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Volume 62, Issue 18: January 15, 2016

January 11, 2016

This week's highlights.

 

What you need to know about the past seven days.

 

The case of a Chinese-American scholar falsely accused of espionage fuels concerns about racial profiling and a possible chill in international research collaboration.

 

Intimations of long-term controversies were apparent when The Chronicle reported on tenure under attack, sex bias in hiring and pay, and the value of distance education (which will "depend primarily on television"). Meanwhile, a former university-system chancellor predicted, "Within 15 years you won't recognize the American university. ... It will embrace all segments of society in ways that would make us uncomfortable today."

 

To shed light on the Education Department’s enforcement process, The Chronicle has built a tool to track hundreds of cases. Search by college or keyword, learn the context, and sign up for alerts.

 

Nearly 250 cases are open now or have been resolved since the Education Department stepped up the pressure on colleges, in April 2011. How colleges end up under scrutiny and how long they will remain there can seem mysterious.

 

Campus activists are increasingly pushing their institutions to require classes that explore race, ethnicity, or cultural awareness. But giving those requirements teeth can be a challenge.

 

With an emphasis on leadership and global awareness, Agnes Scott College has tried to reinvigorate the appeal of a liberal-arts institution for women.

 

Data about how students learn could open new vistas in education, if only instructors can figure out how to use it.

 

Proprietary institutions were easy to track and regulate. The new companies are something else entirely.

 

As pressures on players increase, elite conferences weigh new limits on practice hours and allowing more time off between seasons.

 

Australia has long operated a fully income-based repayment program, which countries like Britain have adapted. Now experts want the U.S. government to do the same.

 

Even as campus activism has intensified, popular dissent sometimes seems to go no further than the mouse pad. But it's worth taking even those lightweight protests seriously, says a professor who studies "slacktivists."

 

Wheaton College of Illinois referenced its statement of faith in explaining its response to a professor who wore a hijab in solidarity with Muslims who "worship the same god." At similar colleges, such statements are common, but their forms vary. Here’s a sampling.

 

As leader of Washington College, Sheila C. Bair is determined to do something about student debt

 

A historical novel stresses the value of standing up for social justice, even at risk of one’s life, says a college president.

 

Affirmative consent is valuable as a guide for proper conduct, not as a standard for determining responsibility.

 

Sadly, a university's athletic success often doesn’t reach beyond the playing field.

 

How to transform generic prose by campus leaders into something people actually want to hear and read.

 

You're exiting the training phase and are now in the self-guided phase. No one else can tell you what you should do next.

 

Professional schools offer lessons for undergraduate education.

 

College culture stifles debates over values.

 

The blog’s marquee status reflects a new level of public engagement among political scientists.

 

Science’s wonders are oft built on blunders.

 

On the contrary, it acknowledges that history is irreducibly contradictory, bloody, and shot through with injustice — as well as with courageous resistance to oppression.

This creative-nonfiction class was no bohemian joyride.

Mary Beard’s a lively scholar, but on matters of faith she cheats subtlety.