Spring on college campus

In this week's roundup:

Institutions show solidarity with Ukraine, land acknowledgments stir up controversy, and fewer entrance exam requirements led to an increase in applications. 

February 24- March 2

  • Demonstrations and protests took place across the country in solidarity with Ukraine following the invasion by Russia. There were 1,700 Ukrainians studying in the U.S. during the 2020-21 school year according to the Institute of International Education. 
  • The University of California has broken the record for fall first-year applications. The elimination of standardized testing requirements and greater online outreach has led to the largest and most diverse pool of applicants. 
  • The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved a $300 million endowment to expand free tuition programs. This will cover tuition for full-time undergraduate students at seven institutions in the University of Texas system. 
  • A bill in South Carolina that would have ended tenure at public colleges will not advance. A study will be conducted on the tenure systems in South Carolina’s public institutions as part of a deal to delay the legislation. 
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill abruptly canceled an art show and is facing allegations of censorship. The Stone Center for Black Culture and History canceled the show days ahead of its opening by visiting artist Cornell Watson. 
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology has ended its program with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology after 12 years of partnership. MIT noted, “In light of the unacceptable military actions against Ukraine by the Russian government, MIT President L. Rafael Reif, in consultation with senior leadership, determined that MIT’s relationship with the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology (Skoltech) must end.” 
  • Applications to highly selective institutions are up 25% according to data from the Common App. Entrance exams at these institutions have decreased from 55% to 5%.
  • Faculty at San Diego State University are meeting to discuss a policy that requires including a land acknowledgment on each syllabus. The requirement had been criticized for contradicting freedom of speech and academic freedom. 
  • Middlebury College has suspended study abroad programs in Russia and urged the twelve students currently in Russia to leave immediately. 
  • Calbright College is at risk of being closed by California lawmakers for a third time. The college’s low completion rates are the main reason for the legislation proposed by Assembly Member Jose Medina.

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