Higher Education News

More states are encouraging undocumented students to pursue tuition-free programs

Inside HigherEd - Tue, 03/12/2019 - 07:00

When Tennessee and Nevada started tuition-free community college programs several years ago, state lawmakers made no allowances for students who were undocumented immigrants. The two states were not alone. Among the approximately 15 states that now offer tuition-free programs, only a handful allow such students to participate.

That trend may be changing. Maryland, which is starting its Promise Scholarship program this year, and New York, which passed legislation in January to extend state aid to undocumented students, are the latest states to join California, Delaware, Oregon, Rhode Island and Washington in offering financial aid and grants or scholarships to students who live in those states but lack legal-immigrant status.

In a political climate where undocumented students are increasingly feeling unwelcome under the Trump administration's stated opposition to illegal immigration and risk deportation under its tough law enforcement policies, some states are openly promoting their tuition-free programs to those very students and encouraging them to apply.

“Folks who want to be hard on immigration will say these are people who came to this country illegally so they don’t have the right to be here and shouldn’t have the right to education extend beyond high school. Because basic education is a right but postsecondary education is not?” said Will Del Pilar, vice president of higher education policy and practice at the Education Trust, a nonprofit organization that advocates for low-income students and students of color. “It’s purely political.”

Ben Cannon, executive director of the Oregon Higher Education Coordinating Commission, said lawmakers there decided to include undocumented students when they adopted legislation to start the state's tuition-free program in 2015 because it was in keeping with state precedent allowing undocumented students to pay in-state resident tuition rates at public colleges and universities.

“This was about justice, fairness and keeping faith with students for whom we’ve provided a K-12 education,” he said. “It’s arbitrary and unfair to say that now you’re 18, so public support for education disappears.”

After the Trump administration announced two years ago that it would end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, which protected certain undocumented young people from deportation, California Student Aid Commission officials alerted administrators of the California Community Colleges system about a noticeable drop in the number of students submitting state financial aid applications, said Laura Metune, the system's vice chancellor for governmental relations. The state application is an alternative to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Undocumented students are not eligible for federal student aid.

“There were worries because of the anti-immigration rhetoric at the federal level,” Metune said. Undocumented students who were eligible for state financial aid were afraid to apply and provide personal information that would reveal their immigration status, she said. Some students worried doing so could put them at greater risk of deportation.

“So the community colleges joined the commission and many other systems in doing direct outreach to colleges and students so they understood their information is protected when they apply for financial aid,” Metune said.

The California two-year system does not track undocumented students or ask them for their immigration status, but officials do track the number of students who receive the state’s nonresident tuition exemption, which allows undocumented immigrants and a few other eligible students to pay in-state tuition rates and fees. From 2013 to 2016, the number of two-year students who received the exemption increased from about 55,000 to 63,000 students. But in 2017 the number of exempted students decreased to 60,500, according to state data.

Nationally, there are about 700,000 DACA students. In California, 200,150 such students were participating in the DACA program as of August 2018, according to the Migration Policy Institute.

The chancellor’s office held a week of action event last October that featured a series of informational webinars to help undocumented students, faculty and staff at the community colleges understand the students' legal rights and explain the financial aid available to help them afford college, Metune said.

“For all intents and purposes, these are California students,” she said. “Their legal residency shouldn’t be a factor for whether they go to college.”

Whether states with tuition-free programs allow undocumented students to participate is often related to whether the states also allow those students to pay in-state tuition rates.

About 20 states offer in-state tuition to undocumented students. But it took New York's Democratic-led Legislature passing the Dream Act in January for students in the state to qualify for state financial aid or scholarships, including the tuition-free program.

The New York Dream Act would affect about 146,000 undocumented state residents who entered the U.S. before age 16 and are under age 35, according to the New York State Youth Leadership Council and New York University Law School's Immigrant Rights Clinic. Governor Andrew Cuomo has indicated he will sign the measure into law.

“In the New York Dream Act, you see a state going against the national politics in creating access for undocumented students,” said Del Pilar of the Education Trust.

Then there are states such as Texas, where there were unsuccessful efforts in 2017 to make undocumented students ineligible for in-state tuition, he said. Texas does not have a statewide tuition-free program.

The Heritage Foundation, a politically conservative organization, is against providing in-state tuition and scholarships to undocumented students. State policies that do provide these benefits encourage illegal immigration, are unfair to students who are U.S. citizens and pay out-of-state tuition, and use taxpayer dollars to subsidize educating undocumented students, according to a paper released by the foundation in 2011.

"Opening up free college and transferring it from hardworking, law-abiding Americans who have been saving for their child’s college fund from the time of their birth to illegal, undocumented students in this country is something we don’t support,” said Mary Clare Amselem, a policy analyst at the foundation's Center for Education Policy.

The foundation is also opposed to tuition-free programs in general, she said.

Cannon, the executive director of the Oregon higher education commission, and a former member of the Oregon House of Representatives, remembers the legislative battles to allow undocumented students to pay in-state tuition and receive state grants and financial aid.

“It seemed like a real long shot back then and took several sessions for just in-state tuition,” Cannon said. “This change and this culture and this approach to the policy didn’t develop overnight. It has taken years of efforts and activism.”

Oregon doesn’t track the number of undocumented students participating in its tuition-free program. The state also uses a separate application for students who can’t submit the FAFSA. About 160 students who filed using the state application for aid received more than $271,000 in Oregon Promise grants in 2017.

“There is a real concern to try and ensure there is a viable career path for residents of Oregon who, notwithstanding their immigration status, are very likely to remain residents of Oregon, and some of them for a good long time,” Cannon said.

Del Pilar said he expects to see more states following New York and Maryland in allowing undocumented students to access tuition-free programs and other state grants and aid.

California has already moved in that direction in recent years by passing legislation to expand access to state grants and scholarships to undocumented students.

Metune noted how far the state community college system has come since 20 years ago, when state lawmakers clashed over whether to extend education benefits to undocumented students.

“The actions of our board and the actions of the Legislature and the governor have reinforced our support for this population,” Metune said. “If anything, we see efforts to expand resources for undocumented students … California stands in solidarity with them.”

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Another federal court ruling chips away at NCAA limits on support for athletes

Inside HigherEd - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:01

A federal judge on Friday ruled that the National Collegiate Athletic Association and its members had violated federal antitrust law by artificially capping the value of scholarships for educational purposes -- but stopped well short of creating the kind of free market for athletes' compensation that the players and their lawyers had sought.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken -- whose 2014 decision in a related case began the slow chipping away of the NCAA's limits on colleges' support for athletes -- is a clear court loss for the association. But lawyers for the athletes also got far less than they wanted: a toppling of the "amateur" athlete model by which the NCAA has for decades limited compensation to athletes to a scholarship and slowly expanding associated benefits.

The plaintiffs, a group of current and former Division I men's and women's basketball players and athletes who played football at universities in the Football Bowl Subdivision, alleged that the NCAA's complex rules -- approved and carried out by the member colleges and conferences -- unfairly restrict what the players could reasonably get in exchange for their athletic talents in an open market.

The association argued, as it has for decades, that the rules restricting compensation have maintained a form of "amateurism" that sustains public support for the college sports enterprise, and that requiring athletes to be students (and compensating them as such) helps integrate them into their campuses.

In her ruling, Judge Wilken in many ways split the difference. She supported the NCAA's argument for continuing to restrict compensation and benefits that are unrelated to education (i.e., payments for sports-related performance), but concluded that the NCAA's amateurism model (which she described as "circular") does not justify the limitations on the education-related benefits that the NCAA currently maintains.

The plaintiffs proposed three possible alternatives to the current system, two of which the judge rejected as creating problems of their own. The first, to lift all NCAA limits on compensation for athletes, would "open the possibility that at least some conferences would allow their schools to offer student-athletes unlimited cash payments that are unrelated to education" -- little different from how the professional leagues operate, Wilken wrote.

Much the same result, Wilken wrote, could occur from a system in which the NCAA continued to limit education-related compensation but could not limit payments unrelated to education.

Instead, she endorsed an approach in which the association continues to limit the value of an athletic scholarship to the cost of attendance and to restrict compensation and benefits unrelated to education, but generally does not limit education-related benefits. Her opinion lists a set of "education-related" benefits that the ruling bars the NCAA and its colleges from restricting, including “computers, science equipment, musical instruments and other tangible items not included in the cost of attendance calculation but nonetheless related to the pursuit of academic studies.”

Wilken also said the NCAA would be enjoined from restricting "post-eligibility scholarships to complete undergraduate or graduate degrees at any school; scholarships to attend vocational school; expenses for pre- and post-eligibility tutoring; expenses for studying abroad that are not covered by the cost of attendance; and paid post-eligibility internships."

The ruling also notes that the list could also be amended by a court-approved motion of the NCAA or the players.

In a statement Friday night, the NCAA's chief legal officer, Donald Remy, criticized the court's ruling but acknowledged, without directly saying so, that it could have been a lot worse for the association. "The court’s decision recognizes that college sports should be played by student-athletes, not by paid professionals. The decision acknowledges that the popularity of college sports stems in part from the fact that these athletes are indeed students, who must not be paid unlimited cash sums unrelated to education. NCAA rules actively provide a pathway for tens of thousands of student-athletes each year to receive a college education debt-free."

Michael McCann, a sports law expert and associate dean of the law school at the University of New Hampshire, said in a column in Sports Illustrated that the main outcome of Wilken's ruling would be to crank up the competition among universities and conferences over the value of the sports scholarship.

"Schools that already compete for recruits in myriad ways -- spending many millions of dollars to fund top coaches’ salaries, constructing new stadiums, building state-of-the-art training facilities -- will be able to compete in one additional way: by offering athletic scholarships of higher value," he wrote.

McCann noted that the ruling could have a slew of implications for colleges and their sports programs, including possibly creating Title IX issues that could require institutions to increase their scholarship spending for female athletes if they do so for men.

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Methodist colleges and seminaries react to church vote strengthening prohibitions on gay clergy and same-sex marriage

Inside HigherEd - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:00

When delegates to the General Conference of the United Methodist Church voted late last month to strengthen the church’s prohibitions on performing same-sex marriages and ordaining gay and lesbian clergy, it was over the opposition of Methodist colleges and universities in the U.S.

The presidents of a group of 93 colleges and universities affiliated with the UMC issued a joint statement prior to the vote calling on church leaders to amend “their policies and practices to affirm full inclusion in the life and ministry of the United Methodist Church of all persons regardless of their race, ethnicity, creed, national origin, gender, gender identity/expression or sexual orientation.” The statement was unanimously adopted by all member presidents present at a January meeting of the National Association of Schools and Colleges of the United Methodist Church.

The UMC-affiliated seminaries also opposed the adoption by the church of the so-called traditional plan, which affirms a ban on gay clergy members and imposes new penalties on clergy who perform same-sex marriages in violation of church rules.

Under the traditional plan -- which was approved by church delegates in February by a 438-to-384 margin, with much of the support reportedly coming from delegates from outside the U.S. -- clergy who officiate same-sex marriages could reportedly receive a minimum one-year unpaid suspension for their first offense. A second offense could result in removal from the clergy.

The plan will be reviewed by the church’s Judicial Council, which is expected to rule on whether it is in accordance with the church’s constitution at its meeting in late April.

“Most of our students are young, with the majority under 30 years old,” the Association of United Methodist Theological Schools said in a statement read aloud at the General Conference where the vote was held. “Public opinion polls in the United States clearly demonstrate that younger people in this country, including deeply devoted Christians, do not want to organize their spiritual and church lives around the question of excluding LGBTQIA persons.”

“It is clear to all of us as heads of seminaries that if the traditional plan passes, many students and prospective students may decide there is no place for them in this denomination,” the statement continued. “If the traditional plan passes, we may very soon lose an entire generation of leadership here in the United States.”

In the wake of the vote, the leaders of most of the theological schools have issued public statements affirming their own institutions’ commitments to diversity, inclusion and nondiscrimination and in many cases expressing disagreement or distress with the vote outcome (a list of statements can be found here). A group of faculty at Southern Methodist School's Perkins School of Theology also issued an open letter Thursday expressing sadness with the vote outcome and love and support for the institution's LGBTQIA+ students.

Javier A. Viera, the vice provost and dean of the Theological School at Drew University, wrote in a message to faculty, students, staff and alumni that he was "outraged, embarrassed, and wounded by the actions of our church. "

"We will have many decisions to make about how this vote will impact our institutional life at Drew, and how we might respond, organize, and resist these actions which so deeply affect and harm our entire community," Viera wrote. "Those conversations will take place with students, as a faculty, and at the board of trustees, as well in partnership with sister institutions of theological education across the UMC."

“I’m convinced over the next year you’ll see significant change both in the church and also within Methodist higher education,” said Scott D. Miller, the president of Virginia Wesleyan University, one of the 93 colleges and universities affiliated with the Methodist church, a group that includes such names as Duke, Emory and Syracuse Universities as well as many other less well-known small- to medium-size colleges and universities. Miller said Methodist institutions go through a process of reaffirming their affiliation with the church every 10 years.

“You will see some things occur quietly, others probably in a more revolutionary manner,” Miller said. Referring to the January meeting with other Methodist college presidents where they issued the statement calling on the church to adopt more inclusive policies, Miller said, "What I heard in the room when the Methodist presidents were together is that some schools were taking symbols of Methodism out of their marketing materials because it didn’t have the recruiting value that it once did. The impact isn’t there anymore, and all of the institutions are committed to inclusiveness. In this highly competitive higher education market, they want prospective students and prospective employees to know that all are welcome.”

“A number of schools were questioning whether they would seek reaffiliation [with the Methodist church]; a couple of them were debating whether to just discontinue their affiliation,” Miller continued. “All were concerned about the decline in financial resources.”

Miller said the financial support the church provides to Methodist institutions has been declining as church attendance (and revenues) have fallen in the U.S. At Virginia Wesleyan, he said, the institution receives $117,000 per year from the church and expects to receive next to nothing by the next time the college comes up for reaffirmation of affiliation in about eight years.

Miller also said the vote to impose new punishments on clergy who participate in same-sex weddings will raise vexing questions for institutions such as his that have Methodist chaplains on staff and whose campuses have chapels constructed with church funds.

“We have LGBT couples that work here; we have students who fall into that category,” Miller said. “I’d like to think that if they wanted to get married in our chapel we would provide that as a venue. Is that seen as in violation of the new wording? What if our chaplain, who is a joint appointment -- we pay him, but he is assigned to us via an appointment of the United Methodist Church -- if he performs the service, what will happen to him? Our feeling is that our mission of inclusiveness is something that is truly representative of us and the communities that we serve, and we don’t apologize for it.”

DiversityEditorial Tags: DiscriminationSexual orientationReligious collegesReligionProtestantismImage Source: Courtesy of Virginia Wesleyan UniversityImage Caption: The Beacon at Monumental Chapel at Virginia Wesleyan UniversityIs this diversity newsletter?: Newsletter Order: 4Diversity Newsletter publication date: Tuesday, March 12, 2019Disable left side advertisement?: Is this Career Advice newsletter?: Email Teaser: Dilemma for Methodist CollegesMagazine treatment: Trending: Trending text: Dilemma for Methodist CollegesTrending order: 2College: Virginia Wesleyan University

Cardiologist loses journal editorship over homophobic comments he made to local ballet

Inside HigherEd - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:00

The American Heart Association removed a University of Louisville cardiologist as editor of its journal Circulation Research last week, over antigay comments he made to a local ballet.

The professor, Roberto Bolli, Jewish Hospital Heart and Lung Institute Distinguished Chair in Cardiology and chief of cardiovascular medicine at Louisville, retains his faculty post. 

The heart association said a in a statement that Bolli has become the subject of “public scrutiny in light of public comments he has made that have been alleged to be hate speech.”

The association has a “zero-tolerance policy with respect to personal conduct that conflicts with AHA’s guiding values and commitment to an environment that embraces diversity and inclusion and values cultural, racial, gender and other differences to help the organization succeed in achieving its mission and goals,” it said.

The association’s leaders are further committed to ensuring that the editorial integrity of their scientific journals remains “unimpeachable and unbiased.”

A former editor for another association journal will take over Bolli's editorship temporarily. A new editor was already scheduled to take over this spring.

Bolli did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But his comments to the ballet became public knowledge last month, after the arts blog Arts Writing Is Dead shared a redacted email reportedly written by Bolli from a personal email account to the Louisville Ballet in March 2018. At the time, the ballet was advertising its 2018-19 "Season of Romance" lineup. (Note: An earlier version of this story misstated Bolli's first name. It has been updated to correct the error.)

Bolli reportedly contacted the ballet to complain after he received promotional mail for the ballet’s production of Human Abstract. The show, which wrapped earlier this month, included a love story about two men. The promotional flier features two male dancers wearing ballet leggings, holding hands. It says, “If you love someone, let him go.”

Source: Louisville Ballet

Hardly smut. But Bolli was apparently incensed, writing to the ballet that “You have reached a new low. Your company is now promoting sodomy and homosexuality (see 'Human Abstract' and the lurid picture of two sodomites that you included).”

Bolli declared that he would never again attend a Louisville Ballet production and demanded that its “minions of Satan” peddling “perversion and immorality” stop sending “filth” and “sewage” to his house.

Beth Boehm, Louisville’s provost, and Toni Ganzel, dean of medicine, didn’t include Bolli’s name in a campus memo about the situation last week. But they distanced themselves and the university from his comments.

“The message appears to be a personal one; the faculty member did not mention the university or use his title in the email,” wrote Boehm and Ganzel. “Still, his words have proven hurtful to many of our faculty, staff and students, particularly those in the LGBT community.”

They added, “These comments are disheartening. They do not represent the values we hold dear” at Louisville. “We encourage all members of our campus community to continue to respect and honor our differences and to learn from one another.”

A university spokesperson confirmed that Bolli is still on the faculty. If the university took any disciplinary action, he added, it probably wouldn’t do so publicly, as the Louisville typically considers personnel matters to be private.

Arts Writing Is Dead reported that Bolli responded to its initial report about him, telling the blog via email that his words had been distorted and misrepresented.

“I certainly do not hate queer people; as a Christian, I love them. And I certainly do not think queer people are minions of Satan,” he reportedly said. “My personal religious views on homosexuality have nothing to do with my treatment of queer patients. As doctors, we have a duty to care for all patients to the best of our abilities irrespective of their lifestyle or actions or other considerations. I treat all patients, including queer patients, with the utmost compassion and respect.”

Bolli reportedly added that there are "many different types of lifestyles or actions that physicians may find objectionable, yet we do not let these considerations affect our care of patients."

The ballet published an "Open Letter Against Hatred and Prejudice" about the comments it’s heard and read about Human Abstract. It told the Courier Journal that its position “has always been that we will not give this type of rhetoric a platform. We will not fight hate with hate.”

The Courier Journal also reported that Louisville said it received a copy of Bolli’s nearly year-old email last month, when the ballet opened. 

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Study documents extent of humanities instruction at community colleges

Inside HigherEd - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:00

Much of the public discussion about the humanities focuses on four-year colleges and universities.

But humanities instruction is extensive at community colleges as well. In an effort to draw attention to the extent of the humanities at two-year colleges, the American Academy of Arts & Sciences conducted a national survey of community colleges and is today releasing the findings as part of the Humanities Indicators project. Among them:

  • About 2.8 million students took a humanities course for credit at a community college in the fall of 2015 (the year for which data were collected). They accounted for approximately 40 percent of all community college students taking courses for credit that term.
  • Over 1.7 million students took at least one course in English, and approximately 700,000 students took a history course. About 300,000 enrolled in courses in languages other than English. More than 255,000 community college students took a philosophy course. Additionally, between 400,000 and 450,000 students took a course in another humanities discipline or a survey course in the humanities.
  • About 70,000 faculty members taught at least one college-level humanities course for credit at community colleges, accounting for approximately 20 percent of all community college faculty.
  • The student-faculty ratio in the humanities is "substantially higher" than the ratio for community colleges generally. The student-faculty ratio for courses in the humanities was 40 to one, compared to 20 to one for all community college courses. Philosophy has the highest student-faculty ratio among the humanities disciplines examined, with about 50 students for each faculty member. The lowest ratio among the humanities disciplines, at 26 students per faculty member, was in foreign languages.
  • High school students in dual enrollment programs made up about 10 percent of humanities students at community colleges.
  • The study found regional differences in humanities course taking. About 35 percent of community college students are in the South, but they make up only 24 percent of those taking foreign languages. But they make up 45 percent of community college students studying history. Community college students in the West are less likely to be studying the humanities than are other community college students, but they are more likely to be studying languages other than English.
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White House convenes meeting on international students

Inside HigherEd - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:00

The White House convened a meeting with universities, higher education groups and companies on Friday focused on international students and their ability to stay and work in the U.S. after graduation -- their interest in doing so, the barriers they face and how they could be encouraged to stay.

The meeting was organized by the White House’s deputy chief of staff for policy coordination, Chris Liddell. Stephen Miller, a senior policy adviser to President Trump, was an active participant in the meeting, which involved representatives from six different White House offices and five federal agencies.

One participant in the meeting said that the government officials were very positive about international students. They were primarily in listening mode, the participant said, and didn’t comment on any of the administration’s own planned or enacted policies, including officials' stated intentions to at some point overhaul practical training programs -- which allow international students to work while in college and for one to three years after graduation -- in order to "improve protections of U.S. workers who may be negatively impacted by employment" of international students.

Many in higher education have expressed concerns about various visa or other immigration policy changes put in place by the Trump administration that have created increased uncertainty for international students, including a policy introduced in August that makes it easier for international students to accrue "unlawful presence" in the U.S. and thereby be subject to three- to 10-year bars on re-entry in the future.

More generally, experts on immigration law and policy are reporting increased scrutiny of applications for visas and other immigration benefits. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the approval rate for H-1B skilled worker visa applications has declined and that the Trump administration has demanded supplemental evidence from applicants in more cases.  Many international students seek to transition to an H-1B after they work for a U.S. company for one to three years under the optional practical training (OPT) program.

“One of the things that we talked about at some length was the importance of being able to provide students, institutions and employers some degree of stability in the policies that surround international students and people who might stay in the country under OPT or the guest worker programs,” the participant in Friday's meeting said. The participant said it was not clear why the meeting was convened now or what government officials hoped to do with the information gained. But government officials twice said that Trump was personally interested in the issue and that’s why they had convened the meeting.

“We could not have asked for a more open and welcoming discussion,” the participant said. “The whole tone of the meeting was positive and constructive.”

Another participant in the meeting described it as a “very respectful and cordial discussion” that started and ended with the question of how to revamp the lottery process through which H-1B skilled visas are awarded in order to protect American workers and add high-demand skills to the U.S. economy (the number of H-1B visas is capped by Congress, and demand regularly outstrips supply). The participant said that Miller described a need for a “more sane” prioritization for awarding H-1Bs to find a way of rewarding those with exceptional skills who are entering high-demand occupations. The administration recently made a technical change to the order in which the H-1B visa lottery is conducted that is expected to result in an increase in the number of H-1B visa recipients who hold a master’s degree or higher from a U.S. university.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment about the purposes of Friday’s meeting.

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Colleges announce commencement speakers

Inside HigherEd - Mon, 03/11/2019 - 07:00
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Survey finds college presidents more upbeat about finances, race and higher ed's image

Inside HigherEd - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:00

Our annual report on the views of college and university leaders finds them more confident in their financial stability, less worried about public (and Republican) opinion.

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First Amendment scholar Geoffrey Stone, who's previously defended the use of the N-word in the classroom, has a change of mind

Inside HigherEd - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:00

Geoffrey Stone, Edward H. Levi Distinguished Service Professor of Law at Chicago, is something of a free speech purist. He chaired the committee that wrote the much-emulated Chicago statement on campus speech, for example, and he’s not afraid to make students uncomfortable if it helps them learn.

Until this week, that included saying the N-word in during a First Amendment law lecture he often gives on the fighting-words doctrine. That’s the legal line between free speech and words that would incite immediate violence or retaliation. Stone has previously argued that saying the N-word to illustrate it is useful.

This week, however, after meeting with a group of students who were hurt by his recent use of the word, Stone said that he won’t say it anymore.

“This is really important -- this is not about censorship, or about anybody telling me what to do or not to do,” he said. “This is something on which students have enlightened me. And that’s great.”

Stone’s been telling the following anecdote from early in his teaching career for years: a black student in one of his classes said the fighting-words doctrine might be outdated. To make a point, a white student in the class then said, “That’s the dumbest idea I’ve ever heard, you stupid [N-word].” As Stone tells it, the black student immediately lunged at the white student, illustrating that the doctrine was indeed still relevant.

This semester, however, the anecdote didn’t go over as he’d intended. Stone said he was visited by a white student in his class who was deeply offended by his use of the N-word and by a law school student leader who had heard complaints from several black students.

Stone said that he spoke with the two students and heard their concerns. He also explained his rationale for using the slur -- to educate, not to harm students -- at the next meeting of the First Amendment law class.

That’s something of a common distinction for professors to make: using the word because it appears in a text, case law or pertinent example of a concept is acceptable, while using it against a student or any other individual or group is absolutely not.

Increasingly, however, professors are facing complaints from students and, in some cases, colleagues, for using the word in any form. A professor of anthropology at Princeton University, lecturing on hate speech and cultural taboos, gave up teaching a class last year after students faulted him for using the slur in a manner that he believed was educational, for example.

Princeton supported that professor’s right to use the word. That isn’t always the case on all campuses. Augsburg University recently suspended a professor for using the N-word in a class lecture about a James Baldwin novel in which it appeared.

But Chicago supports Stone, saying in a statement that it is “deeply committed to the values of academic freedom and the free expression of ideas, and to fostering a diverse and inclusive climate on campus.”

Universities “have an important role as places where controversial ideas can be proposed, tested and debated by faculty and students,” Chicago said. “Faculty members have broad freedom in the choice of ideas to discuss in the classroom and in their expression of those ideas, and students are free to express their views on those subjects.”

Regardless of institutional responses, many professors have vowed on their own not to use the word at all.

In Stone’s case, he believed the matter was resolved after he clarified for his class why he’d used the slur. But the student who’d originally complained to him went on to publish an op-ed this week in The Chicago Maroon student newspaper about the incident.

A professor “doesn’t have to use the actual N-word to explain to students why that word could incite violence. We already get it,” wrote the student, David Raban. “And any point he tried to make was completely obscured because both his story and act of retelling it were racist.”

Raban added, “They were racist because he, as a white man, repeated a word used by white people to perpetuate the subjugation of black Americans for hundreds of years. He trivialized the word’s history and the lived experience of black students. He employed the word to highlight a white student’s reprehensible treatment of a black student. He lent credence to the false stereotype that black men are prone to violence. He primed black students through stereotype threat to learn less and perform worse.”’

A day after the op-ed appeared, Stone said, he left his office to get lunch and was approached by a group of black law students who asked to talk to him.

In what Stone said was productive exercise of the First Amendment, the students conveyed to him that the N-word was so loaded, hateful and ultimately distracting that using it in class negated any educational benefit.

Stone was persuaded.

“It was very illuminating, I have to say,” he said. “I then went into class and basically said that, having had this conversation with these students -- not because anybody made me do this, just from listening to them about what a distraction it is, and how much pain is caused -- I’ve decided not to use this example in class.”

Stone didn’t want to overstate the significance of this shift. He’s changed his mind about many other things many other times in his career, he said. But it is a shift. Just last year he told Inside Higher Ed that it is “perfectly appropriate to use such language in the classroom if the word is relevant to the material or issues being discussed.”

A literature professor teaching Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird, a history professor teaching about racism or a law professor teaching a case involving the use of such language can “and in my view should use the word if using it is relevant to what is being taught,” he added at the time.

In 2017, he also publicly defended his use of the N-word in a lecture at Brown University, after a student present told him it had a chilling effect on the conversation.

Stone isn't sure how he'll talk about slurs in his class going forward, when necessary. He doesn't like to say "N-word" when it's clear the relevant content pertains to the actual word, he said. But he's confident he'll figure it out.

Things change, Stone said. Ten or 15 years ago, students probably wouldn’t have reacted to the word the way they do now, he added, saying he wished offended students had approached him sooner to express their views. Stone also said he has two small grandchildren who are black, and who he hopes won't be made to feel the way the group of students said they did, when they someday attend university.

“That’s why this a great example of free speech, which means not only talking, but also listening,” he said.

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Sex assault allegations roils UC Berkeley tech club

Inside HigherEd - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:00

In January a Facebook page that shares anonymous anecdotes from University of California, Berkeley, featured a graphic post -- allegations of a rape during a campus coding group’s retreat.

The posting prompted waves of supporters on the page to urge the victim to seek out police or directly contact them if she needed to talk. It also launched a broader conversation around campus about whether these student groups were being trained enough in sexual violence prevention.

Pundits tend to focus on fraternities when opining on campus sexual assaults -- for good reason, as multiple studies have concluded fraternity men are three times more likely to commit rape than their non-Greek counterparts. But other student groups do not receive the same sort of scrutiny or media attention, even if they are male dominated and are in some cases known for a culture that demeans women. Indeed, the survivor in her account likened the club to a fraternity, dedicated only to drinking and finding job opportunities.

“It seemed like people cared about each other, and even the parties were pretty chill and respectful compared to the frats I’ve been to,” the woman wrote. “But the longer I remained, the more I realized that the club was just a bunch of [computer science] kids basically recreating the frat culture/narrative with lots of alcohol at social events and barely any other way for us to get to know one another.”

Sex assault prevention advocates said in interviews with Inside Higher Ed that institutions need to educate their students better and exercise more oversight among these groups to stop sexual violence.

The young woman who submitted the story said that, after a night of drinking in Lake Tahoe, when everyone on the trip was passed out and she had moved to her sleeping bag, another student slipped his hands into her bra and fondled her.

The woman said she lay there, scared and hoping the sensation would go away. That maybe she was dreaming. But her stillness apparently emboldened him, and she said that he took off her pajamas and sexually assaulted her. She wrote that she was scared to report the incident because the student was so prominent in the organization.

Initially, the group’s name was redacted online, but representatives came forward on Facebook and identified themselves as the subject of the post: members of a club called CodeBase.

The demographics of this group are unknown (it did not respond to a request for comment), but many student coding clubs (and the field) are largely dominated by men -- only about 26 percent of professional computing jobs belonged to women in 2017, according to the National Center for Women and Information Technology.

After the post had received significant attention online, CodeBase set up a digital form to take anonymous comments and wrote on the “Confessions From UC Berkeley” page that it was committed to rooting out the alleged rapist and removing him from the club.

In a post on the CodeBase Facebook page, someone also wrote that its members contacted campus and local law enforcement and organizations that support sexual assault survivors, such as Berkeley’s PATH to Care Center.

“We want CodeBase to be a safe and nurturing environment for our members, and these steps will only be the first of many our organization will take to create this space,” the group wrote on Facebook.

The allegations did not surprise Alyssa Peterson, a state organizer with advocacy group Know Your IX, a reference to the federal gender antidiscrimination law Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

With male-centric groups, women are often the target of sexual harassment or more, Peterson said. Title IX means to prevent such clubs from altogether excluding women, but it also can be triggered if a male member raped a woman who would likely want to leave the organization, Peterson said. In that way, women -- who are already marginalized in the tech world -- could be pushed out further, she said.

A comprehensive survey of more than 200 Silicon Valley-based female tech professionals revealed that 60 percent of them had been sexually harassed in their careers, but 39 percent of those women kept quiet because they thought it would interrupt their professional trajectories.

Elephant in the Valley,” as the report was called, in 2015 helped unearth the breadth of the problem at the epicenter of the industry. Years later, an academic, BethAnn McLaughlin, an assistant professor of neurology and pharmacology at Vanderbilt University, took advantage of the momentum of the Me Too movement and spun it off into #MeTooSTEM to highlight personal stories of women in the sciences and tech fields who had been harassed. At least 72 stories have been published on McLaughlin’s #MeTooSTEM website. She is well-known in academe, and her activism has seemingly jeopardized her chances for tenure.

Too many of those accounts, like the one at Berkeley, were anonymous because women don’t feel that the reporting mechanisms at universities work, McLaughlin said.

“We know Title IX doesn't protect victims,” McLaughlin wrote in an email. “It just does the minimum to save institutional ‘brand.’ Collecting stories … empowers us to see patterns, to alert media and to mount changes in the laws and ways universities get money.”

Berkeley officials did not make themselves available for interviews. But in a statement, spokeswoman Janet Gilmore said, “We are committed to fostering a campus environment where everyone feels safe and respected, and toward that end, we have strengthened our prevention and response efforts over the years, particularly in the past few years. That effort continues.”

Gilmore said that when administrators hear about a sexual assault accusation within a student group, they contact the club’s leaders to “understand the situation” and connect them to the proper resources.

All Berkeley students must take an in-person class their first year on sexual violence (and other topics) called Bear Pact, and all students must be trained annually in it online. They are required to complete these seminars before registering for classes.

To become a group affiliated with the university, students in the club have to designate four to eight signatories. Of those, at least two of the signatories have to attend a two-hour orientation that covers certain group responsibilities for their members, including mental health, drug and alcohol awareness, and sexual assault prevention.

Reports of sexual assault often happen among groups, especially smaller ones, where the membership is spending a lot of time together and feels comfortable, said Sage Carson, the manager of Know Your IX. Carson said she was sexually assaulted in a music-related program.

Again, this isn’t limited to fraternities. Consider two major scandals in recent years involving marching bands and hazing. A drum major died after a hazing ritual at Florida A&M University in 2011, and Ohio State University’s marching band received widespread attention for the members’ hazing practices in 2014, which included giving freshman members sexual nicknames such as “Twat Thumper” and “Boob Job.”

Training for students should start even earlier, prior to college, Carson said. Poor behavior isn’t learned when a student joins a club or a fraternity -- it’s ingrained with a lack of understanding and media. Students can also not quite grasp certain concepts from a singular course on sexual violence, or twist the lessons to their advantage, Carson said. Students might ask for consent but do so when their partner is drunk, she said. Or a student can learn “exactly what to say” from training to avoid punishment -- there needs to be more empathy around these issues, and far before they enter college, she said.

The Berkeley campus newspaper, The Daily Californian, in an editorial urged officials to beef up sexual violence training for student groups on campus. The staffers at the paper called it “unacceptable” that only two club members are mandated to attend the in-person training on sexual assault and other issues, with no obligation that the two pass on their knowledge to sometimes hundreds of other members. The newspaper reported how other students felt there was a “semitoxic and misogynistic culture” among coding and engineering clubs.

“Adequate training on sexual violence is key to harassment prevention within clubs,” the editors wrote. “The LEAD Center must increase its resources to ensure trained individuals lead consent talks and workshops within clubs for all members. With proper training, campus organizations must then work to create an inclusive culture that centers the needs of survivors. The victim blaming in response to the anonymous Facebook post embodies the stigma and shame that prevent survivors from reporting in the first place. Leaders must address this toxic trend by putting the needs of survivors first and creating a space that upholds the respect and dignity of all club members.”

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With possible Friday closure looming, Argosy scrambles to find buyer

Inside HigherEd - Fri, 03/08/2019 - 08:00

A court-appointed receiver plans to close Argosy University campuses today if a buyer is not found for the for-profit college, a decision driven by the Trump administration’s decision to cut off Title IV student aid to those colleges more than a week ago.

But the receiver has yet to convey those plans officially to the Department of Education and is due to appear Monday before a federal judge in an ongoing legal challenge over his management of the colleges. The murkiness over the campuses’ status entering Friday adds to uncertainty students have faced since Argosy failed to make financial aid payments for the spring semester.

Campus closures would mean students could either opt for loan cancellation or seek to transfer their credits to a different college -- a choice that could be more difficult without an official agreement in place between Argosy and another institution.

Lawyers for Mark Dottore, the receiver, said in court filings this week that he had worked “around the clock” since the department cut off federal aid to find potential buyers to take on those campuses. Dottore has had discussions with 15 potential buyers for various campuses held by Dream Center Education Holdings, the Argosy parent company, according to the court filings. But some observers said the prospects of a deal happening before the colleges run out of money appeared dim.

“On this kind of time frame, I think that’s highly unlikely,” said Trace Urdan, a managing director at Tyton Partners, a consulting firm with a focus on the education sector. “I would be shocked if somebody comes along at the 11th hour for this particular asset.”

More than 8,800 students would be affected by campus closures, according to Education Department estimates. Argosy said in court filings this week that more than 10,000 would have their studies interrupted.

If a buyer isn’t found, the college could find a “transfer partner” where students could complete their studies. In another court filing Thursday, Dottore identified one potential partner as South University. The college was formerly owned by Dream Center and retains its access to Title IV access. In an emergency motion, Dottore outlined an articulation agreement that would allow Argosy students to transfer credits to corresponding programs at the Savannah, Ga.-based college, which has campus locations across the South.

Dottore sent an email to students about the deal telling them they would receive a tuition discount and promising that the South University online experience "will be very similar to your Argosy University experience." 

Antoinette Flores, the associate director for postsecondary education at the Center for American Progress, called the proposal a “Band-Aid.”

“It’s not necessarily any more stable. They themselves are on shaky financial footing,” she said of South University. “It’s just prolonging the pain for students.”

The Dream Center-operated Western State College of Law, meanwhile, told students this week that it is in discussions with a potential buyer. Allen Easley, the law school’s dean, said in an email to students that its administration is working on plans to stay open long enough for them to complete the semester -- regardless of whether a sale goes through. Although the law school’s leadership would prefer to find a buyer that would allow it to stay open permanently, Easley said school officials have also had extensive discussions with their accreditor, the American Bar Association, and other nearby law schools about making arrangements for students to complete their programs elsewhere in case Western State closes.

Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and frequent critic of for-profit colleges, said in a statement that it “appeared increasingly likely that Argosy’s closure is imminent.”

“I’ve called on the Department of Education to immediately step up to work with accreditors and states to establish options for students to continue their studies at high-quality institutions. I’ve also called on the department to immediately notify Argosy students of their option for federal closed-school discharge should Argosy close and to extend the window for students to be eligible,” he said. “As this shameful spectacle plays out in court and in the news, the department’s silence when it comes to providing meaningful information to students is inexcusable.”

The Education Department already provided information to Argosy students about their options through the Office of Federal Student Aid after it cut off Title IV funds. On Thursday night, it posted an update on those options in light of potential campus closures.

"Although the court has not yet granted the receiver’s motion to close the campuses, ED recognizes that an imminent closure is a distinct possibility and is providing additional information for students," the department said in an announcement posted to the FSA website Thursday.

If closures do occur, the department will post updated information about students' eligibility for loan cancellation through a process called closed-school discharge as well as transfer options.

"Even if the schools do not officially close, ED has begun the process to identify Argosy and Art Institute students that were disbursed a federal direct student loan for the current term and is in the process of cancelling those disbursements," the statement said.

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Looming White House executive actions on higher education may cover more than free speech

Inside HigherEd - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:00

The White House is gearing up to introduce a promised executive order on free speech, perhaps timed to coincide with its proposed budget release next week. And the administration may tackle other higher education issues with its planned executive actions.

Several well-placed observers said the White House has for months been working to jointly release executive orders on risk sharing (requiring a financial stake for colleges based on students’ ability to repay loans) as well as on its plan for releasing program-level student outcomes data on a publicly available web tool like the College Scorecard.

It’s unclear if the Trump administration will be able to pull this off in a single budget-related public announcement. And sources couldn’t say what exactly might be included in the executive orders or if they would all be released together.

But despite the uncertainty, the White House apparently has been trying to bring the executive actions together for a joint announcement around the budget release.

President Trump last weekend vowed that an executive order linking the flow of federal research dollars to ensuring campus free speech was coming soon. And sources said Ivanka Trump, his daughter and a White House adviser, has been helping to develop the other potential executive orders. Ivanka Trump has been active on work-force development, including the administration’s efforts to create industry-recognized apprenticeships. And her office last year hired several staff members who have worked on issues related to the possible executive orders, sources said.

The White House declined to comment on the potential looming executive orders, referring to the president’s address last weekend to the Conservative Political Action Conference.

Trump was vague in the speech about how an executive order that would prod colleges to protect free speech might work and did not mention which government entity would enforce it.

"If they want our dollars, and we give them by the billions, they’ve got to allow people to speak," he said during his more than two-hour address.

However, conservatives in recent years have charted a path the White House might pursue.

An article National Affairs published last spring may have helped influence the administration’s interest in such an executive action.

The article’s co-authors were Frederick M. Hess, director of education policy studies at the American Enterprise Institute, and Grant Addison, then program manager for education policy studies at AEI and now deputy editor of the Washington Examiner magazine. They also wrote about the issue this week in an opinion piece for Inside Higher Ed.

“Taxpayer funds should not be subsidizing research at higher education institutions where the conditions of free inquiry are compromised,” Hess and Addison wrote for National Affairs, adding that “unfettered inquiry is foundational to the legal regime that governs the research relationship between higher education and the federal government.”

An executive order seeking to preserve free inquiry should focus on explicit speech codes that are on the books at many colleges and universities, they argued.

“Higher education institutions with formal policies that restrict, chill or punish constitutionally protected speech should therefore be rendered ineligible for federal research funding,” said Hess and Addison.

The White House might not opt to follow this advice. But if it does, Hess and Addison said such an executive order would be on firm ground historically and statutorily, as well as long overdue. And they said campuses have machinery in place to help ensure adherence to free inquiry.

A wide range of higher education leaders and academics have criticized the idea of linking free speech to federal research fund eligibility.

Such an executive order would be a “solution in search of a problem,” Terry Hartle, senior vice president for government and public affairs at the American Council on Education, said in an interview shortly after President Trump's Saturday speech. That’s because "free speech and academic freedom are core values of research universities," he said.

Program-Level Data and Risk Sharing

Even less information was available about where the Trump administration might go with possible executive orders on program-level student outcomes data or risk sharing.

Last year the U.S. Department of Education dropped the Obama administration’s so-called gainful-employment rule. Those regulations sought accountability for career education programs, mostly those offered by for-profit colleges, based on a measure of their graduates’ ability to repay federal loans.

Gainful employment came with a trove of program-level data. And while its sanctions didn’t come into effect before the Trump administration scuttled the regulation, many for-profits still dropped programs that were likely to fail the rule.

When it announced a planned overhaul for gainful employment last August, the department said it would give prospective students solid data they could use when considering college programs.

“The department plans to update the College Scorecard or a similar web-based tool to provide program-level outcomes including, at a minimum, median debt and median earnings for all higher education programs, at all Title IV participating institutions,” the feds said in a written statement. “The department believes that this will improve transparency by providing comparable information for all programs and helping students understand what earnings they might expect based on those of prior graduates.”

Getting such information won’t be easy. It would require data sources from multiple federal agencies. And adding those metrics to the College Scorecard poses technology challenges as well.

Yet department officials previously have promised that some program-level data, including on graduate earnings, will be publicly available this year.

Michael Itzkowitz, a senior fellow at Third Way, a centrist Democratic think tank, worked on the Scorecard’s creation as a department official during the Obama administration. He has welcomed the promised addition of program-level data but has said the bulked-up data won’t make up for the department’s diminished focus on oversight and outcomes under the Trump administration.

“Adding program-level data to the College Scorecard is great,” he said on Twitter in November. “However, it's not an equal substitute for the elimination of protections for students who enroll in low-performing higher education programs.”

The concept of expanded risk sharing in higher education generally has received increasing bipartisan interest in recent years. The concept revolves around holding colleges more accountable for the risks students and taxpayers take on with federal loans -- giving colleges more “skin in the game.”

However, it’s unclear what an executive order could do in an area that’s largely covered by federal legislation rather than by regulation or executive actions.

Some ideas that the White House might be considering on risk sharing, sources said, include those described in a 2015 paper by Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who leads the Senate’s education committee.

One possibility, the paper said, would be for colleges to be required to assume financial liability based on a metric related to their graduates' ability to repay federal loans.

Higher education trade groups, led by the American Council on Education, in 2015 opposed the ideas Alexander described. "Far from incentivizing positive behaviors, this approach will instead penalize all students and institutions in an attempt to address the behaviors of a handful of bad actors," the groups wrote.

Sources said several federal agencies and Congress would need to be involved in creating a substantive executive order on risk sharing, even one that would be largely symbolic. They cited uncertainty around this possible order and possible ones covering program-level data and free speech, as well as the unpredictability of this administration, which previously has failed to make good on high-profile promises.

Yet several observers said the White House has long had plans for a broad suite of executive actions on higher education, beyond free speech. And they said next week’s budget release might be an ideal time for the administration to make those plans public.

-- Andrew Kreighbaum contributed to this article.

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UT Knoxville blackface incident calls into question administrator commitment to diversity

Inside HigherEd - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:00

When the National Anthem played at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville men’s basketball game on Tuesday, at first it seemed like everyone in the stands, most dressed in the bright orange of the institution, rose.

But there was contingent, dressed in all black, that did not.

Those students, roughly 40 to 50, according to local media reports, remained seated in protest. This was a display against administrators’ response to a social media posting of students in blackface that has circulated campus and inflamed race relations.

During the game, students chanted slogans: “Hey, hey, ho ho, racism has got to go” and “No justice, no peace, no racist UT.” Most of them left during the second half of the game, holding their right fists in the air in protest, a similar gesture to athletes, both college and professional, who have knelt during the anthem as a demonstration against racism.

The blackface episode stung all the more because it unfolded following the revelation that prominent Virginia politicians, the state’s governor and attorney general, both Democrats, wore blackface in college. (The governor, Ralph Northam, initially said he was pictured in his medical school yearbook in blackface, but he later walked back the admission.)

And the scandal with the Virginia officials has led other colleges to audit their yearbooks, sometimes unearthing the unscrupulous and prejudicial pasts of both university leaders and the institutions themselves -- so students engaging in blackface now seemed particularly egregious. Tennessee's governor, Bill Lee, for instance, was pictured in his college yearbook from Auburn University wearing a Confederate uniform.

Citing constitutional considerations, university officials have said that they are unlikely to expel anyone over blackface. Administrators said that the First Amendment prevents them from removing the students, but at least one, Ethan Feick, is no longer enrolled, the university said Wednesday. Federal privacy laws prohibit officials from sharing more, they said.

The incident raises a slew of issues for Knoxville, as it also comes amid accusations by President Trump that public universities do not protect free speech, particularly speech with a conservative bent. He vowed recently to sign an executive order that would deny federal research money to institutions that do not support free expression. Trump has also repeatedly called for everyone attending athletics events to stand for the National Anthem.

Administrators’ responses at Knoxville seem counter to Trump’s theory that public universities do not respect free speech. Despite the mounting pressure for them to act and kick the students out, they have not yet buckled to the demands, despite the expulsion of all the students seemingly being the option the public favors the most. The decision also leaves Knoxville officials in a tough position of wanting to support diversity -- and the minority students hurt by the situation who perceive that administrators are disregarding their concerns -- but not open themselves to a legal challenge.

I thought long and hard about posting this but it hit an emotional spot for me for people to think that i did not EARN what was given to me because of my race. pic.twitter.com/5ulc1X3jUC

— jas (@jxxsie_) February 28, 2019

In late February, a Knoxville student posted online an image from Snapchat. It was a picture of four students posing, two wearing black face masks (part of a skin-care routine) with a caption that read: “We for racial equality boys. Bout to get this free college now that I’m black let’s gooooo #blacklivesmatter.”

The post not only mocked the Black Lives Matter movement but also played into the harmful stereotype that black students are only admitted to college because of their race and not on their merits, said Julian Hayter, an associate professor of leadership studies at the University of Richmond.

Anger abounded as the photo went viral on Twitter (it’s been retweeted more than 3,500 times). A student created a Change.org petition pushing for the removal of the students in the image and asking Knoxville to enact a zero-tolerance policy against racism and hate speech. It has since been signed by more than 5,100 people.

“Blackface in the name of free speech is racism,” Shaun Harper, executive director of the University of Southern California’s Race and Equity Center, said in an interview with Inside Higher Ed. “There is no other name for it. I wouldn’t be at all surprised if this is an example of the free speech that Donald Trump wishes to protect. It is highly likely that he would [not] denounce this, which is shameful. College presidents and other leaders owe it to their black students and black employees to denounce and actively address this insidious form of racism.”

Knoxville’s chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People condemned the incident.

“Despite ongoing efforts within our university to enhance opportunities consisting of culture competency for staff and students regarding diversity, there is clearly more work to be done and we are not on the right track -- we cannot, and will not, stand by to watch these situations continuously occur on our campus,” a statement from the organization reads.

The university in a statement called the screen grab “repulsive” and “abhorrent” and organized a forum Monday to discuss race and the controversy with the campus.

At that meeting, Vince Carilli, vice chancellor for student life, told the crowd of about 200 people that the university would be “hard-pressed to expel a student for expressing their First Amendment rights,” a statement that drew the ire of the attendees, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported.

Carilli noted that no decision has yet been made on whether to discipline the offending students.  After Carilli’s remarks at the forum, one student, George Johnson, told the News Sentinel that he was “heartbroken” and that he could no longer take pride in UT Knoxville.

“You failed if you believe that the First Amendment is the equivalent of protecting someone from blackfacing,” Johnson said in an interview with the newspaper.

Tuesday was the protest at the basketball game, a home game against Mississippi State University. The protest was organized by the UT Diversity Matters Coalition, which was founded in 2016 after the Office of Diversity and Inclusion was potentially one of the targets of state legislation that would have cut funds for diversity in higher education.

Caitlin Lloyd, a junior at Knoxville and one of the student organizers, told Inside Higher Ed that the protest “was a necessity.”

Knoxville’s response was “reactionary,” Lloyd wrote during an interview with a reporter on Facebook.

“Our campus admin continues to address racism through releasing statements of condemnation, yet they never actively create change around these issues,” Lloyd wrote. “We are tired and we have had enough of just receiving emails. Our administration has to do better. It needs to.”

A Knoxville spokeswoman directed a reporter to a statement from the Office of the Chancellor posted Wednesday.

According to the statement, the university will immediately start requiring ongoing cultural competency, inclusion and bias training for employees. A student training will begin with orientation in the summer and extend through the first week back during the academic year.

The Faculty Senate approved new general education requirements earlier this week, too, that will include classes on global citizenship. A new committee has been formed of professors, staffers and students that will study the university’s policies.

Lloyd wrote that she believes the students in blackface should be expelled “or otherwise disciplined in a constructive manner.” She said that she thinks that the students violated the conduct code, specifically a section about causing harm to other students. Some of her peers have skipped class because they mentally didn’t feel they could attend, Lloyd wrote.

“We have all cried together, screamed together,” Lloyd wrote. “This has directly harmed our well-being … our welfare. This, hence, justifies our want to have these students expelled.”

Hayter, the professor from Richmond, said that Knoxville can’t continue to treat diversity as “a token issue.”

Hayter called the university’s handling of the incident “clumsy” and said that freedom of speech doesn’t protect the students from consequences -- even by the university. Knoxville’s conduct code does seem to forbid such actions, and punishing the students would send a strong message, Hayter said.

“I’m a proponent of college intellectual diversity and freedom of thought,” Hayter said. “But ultimately, what we’re talking about here is behavior and language that is chock-full of racial stereotypes that were intended to hurt. I think that has a profound influence then. If people want to hide behind the First Amendment, and unapologetically, they need to think long and hard [about the] kind of students they want on this campus.”

When other students have engaged in racist behavior, they have left their institutions, sometimes of their own accord and sometimes not.

Two former students at the University of Oklahoma withdrew from their institution after a video surfaced of them using a racial slur and in blackface. Officials at Oklahoma said the students voluntarily left but never clarified whether administrators encouraged them to do so.

A University of Alabama student, however, was apparently expelled after a racist rant she recorded went viral online. Constitutional scholars Inside Higher Ed interviewed said the student would have a strong case for a lawsuit.

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AAUP finds that Maricopa colleges' governing board sought to destroy its campuswide faculty governing body for political purposes

Inside HigherEd - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:00

Maricopa County Community College District’s governing board engaged in union busting, “deliberately mischaracterizing” its multi-campus faculty governance body as a collective bargaining agent to “destroy” it, according to a new investigative report from the American Association of University Professors. 

The board was further found to have repealed the entire faculty manual and restricted faculty involvement in institutional decision making in February of last year. It also voted to terminate a “meet-and-confer” process by which faculty members made recommendations to the board on salary and budgets -- allowing the board to make major decisions about faculty work and compensation without its input.

While the board’s actions plunged the district’s governance system into “chaos,” AAUP’s report says, Maricopa’s senior administration simultaneously “abdicated its appropriate leadership role” by “passively acquiescing in the board’s unwarranted actions.”

The association’s investigating committee wrote that it was unable to find any evidence suggesting that the board’s moves were in the district’s best interest. Instead, it wrote, “evidence strongly suggests that the board’s intervention was an engineered performance of political theater motivated by partisan ideology and political ambition.”

In January of last year, for example -- a month before the board slashed faculty governance -- then board chair Laurin Hendrix wrote district chancellor Maria Harper-Marinick an email saying, “State Republican convention was yesterday. This is election year. Republicans are impressed with the conservative direction of [the district].”

The email, obtained through public records requests, continued, “Let’s talk tomorrow but I’d like to 1) consider a letter from the board or district to the governor thanking him for considering bills but making clear that Maricopa does not need state funds at this time, 2) remove meet and confer immediately, 3) have a draft of a new faculty manual in 30 days with a goal of final approval in 60 days.” 

Hendrix, a one-time Republican member of the Arizona House of Representatives, filed to again be a candidate in the Republican primary for the Arizona House days after he wrote that email, according to additional information obtained through public records requests. (He eventually declined to run.)

Campus governance presidents and representatives were also told to avoid any faculty governance-related work or conversations during business hours in the aftermath of the board vote. 

Maricopa's Faculty Association was incorporated as a union, but it has no collective bargaining rights, according to state law.

Last-minute amendments to the board’s 2018 resolution immediately eliminated any reassigned time for members of the district-wide Faculty Association’s Faculty Executive Committee and reiterated an Arizona statute that “prohibits employees of Maricopa County from engaging in fundraising activities for a political action committee while on duty.” 

The obvious intent of the resolution, according to AAUP, “was to eliminate not only the 40-year-old practice of meet-and-confer but also any governance structures and practices that supported it.”

Ideas in the board's resolution can be traced back to a 2017 white paper written by a campus administrative vice president, apparently at the behest of another board member who emailed him that the board was "going after" meet-and-confer. That white paper advocated converting tenured appointments to "at will" positions, eliminating a district shared governance clause, and creating a curriculum process in which the faculty participates but does not direct. 

Reversing Course

The good news, according to AAUP? That was last year. This January, the board -- flush with new members and a new president -- reversed some of the previous members’ actions, to a cheering standing ovation from faculty and staff members present. 

Still, AAUP says that whether the situation is fully resolved remains to be seen.

John Schampel, professor of biosciences at Phoenix College and president of the district’s Faculty Association, said AAUP’s report reveals “with startling clarity the governance and leadership failures” the district has experienced and “continues to experience.”

A major lingering concern for the faculty is the administration’s “deafening silence” and effective “complicity” regarding the board’s actions, Schampel said, quoting AAUP’s report. That’s especially true as Harper-Marinick remains district chancellor, he said. 

Of Harper-Marinick, the report says, “It was her responsibility to inform the board of the implications of its actions and, in particular, of how its actions would affect the district.” 

Given that board meetings are public forums, “it was her obligation to provide the public with her views regarding the board’s actions,” AAUP’s investigating committee added. “The most credible explanation for her inaction is that she feared that speaking out against the board would jeopardize her position.”

In response to AAUP’s report, the district in a statement underlined that the new board’s actions "immediately rescind" the controversial choices of its former members.

Going Forward

Typically, AAUP’s investigative reports set the stage for the body to vote to censure or sanction institutions for alleged violations of tenure of or shared governance, respectively, at its annual meeting every June. 

Sanctions for shared governance violations are rarer than censures for tenure violations. The last institutions to be sanctioned were Union County College and the University of Iowa, in 2016. Iowa’s sanction was removed last year, however.

Irene Mulvey, chair of math at Fairfield University and chair of the AAUP committee that investigated Maricopa, said she thought that a vote to sanction the district in June “would have been approved.”

But given the “very positive turn of events” described in the latter parts of the report, she said, AAUP will probably continue to monitor “very closely how things progress with the new governing board leadership” in Arizona. 

Hans-Joerg Tiede, associate secretary of academic freedom, tenure and governance at the AAUP, said it’s the association’s understanding that there are “ongoing negotiations about the re-establishment of governance following the rescission of the resolution that have not yet been completed.” 

The AAUP continues to follow the matter closely, he said.

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Schatz reintroduces debt-free college bill

Inside HigherEd - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:00

Senator Brian Schatz and top progressive Democrats are looking to frame “debt-free” college as the solution to the growing cost of higher education.

Schatz on Wednesday announced he would reintroduce legislation first filed last year that aims to cover all costs associated with attending a public college without forcing students to take out loans. His bill, dubbed the Debt-Free College Act, and identical House legislation have support from 40 Democrats, including 2020 presidential contenders Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Putting a focus on debt-free college could have implications for the 2020 presidential primary as well as a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The approach offers a contrast with proposals from Senator Bernie Sanders, a Vermont Independent and 2020 hopeful himself, whose call for tuition-free public college helped to define the last Democratic presidential primary campaign. Supporters of the Schatz bill say it is more comprehensive because it addresses college costs beyond tuition.

Schatz said at a press conference that any bill taking on student debt must address two key problems.

“First, we need to get states back into the game and get them to reinvest back into higher education. This not solely a federal responsibility,” he said. “Second, we have to deal with the whole cost of college. It is not just tuition.”

The bill would create a one-to-one federal match for state spending on higher education and use those funds to fill unmet need for students pursuing college degrees. Any college costs above a student’s expected family contribution would be covered -- with priority going to Pell Grant recipients.

The concept of a state-federal partnership to address college affordability got an endorsement last week from Senator Patty Murray, the ranking Democrat on the Senate education committee. In a speech laying out her priorities for updating the Higher Education Act, she said the idea should be included in a new higher ed law and argued that college affordability should be a top priority for lawmakers.

Representative Mark Pocan, a Wisconsin Democrat and co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, a 90-plus-member bloc of left-leaning lawmakers, will sponsor a House version of the Debt-Free College Act. He called the bill the “most comprehensive and progressive legislation yet” to address student debt.

And Representative Barbara Lee, a California Democrat and emeritus chair of the CPC, said pursuing debt-free college would make a big difference for African American students who disproportionately struggle to pay back their student loans after leaving college.

Murray stopped short last week of saying a new HEA law would be the right vehicle to pursue debt-free college, saying the idea likely wouldn’t be achievable in a bipartisan deal. But Schatz said the CPC will push for incorporating the bill into the Higher Education Act in the House, where Democrats hold the majority.

As candidates have jumped into the Democratic presidential race, they’ve been pushed to take a position on how they would address college affordability. Only one, Senator Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat, has so far rejected calls for free college, saying instead that she would support free community college. Several others have backed legislation introduced by Sanders or Schatz.

Schatz said he hopes the bill will focus those debates on the entire cost of college.

“We benefit from a competition of ideas here,” he said. “I don’t object to Bernie’s proposal. I do think ours is more comprehensive.”

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Experts have doubts on Russia's plans to reform research efforts

Inside HigherEd - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:00

A new multibillion-dollar strategy from the Russian government to boost the country’s global research standing is a welcome step but is unlikely to have a broad impact on its higher education system, experts have predicted.

The Russian government recently announced that a new National Science Project would be one of 13 initiatives aimed at boosting the country’s stagnating economy and placing Russia among the top five global economic powers.

President Vladimir Putin said that 300 billion Russian rubles (about $4.6 billion)) would be allocated for the project over six years.

The prime minister, Dmitry Medvedev, said that the project would establish 15 “world-class science and education centers” throughout the country, provide more support to young researchers and upgrade at least half of all research equipment.

Its goals include making Russia one of the world’s top five countries for the number of academic publications, patents and researchers and for research and development output. The government hopes that the project will increase the attractiveness of Russian higher education among leading domestic and international academics alike and see growth in R&D expenditures overtake the growth rate of its gross domestic product.

The Ministry of Science and Higher Education has also promised to simplify bureaucracy in the research system and has proposed changing legislation to make defending a thesis obligatory for postgraduate students.

Igor Chirikov, senior researcher at the Center for Studies in Higher Education at the University of California, Berkeley, said that it was “a very positive sign” that science had been chosen as one of the project areas, but he described the ambitious goals as “unrealistic considering the amount of allocated funding.”

Russia’s R&D spending lags behind more than 25 countries, for instance, he said.

Chirikov added that although the project could help to boost fundamental research, which has been “chronically underfunded,” and to “create a few islands of research excellence,” it “won't be able to tackle existing problems of the research sector.”

Such issues include a brain drain of scholars, bureaucratic barriers in the organization of research and the low engagement of the university sector in research, which was historically concentrated in the institutes of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS).

Margarita Balmaceda, professor of diplomacy and international relations at Seton Hall University and an expert on Russia, said that she was “concerned about a possible decrease in the autonomy of Russian higher education institutions” as a consequence of the project, noting that there has already been a “gradual but unequivocal” decline in the funding and power of the RAS.

Anatoly Oleksiyenko, associate professor in higher education at the University of Hong Kong and co-editor of a recent book on the Soviet legacy in Russian and Chinese universities, said that there were “too many governance challenges in the Russian higher education sector for good academic research to take place these days.”

“The Soviet legacy of mistrust, excessive oversight and data fabrication prevails across many institutions. Besides, the current political environment provides no good support to building trustworthy and sustainable partnerships with centers of excellence in the West, on which some successful projects of Russian universities depended during the previous two decades,” he said.

However, Isak Froumin, head of the Institute of Education at the Higher School of Economics, said that the project was a “very positive development” and that the “relatively small investments could initiate bigger changes in the culture of Russian higher education and research.”

“I believe the policy will lead to the creation of ‘islands’ of modern research culture, which could play an important role in the gradual transformation of the whole system,” he said.

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Colleges announce commencement speakers

Inside HigherEd - Thu, 03/07/2019 - 08:00
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New study of NIH funding says women get smaller grants than men

Inside HigherEd - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 08:00

“Publish or perish” is a law of academe. In the sciences, that law might as well be, “Get funding or perish.” And funding is harder and harder to get, with federal research dollars on the decline.

Yet in this Darwinian climate, it’s not exactly survival of the fittest, according to new research that says women get smaller grants than men.

The study, published in JAMA, looks at National Institutes of Health grants from 2006 to 2017. Female first-time principal investigators received a median grant of $126,615, across all grant and institution types during that period.

First-time male grantees, meanwhile, got $165,721. The difference is just about $40,000 -- arguably enough to make or break a project, or a career. While some comparisons of grants by scientists' genders don't take into account that some scholars are more senior or have more of an impact, this study controlled for numerous factors. It also compared only people who received their first grants and were thus at similar points in their careers.

Using publicly available data, the researchers compared the median number of articles published per year, the median number of citations per article and the number of areas of research expertise in published articles for female and male first-time PIs prior to their first NIH grant.

These baseline performance measures were available for about three-quarters of the PIs studied, and the researchers found no statistically significant differences by sex. PIs’ median number of articles published per year was two. Their median number of citations per article was 15, and median number of research areas was two.

As a further controls, researchers looked at awardees of the 10 largest grants to PIs and to awardees at the same 14 Big Ten and eight Ivy League universities.

They also considered NIH’s top 50 institutions in terms of funding, equaling $9 billion, or 38 percent of funding, awarded to 20,335 first-time investigators.

From 2006 to 2017, the NIH awarded 53,903 grants to first-time PIs across all 225 grant types and 2,766 institutions.

Some 44 percent of these grantees were women. For reference, the female enrollment level in U.S. M.D.-Ph.D. programs during the same period was 38 percent.

In addition to finding a $40,000 funding gap across grant types and institutions, the authors found that female first-time PIs for the 10 biggest grant types received a received a median award of $305,823 versus $316,350 for men.

Source: JAMA

Female PIs at the Big Ten universities received a median of $66,365 versus $148,076 for men. Women at Ivy League universities received statistically significantly smaller grant amounts, too: $52,190 versus $71,703 for men.

Same deal at the top 50 NIH-funded institutions, where female first-time awardees received $93,916 in grants, compared to $134,919 for men, based on the median.

There was a notable exception to the overall trend, however: women receiving the common and coveted R01 grants across institution types received $15,913 more than men (median).

The study says that while it controlled for key factors, possible limitations include the lack of data on grant applications that were turned down. It recommends further study of the institutions where inequalities were lowest, for possible insight into the “reasons for sex imbalances in grant amounts awarded during formative career stages.”

Limitations aside, other research suggests an uneven playing field for women’s recognition and funding in the sciences. One 2015 study found, for example, that women in the biomedical sciences receive smaller start-up packages from their institutions.

Teresa Woodruff, co-author of the new study and a Thomas J. Watkins Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology and associate provost for graduate education at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine, recently published a separate paper in Nature finding that women receive more cash and respect for their work in terms of scientific awards.

Woodruff said Tuesday that the significance of the NIH paper is a call to ensure that male and female PIs get “equitable grant dollars for similar grant types” going forward, to promote “women’s abilities to succeed long-term.”

The takeaway for promotion and tenure committees, which often base their decisions on funding and publication metrics, is that if women “have disproportionately less capital -- both through start-up and their grants -- yet are required to have equal outcomes, it means we are working harder for the same end points,” she said.

As for funding agencies, Woodruff said that the study was controlled by institution, meaning that male and female first-time faculty grantees at the same institution should seemingly have similar research potential. So the fact that there are significant gaps even within institutions means there is “a pervasive problem that could be fixed by having NIH top up grants to females,” putting them on par with male grantees, she suggested.

Ensuring that first-time grantees see equitable funding outcomes could also “limit the loss of women from the biomedical pipeline,” Woodruff said -- a goal many funding agencies share.

The NIH said in a statement that it’s “aware and concerned about differences in funding patterns between women and men in science,” and that Woodruff’s findings are consistent with what the NIH reports in its data book.

“We have and continue to support efforts to understand the barriers and factors faced by women scientists and to implement interventions to overcome them,” NIH said. Director Francis Collins and Janine Clayton, director of the Office of Research on Women’s Health, co-chair a Working Group on Women in Biomedical Careers that is part of NIH’s effort to address barriers for women in science, for example, it said.

NIH and the National Science Foundation are also funding a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine study on these issues, with specific attention to why evidence-based interventions have not been more widely adopted.

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Professor at institution 'nobody's heard of' takes on Dinesh D'Souza on Twitter

Inside HigherEd - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 08:00

Kevin Gannon, a professor of history at Grand View University and director of its Center for Excellence in Teaching, schooled Dinesh D’Souza this week after the conservative commentator insulted Gannon’s institution on social media.

Gannon, who has a large following on Twitter as @TheTattooedProf and engages with D’Souza on the platform from time to time, was among a number of historians to comment on D’Souza’s recent tweet saying, “Nazis got several of their bigoted murderous schemes from American progressives and the Democratic Party.”

Specifically, Gannon said that D'Souza on Twitter “is basically that joke about why you shouldn't play chess with a pigeon: it has no idea what it's doing -- it’ll just knock all the pieces down, shit all over the board, and strut around like it won anyway.”

D’Souza responded by not only insulting Gannon, but Grand View, calling it a “university no one has heard of.” D’Souza, who graduated from Dartmouth College, added, “Pigeon jokes are not a way to win arguments, at least not in the Ivy League where I was educated.”

Kevin you are a professor at a university no one has heard of. You might show a little intellectual humility. At least try to address the issue at hand. Pigeon jokes are not a way to win arguments, at least not in the Ivy League where I was educated

— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) February 28, 2019

Seizing on a teachable moment, Gannon tweeted that Grand View is a small private college in Des Moines, Iowa. And while people sometimes hear “private college” and think “elite” and “snooty,” he said, “We are decidedly neither, and that is by design.”

Gannon explained that Grand View was founded by Danish immigrants in the Folk School tradition, which emphasizes “access and an egalitarian ethos, that education should be both available and useful to all.” This was “a reaction against the elitism of the classical/rhetorical model of European elite education in the early 1800s,” he added.

What all that means, Gannon continued, is that Grand View “serves students, many of whom come from populations or places that have not historically been well served by higher education.” The university is a liberal arts college with many pre-professional programs, and a liberal education should be accessible to all students, in all majors, he said, noting his institution is relatively affordable.

“And here's the thing: there are a lot of folks at schools a lot like mine doing this same kind of work. The universities ‘Nobody's heard of’ literally make this country go. We're out here doing work, y'all. We support entire communities. We make our part of the world better.”

And Gannon’s mike drop?

So NOW you've heard of me and my university, Dinesh.

Now get out of our way; there's work to do.


— Kevin Gannon (@TheTattooedProf) March 1, 2019

Gannon's Twitter lecture has been retweeted hundreds of times. Thousands have liked it. Gannon told the Des Moines Register that friends, colleagues, Grand View alumni and professors at institutions similar to Grand View have reached out to thank him for his words.

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Report: Top universities in U.S. targeted by Chinese hackers

Inside HigherEd - Wed, 03/06/2019 - 08:00

Chinese hackers are ramping up their efforts to steal military research secrets from U.S. universities, new cybersecurity intelligence suggests.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the University of Hawaii, Pennsylvania State University, Duke University and the University of Washington are among 27 institutions in the U.S., Canada and Southeast Asia to be targeted by Chinese hackers, The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

The Chinese hackers targeted institutions and researchers with expertise in undersea technology as part of a coordinated cybercampaign that began in April 2017. Some of the institutions mentioned above may have been compromised in the attacks, though none have confirmed this publicly.

Cybersecurity intelligence company iDefense, which conducted the research, is due to publish a report on its findings later this week. Inside Higher Ed has not viewed the report.

China is not the first country to target U.S. universities with a coordinated cybercampaign. Last year nine Iranian hackers were charged for their role in a phishing scam that ran from 2013 to 2017 and attempted to steal the passwords of hundreds of thousands of professors.

Ravi Pendse, chief information officer at the University of Michigan, said he was not surprised to hear about the Chinese cyberattacks. "This has been going on for a while. The national state actors might change. But work going on at U.S. institutions will always be of interest to someone," he said.

Cybersecurity breaches at U.S. universities are not symptomatic of universities being slow to ramp up protections, said Pendse. “We might not want to brag about what we’re doing publicly, but there is a lot of work and collaboration that goes on.” The problem is the speed with which technology is evolving, he said. Large organizations, even multinational corporations with big security budgets, “find it difficult to keep up.”

There are, however, some steps that institutions can take to make themselves safer, said Pendse. He stressed that it takes “an entire institution working collaboratively to keep us safe.”

Katelyn Ilkani, vice president for cybersecurity research at the Tambellini Group, a technology consulting company, said that research documents can be vulnerable to cyberattack because research repositories are “often outside the purview of the office of information technology.”

“Academic research contains institutional assets that must be safeguarded against bad actors,” said Ilkani. In order to safeguard that information, researchers need to view technology administrators as strategic partners, she said. 

Sean Koessel, vice president for cybersecurity company Volexity, agreed that often information security staff have “no--or very little--visibility” into research projects at universities – making their job extremely difficult.  

“Universities could benefit from the creation of working groups that would include department heads and key information security staff," said Koessel. “Taking this kind of proactive approach would help ensure that some level of basic security is implemented for research deemed high visibility or critical."

It is not just scientific, medical or defense research that is being targeted by hackers. Volexity has observed that academics that work on public policy matters, nuclear issues, and economic forecasting are also frequently “in the crosshairs of foreign actors,” said Koessel.

“It would be very difficult for any organization to fully prevent a well-funded, nation-state level attacker from gaining some level of access,” said Koessel. “Focusing solely on prevention is a losing proposition. Instead, universities need to add additional focus on early detection and response.” 

Sylvester Segura, threat analyst at Symantec, said via email, "Universities have a challenge in that they need to defend against multiple types of threats such as spam, phishing and ransomware, whereas targeted attack groups can be hyperfocused and devote all their resources to attacking a small number of targets. The good news is that targeted attack groups often have specific patterns and techniques that they use, so having technology to detect this type of patterned activity can help an organization protect itself."

Bradley C. Wheeler, chief information officer of Indiana University, offered several tips for researchers trying to protect themselves.

"First, reduce the number of unique devices," he said. "Researchers should assess if their work can be done on cloud or university systems. Second, no one should do their daily work in an account that has administrator privileges -- have a second account when you need to specifically log in for admin work. Third, use multifactor authentication for log-in to systems."

For universities, he had this advice: "Universities must rebalance personal preferences in how technology is used and managed with policies and procedures that effectively mitigate institutional risk. One of the greatest risks is that many institutions have extremely limited to no real insight regarding the depth of their security risks in schools, departments and labs. They can range from exceptionally well-managed servers and devices to those that are compromised or unpatchable."

It is "just inevitable" that research universities will be targets, Wheeler said. "The open culture of universities make us an enduring target."

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