Students in Classroom

In this week's roundup:

masks may be coming off soon at some institutions, diversity is on the rise among college presidents, and UC Berkeley may have to slash their enrollment. 

February 10-16

  • Diversity is on the rise among college presidents as 35.4% of presidents and chancellors hired between June 2020 and November 2021 were racial minorities. This figure is larger than racial minorities hired between December 2018 and May 2020, which was 22.5%. 
  • Autherine Lucy, the first Black student to enroll at the University of Alabama, will now have a building named after her alone. The university’s board of trustees overturned the proposed “Lucy-Graves Hall” after outrage from students, faculty, staff and alumni over keeping a building named after an ex-member of the Ku Klux Klan. 
  • As different states legislatures review their indoor masking policy, institutions are reviewing their own mandates which may differ from state policies. In California, The University of Nevada, Las Vegas will no longer require masks except in medical settings effective immediately, while the University of California, Los Angeles will still require masks. 
  • A two-year study finds that University of Southern Mississippi (USM) first-year students who took at least one course taught by an instructor from the Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) were more likely to return the following year. ACUE partnered with USM in 2016 to train faculty to close equity gaps among students. 
  • The Title IX investigation of Brigham Young University’s discrimination against LGBTQ+ students has been dropped by the US Department of Education. BYU has 15 Title IX exemptions that conflict with their religious beliefs. 
  • The House of Representatives passed a bill that will make Pell grants available for retraining programs. The bill will provide both workers and students accurate, timely, high-quality information to help make decisions about which programs are best for them, according to a statement from the National Skills Coalition. 
  • New research from the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce tracks return on investment at 1,233 institutions and finds that 60% of college graduates earn more than high school graduates a decade later. 
  • The University System of Georgia has appointed Sonny Perdue, former governor and member of the Trump administration, finalist for chancellorship. Despite not having formal higher education leadership experience, Georgia policymakers have influence over USG, as Gov. Ryan Kemp recently appointed political allies to the board. 
  • The University of California, Berkeley must slash enrollment by a third according to a court order blocking campus expansion. If upheld, the university will have to deny thousands enrollment and lose $57 million in tuition. 
  • A committee at the University of Minnesota wants campus police to stop assisting local police officers at off-campus protests. The committee also wants a reevaluation of campus police’s weaponry, emphasizing less-lethal weapons. 

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