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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 2/12/21

We hope you could join us for our Friday 5 Live this week. We are grateful for Dr. Dan Maxwell’s insights into staying connected professionally and the job search in 2021! In March, Friday 5 Live will focus on how we can support student success.



At Innovative Educators, we are using Black History Month to examine anti-racist practices and inclusivity in our communities.  We are asking ourselves questions like:  How can I use this month for discovery, learning and listening? How will I take this work back to my institutions and organization? While we’re reminded of the importance of not  compartmentalizing the Black American experience to one month each year, each week in February, we will share resources that we find particularly helpful to our own learning. We invite you to use the Comments section to add additional resources that can help inform our understanding of creating inclusive communities and anti-racist practices.



California’s Governor Newsom announced a proposal to ease transfer between California community colleges and four year public universities in the California State University and the University of California systems.  The goals of his proposal include increasing access to four year universities by underrepresented students, increasing graduation rates among underrepresented students, improving transfer pathways and reducing both student costs and the time it takes to earn a degree.  Critics of his plan argue that California does not have the capacity to accommodate additional learners.  If approved, the transfer pathway program would begin in 2023.


$85 billion in lost revenues + $24 billion for COVID-related expenses + $74 billion in anticipated future decreases in state funding = $183 billion: Total cost of COVID to universities and colleges this year as reported in The Chronicle of Higher Education



Public college and universities are anticipating budget cuts this upcoming fiscal year reports Higher Ed Dive this week.  Most states have seen tax revenue drops.  State appropriations make up 60% of the University of Hawaii system’s budget, but with Hawaii taking a severe economic hit by the pandemic, college administrators know significant cuts may be coming soon.  Institutions hope that the $23 billion COVID relief package passed by Congress in late December will provide some relief from challenging state budget situations. Pres. Biden has called on Congress to fund another $35 billion in emergency stabilization monies for higher education.


“Sometimes the smallest gesture means the difference between a student leaving campus for good or staying and working through their struggles. The loss of 100 students means a loss of $1 million to our campus, which is why both recruitment and retention remain a strong part of all of our plans for fiscal health.” - Heidi Macpherson, president The State University of New York Brockport



Achieving the Dream (ATD) and the University of Southern California Race and Equity Center have collaborated to establish the Racial Equity Leadership Academy (RELA). Ten community colleges were selected to participate in this inaugural year.  Each institution has crafted plans to support student success and close equity gaps. Institutional goals include increasing Black and Latinx student graduation rates and hiring faculty members that represent the student population. Schools will receive mentorship from ATD and USC coaches and participate in equity and race conversations.  The overarching program goal “is for institutions to both individually and collectively address barriers to racial equality.”


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Struggling to fill positions and recruit employees, the city of Syracuse has partnered with Le Moyne College to develop creative programming to increase computer and math skills in local middle school students. Le Moyne’s research indicates that “when K-12 students’ grades, graduation rates, and likelihood of going on to higher education improve when they are exposed to college programs” before graduation.  Other components of ERIE 21 (Educating for Our Rising Innovation Economy in the 21st century) include opportunities for high school students and a software systems science program for local employees to increase skills and fill vacant tech positions.  The program also holds the promise of increasing enrollment at Le Moyne College while supporting underrepresented students.
Author: Meg Foster
February 12, 2021
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