VCs Weekly Higher Education Digest: May 13, 2019

Don’t Think Your Campus Needs to Prepare for Climate Change? Here’s why you’re wrong THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

It isn’t hard to find evidence that colleges across the country are concerned about global climate change and the role they play in contributing to it. Solar panels, LEED-certified buildings, robust recycling programs, and energy reductions can be found on campuses everywhere…. However, colleges must now take another vital step: prepare themselves for the disruptive new reality of a climate-changed world. That means defending their campuses from what is already happening as well as from what is yet to come.

We need to talk about climate change By Joanna Kidman TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

I arrived in Toronto during last summer’s record-breaking heatwave…. I was one of six thousand people gathering for the International Sociological Association’s quadrennial World Congress of Sociology…. I’d already had a good dose of global warming back home in New Zealand…. I’m bothered by all of this. I’m also bothered that I play a role in the destruction. As an academic with several large research projects on the go, I spend a lot of time in the air.

Big Data Science: Establishing Data-Driven Institutions through Advanced Analytics By Cecilia Earls EDUCAUSE REVIEW

From improving student success to forming optimal strategies that can maximize corporate and foundational relationships, data analytics is now higher education's divining rod. Faculty and administration alike make daily decisions that impact the future of our institutions and our students…. How can we optimize those decisions over the coming years? How do we know if we are meeting our goals? Can we use our data to make better decisions?

How Can Edtech Address Evolving School and Workforce Needs? By Nilanjana Saxena EDUCAUSE REVIEW

The education-to-employment gap continues to be the subject of much discussion, often surfacing in policy debates across both the developed and the developing world. The gap, which centers on skill acquisition, has led to relatively high levels of youth unemployment worldwide, as is visible in recent data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the 2018 QS report "The Global Graduate Skills Gap in the 21st Century," which calls the skills gap "a global and significantly widespread issue."

A Human-Centered Approach to Empowering Faculty for Excellence in Online Course Design By Katalin Wargo EDUCAUSE MAGAZINE

A human-centered approach to instructional design takes into account the relationships we hope faculty will cultivate with their students online, as well as the relationships we cultivate with instructors as we teach them about online pedagogy. In our online courses, we strive to cultivate faculty-student and student-student relationships that are similarly dynamic as those for which our brick and mortar courses are well known. We know that in a digital context, these relationships require intentional design and implementation to be achieved.

UK universities trial social media monitoring tool By Anna McKie TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

UK universities have trialled a new tool that monitors what is said about them online, which could potentially be adopted across the sector as an early warning system for standards issues. Ten institutions were involved in a pilot that provided them with a dashboard displaying near real-time feedback from social media platforms, as well as student review sites. The tool, which collates data from online ratings and uses an algorithm to assess the sentiments expressed in anonymised online comments, was created by the Quality Assurance Agency…

HR and IT need to transform the workplace together By Stanley Louw HR MAGAZINE

Digital tools, when used correctly, can empower people to work more effectively. And yet in a lot of cases these digital tools aren’t being used correctly…. Employees want their workplaces to be just as connected and seamless as their outside lives, and it’s no longer just the younger generations making these demands…. However, answering emails late at night only increases the quantity of work not the quality. Digitisation isn’t just about having the right tools; it’s also about getting people to use them in the right way. This is why HR has an important role to play alongside IT in building a successful digital workplace.

Technology increasing stress at work By Rachel Muller-Heyndyk HR MAGAZINE

Almost a third of UK employees (32%) feel that workplace technology increases job stress, research from Willis Towers Watson has revealed. A lack of tech reliability was cited as the main reason for this (by 46% of respondents), followed closely by technology increasing workload (45%). Other reasons cited were a triggering of tighter deadlines (33%) and a lack of human interaction (29%). The research found generational differences when it came to employees’ perceptions of workplace technology.

Private Colleges Set New Record on Tuition Discounts By Steven Johnson THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

Private colleges are offering students discounts on tuition and fees at record-high rates, according to the annual Tuition Discounting Study…. Private colleges have seen rising discount rates — the percentage of revenues from tuition and fees that is awarded to students in grants and scholarships — as troubling signs for their finances. As colleges jockey for price-conscious families in a more-competitive market, heftier grants can strain their budgets over time.

Survey sheds light on who exactly is paying for college By Stefanie Botelho UNIVERSITY BUSINESS

The overall statistics for student loan debt may be alarming, but it’s important for higher ed administrators to understand who is responsible for paying for college and, accordingly, paying back loans. Forty-five million borrowers collectively owe $1.52 trillion in student debt…. Of 13,000 surveyed students, 29 percent report they are taking on the entirety of their college debt. This responsibility is generally higher for students of color…

Vacuous value statements miss the point of higher education By Dennis Hayes TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

The lists of “values” that appear on many UK university websites often capture some of the fine qualities that their staff display. But, despite the importance of “excellence”, “creativity”, “integrity”, “diversity”, “ambition”, “impact” and “professionalism” to daily academic life, none of these common buzzwords denote genuine values. Nor do “rigorous”, “people-orientated” or “high-performing”…. Real values are those that are constantly fought for and defended, such as freedom of speech.

After Ethical Lapses, Georgia Tech Surveyed Campus Culture. The Results Weren’t Pretty By Lindsay Ellis THE CHRONICLE OF HIGHER EDUCATION

More than 1,200 employees said they did not believe the actions of the Georgia Institute of Technology’s leadership always aligned with its stated values — and more than 500 said they felt their supervisor did not engage in ethical business practices. Several hundred said they feared that nepotism played a role in promotion and advancement. The newly released survey findings suggest a level of distrust that exceeds the realm of an ethics scandal that shook the campus last summer.

Brazil funding cuts ‘threat to democracy’, global scholars warn By Rachael Pells TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

Academics from across the globe have called on the Brazilian government to cancel savage cuts to university funding that target specific institutions and subjects – a move they say could have a devastating effect on the country’s democracy. An open letter published by scholars in Canada, Germany and the Netherlands... In it, academics condemn a proposal by President Jair Bolsonaro to withdraw public funding for philosophy and sociology in favour of subjects that “generate immediate return to the taxpayer”.

Reviewers change their mind after hearing from ‘peers’ By Rachael Pells TIMES HIGHER EDUCATION

Any academic who has submitted a research proposal or a journal paper will have felt the sting of an unwelcome comment from at least one peer reviewer – inevitably leading to grumbles among friends that said reviewer simply doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Now a study by Harvard University researchers offers evidence to suggest that almost half of academic reviewers actually share that lack of confidence in their own expertise.

Top-ranked workplaces prioritise trust By Rachel Muller-Heyndyk HR MAGAZINE

Organisations with high levels of trust are both higher performers and better places to work, according to Great Place to Work…. This translates to higher revenue growth, effective leadership, and an innovative environment propelled by a strong sense of purpose across teams, the body stated…. Aside from trust, Great Place to Work's annual report found that almost all top-ranked workplaces had a strong emphasis on onboarding, with 94% making employees feel ‘at home’ as soon as they entered the workplace.

How to prevent plagiarism and other forms of cheating By Matt Zalaznick UNIVERSITY BUSINESS

“Contract cheating,” among all forms of academic dishonesty, poses the most serious challenge to higher education today. Making matters worse, the internet has draped a shroud of anonymity over the process by which students find others to do their work or take tests for them…. Colleges and universities can work to prevent plagiarism and other types of academic dishonesty with technology that analyzes writing styles and verifies identities. But… good teaching also plays a key role in dissuading students from cheating.

Campus security: Helping the college community using GIS and IPS By Mark Rowh UNIVERSITY BUSINESS

Geographic information systems (GIS) and indoor positioning systems (IPS)—which provide an accurate way to locate students, safety officers, employees and others during an emergency—offer many security applications for campuses. These systems alert security when someone is not where they should be as well, says Pete Canavan, a safety consultant to colleges and the author of The Ultimate Guide to College Safety (PJC Services, 2018). The technology can also be used to locate assets such as lab equipment, tools and vehicles.

Video walls move to the next level By Sherrie Negrea UNIVERSITY BUSINESS

Prospective students can touch a video wall in the admissions office at New York Institute of Technology to learn about any academic major and watch clips of student interviews. At Georgia State University, researchers can analyze large-scale aerial photographs of Atlanta to track decades of urban flight on a video wall in the library. These are just two examples of how video walls are no longer just informational signs, but rather an integral part of teaching, research, admissions and campus communication.

Restaurant franchises: 14 realities every campus leader should know By Ray Bendici UNIVERSITY BUSINESS

Partnerships between colleges and quick-serve restaurant franchises are natural—so it’s very common to see restaurants on college campuses. Higher ed institutions have hundreds of hungry students with busy schedules and shallow pockets, while national franchises sell quick, familiar and reasonably priced food. National franchises often work in smaller spaces, making them an ideal fit for a campus restaurant…. Before adding a new national brand to campus, consider that...

Creating Inclusive Board Cultures By Bethami A. Dobkin TRUSTEESHIP MAGAZINE

The board that embraces diversity, engages in meaningful dialogue and constructive debate, and cultivates an inclusive group culture will more likely benefit from the full experiences and knowledge of its members…. Higher education is founded on such principles as the free exchange of ideas, civic engagement, and the advancement of knowledge through research and discovery. As such, diversity of thought and perspective, often described as individual difference, is easily embraced by campus communities and their boards.

How can we monitor education agents more effectively? By Pii-Tuulia Nikula and Jussi Kivistö UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS

Education agent-based international student recruitment is gaining popularity in a number of countries. Even though many of the issues related to this recruitment mode have been widely discussed, significant gaps persist in universities’ and other educational institutions’ understanding of how best to manage their agent relationships. A new study examines one of the key underlying issues in ethical education agent management: how educational institutions can monitor their education agents.

There is a bigger problem than bogus or fake universities By Stephen A Hunt UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS

Are some private or alternative higher education providers simply scams? As a researcher in this area, I’m often asked this question. The suspicion that surrounds the private sector probably stems from the fact that so few constraints are placed on private higher education provision in the United Kingdom – anyone is free to establish a teaching institution and call it what they like, with very few exceptions…. So how do they get away with it? The problem is not unique to the UK.

ARUA centres of excellence to benefit from £20m UK grant By Francis Kokutse UNIVERSITY WORLD NEWS

Six out of the 13 centres of excellence under the Africa Research Universities Alliance (ARUA) are to receive a total of £12 million (US$15 million) out of a grant of £20 million awarded to the alliance by the United Kingdom government, ARUA’s Secretary General Professor Ernest Aryeetey has told University World News. ARUA brings together 16 of the continent’s leading universities and has created 13 centres of excellence which are currently undertaking focused research in specific areas.

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