Affirmative action, loan fixes and online learners

The Clever Stunt Four Professors Just Pulled to Expose the Outrageous Pay Gap in Academia The current president of the University of Alberta is leaving at the end of this month. This means that her job, whichpays at least 400,000 Canadian dollars (about $368,500), is up for grabs. I’m sure the search committee didn’t expect 56 Canadian academics, fed up with a highly paid administration in the face of country-wide “austerity” measures, applying for Samarasekera’s job in groups of four. (Slate)

If Affirmative Action Is Doomed, What’s Next? Two new books lay out detailed visions of an affirmative action that would combine racial and economic diversity – in contrast to the current version, which has done little to promote economic diversity. Above all, the books answer the common liberal concern that economic-based affirmative action is a bad substitute for race-based affirmative action. (The New York Times)

Critics Point to Drawbacks in Starbucks Tuition Program Students could have to pay thousands of dollars out of pocket, and wait months or years before being reimbursed. (The New York Times)

Student loan fixes that make sense Lawmakers should consolidate the many federal income-based repayment programs into one simple deal for all debtors. They need to reduce the incentive for graduate students to take out excessive loans. And they need to make sure that those who deserve and receive debt forgiveness aren’t taxed on the amount forgiven. Another good idea is bolstering the Pell Grant program to offer year-round grants, so that students can study over the summer, or expanding access to the Pell program to more people. (The Washington Post via NAICU)

New Government Data Sheds Light on Online Learners  One in four college students took an online course in fall 2012, according to government statistics. (U.S. News & World Report via University Business)