Notes in the Margins: Research spending, student speech and “charities”

Johns Hopkins again tops in university research spending New data from NSF show that Hopkins spent $2.1 billion on research and development in the fiscal year that ended in 2012. The University of Michigan ranked second, spending $1.3 billion. (The Washington Post)

Black college students face persistent hurdles, report finds More black students in California are earning bachelor’s degrees than they were a decade ago, but enrollment in the state’s public universities is stagnant and many are turning to costly for-profit schools, according to a new report. (Los Angeles Times)

After Setbacks, Online Courses Are Rethought Large-scale online courses, hailed as a way to democratize higher education, have so far been plagued by very high attrition rates. (The New York Times)

Laws on student speech online remain in a gray area Universities have the right, like anyone else, to look at a student’s public, online presence, and may interfere when a threat is communicated through a tweet or post however, the courts have not set a standard to determine how to govern student speech online. (USA Today)

Are Universities Charities? Why The ‘Nonprofit Sector’ Needs To Go The way we treat nonprofit organizations such as Harvard is problematic both practically – it costs the government billions of dollars in tax revenue every year – and philosophically, as it creates a paradigm that misunderstands the way many “nonprofit” organizations operate and the role that for-profit corporations ought to play in society. (Forbes via University Business)