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Friday 5: Things To Ponder This Week In Higher Ed 7/2/2021



UNC Awards Tenure to Nikole Hannah-Jones

In a reversal of its initial decision, the Board of Trustees at the University of North Carolina voted 9-4 on Wednesday to award Nikole Hannah-Jones tenure.  In May the Board made the controversial decision not to award Hannah-Jones tenure. Hannah-Jones is the Pulitzer prize winning journalist behind the “1619 Project.”  The decision to deny tenure to a faculty position which has traditionally been awarded tenure sparked a national conversation about academic freedom, the influence of politically appointed governing boards, and the devaluing of Black academic labor.



NCAA Approves New Policy Addressing Name, Image & Likeness

This week the NCAA issued a new policy addressing whether college athletes can earn money for the use of their name, image and likeness (NIL) allowing students to capitalize on their NIL.  All three NCAA divisions adopted the new interim policy which allows athletes to participate in NIL activities consistent with state laws. “The association has historically opposed student-athlete pay measures, claiming they erode the amateur tradition of college sports.”


Our Friday 5 newsletter is taking a break for the July 4 holiday, and we will return on July 16.



2U Acquires edX for $800 million

This week 2U, a company that works with colleges to launch and run online programs, entered into an agreement with nonprofit MOOC provider edX.  2U, an OPM, will obtain edX’s brand, website and marketplace. The new company will serve 230 partners including 185 nonprofit institutions and 19 of the world’s top 20 universities. “While 2U offers short courses, boot camps, professional certificates, and undergraduate and graduate degrees, edX provides courses with a free/audit track, Masters and doctorate degrees, professional certificates, and MicroBachelors programs and MicroMasters programs.”


11.3 percent: The decline in community college enrollment from spring 2020 to spring 2021, and racially minoritized students have been disproportionately affected.



To Address Enrollment Decline Colleges Need to Better Understand Students

Achieving the Dream partnered with the Advising Success Network to create a guidebook titled Knowing Our Students: Understanding and Designing for Student Success to provide guidance to community colleges looking to address enrollment declines.  Recommendations include collecting comprehensive data that can inform institutions in a thorough and compassionate way about who their students are in order to design educational experiences that will create success. The guide highlights efforts at NOVA Community College and Cleveland State which examined barriers to enrollment and degree completion and reacted quickly to address those challenges.


Looking to learn more?  These upcoming webinars may be of interest: 

Planning For A Safe Return To Campus: HR, Public Safety, Training & Communication 7/15 

The Top 5 Research-Based Study Skills: How To Incorporate Them Into Your Course 7/20


College Students’ Post-Pandemic Concerns

A new report released this week by New America and Third Way examines survey results from a national survey of current college students.  The majority of college students feel optimistic about the country recovering from COVID, but are concerned about their own economic futures. Students are positive about their institution’s response to COVID, but worry that their online learning experience has not prepared them as well as in-person courses. Additionally, students question the value of their education.  Almost two-thirds believe that higher education is not worth the cost anymore.

Author: Meg Foster
July 2, 2021
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