Students sitting on stairwell

In this week's roundup:

tenure for professors teaching critical race theory is threatened, donations have reached a new high and students have mostly positive perceptions of remote learning. 

February 17-23

  • Donations to colleges have reached $52 billion, increasing the amount of charitable giving by about 7% according to the most recent Voluntary Support of Education survey. Charitable gifts from foundations and alumni made up 56.3% of giving to institutions in the last fiscal year. 
  • Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick aims to end tenure at Texas public colleges, targeting professors who teach critical race theory. This is part of a nationwide effort to discourage the teaching of the academic concept that describes the systemic nature of racism. 
  • Since January, 57 Historically Black Colleges and Universities have been targeted with bomb threats according to the FBI. A majority of these HBCUs are located in the south although the FBI declined to give a full list of institutions. Hampton University in Virginia is the latest to receive such a threat. 
  • A former biology professor at Georgia Military College is suing the institution for wrongful termination after he was fired for refusing to teach in-person last year. The lawsuit filed by Joshua Fields claimed that the institution violated the Americans With Disabilities Act. Fields was fired for refusing to teach in-person due to his health conditions putting him at higher risk for serious illness from COVID-19. 
  • Despite a challenging year, students had mostly positive perceptions of how faculty taught remotely and adapted their courses for remote teaching and hybrid learning,  according to a survey from the National Survey of Student Engagement. The responses from over 16,000 students reflect how students and faculty worked together during the pandemic, according to Jillian Kinzie, interim co-director of NSSE. 
  • Over 16,000 borrowers will have their federal student loans canceled by the Education Department after being defrauded by DeVry University and ITT Tech. Former DeVry students are eligible for $71.7 million in student loan relief. 
  • North Carolina State University has replaced the word “dixie” with “southern” in its alma mater. The North Carolina State Board of Trustees voted to remove the word which has connotations of the Confederacy. 
  • Georgetown University removed KN95 masks from distribution over concerns of the masks not meeting CDC standards, reported Georgetown’s student newspaper The Hoya. Similar issues were found at American University in Washington, DC.  
  • Students at institutions across the country have filed complaints alleging that institutions violated the Uniform Prudent Management of Institutional Funds Act for the heavy reliance on fossil fuels. Students at Stanford, Yale, Princeton, Vanderbilt and MIT have filed complaints with their states’ attorneys general with help from the Climate Defense Project. 


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