Soon-to-be-former UC Berkeley Chancellor Dirks told an audience Clinton’s plan for free tuition “won’t happen.” To offset a mostly quiet week on the UC news front, I’ve included some recent reports on free tuition and the state of American higher education. Also this week, Blake Wentworth, a faculty member accused of sexually harassing students, filed defamation suits against three of his accusers.
9/27 – Berkeley chancellor: Clinton free college plan ‘won’t happen’ (THE): Speaking at summit, Dirks said he would “love” to see Clinton’s plan happen, but that political realities will likely get in the way. He also noted free tuition may lead to greater government control of research institutions, which could be a problem. He may having in mind the federal ban on firearms research, an area where the UC system is actively picking up the slack.
9/29 – US Dept. of Ed report: Reaching the Limit (link): While college costs are rising, students have begun taking out more federal loans. However, a rising amount turn to the private market (with its higher fees and interest) before they’ve maxed out their federal options.
9/29 – Campaign for Free College Tuition report: How expensive is free college for states (link): Report calculates the cost per state of free tuition, but notes these large sums may be offset by returns from a more educated workforce.
9/29 – APLU report: Public University Values (link): The APLU has launched a campaign to improve the public image of large research universities. The campaign emphasizes decreased state funding.
Other UC News
9/30 – Low Returns, High Pressure (IHE): The return on UC’s endowment is a very poor -3.4 percent. Trump has suggested he would cut federal tax breaks for university endowments should they not lower costs sufficiently.
9/29 – Berkeley professor at center of sexual harassment scandal sues his accusers (Guardian): Blake Wentworth has sued three students who accused him of sexual harassment. The assistant professor of south and south-east Asian studies claims the accusations are false and intended to derail his career.
Elsewhere in higher ed
9/28 – Small Agency, Big Impact (IHE): The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has stepped into the world of private student loans and for-profit universities
9/29 – Mizzou Incident Rekindles Anger Over Treatment of Black Students (Chronicle): Mizzou is back in the spotlight after an ugly incident where slurs were shouted at students of color