California's community colleges are struggling to address a growing food insecurity among students, with 46 having campus food pantries and some offering gift cards to students experiencing homelessness. The state had put $11.4 million in the budget to establish campus food pantries but that money was cut after the coronavirus struck.
In response to a boycott by its football team, Kansas State University is establishing a fund to address racial injustice and equity issues on campus. The fund is part of an initiative aimed at the athletic department and will including training and a monthly town hall.
Yale University is planning to cut its campus residential population to about 60% of what is typical by having sophomores live off campus in the fall and freshmen in the spring. Undergraduate students will have weekly coronavirus tests and be required to wear face masks, while students from overseas or states with high virus rates must quarantine for 14 days.
The faculty union of the California State University system in a report is calling for changes on campuses, including free tuition for Black and Indigenous students, Black studies programs, more Black administrators and equitable pay. The union also is calling for the removal of armed campus police in favor of community law enforcement.
The Senate is divided along party lines over how much financial help to give higher education in the next coronavirus aid package. Democrats are proposing $132 million for higher education as part of an overall $430 million package, while Republicans, who haven't released specifics, say they want more money for testing and liability protection.
Harvard University says it will end a policy, adopted in 2016, that barred single-gender organizations unaffiliated with the school. The decision is in response to last month's US Supreme Court ruling banning discrimination against LGBTQ people and was welcomed by groups representing fraternities and sororities.
Four Connecticut universities are forming a consortium that will consolidate their programs on one campus while offering students the opportunity to study at all of the schools. Officials from Sacred Heart University, Goodwin University and Paier College of Art will centralize at the University of Bridgeport in an arrangement that will take several years to achieve.
Institutional efforts to advance equity and diversity should be the work of all faculty and staff, writes Amy Wagoner Johnson of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Leaders should not look to members of underrepresented groups to drive the movement, because this sort of unseen, unpaid effort adds to their already heavy workloads, she notes.
Faculty members across the country are speaking out in response to increasing layoffs at colleges and universities, raising concerns including a lack of representation in budgetary meetings, writes Michael Nietzel, president emeritus of Missouri State University. These layoffs, initially intended to address budget gaps resulting from pandemic-related shutdowns, continue as schools contemplate a vastly different fall semester including a new reliance on online instruction and reduced institutional revenue.
Academics are raising red flags about the use of big data, machine learning and algorithms in education and how the use of such technology could reshape teaching. Among the concerns is that curriculum will have to fit into a platform and that student performance will be judged on data analysis.
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