Higher Education

NHPR Staff

Funding for public higher education is a core issue in the budget battle now being waged between the Governor and the Legislature. Meanwhile, budget woes are brewing on the state's community college campuses, too, where students, faculty, and senior administrators don’t agree on how to balance the books.

Plymouth State University

 

Donald Birx, the chancellor of Pennsylvania State University's Behrend College, has been chosen to be the next president at Plymouth State University.

Birx will become the university's 15th president on July 31. The University System Board of Trustees voted unanimously to support him after a nationwide search.

At Penn State Behrend, Birx was responsible for the quality of the college's academic programs in teaching, research and service, and its overall operations.

The Dollars And Cents of College Degrees

May 12, 2015
John Walker / Flickr/cc

In the shadow of the Great Recession, many prospective students and their parents are looking at college with an eye toward the economic value of certain majors, with some hoping to avoid the so called 'useless' degree. We take a look at some surprising new research on this topic and hear from voices both in and out of the college system.

Connor Tarter / Flickr/cc

New Hampshire’s Health Protection Program faces sunset in twenty sixteen unless the legislature votes to extend it. We’ll find out more. Then later – a new, national report ranks colleges based on the economic value of their degrees and a New Hampshire Community college tops the list.

Brookings Institution

The Brookings Institution has ranked NHTI – Concord’s Community College -- as the nation’s most value-added two-year college.

The report compares how well two and four-year colleges boost student’s economic outcomes. That’s in contrast to many college rankings, which assess schools’ ability to attract top students.

Brookings Fellow Jonathan Rothwell says the study focused on alumni’s midcareer salaries, their occupations, and their ability to repay student loans.  

Assessing Greek Life On College Campuses

Apr 29, 2015
Tbass Effendi / Flickr/cc

Fraternities have been getting more bad press lately after embarrassing incidents from racist chants in Oklahoma to the branding of pledges here in New Hampshire. We’ll look at the headlines, but also behind them, including what the data says about the impact of fraternity and sorority life for students from grades to personal health.

Huddleston joined The Exchange to talk about trends in higher education including rising costs, student debt, and greater use of adjuncts.  He also discussed cuts in state support, salaries of administrative staff, and the role expensive programs like athletics play in promoting the University's mission.

Scroll below the full show audio to hear Huddleston respond to a variety of questions about the challenges facing the University System.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

Lawyers who reviewed how New Hampshire's public universities and colleges handle sexual harassment and other misconduct say the schools must address specific gaps in policies and practices while also making broader efforts to create a safe campus culture.

University System of New Hampshire officials asked attorneys at a Manchester law firm to review their procedures in general and their handling of four incidents in particular — three involving misconduct by coaches at Keene State College and one involving a University of New Hampshire basketball coach.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

New Hampshire's colleges and universities say their latest report shows that they are major contributors to the state's vibrant economy.

The New Hampshire College and University Council estimates that its 22 public and private nonprofit institutions directly supported 17,800 jobs in fiscal year 2012-13 and generated an estimated economic impact of $5.8 billion.

Courtesy of SNHU

  Southern New Hampshire University President Paul LeBlanc will spend three months at the U.S. Department of Education to help grow non-traditional higher ed programs. 

In an effort to increase access and affordability for students, the U.S. Department of Education will begin selecting universities as so-called experimental sites.

LeBlanc says experimental sites will act as centers of research and development for new models of higher ed. And he says he won’t be part of the selection process.

uniinnsbruck / Flickr/CC

As the number of teaching positions filled by non-tenure track, often part-time ‘adjunct professors’ has increased, this group gains attention for what it describes as low pay, few benefits, and lack of job security. But with tough financial times at higher ed institutions across the country, schools say there’s just not enough money.

This show was guest-hosted by Brady Carlson.

GUESTS:

Courtesy The University Of New Hampshire

University of New Hampshire President Mark Huddleston used his annual state of the university speech largely as a pitch for additional state funding.

In his address, Huddleston reiterated his pledge to again freeze tuition if the state boosts its funding, saying “in fact all it will take is for our lawmakers to return funding to 2009 levels. How heavy of a lift can that be?”

That would be an increase of almost $40 million dollars over two years.  In her budget, Governor Maggie Hassan proposed a more modest, $13 million dollar increase.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

The American Vacation

“Vacations were an important part of the social life of the upper class in the United States throughout the 19th century.   They even had a circuit of vacations that followed the sun in some ways – they went south for the winter, came back north to Newport and other places like that. In fact, they became what  Thorstein Veblen critiqued as ‘the leisure class.’  It’s not until the turn of the 20th century that the middle class begins to see vacations as something that’s possible for them.” 

Allison Quantz for NHPR

Classes are back in session at Dartmouth College, which means winter recruitment for fraternities and sororities is getting underway. It’s been a controversial year for Greek life from Clemson University to Johns Hopkins, and Dartmouth has not escaped unscathed. Later this month, recommendations addressing social life are expected to be publicly released. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

How to Win a Beauty Pageant: Race, Gender, Culture, and U.S. National Identity

Ken Lund via Flickr CC

Dartmouth College has charged 64 students accused of cheating in a sports ethics class with violating the Ivy League school's honor code.

College officials confirmed the number of students charged but declined to comment further until the appeals process ends later this month. Professor Randall Balmer told the Valley News that most of the students involved have been suspended for a term.

The State Of N.H.'s Community College System

Dec 11, 2014
NHPR

We’re talking with Ross Gittell both in his capacity as chancellor of New Hampshire’s Community College System, and as forecast manager for the New England Economic Partnership.

GUESTS:

  • Ross Gittell – chancellor of the Community College System and forecast manager at the New England Economic Partnership

We’re talking with author Goldie Blumenstyk about her new book on the so-called “crisis” in American Higher Education. Blumenstyk  says given rising costs, student debt, and doubts about the value of a degree, crisis is a fair description -- but she also sees some exciting examples of campus innovations that may get us out of our College conundrum.

GUEST:

Via NHIA.org

Discussions about a possible merger between the New Hampshire Institute of Art and Southern New Hampshire University are dead, an NHIA official said.

The chair of the institute’s Board of Trustees Joseph Reilly says there are no plans to pursue the merger, and the focus of the school is on finding a new president.

In a statement posted on the school’s website, Reilly said an announcement about a new president would be made in “the near future.”

New Hampshire's community colleges want $6.4 million in new money in the next budget to lower tuition by $10 per credit hour.

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

A new report finds New Hampshire college graduates are – once again – burdened with the most student debt.

According to the annual report from the nonprofit Project on Student Debt, students who graduated from Granite State colleges and universities in 2013 had an average debt of nearly $33,000, the highest in the nation.

This marks the third time in four years New Hampshire has had the highest average debt, after ranking second highest last year.

Fred Thys/WBUR

  Wesleyan University is asking its residential fraternities not to pledge freshmen and to turn over the rolls of all their members as the school issued an order to end its all-male fraternities and make residential fraternities co-ed.

It’s a decision that has received mixed reaction on campus.

The decision is felt hardest at the three residential fraternities. No one agreed to recorded interviews at any of the fraternities, but men did agree to speak to WBUR on background.

  Southern New Hampshire University has been awarded a $3.9 million “First in the World” innovation grant from the Federal Department of Education.

SNHU was among two dozen colleges and universities nationwide selected for the program meant to improve access to higher education for non-traditional students.

Wesleyan University Orders Fraternities to Admit Women

Sep 23, 2014

Wesleyan University in Connecticut announced Monday that all of its on-campus fraternities must go co-ed by 2017 or lose official recognition and support from the school.

Via UNH Website

A long-time benefactor to the University of New Hampshire is giving the school $10 million in scholarship support to students from the state.

The gift, announced Monday, is from Harvard alum and Tuftonboro resident Dana Hamel and will increase the endowment of the already existing Hamel Scholars fund. It will mean the fund has $17 million dedicated to scholarships for New Hampshire students who show academic excellence, leadership and community involvement. The school hopes the money will help make the school more competitive with high-performing students.

How N.H. Colleges Are Fighting Campus Sexual Assault

Sep 18, 2014
no6club / Flickr/CC

With one-in-five women estimated to experience sexual assault while in college, and a large majority of cases unreported, there has been a groundswell recently for better prevention and response, backed recently by a presidential task force. We’ll talk with local colleges and experts on sexual violence about how best to address this problem.

GUESTS:

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

  Republican State Senate Leadership responded Tuesday to the University System of New Hampshire Trustees’ request to restore University funding to 2009 levels, a $16 million dollar increase between 2015 and 2016, in exchange for another two years tuition freeze.

Brainlesssteel via Flickr CC

The University System trustees have unanimously agreed to freeze tuition for two more years at the state’s public colleges, so long as lawmakers restore the University system’s budget to 2009 levels. That would mean an increase of $16 million dollars from fiscal year 2015 to fiscal Year 2016.  

Board chair Pamela Diamantis says these two additional years of budget reductions would allow the class of 2017 to graduate without a single tuition increase, "and I think that’s just a great testament to trying to drive affordability."

Bunky's Pikcle via flickr Creative Commons

Sexting, sex bracelets, sex parties, the media would like you to believe twenty-first century teenagers are out of control, or are they?

Today’s show takes an objective look at teenage sexual behavior, and finds out what’s behind all the media hype. Then, we’ll hit the classroom and hear from a psychology professor who conducted an experiment of her own: offering students extra credit in return for a phone free environment.

Listen to the full show and Read more for individual segments.

As the fall college term gets underway, some Upper Valley students are finding themselves in limbo. That’s because they had enrolled in New Hampshire’s Lebanon College, only to find out without warning that their school was closing.

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