1/15 – 1/21

Diversity and Inclusion

In their new book, Campus Diversity: The Hidden Consensus, Dartmouth College professors John M. Carey and Yusaku Horiuchi together with Katherine Clayton, a political science Ph.D. student at Stanford University, assert that students generally support affirmative action — both for admissions and for faculty hiring — something that is overlooked in the ongoing and often ugly debates around the controversial policy. The conclusions are based on surveys conducted that use “conjoint analysis”, where respondents see a table with two candidates for admission and information about them in various categories. The surveys do not use the phrase “affirmative action,” but rather ask study participants to “admit” one of the student profiles. The results, based on hundreds of replies from the four institutions were consistent in showing a preference for students of every race and ethnicity over whites.

Sexual Assault and Title IX

According to Ohio State University, the investigation and related lawsuits about alleged sexual abuse decades ago by a university team doctor have cost nearly $10 million so far. That figure is likely to grow as federal lawsuits against the university over its handling of the late Dr. Richard Strauss remain in mediation. About 350 men have sued Ohio State, alleging athletics and student health officials failed to stop the doctor despite knowing concerns about him during his two decades there.

College Affordability

A small liberal arts college in Kentucky is offering full-tuition scholarships to students from four nearby counties if they enroll full time and live on campus.  Georgetown College is one of many small liberal arts colleges rolling out new scholarship programs or heavily discounting their tuition. The strategy is designed to increase enrollment, but, as Education Dive reports, these efforts can cause more harm than good if they don’t bring in enough additional students to make up for lost tuition revenue.

According to a report in Politico, free community college, a popular position on the Democratic campaign trail, comes with significant risks, starting with the fact that schools could be overwhelmed by the number of new students.  College leaders quoted in the article worry that students run the risk of being shut out of classes. Additionally, experts say community college class credits do not always transfer to four-year universities, and there isn’t a reliable way to assess whether programs are helping students get jobs or move toward four-year degrees.

Student Success

The Chronicle highlights the College Unbound program in Providence, RI, which offers one degree – a bachelor of arts in organizational leadership and change. College Unbound, which has grown from 10 to 120 students, caters to low-income, minority, working adults. Typically, students with some of the highest dropout rates, College Unbound graduates 83 percent of them, typically in two and a half years or less. And it is now recognized by the state of Rhode Island, eligible to award Pell Grants, and on its way to accreditation.

According to a new University of Florida study, students who dropped out of community college were 21% more likely to re-enroll if they received a one-course tuition waiver in addition to text messages with information about how to return. The study found that just providing information via texts did not have a major impact on whether students re-enrolled.  The findings add to previous research that suggests nudges, which are digital alerts designed to influence behavior, have a limited effect on college attendance when used on their own.


According to a new working paper, having more community colleges per capita increases the chances that students will complete high school and graduate from college. It is also linked with higher earnings, especially among white and Hispanic people, and a number of positive health behaviors, including an increase in the frequency of exercise and a lower chance of smoking.