Despite Success, Some Shortcomings in Texas Higher Ed
by Reeve Hamilton, The Texas Tribune
For nearly 14 years, the state’s higher education policy has been guided by a plan, adopted by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, called “Closing the Gaps by 2015.” As the name suggests, time is running short.
Many of those who have tracked the progress of the plan, which was designed to bring the state’s higher education performance up to par with — not move it ahead of — comparable states, credit it with pushing back a discouraging tide.
“It is unquestionably a success overall,” said Fred Heldenfels, who recently cycled off the coordinating board after serving as its chairman for more than three years, “but there are certainly some asterisks.”
Some objectives in key areas — including college enrollment among certain ethnic groups and degrees awarded in math and science — are simply unlikely to be met by the 2015 deadline.
Stop Blaming Professors
By Scott Jaschik, Inside Higher Ed
Part of the conservative critique of higher education is that liberal professors indoctrinate students, turning middle-of-the-road students into Young Democrats (or Young Socialists).
But a new study suggests that it's time to stop blaming professors (of any political leaning) for any leftward tilt that college students may show (and the study acknowledges that many do lean that way over the course of their college years).
The influence is coming from students themselves. In fact, the study says, the more engaged students are with faculty members and academics, the more their views moderate toward the center. But the more students become engaged in student activities, the more the liberals become more committed as liberals and conservatives become more committed as conservatives.