September 2, 2016

Volume 63, Issue 01

Top News

Business is booming right under colleges’ noses. It’s not just papers and assignments anymore. Now it’s the whole course.

Highlights

The National Labor Relations Board’s decision in a case involving Columbia University has made clear that graduate-employee unions are legal at private colleges. Experts predict a surge in organizing similar to what has taken place among adjuncts.

The abrupt announcement on Tuesday that Nicholas B. Dirks will step down as chancellor leaves professors and others wondering how the campus will pick up the pieces.

The Chronicle Review

They don’t move mountains, they move minds. And the making of the arguments is its own reward.

Also In the Issue

Diploma mills had become a multimillion-dollar, worldwide industry, attracting some memorable characters.

A president gains new understanding from a book on the Arctic that he first read as a student at the college he leads.

A change in federal labor law that takes effect in December has institutions scrambling to sort out which salaried employees will be due extra pay if they work more than 40 hours in a week.

No attempts at persuasion could keep him at the University of Cincinnati when he had a chance to lead a university in his Canadian birthplace.

The news has been good for graduate-student unions, bad for University of California chancellors, and absurd for anyone following the guns-on-campus debate in Texas.

The NLRB’s ruling on Tuesday, that graduate students are employees, prompts a look back at the labor-union battle that started it all.

A state-budget stalemate means the colleges haven’t seen permanent funding in over a year. Administrators now wonder if the crisis will reverberate for years to come.

The recipient of a prestigious scholarship talks about how he will navigate his freshman year after the passage of the state’s controversial "bathroom bill."

A discipline with little federal funding now has some momentum. But the researchers who study firearms violence and policy still face emotional and financial demands.

If a coherent antiviolence strategy exists, it’s built on two precepts: Think small, and start by creating jobs. Both of those guidelines present researchers with challenges.

The letters, which allude to a "tainted" admissions process and students being "set up for failure," drew quick rebukes from students who said the language was racially insensitive.

Student activism and demands at Towson University, Oberlin College, and the University of Washington took different shapes. But the leaders of all three institutions are searching for common ground between protesters and administrators.

A lack of resources and an unwillingness to confront reality may hold institutions back, but like students, they may also benefit from studying postdoctoral career paths.

Colleges with large endowments have long faced criticism for not serving more of the neediest students. But there’s no clear standard on how many they should enroll.

Members of Prism, or People at Rockefeller Identifying as Sexual Minorities, say they founded the group to shed light on the particular challenges they face in the sciences.

It typically takes months to shepherd a piece through the peer-review process at top publications. What should scholars do when their work examines how an outbreak might spread within days?

With help from the National Endowment for the Humanities and other groups, some colleges are experimenting with ideas for reorienting the humanities Ph.D. to today’s job market.

Three of the system's chancellors discuss the potential benefits and consequences of a Republican-backed measure that, starting in 2018, will slash tuition at their universities.

Breadth requirements, often loathed as annoyances, get retooled to be more coherent, interconnected, and appealing.

Counseling and other support for troubled students have become easier to find in recent years. But many professors still deal with their problems in isolation.

A new book details how stories about sexual assaults by players extend far beyond each perpetrator. Coaches, administrators, and to some extent the news media all run the same plays when a new case breaks.

In the Obama administration’s waning months, hundreds of colleges remain under investigation. Legal challenges may change the landscape, but the government’s action has already left its mark.

David Longanecker, set to retire as president of the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education, says colleges must become more “friendly” to low-income and first-generation students.

Commentary

The value of college is increasingly found in the connections it creates. We should embrace that role, aiming for deeper and more lasting ties to graduates.

"Good prose requires dedication to the craft of writing, and our profession simply doesn’t reward it."