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An Hour of Television on Higher Ed Issues from a Faculty Perspective


If you have been reading the posts in my series “Mismanagement and No Meaningful Oversight” (I have actually gotten several items behind in terms of re-posting those items from our chapter blog to this blog), you are aware of some of the issues that have been reaching critical mass at Wright State University but that are reflective of problems at most universities across the country.

This past Thursday, DA-TV in Dayton devoted an hour to a panel discussion about the issues at our university but very much tying those issues to broader statewide and national issues.

Although I was invited to participate on the panel, I was attending a professional conference. After viewing the video, I think that you will agree that my absence may have been something of a blessing because I cannot imagine that I could have spoken as articulately and as effectively as those AAUP leaders and…

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Professor Proposes New Vision for University of Alaska


A professor at the University of Alaska Fairbanks has proposed a new vision for the University of Alaska, which will focus on the core mission of the University of Alaska and help UA raise over $900 million in additional research and tuition revenues over the next ten years.

A new proposal, developed by UAF neuroscience professor Abel Bult-Ito, calls for restructuring of the University of Alaska. Its goal is to strengthen the academic mission of research, teaching, and service as well as enhancing student services while streamlining administrative functions.

The restructuring will involve elimination of redundant statewide services and mid-level management at the University of Alaska Anchorage, Fairbanks and Southeast campuses over the first three years, which will result in a significant cost savings and increased efficiencies in administrative functions.

The savings will then be reinvested in new faculty, teaching and research support staff, and increased number of scholarships for…

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The Highest Paid Public Employees


According to an article written by Evan Comen, Thomas C. Frolich, and Michael B. Sauter for 24/7 Wall St., the highest paid public employee in 39 of the 50 states is either a football coach or a men’s basketball coach.

  1. Alabama
    > Highest paid employee: Nick Saban
    > Position:College football coach
    > Salary: $7.09 million
  1. Alaska
    > Highest paid employee: Keith Meyer
    > Position:President, Alaska Gasline Development Corporation
    > Salary: $550,000
  1. Arizona
    > Highest paid employee: Sean Miller
    > Position:College basketball coach
    > Salary: $4.95 million
  1. Arkansas
    > Highest paid employee: Bret Bielema
    > Position:College football coach
    > Salary: $3.96 million
  1. California
    > Highest paid employee: Jim Mora
    > Position:College football coach
    > Salary: $3.35 million
  1. Colorado
    > Highest paid employee: Mike MacIntyre
    > Position:College football coach
    > Salary: $2.01 million
  1. Connecticut
    > Highest paid employee: Kevin Ollie
    > Position:College basketball coach

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Faculty at Western Carolina U Exert Singular Oversight on Koch Center


Here are excerpts from two articles written by Becky Johnson for the Smoky Mountain News [http://www.smokymountainnews.com/], passed on to me by Connor Gibson of UnKoch My Campus:

WCU Faculty Closely Monitoring $2 Million Koch Gift

Faculty members have lauded administration for giving them a seat at the table. That wouldn’t happen at most universities.

“I think it is a sign that faculty voices are appreciated here. It is a compliment for Western,” said Chris Cooper, department head of Political Science and Public Affairs. “At the university at large, I think there is an appreciation of diverse viewpoints and faculty governance. I think we can see that in this process.”

WCU Faculty Set New Precedent for Standing Up to Political Influence of Big Donors

While the committee agreed oversight measures were needed to thwart the center from promoting a single school of thought, the question was how. At the…

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The Political Divide in the Perception of Higher Ed


Here is a chart summarizing a recent Pew Research survey on how political ideology affects the perception of American institutions:


The complete survey, including a link to a detailed breakdown of the results in PDF, can be found at: http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/09/26/from-universities-to-churches-republicans-and-democrats-differ-in-views-of-major-institutions/

Education Dive has provided the following “highlights” of and “insights” about the survey:

Dive Brief:

A new study from the Pew Research Center shows Democrats and Republicans differ greatly on their perception of the value of higher education in the nation’s positive forward movement. 

A majority of Republicans (45%) say that higher education has a negative effect on the country, while 72% of Democrats believe colleges and universities have a positive impact.

The disparity in impact perspective was the second highest in the survey, behind the differences of opinion on the impact of the national media.

Dive Insight:

It is possible for citizens with two different ideologies to be correct…

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And NASCAR Drivers Aren’t Running Moonshine Any More


Here are the lead paragraphs in a photo-essay published by Business Insider:

“College football met NASCAR in Tennessee on Saturday night when Tennessee played Virginia Tech in the “Battle at Bristol,” played at Bristol Motor Speedway.

“The game set a college football attendance record with 156,990 fans in attendance. That shattered the old record of 115,109 for a game at the University of Michigan’s Michigan Stadium against Notre Dame in 2013.


As a stunt, the scheduling of this game was undeniably a success.

But if we start to see more games move off-campus from “home” stadiums to these kinds of more massive venues, it will be further evidence that intercollegiate athletics has become something increasingly difficult to justify as something connected to, never mind central to, our conception of—our enduring notions about–post-secondary education and the student-athlete.

The photo essay by Cork Gaines is available at: http://www.businessinsider.com/battle-at-bristol-motor-speedway-tennessee-virginia-tech-2016-9?utm.

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Duke Supports NCAA’s Position on North Carolina Law


Duke University has released the following statement on the NCAA’s decision to pull seven championship tournaments out of North Carolina in the 2016-2017 academic year:

“We agree with the NCAA’s decision. Our position has been clear on this matter, which is that this legislation is discriminatory, troubling and embarrassing. We deplore any efforts to deprive individuals, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, of legal protection and rights. We will always be committed to diversity and inclusion, and applaud any efforts to ensure that those values are protected and enacted at all times, and in all places in the state of North Carolina.”

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Much More on the Koch Centers


Writing for AlterNet, Alex Kotch explains in great detail “Charles Koch’s Six-Step Guide to Founding a Free-Market Center at Your University.” The article is based on recordings made at a Koch-sponsored conference.

Here is a substantial portion of the introductory section of Kotch’s article:

“Since 1980, the family foundations of billionaire industrialist Charles Koch have gifted roughly $200 million to U.S. colleges and universities, largely to promote libertarian, free-market economics programs around the nation. Koch gave $108 million of that total to 366 colleges and universities between 2005 and 2014, according to the Institute for Southern Studies. Koch and his brother, David, who are well known for their vast, conservative political spending network, own Koch Industries, a giant conglomerate composed of companies that sell gas, pipelines, chemicals, minerals, paper and textiles, among other products. The brothers have fervently opposed taxation and regulation for decades.

“At the root of Koch’s…

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Focusing on the Cost and Results for Low-Income Students


The Department of Education has released two lists of universities and four-year colleges with “good outcomes” for low-income students. The first list simply measures tuition costs against income after graduation. The second list is limited to institutions at which at least 40% of the student populations can be described as low-income.



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