Books on a bench

In this week's roundup:

 mental health resources are in the spotlight, students protest a university hiring policy, and financial aid offices are struggling to hire. 

May 19-25

  • The Department of Education is urging institutions to use COVID-19 relief funds from the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund (HEERF) for mental health services. The Biden Administration made recommendations for how to use HEERF funding to address mental health, including increasing access to mental health professionals and 24-hour hotlines. 
  • Discount rates at private institutions have reached a record high according to the National Association of College and University Business Officers. Discount rates of 54.5% from the NACUBO Tuition Discount Study for 2021 show an increase from the previous year’s 53.9%. 
  • Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky met with presidents from the Association of American Universities to discuss the future of Ukrainian higher education. President Zelensky stressed the importance of providing expertise to students and for students abroad to return to Ukraine. The virtual meeting was livestreamed on YouTube
  • Students at Seattle Pacific University staged a walkout to protest the university’s discriminatory hiring practices against members of the LGBTQ+ community. Seattle Pacific upheld the policy in order to remain affiliated with the Free Methodist Church USA. 
  • Baylor University will rename an area of campus and relocate a statue of a former president who owned slaves. Rufus Burleson’s name will be removed from the Quadrangle and the statue will be relocated as part of Baylor’s four-phase process which includes reckoning, repentance, reconciliation and redemption, according to board chair Mark Rountree. 
  • A new report from the Federal Reserve shows the college majors that adults regret most. When asked whether they would have changed their major, those who majored in humanities/arts and social/behavioral sciences were the most likely to wish they had majored in something else. 
  • Financial aid offices are struggling to fill open positions according to survey results from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. The results indicate how a staffing challenge developed into a crisis. 
  • Brown University will adopt a land acknowledgement and will expand access to Native American students. Brown’s land acknowledgment recognizes the Narragansett Tribe in addition to colonization and displacement.
  • Tenure for dozens of librarians in the Texas A&M University System is a thing of the past as the system’s 10 libraries undergo sweeping changes. Librarians were asked to either relinquish their tenure or transfer to a different department. 
  • A private Christian institution in Tennessee considers limits on free speech surrounding sexuality and gender. A spokesperson for Lee University says that the proposal is part of the university’s theological beliefs. 

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