Colleges and Universities Aren’t Ready for New Common Core Standards A report recommends that colleges add the results of Common Core assessment tests to the measures by which they gauge students’ eligibility for admission and financial aid; that they help make sure primary and secondary schools teach the things needed to succeed in higher education, and that the Common Core tests measure them; and that schools of education show future teachers how to prepare their students for college and careers. (Washington Monthly)

Unexpected Ways Millennials Are Impacting Higher Education In a recent survey, nearly half of Millennials employed in the education industry indicated their employers have outdated collaboration practices. (The Huffington Post via NAICU)

Ed tech promoters need to understand how most of us learn Productive learning without guidance and support from others is rare. A pair of eminent researchers has gone so far as to call the very notion of self-directed learning “an urban legend in education.” (The Hechinger Report)

Clash over campus cards The financial industry is clashing with the Obama administration over forthcoming regulations that are intended to protect college students from excessive bank fees. (The Hill via NAICU)

A Tale of ‘Too Big to Fail’ in Higher Education City College of San Francisco Survives (The New York Times via University Business)

Renier (Courtesy of MnSCU)

Trustees of Minnesota’s state-run colleges and universities are trying to inject some transparency into how they handle contracts.

Today they voted to formally approve all future employment contracts for their chancellor, including changes made to existing contracts.

The change in policy comes after reports last month that former board Chairman Clarence Hightower had quietly signed a three-year contract with Steven Rosenstone in October. The contract gave Rosenstone a base salary of $387,000 plus tens of thousands of dollars in allowances.

At the time, Hightower said the signing had followed past practice, but acknowledged questions about the procedure’s lack of transparency. He called for a study of how other organizations handle contracts of their top executive.

Now that the board will formally approve the chancellor’s contracts, new board Chairman Thomas Renier said the study group has expanded its study, and will now review how MnSCU approves vendor contracts.

That decision follows news that MnsCU signed a $2 million consulting contract without board approval.

Renier told me:

“It’s a very big and very complex system, and once in a while it pays to just step back and say, ‘Let’s make sure that we’re not doing it just because we’ve always done it that way, but because this is what makes sense.’”

He also acknowledged the transparency concerns:

“We’re trying to tell the public, we’re trying to tell legislative leaders that we’ve heard their concerns, and we take them seriously.”

House higher-education committee Chairman and Winona DFLer Gene Pelowski says he approves of the changes — but says he still has a lot of questions:

“This is classic ‘Closing the barn door after all the animals have escaped.”

Renier says he hopes to get report on MnSCU contract procedures this fall.


State Office of Higher Education Commissioner Larry Pogemiller tells MPR News reporter Martin Moylan his office will take a harder look at Globe University / Minnesota School of Business now that they face a lawsuit by state Attorney General Lori Swanson:

“We will now do our part to go and look and see what we can find out. To protect students, we’ll double-check [the schools'] websites, their materials.”

Moylan writes:

Still, Pogemiller said he wonders if his office is missing problems at for-profit schools and might employ “secret shoppers” and other techniques to get a better read on their performance.

“Obviously, there’s not enough resources to check in on every recruiter or campus in the state,” he said. “And so we feel we need to be more aggressive. But we don’t always know where to look until you get something like this, a direct student complaint.”

You can read the full story here — and read the original lawsuit and Globe’s response at the bottom of the On Campus blog post here.

Avoiding Roommate Shock, Online Ultimately, college officials hope that these roommate-recommendation programs can combat a costly problem: interpersonal conflicts so severe that they can prompt students to transfer to other schools before their sophomore year. (The New York Times) Does Khan Academy Work? No one really knows how well it works. Sure, it’s cheaper than a real classroom, but Read more