Notes in the Margins: Threats, fees and bogus statistics

Governing Boards Get Serious About Presidential Reviews At a time of tight budgets and heightened pressure to adapt to a changing environment, boards do not have the luxury of waiting to see if problems emerge. A growing number of boards are reviewing college presidents on a systematic basis, and some are doing it earlier than they used to. Governance experts say several factors are behind the trend: an expectation that boards are responsible for a president’s performance; greater demand by regulators and the public for accountability; and the rising share of board members with backgrounds in business, where regular performance evaluations are the norm. (chronicle.com)

UC Berkeley to lay off nearly 150 employees this year Most will be let go by June. About the same number of jobs will be eliminated through other means, such as retirements and voluntary departures. About a quarter of the 280 or so positions have salaries of $100,000 or above. The job losses are expected to save the university about $20 million. (Contra Costa Times)

Briefly: Education: Elite French University Joins College Board Sciences Po became the first French public institution to join an organization that connects American schools to institutes of higher education across the world. (feeds.nytimes.com)

Students’ rights weighed as colleges try to assess threats A growing majority of colleges nationwide are keeping tabs on students through “threat assessment teams” charged with identifying dangerous students, causing debate to erupt over how much power the schools should have as they try to flag disturbing behavior. (USA Today)

College Is Still Worth It Those who make the “skip college” argument often bolster their arguments with official state and national Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data suggesting that the U.S. higher education system has been turning out far more college grads than current or future job openings require. To a public wary of paying steep tuition bills in a depressed economy, it all sounds alarming and — with the backing of national and state government BLS data — authoritative. There’s just one problem with the official BLS statistics: they’re wrong. (Inside Higher Ed)

University of Phoenix enrollment drops 42% Student enrollment at University of Phoenix parent Apollo Group nose-dived 42 percent in the three months that ended Dec. 30, and on Monday investors learned that company executives believe it is only the beginning. (AZ Central.com)

College students impose huge fee increases on themselves alongside tuition hikes As state money dries up for colleges, schools are asking students to shoulder the burden for construction funding — and students are approving. (Denver Post)

‘Hazards Of Duke’ Article Angers Students Writer Caitlin Flanagan recently took Duke University to task in the Atlantic Monthly — and now Duke students are fighting back. (Huffington Post)