study in offshore institutions, mostly for-profit medical schools in the Caribbean. The next two years are spent in clinical training, shadowing doctors in teaching hospitals or clinics in the United States. Medical training in the United States generally follows a similar model. After graduating from college, students enter medical school, typically spending two years of basicscience study followed by two years of clinical rotations in hospitals or clinics. Once they graduate from medical school as doctors, they begin several years of residency training, practicing medicine under a doctor s supervision. The discussions in New York focus primarily on the third- and fourth-year clinical rotations that are part of the training students receive before they become doctors. Charles R. Modica, chancellor of St. George s University School of Medicine, in Grenada, contends that there are plenty such slots in New York, and that medical deans are using the training issue as an excuse to limit class sizes and deny New Yorkers access to medical education. Many of those students end up on his campus, which he helped found in St. George s has nearly 1,000 students in training in New York hospitals, he says. They could have attended New York medical schools, but the deans rejected them. Pay to Play New York hospitals have a financial incentive to accept as many students as possible from offshore schools, which typically pay hospitals $400 to $450 per student per week for clinical training. Since most American medical schools pay little or nothing for clinical placements, it s practically impossible for the U.S. schools to compete, says Jo Wiederhorn, president of the Associated Medical Schools of New York, an advocacy group representing the state s 10 private and five public medical schools. In order to match the fees paid by offshore programs, our schools would have to significantly raise tuitions, which would make them noncompetitive with schools in other parts of the country, she says. The hospitals in New York are operating on very small margins, and in some respects you can t blame them for wanting to accept the money. Two years ago, the New York City Health and Hospitals Corporation angered New York medical-school officials by signing a 10-year contract, reportedly worth up to $100-million, to provide clinical training at its 11 public hospitals for students from St. George s. International medical-school graduates already make up 36 percent of New York state s physician work force, compared with 25 percent nationwide. Many came from one of the 14 dual-campus medical schools approved for training by the state, half of which are in the Caribbean. While the academic caliber of some offshore schools worries New York educators, so does the sheer number of students streaming in from the Caribbean. Last year, St. George s graduated 640, and Ross University School of Medicine, in Dominica, graduated 754. That compares with an average class size in New York medical schools of about 120. New York State, which has one of the nation s largest concentrations of teaching hospitals, is a popular destination for offshore students. In the 1980s, when medical educators were warning of a glut of doctors, New York medical schools severely restricted class sizes, and parents whose children weren t getting into the highly competitive schools complained to state lawmakers, Ms. Wiederhorn says. Over the next few decades, the state s education department expanded the number of offshore schools from which it accepted thirdand fourth-year students, making it easier for students who didn t get into U.S. schools to attend medical school elsewhere and end up back in New York. Last year the state education department approved an estimated 2,000 third-year students from offshore schools to train in New York hospitals (although some may have ended up spending some of their time in other states). That compares with about 2,220 from New York medical schools in 2008, the most recent year tracked. Offshore schools have increased exponentially the number of students they re accepting, and we re beginning to see a wave of students coming in, says Michael J. Reichgott, a professor of medicine at the Albert Einstein
19 A19 College of Medicine. Dr. Reichgott, who is also chair of the education committee of the Associated Medical Schools of New York, says he is unaware of any students being unable to land a clerkship but adds that New York schools have had to reach out to hospitals they hadn t considered before. Einstein had to take students out of a couple of sites because of the number of offshore students there, he says. Squeezed Out Two years ago, New York Methodist Hospital told officials at the State University of New York s Downstate College of Medicine that the hospital could no longer accept students into its small internal-medicine rotation because of the number of off- shore students training there, says Ian L. Taylor, the New York medical school s dean. Our university hospital only has about 325 beds, so we re very dependent on affiliates taking our students, he says. Given the massive expansion of Caribbean schools, our worry is that when the big wave hits maybe next year and the year following the problem may be more significant. Critics argue that offshore students, many of whom hope to practice in New York, are poorly super- vised during their clinical training. The few doctors appointed to over- see them are thousands of miles from the schools Caribbean base, and many have had only a cursory training in how to structure and oversee clinical assignments, they say. Accreditation requirements for U.S. medical schools dictate that clerkships expose students to a suf- ficient number of patients with diverse conditions, maintain a certain faculty-to-student ratio, and meet set educational objectives. Offshore schools generally don t dictate the same standards. We re just seeing the tip of the iceberg of what s going to be a huge quality-of-care issue, Dr. Taylor contends. Nancy Perri, chief academic of- ficer at Ross University, says such concerns don t apply to the Dominican institution, which hires clinicalfaculty members to teach and super- vise its students in New York. She adds that more than 98 per- cent of Ross s students are American citizens, many of them New York- ers who want to practice in the state. We recognize that both U.S. and international schools like Ross are needed to fill the shortage of physicians needed in the U.S., she wrote in an message. A Successful Business Model Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, which opened in Harlem in 2007, seeks to increase the pool of minority physicians and those committed to working in underserved areas. Largely because of competition from offshore medical schools, which pay to place their students, it has been shut out of nearby hospitals, including Harlem Hospital Center, just 10 blocks away, says Joseph R. Maldonado Jr., assistant clinical dean. Instead, its 225 or so thirdand fourth-year students train in New Jersey or Queens. We recruit students from under- served neighborhood schools, but when it comes time for training, we have to send them away. It s ironic, he says. Meanwhile, the State University of New York at Stony Brook s medical school has kept its class size constant for the past three years, in part because of the difficulty of placing some students in clerkships at hospitals that have contracts with offshore schools, SUNY administrators say. Among those schools, the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine signed a contract in 2008 with Nassau University Medical Center, a Stony Brook teaching affiliate. The Association of American Medical Colleges has called on medical schools in the United States to raise their first-year enrollments by My classroom... without boundaries? Now is the time. Scan QR code with Smartphone for more information! With ELMO there are no boundaries! ELMO knows there s a lot more to effective classroom learning than writing words on a chalkboard or presenting PowerPoint slides. Today s students want to be challenged and captivated at the same time. That s why many of the top colleges and universities and best professors are reaping the benefits of the new, featurerich ELMO P30S document camera. It has everything you need to break down boundaries and more! Teachers and professors know. There s ONLY ONE true ELMO. To learn more and see fi rsthand what s generating all this excitement, call ELMO at , visit or scan in this special QR Code (see above). 30 percent over 2002 levels by 2015 to help prevent a projected physician shortage. But state budget cuts and competition for clinical placements are making it hard for New York medical schools to expand, Ms. Wieder- horn says. A New York-based lobbyist for American University of the Caribbean, in St. Martin, which has about 250 students training in New York hospitals, says domestic schools feel threatened by the success offshore schools have had in placing students, in part by paying for clerkship positions. The Caribbean schools have developed a business model that works for them and works for the hospitals, and domestic schools historically haven t had to do that, says the lobbyist, Lisa H. Reid. Rather than squeeze domestic students out of clerkships, offshore schools have created new clinical positions and filled slots that many Continued on Following Page ELMO s P30S
20 A20 The Chronicle of Higher Education December 17, 2010 international Continued From Preceding Page American trainees would not be interested in, she says. Hysterical Deans? Mr. Modica, the St. George s chancellor, says that so far this year, his medical school has paid New York hospitals more than $23-million for clerkships. Those costs are covered by tuition, which is comparable to that at many private schools. As for the argument that offshore students are crowding out onshore students, these are ridiculous assertions of a group of hysterical medical-school deans who should be ashamed that they didn t accept these students years ago, he says. These same deans have for years kept the enrollment of their own institutions down to a bare minimum using the excuse of quality. Todd J. Mekles, a fourth-year student at St. George s, was rejected by all 15 medical schools he applied to in the United States. He says he had a grade-point average of 3.93 from Emory University and a 30 on his Medical College Admission Test just below the 31 average for entering medical-school students in the United States this year. I was upset that I had to leave my country, but Charles Modica is my hero for giving people like me, who deserve to be doctors, a chance, Mr. Mekles says. Having worked with students from Weill-Cornell Medical College at New York Methodist, he believes his clinical experience is as closely supervised as any American program s. Students from St. George s can run with the kids from Cornell or Einstein, he says. They have the utmost respect for us and don t treat us any differently. Lumped Together While many educators are less critical of established schools like St. George s and Ross, critics often paint all offshore schools in an unflattering light. They point out that students from offshore schools tend to have lower grade-point averages and MCAT scores, if those scores are required at all. The proliferation of medical schools in the Caribbean in recent years now up to 55 has created headaches for schools like St. George s. They want to lump us all together, and I m not going to let them do it, Mr. Modica says. He welcomes the recent push to require a uniform accreditation process for foreign medical schools that train students in the United States. Among the recommendations the New York State Board of Regents is considering is that it hold offshore schools to standards comparable to those set by the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, the main accreditor of American medical schools. Schools that wanted to place their students in New York hospitals would have to be able to prove that they met clearly articulated standards. As Cuts Hit European Higher Education Hard, Students Take to the Streets By Aisha Labi Across Europe, students and professors have been taking to the streets in protest. The largest demonstrations were in Britain, where last month, and again last week, thousands of students marched down London streets or occupied university halls objecting to drastic government cuts in higher education and planned tuition increases. Similar anger has manifested itself in Bulgaria, Ireland, Greece, and Italy. The direct spark for student ire in each country is unique, but the tinderbox of issues that has fed the flames of their anger is the same across much of Europe. With a few notable exceptions, European university systems are being squeezed by the twin pressures of expanded enrollments and budgetary constraints. Many countries have set explicit targets for raising higher-education enrollments over the next decade. At the same time, universities are finding themselves on the front lines of national austerity measures, as deficit-slashing governments cut education spending. In Bulgaria, the prospect of universities being unable to pay their winter heating bills drove students and professors to voice their outrage. In Ireland, a move to raise student fees by a third next year to 2,000 euros, or about $2,647, led thousands of students to brave freezing weather to demonstrate their opposition. Italian students angry over spending cuts and cost-saving limits on university research stormed the Leaning Tower of Pisa and occupied the Colosseum late last month. And in Greece, where the government has proposed a profound reform of the higher-education system, professors, not students, have been leading protests. Some countries, like Britain, have protected research from the worst. But universities teaching budgets are being hit, with direct consequences for students. A new era of LEON NEAL, AFP, GETTY IMAGES Angry demonstrators clashed with the police in a student protest outside Parliament in London last week, as Britain s coalition government faced its biggest test yet in voting to raise university tuition amid drastic budget reductions. student protest has dawned, in Britain and elsewhere, prompted by the vulnerability of higher-education financing in straitened budgetary times. They Feel Attacked Bert Vandenkendelaere, chair of the European Students Union, says the common driver for the protests is a tendency to cut the money for education and to ask students to contribute for education, instead of the public and the government. This, he says, is why a student population which was described as the most passive population in years has been galvanized into action. They feel attacked, he says. Lesley Wilson, secretary general of the European University Association, notes that student protests are nothing new in Europe. The most recent wave of student action was concentrated around the April 2009 summit of European education ministers in connection with the Bologna Process, a Europe-wide project to harmonize All systems require public funding in order to benefit from other funding. university degree systems that has unleashed its share of student opposition. It is a different set of issues now, she says. The recent flurry of protests is the result of the direct impact of moves by some governments to cut back on deficits by changing the way in which higher education is funded. As students in many countries are being asked to contribute more to the cost of their university education, the once unquestioned notion that higher education is a fundamental right for which the state shoulders the cost is in flux. A growing number of countries have increased or imposed tuition for the first time. Some, like Sweden, have begun charging tuition to non-european students while domestic students still enjoy free tuition and generous subsidies. That has prompted worries that fees for domestic students could follow. Jo Ritzen, president of the University of Maastricht, in the Netherlands, and a former Dutch minister of education, says that Europe is crying out for the serious reform of higher education, but that countries are failing to respond to the challenge. Calling the issue of how to improve quality and find lasting financing models for higher education one of the most needed topics of reform in the welfare state, he says that governments are cynically avoiding dealing with the situation and are responding to pressures instead by simply strangling universities in terms of finance. European students have rarely shied away from protest. Last year, for example, striking students in France succeeded in closing many of the country s universities for lengthy periods with demonstrations against measures to restructure the university system. The shift in Britain, however where students have historically not abandoned their studies, shut down institutions, or taken to the streets in large numbers could mark a turning point. Ms. Wilson says that the global financial crisis is continuing to have a profound effect on higher-education systems, and that the fallout for students will not let up. Still, she says, Europe s fundamental reliance on public financing for higher education must not be questioned. All systems require public funding in order to benefit from other funding, she says. This is absolutely necessary and is the starting point. For his part, Mr. Ritzen is skeptical about whether the latest wave of student action stands a chance of inspiring lasting change. He points to the reforms of the late 1960s, when, he says, a serious European effort to improve universities forged an alliance of workers and students determined to inaugurate lasting change. In the end, he says pessimistically, the workers went back to work, and the students went on vacation, which is going to happen again.