Notes in the Margins: Pell cuts, ROTC struggles and a federal university

Donna Shalala: UW-Madison needs new business model We are at a crossroads in 2011 with regard to UW-Madison and the University of Wisconsin System. It’s always uncomfortable to argue that the System’s flagship institution deserves special treatment. It’s not an argument that says UW-Madison is better; rather, it’s an argument that UW-Madison is different. (Wisconsin State Journal)

ROTC’s return to universities a bumpy road When the federal government repealed the Pentagon’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy last year, it seemed to remove the chief obstacle keeping the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps program from returning to many elite universities. But the debate on ROTC’s return has been bumpy and the result not a foregone conclusion, reinforcing criticism that higher education remains inhospitable to the military. (USA Today)

Princeton and Harvard Reinstate Early Admissions Harvard and Princeton once decided to end their early admission programs, saying they were unfair to economically disadvantaged students. Few schools followed suit. Because of that, though neither school seems to have changed its mind on the unfairness of early admissions, both on Thursday reinstated their programs. (The New York Times)

UC becoming a federal university, chancellor says As it gets more funding from the federal government and less from Sacramento, UC Berkeley is effectively morphing from a state university into a federal university, according to Chancellor Robert Birgeneau. (San Francisco Chronicle)

House-Passed Spending Bill Would Trigger Future Cuts in Pell Program The spending bill for the 2011 fiscal year that the U.S. House of Representatives passed last weekwould not only slash Pell Grants in the short term—it would also reduce spending on the program by $64-billion over the next decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office. (Chronicle of Higher Education)