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Your Daily Briefing, a Feature for Chronicle Individual Subscribers

October 10, 2017

Individual subscribers to The Chronicle now receive an email newsletter called the Daily Briefing. Through it, readers are presented with everything they need to know in higher ed to start their day. Below is an example of the Briefing, from Friday. To receive this newsletter, subscribe to The Chronicle.

Welcome to Tuesday, October 10. Today low-income, hard-working high-school students struggle to get to college after the summer, readers talk about dealing with students' mental-health concerns, and we bring you Chronicle headlines in verse.

Getting low-income students to college.

About 20 to 30 percent of low-income high-school graduates in urban school districts who are accepted by colleges don't enroll anywhere. At a high school in Dallas, students' concerns about money and complex family situations dominated summertime conversations about their college choices. While many stories are told about hard-working, low-income students who catapult themselves to Ivy League colleges, this isn't one of them. In this article, our Eric Hoover continues to explore what happens when uncertainty weighs down students before they even get to freshman orientation.

If you want to learn more about these high-achieving, low-income students, and the guidance they need before they get to college, click here to download a new booklet, "Students on the Margins."

Quick hits.

  • A freshman at Texas Tech University was arrested on Monday night in connection with the shooting death of a campus police officer, the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal reported. The student had been brought to the campus police station after officers making a welfare check on him found drugs and drug paraphernalia. At the station he drew a gun, shot the officer, and escaped, causing a short campus lockdown that ended when he was captured.
  • Several members of Congress sent a letter to Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, seeking an update on its progress toward fulfilling its pledge to promote diversity and equality at member colleges.
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill's department of religious studies issued a statement calling for the removal of "Silent Sam," the controversial statue of a Confederate soldier on the campus.

On professors as therapists.

Yesterday we asked readers: When students come to you with their problems, how can faculty members strike a balance between being helpful and not overextending themselves? Here are two emails we received. Look for more tomorrow.

Irma McClaurin, a Fulbright specialist at the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, wrote that faculty members of color have faced this struggle for decades. Professors of color have also faced challenges from the high cost of emotional labor, she wrote.

Another reader, Tina DeLapp, wrote that faculty members should refer students to qualified mental-health professionals. Faculty members should also be clear about their role as teachers, she wrote. "The faculty role is to teach — it is NOT to be a therapist."

The talkers.

  • College administrators don't get to choose which federal rules to follow, even if they want to defy the Education Department's decision to rescind 2011 guidance on sexual assault, argues The Wall Street Journal's editorial board.
  • If free-speech debates are judged on the basis of who has more power, the campus left will often lose, writes Michelle Goldberg in The New York Times.

Invisible labor and minority professors.

Among the responses to yesterday's question about faculty members' helping troubled students, one — about minority professors' taking on more of an emotional burden — stuck out. In 2015 our Audrey Williams June wrote about that dilemma. Minority professors, particularly women of any ethnicity, are often asked to be mentors, to help solve problems, and to serve as sounding boards for colleagues. Even when minority professors feel overworked, or tokenized, they want to do the extra work. Read her story here.

Academic animals.

We were certainly surprised to receive responses to yesterday's Footnote, on the ostensible similarities between presidents and dogs, and between professors and cats. Here are two:

Martha (Marcy) May, a professor of history at Western Connecticut State University, wrote: "I'd bet there are far more books and dissertations which include cats in their dedications than there are to dogs. What dog sits in a writer's lap or next to the keyboard for an occasional pet — or jumps up on the keyboard for that matter? My dissertation did include a cat dedication, of course."

And Robert Peck wrote: "After being president of two liberal-arts universities, I learned what the job is really about. Nearly everything that came across my desk was huge and stunk to high heaven: It is a Dead Whale job."

**Job Announcement: Multiple positions available at Georgia State University's School of Public Health. Visit ChronicleVitae for more details.**

Comings and goings.

  • Constance Ledoux Book, provost of the Citadel, was named president of Elon University.
  • Arthur Dunning, president of Albany State University, in Georgia, will retire on January 31, 2018.
  • Miles Lackey, Iowa State University's chief of staff and chief financial officer, was named chief of staff in the president's office at Auburn University.
  • Allia L. Carter, vice president for enrollment management and undergraduate studies at Bethune-Cookman University, was named vice president for enrollment management and student affairs at Virginia Union University.
  • Scott Wilson, chief investment officer at Grinnell College, was named chief investment officer at Washington University in St. Louis.

Quote of the day.

"Whenever I'm feeling panicky, my thoughts start running away from me, and it's kind of like an avalanche."

—Lucy, a 21-year-old student at the University of Delaware, on working to overcome anxiety as an undergraduate.

Footnote.

From The Chronicle's Andrew Mytelka:

The newsboy’s cry of “Extra! Extra! Read all about it!” — a Hollywood trope and a part of the streetscape of an earlier America — has been supplanted by email blasts, push polling, and snappy social-media salvos. With one notable exception: Holger Bleck, a 44-year-old newspaper hawker in Berlin, casts headlines into verse, memorizes them, and then uses the rhymes to help sell papers, according to a New York Times profile. One example, which apparently works in both German and English, was: “Kiss kiss, smoochy smoochy, how embarrassing! It’s Scaramucci!”

If Berlin’s “newspaper poet” can do it, why can’t we? Would some readers prefer to receive Chronicle headlines in verse? For instance, this recent headline — “With Title IX Guidance in Flux, It May Be ‘Open Hunting Season’ for Lawyers” — falls more compellingly on the ear as “With Title IX Guidance in Flux, Lawyers Scent More Cases Deluxe.” Or this one: “Can Social Science Tell Us How Much Gerrymandering Is Too Much?” Doesn’t it sound better as “As High Court Hears About Gerrymandering, Social Scientists File Research on Such Pandering”? Or an essay could go from "How the Academic Elite Reproduces Itself" to "The Academic Elite, Reproductively Complete." Perhaps journalism could take a lesson from Mario M. Cuomo, who observed that you campaign in poetry but you govern in prose.

—Fernanda and Adam

Fernanda Zamudio-Suaréz and Adam Harris are breaking-news reporters at The Chronicle. Reach them at fernanda@chronicle.com and adam.harris@chronicle.com.

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