Notes in the Margins: Chinese, buyouts and European mergers

University Mergers Sweep Across Europe Countries hope that creating larger, more diverse institutions will improve their research and, yes, their rankings, too. (

At 2 Texas Campuses, Faculty Buyouts Create Staffing Headaches The flagships will save about $18-million after more than 100 professors leave early, but they are also scrambling to adjust their teaching rosters. (

Opinion: U.S. Education Dept. is wrong on for-profit colleges The gainful employment rule ignores the fact that a college education pays off over a lifetime, and the lowest earning years are likely to be in the earliest stages of a career. It also runs counter to the president’s goals, given high unemployment and the demands of a global economy for a more highly skilled work force. (The San Jose Mercury News)

Study less, earn more — at least in the beginning Florida employment data show that those who earned a career-focused associate’s degree or postsecondary certificate from a community college are in many cases making more money than bachelor’s degree recipients at state universities. What the numbers say: Bachelor’s degree recipients from the state’s 11 public universities earned an average starting salary of $36,552 in 2009. Meanwhile, those who received associate in science degrees from Florida community colleges earned an average of $47,708 — a difference of $11,000 more per year. (Miami Herald)

States Luring Veteran Professors to Retire as Budget Cuts Loom Tenured teacher pay averages $117,000 a year at the top 200 U.S. public universities. With U.S. states facing fiscal 2012 deficits with an estimated total of $140 billion, faculty buyouts will become more common. (

Recruiting by U.S. universities of Chinese undergrads is hottest new education trend To attract new students, Santa Clara University promotes its top professors, small seminars, long educational tradition and proximity to tech companies including Apple and Netflix. In Chinese. As Friday’s application deadline approaches, the Santa Clara school is among the American universities that are accelerating recruitment in China. This educational pipeline delivered more than 40,000 undergraduates to the U.S. in the 2009-10 academic year — a 46 percent increase over the previous year — and promises to bring more. (The San Jose Mercury News)