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Proposed changes to shared governance at the University of Wyoming recall those passed in Wisconsin in recent years

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 15 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

Under pressure from the faculty, the University of Wyoming’s Board of Trustees this month postponed a possible vote on changes to institutional regulations giving the body sweeping new authority. Such changes would make it much easier to end academic programs and terminate tenured faculty members.

While the Wyoming board insists that the revisions are an attempt to sync institutional policies with what’s already in the state’s constitution, some professors see it as a power grab that could damage Wyoming’s only four-year public university. Critics have compared the proposed changes to those seen within the University of Wisconsin System, starting in 2015.

“A university is its people,” Christine Porter, Wyoming Excellence Chair in Community and Public Health, said Monday. “And they’re going to lose the best people because this university would be the last choice for anybody who’s looking for a job -- and anybody who’s not rooted in Laramie would leave for elsewhere.”

A subcommittee of trustees and faculty will meet today to try to reach common ground on the proposals. That’s ahead of the new planned board vote in July -- when far fewer faculty members will be on campus or even in the state.

Some faculty members see the proposed revisions to the general UW Regulation 1-101 as most troubling. Currently, the document contains boilerplate language about university governance. But the revised document notes that the trustees are part of the Wyoming Constitution and state statute, and that university regulations may be “adopted, changed or amended at any regular or special meeting of the trustees without prior formal notice.”

Donal O’Toole, professor of veterinary science and incoming Faculty Senate chair, called UW Regulation 1-101 the “daddy” of all others. He said he was grateful that the trustees had already removed one bit of proposed language saying that the regulations were not meant to confer property or any other kind of right -- which he took to include tenure. Yet as it remains, he said, the revised regulation ignores the need for “transparency” about changes to university regulations and "at least an acknowledgment of academic freedom.”

Porter said such a change effectively means “the end of shared governance. Without even consulting the faculty, they could do whatever they wanted -- with no prior notice, even on a phone call, at any time.”

Michael Barker, a professor of civil and architectural engineering, immediate past chair of the Faculty Senate and a member of the special subcommittee that will meet today, said his top priority in terms of negotiations is UW Regulation 6-43 on academic program discontinuance. The regulation currently notes that “final authority” for eliminating programs -- and associated tenured faculty jobs -- due to such education-related factors as low enrollment or loss of accreditation lies with the board. But the revised version says the trustees "may decide to reorganize, consolidate, reduce and/or discontinue an academic program for educational, strategic, realignment, resource allocation, budget constraints or combinations of educational, strategic and/or financial reasons.” The campus president shall make final recommendations to the board. All efforts would be made to preserve full-time faculty positions, but they wouldn't be guaranteed.

Lumping together educational and financial reasons for discontinuing programs is a significant departure from higher education norms and, some say, values. Outside of true financial exigency, many institutional regulations paint a red line between curricular and budgetary concerns, since some relatively unprofitable programs have significant educational value -- as typically defined by the faculty -- and vice versa. That became a significant point of contention in Wisconsin in 2016, when the Board of Regents there passed a systemwide policy saying that administrations can discontinue programs for educational and financial reasons. The ramifications of that decision are playing out right now, including on Wisconsin's Stevens Point campus, which has announced plans to eliminate 13 majors, including history and all three foreign languages offered.

Barker, in Wyoming, said he’s hoping to convince the board that there’s a more nuanced way to achieve the institutional flexibility it desires “while protecting tenured and extended-term faculty lines.”

Asked if he was hopeful about his chances, Barker said, “I think we’re headed in the right direction here.”

In defending the board’s actions, trustees and their advocates have cited Wyoming’s boom-and-bust economy and consequent unpredictability in terms of state funding. The university was asked to cut $42 million from the budget over the last biennium, they say, so agility in decision making is key.

Porter said she believed the proposed changes were “100 percent about control,” however. She noted another, entirely new regulation proposal on "budget constraints" -- UW Regulation 6-42 -- that goes beyond an existing policy on financial exigency (which is also under revision).

In the event of “insufficient institutional revenue or state imposed budget cuts,” reads the new policy on budget constraints, the board “may impose budget restrictions; budget reductions; staff, faculty, and administrator hiring freezes; staff and administrator terminations; consolidations of departments or units; reorganizations; dropping of courses; eliminations of staff, faculty, and administrator vacancies; eliminations of other services; and/or other efficiencies.”

Such a proposal crosses another red line in terms of shared governance norms: widely followed procedures recommended by the American Association of University Professors say that tenured faculty members only should be let go for financial reasons in cases of true financial exigency -- meaning the lights might go out. This, again, was at issue in Wisconsin, when the state Legislature struck tenure from state law in 2015.

Laurie Nichols, university president, disagreed with the board when it centralized even departmental-level reserve funds last year, following legislative concerns that the university might somehow have more money than it was letting on. But Chad R. Baldwin, a spokesperson for both the university and the board, said Monday that Nichols and the trustees are on the same page regarding the proposed regulations. He also described those changes as aligning university policy with the state constitution. (For the record, the state constitution says that the Legislature “shall provide by law for the management of the university, its land and other property by a board of trustees.” Wyoming Statute states, “The board of trustees shall prescribe rules for the government of the university and all its branches.”)

The “upshot,” Baldwin said, is that the “board and the administration understand the Faculty Senate has concerns. But there is no effort under way by the board or administration to eliminate tenure.”

Baldwin also stressed that during the $42 million budget crisis in 2016-17, no tenured faculty member was let go. The new regulations would make it much easier to eliminate tenured faculty members, of course.

John MacPherson, board chair, did not respond to requests for comment.

David Vanness, an associate professor of population health science at Wisconsin’s Madison campus who vocally opposed the policy changes there, said that Wyoming’s trustees “appear determined to outrace” the Wisconsin system "to the bottom."

Public universities in his state have begun to see the consequences of "allowing administrative decisions to break contractual commitments to faculty and staff for vaguely defined shifts in priorities,” Vanness said, and the new policies at Wyoming “appear to go even further, stripping away even the thinnest veil of shared governance or due process.”

While the faculty, staff and students will “bear the initial brunt,” he added, “the citizens of Wyoming will ultimately bear the costs in the long run.”

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Supreme Court strikes down prohibition on sports gambling

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 15 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday struck down a law that had forbidden gambling on college and professional sports in most states, a decision that experts expect will create significant problems for the National Collegiate Athletic Association and an inconsistent patchwork of laws among the states.

The ruling is a loss for the NCAA and professional leagues, which had sought to block the challenge to the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act passed under the George H. W. Bush administration.

That federal law prohibited sports gambling in all states but Nevada. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and his successor, Phil Murphy, had sought to undo it to help revive the state’s ailing casinos and racetracks.

The NCAA had argued that allowing bets on college sports would “undermine the integrity” of athletics and "jeopardize players' welfare." In a statement, the association said, “While we are still reviewing the decision to understand the overall implications to college sports, we will adjust sports wagering and championship policies to align with the direction from the court.''

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr., writing for the court’s majority, opined that individual states had the right to legalize sports gambling and that Congress had overstepped by simply banning it, a “commandeering” of states’ sovereignty. The majority’s interpretation will likely fuel other campaigns around states rights’, such as the push to legalize marijuana in defiance of federal rules.

Despite the prohibition, the American Gaming Association estimated at least $150 billion circulates in sports gambling, almost all of it underground.

“Supporters argue that legalization will produce revenue for the states and critically weaken illegal sports betting operations, which are often run by organized crime. Opponents contend that legalizing sports gambling will hook the young on gambling, encourage people of modest means to squander their savings and earnings, and corrupt professional and college sports,” Alito wrote in his opinion. “The legalization of sports gambling requires an important policy choice, but the choice is not ours to make."

Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Sonia Sotomayor dissented, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer agreed with them in part. Ginsburg wrote in her dissent that the court’s majority had wielded “an axe” to cut down the law when it could have simply used “a scalpel to trim the statute.”

“On no rational ground can it be concluded that Congress would have preferred no statute at all if it could not prohibit states from authorizing or licensing such schemes,” Ginsburg wrote.

Sports law experts and economists believe that the court’s ruling will result in a dash by many states, particularly those with existing infrastructure, to launch sports gambling in an attempt to grab at a new wellspring of cash.

Christie, who celebrated that states rights’ had won out on Twitter Monday, had predicted that casinos and racetracks would start taking bets quickly. One New Jersey track said it could do so in as little as two weeks.

The billionaire investor Mark Cuban bragged Monday that owners of top professional sports teams just saw the value of their teams double.

The NCAA, however, is right to be unnerved, experts said. Already, the association has been plagued by scandal and scorn, largely related to an alleged kickback deal around men’s basketball that federal officials uncovered. Adding more money to the system will only exacerbate the NCAA’s issues and likely cause more corruption, they said.

This would put new pressure on the NCAA, said Michael A. Olivas, the William B. Bates Distinguished Chair of Law at the University of Houston. It will need to pass new rules and teach fans about what is permissible in gambling, depending on the state.

“The stakes are going to be higher because the money is going to be greater,” Olivas said.

Players will likely start throwing games more under pressure from (or with incentives from) gambling interests, said Gil Fried, a former lawyer and professor of sports management at University of New Haven. While this kind of activity might be expected most at the high-profile Division I level, Fried said he thought it was much more likely in Divisions II and III, where investigators may not pay as much attention and athletes are less likely to reach the professional level and thus have less to lose, Fried said.

Such a scheme is not unheard-of -- a major scandal shook the New York basketball scene in the 1950s, and institutions such as Boston College and Tulane were affected in the 1980s. Basketball is particularly ripe for this type of manipulation, said Charles Clotfelter, professor of public policy, law and economics at Duke University.

The ruling is a “new specter at the NCAA’s door,” he said, adding that the association thrives off a “clean” image of young men and women competing not for wealth, as in the professional leagues, but for sportsmanship. Having gambling groups and shady characters hanging around locker rooms and stadiums does not benefit the NCAA, he said. Clotfelter said that this will be worsened by legalized gambling because states are giving people license to do so.

The association will likely try to lobby Congress to pass a bill to exempt it, Fried said. Republican senator Orrin Hatch of Utah, one of the original authors of the gambling law, said Monday he plans to introduce new legislation to “protect honesty and principle in the athletic arena,” but he offered no details of a plan.

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics, which lobbies for academic reforms in college athletics, instead urged states to prohibit gambling on college and amateur sports.

“There should be a clear distinction between wagering on the outcomes of sport professionals and betting on students who compete for their college and high school sports teams,” the commission said in a statement.

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Report finds Parent PLUS loans worsen outcomes for poorest families, urges policy reforms

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 15 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

A federal loan program designed to help parents finance their children’s college education is seen by many as a tool for access, but it may be exacerbating racial inequality, New America argues in a new report.

While white Americans who use the loan program, known as Parent PLUS, are primarily the middle- and upper-class families it was designed for, it is also heavily used by low-income African-American families with the least ability to repay, the report finds.

When the Obama administration, with little notice, instituted more stringent credit checks for the program, it faced intense backlash from historically black colleges, which experienced serious losses in students and revenue. The Department of Education eventually settled on a modest borrowing standard for the program, and Parent PLUS disbursements have climbed steadily in recent years even as those of other federal loan programs have dropped off.

Recent data on loan repayment, meanwhile, show a crisis of loan defaults among African-American borrowers. Practically nothing is known about repayment rates for Parent PLUS, the report says, but the repayment data for black undergraduate borrowers suggests their families may be struggling to repay those loans as well.

And unlike with federal direct loans, parent borrowers don’t have access to benefits such as income-driven repayment, putting them at risk of default and debt collection that could endanger their retirement security.

The report recommends several interim policy fixes to make sure families are not taking on unmanageable debt, among them the addition of an “ability to pay” measure to the credit check for Parent PLUS loans and a ban on colleges packaging the loans in a student’s financial aid award letter. And it calls for making the loans dischargeable through bankruptcy as well as adding more accountability for colleges.

Over the longer term, the report argues that policy makers should promote more targeted aid to students of color so that they can pursue a higher education without financing it with serious debt. That aid could be need based or specifically targeted to students of color.

“Saddling both the student and then the parent with debt is a concerning trend and a debt cycle that will be really hard to escape,” said Rachel Fishman, deputy director for research at New America’s Education Policy program and the author of the report.

Any proposal to reform the Parent PLUS program is likely to receive pushback from some sectors of higher ed concerned about restricting access for minority students. But as loan defaults and other outcomes for student borrowers get more attention from policy makers and higher ed researchers, consumer and student advocates say now is the time to re-examine the program.

The Race Gap in Parent PLUS

Fishman writes that the Parent PLUS program has been heavily utilized by low-income black families because of a racial wealth gap fueled by decades of government policy. That has meant that those families disproportionately turn to debt to finance their children’s college education.

Officially colorblind legislation passed after World War II in practice often excluded black families from benefits that lifted white Americans into the middle class. The GI Bill provided guaranteed loans for veterans to buy homes in developing suburbs, but redlining -- a practice promoted by the Federal Housing Administration -- kept black home buyers out of white neighborhoods.

Discriminatory housing and lending policies meant many black families could not build up the same property equity that white families use to finance higher education.

And the higher education benefits of the GI Bill in practice were often awarded in a discriminatory manner. Black veterans were steered toward vocational programs over a college degree by government agencies and otherwise faced a segregated postsecondary system that underfunded institutions serving black students.

In large part because low-income black families have not been able to accumulate wealth through means like home ownership, Parent PLUS is seen as an important tool for access to college for many students.

When the Department of Education unexpectedly raised credit standards for Parent PLUS in 2011, a change resulting partly from the move to 100 percent federal direct lending, tens of thousands of families were denied access to loans. And colleges that relied on the program took a serious financial hit from a resulting loss in enrollment.

The backlash from those institutions eventually prompted a change of course: an apology from then education secretary Arne Duncan in 2013 and a rule-making process in 2014 that ended with a looser credit standard. Policy makers haven’t revisited Parent PLUS since that change.

But Ben Miller, director of the postsecondary education program at the Center for American Progress, said the time for such discussions is now with a potential reauthorization of the Higher Education Act on the horizon.

“I think the fact that there isn’t as strong of a sense of urgency around the PLUS program the way there was during the rule making should mean there is a window for discussion,” he said.

In an analysis of federal data published last year, Miller found that 12 years after entering college, the median black borrower owed more than their original student loan amount. It’s one of multiple recent reports that have found significant racial disparities in student loan outcomes.

Judith Scott-Clayton, associate professor of economics and education at Columbia University's Teachers College, found in an analysis for the Brookings Institution that black borrowers in particular are at risk of becoming delinquent or defaulting on their loans. She projected that nearly two in five borrowers who entered college in 2003-04 would default on their loans by 2023.

The New America report argues that even those findings don’t take into account the additional debt burden of parent borrowers and suggests that outcomes for Parent PLUS loans likely correlate with those of student borrowers. Fishman recommends that policy makers promote additional transparency around the program by releasing better data and requiring that institutions stop packaging the loans in students’ financial aid award letters.

More significantly for students, the report urges that ability to pay be considered when making Parent PLUS awards. And in the longer term, it calls for more targeted aid to reduce the cost of college education up front for low-income students of color.

Fishman acknowledged that any attempt to restrict lending to parents would be met with concerns over access. But taking on the loans is risky for some families, she said.

“The bottom line is these students need more money, and the money cannot be loans,” Fishman said.

Tiffany Jones, director of higher education policy at the Education Trust, which advocates for closing gaps in access and affordability for college students, said any consideration of restricting lending should be mindful of restricting access to college for black families.

“We would much prefer that low-income students are paying for college with grant aid, rather than loan aid,” she said. “In the absence of that, we want to be careful that we’re not limiting opportunities.”

Historically black college groups took issue with a previous report from New America that suggested institutions had used PLUS loans to hide prices from students and limit exposure to defaults. Lodriguez Murray, the vice president for public policy and government affairs at the United Negro College Fund, said he appreciated that the latest report took care to spell out how many black families have come to rely on PLUS loans to finance higher education.

But he said the recommendations of the report should have gone further in addressing the needs of black families overburdened by the PLUS program, possibly by offering income-driven repayment or loan forgiveness. And he said work-force discrimination and salary disparities contribute to the wealth gap in ways the higher ed system alone cannot address.

“What we don’t need to work on is symptoms,” he said. “We need to make recommendations that get to the root and help level the playing field.”

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Proposed policy presents new risks for international students accused of violating terms of visas

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 15 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

Proposed policy guidance published last week appears to make it easier for international students to accrue “unlawful presence” in the U.S., a change that could have implications for their ability to re-enter the U.S. in the future.

Individuals who accrue more than 180 days of unlawful presence in a single stay before departing the U.S. can be barred from returning for a period of three to 10 years.

The new policy memorandum, published by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and open for public comments through June 11, proposes to change the way international students and exchange visitors on F, J and M visas and their dependents would be found to have accrued unlawful presence, beginning Aug. 9. The agency said the policy is intended to crack down on visa overstays.

“USCIS is dedicated to our mission of ensuring the integrity of the immigration system. F, J, and M nonimmigrants are admitted to the United States for a specific purpose, and when that purpose has ended, we expect them to depart, or to obtain another, lawful immigration status,” USCIS director L. Francis Cissna said in a statement. “The message is clear: These nonimmigrants cannot overstay their periods of admission or violate the terms of admission and stay illegally in the U.S. anymore.”

International students are typically admitted to the U.S. for what's known as "duration of status," which means they do not have to leave by a specified date but instead can stay in the U.S. as long as they are do not violate the terms of their immigration status, such as by failing to attend classes or working without authorization. Individuals on J exchange visas -- a category that encompasses not only students but also visiting scholars and other types of exchange visitors ranging from au pairs to interns -- can either be admitted for a specified time frame or for duration of status, depending on which type of J visa they're on.

Under the current policy, international students and exchange visitors begin accruing unlawful presence only if they overstay a specified departure date, in those cases in which they are admitted for a specified time frame or if a formal finding is made that they violated their immigration status or are deportable. More specifically, the current policy holds that international students and exchange visitors begin "accruing unlawful presence on the day after USCIS formally found a nonimmigrant status violation while adjudicating a request for another immigration benefit or on the day after an immigration judge ordered the applicant excluded, deported, or removed (whether or not the decision is appealed), whichever came first."

The new policy guidance, however, holds that international students and exchange visitors could begin accruing unlawful presence the day after they violated the terms of their immigration status, rather than the day after the Department of Homeland Security or a judge issued a formal finding of wrongdoing. The new draft policy states that unlawful presence would begin accruing "the day after the F, J, or M nonimmigrant no longer pursues the course of study or the authorized activity, or the day after he or she engages in an unauthorized activity."

Immigration lawyers said they were concerned about whether students and exchange visitors would have the opportunity to contest alleged violations of status, including inadvertent ones, and whether status violations would be determined retroactively.

“Under the new policy, a nonimmigrant in F, J or M status may have unwittingly violated that status by not pursuing a full course of study or engaging in an unauthorized activity, and may never get notice of it until much later," Cyrus Mehta, an immigration lawyer, wrote in a blog post. "Even F-1 students in post-completion practical training" -- a program that allows international students to work in the U.S. for a period of one to three years after graduation -- "could potentially be deemed later to have engaged in unauthorized activity such as not working in an area consistent with their field of study or a STEM trainee being placed at a third party client site, which USCIS has without notice abruptly disfavored, or if a school’s curricular practical training does not meet the USCIS’s subjective interpretation of whether the school was in compliance when it authorized such training.

“In the meantime, this person would have started accruing unlawful presence and triggered the 10 year bar to reentry upon departing the United States. The dependent spouse would also unfairly accrue unlawful presence as a result of a status violation by the principal spouse. This individual may never get a chance to contest the violation of status after the fact. Unlawful presence should only trigger when there is clear notice of remaining beyond an expiration date of authorized stay in the United States and not when there is a contestable allegation of violation of status.”

"It’s very difficult to contest this many years down the road at the consulates, because consular officers have unbridled discretion; you don’t really have a formal procedure to challenge such a finding at the consular level," Mehta said in an interview. "You can try to contest it at the consular level, but there’s no formal procedure, whereas if you file a change of status with USCIS and USCIS says, 'Aha, you violated your status,' you can contest it in the context of responding to a request for evidence. Or if they put you into removal proceedings, you can contest it before an immigration judge. That’s why the old policy made eminent sense."

​Jill Welch, the deputy executive director for public policy at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, said in a statement that the proposed change "is operationally complex for international students and scholars and may lead to a large number being wrongly identified as failing to maintain their status."

"This is a solution to a nonissue," Welch said. "International students and scholars are here to learn, and they make America safer by becoming the nation’s best ambassadors and allies. By treating all international students and scholars who mistakenly overstay their status as criminals, we will be making America a less desirable place to study and less safe."

In its rationale for the new policy, USCIS cited gains it has made in being able to track whether international students and exchange visitors are in violation of their immigration status since the current policy was put in place more than 20 years ago, in 1997.

"For example, since the creation of the policy, the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) -- the [Department of Homeland Security] system used to monitor F, J, and M non-immigrants -- has provided USCIS officers additional information about an alien’s immigration history, including information that indicates that an alien in F, J, or M nonimmigrant status may have completed or ceased to pursue his or her course of study or activity," the policy memorandum states. "For FY 2016, DHS calculated that a total of 1,457,556 aliens admitted in F, J, and M nonimmigrant status were either expected to change status or depart the United States. Of this population, it was estimated that the total overstay rate was 6.19 percent for F nonimmigrants, 3.80 percent for J nonimmigrants, and 11.60 percent for M nonimmigrants."

The memo states that the new policy is intended to "reduce the number of overstays and to improve how USCIS implements the unlawful presence ground of inadmissibility" under the terms of the Immigration and Nationality Act. A USCIS press release characterizes the new policy as being aligned with an executive order issued by President Trump less than a week after he took office in January 2017, relating to "the faithful execution of the immigration laws of the United States, including the INA, against all removable aliens."

David North, a senior fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, a think tank that advocates for policies that would reduce immigration, described the proposed policy change as a welcome step. "Until now," he said, "many of the people issued F, J and M visas were given an indefinite duration of stay by [Customs and Border Protection], known as 'duration of status,' or D/S on the I-94," the I-94 being the name for the official record of arrival and departure. "For that reason, they often escaped consequences for overstaying, because it was decided that the illegal presence tolled for the three-to-ten-year bar would not start until their overstay became known to the government."

"They don’t pop up in the system except for when they want something or they’re in trouble," North said. "I feel that if you fall out of status you’ve got to leave the country, and the government is saying just that, in a somewhat roundabout way.”

Writing on Twitter, Sarah Pierce, an immigration lawyer and policy analyst at the Migration Policy Institute, characterized the memo as "the Trump administration’s first strike against overstayers."

Under this proposed policy change the administration lays out specific actions that will cause these nonimmigrants to start accruing unlawful presence- such as failing to pursue their course of study or engaging in an unauthorized activity (ex. working).

— Sarah Pierce (@SarahPierceEsq) May 11, 2018

"I understand that overstaying is something that really concerns this administration, and I’m actually a little surprised it took the administration this long to make any policy changes on overstays. This was something that on the campaign trail Donald Trump suggested he was going to go after," Pierce said in an interview. "But this brings up more questions than it solves, and I’m definitely concerned about how it will be implemented and if students will be given the opportunity to contest whatever is in their file that they may know about or not know about.”

Emily Neumann, an immigration lawyer who writes the blog ImmigrationGirl, wrote in a blog post that it is "unclear how this policy change would actually reduce the number of overstays of F-1 students. More likely, it is a further attempt by the Trump administration to build an invisible wall to keep out legal immigrants."

"It just seems to be way beyond what is necessarily in order to catch the 6 percent that they think are overstaying," Neumann said in an interview. "What about the other 94 percent that are doing everything correctly? These are young people for the most part. You're coming here for your studies in your late teens, early 20s, most of the time. A lot of people that time make mistakes or they may not know that they’re making a mistake. This just goes so far beyond what’s necessary to correct this behavior. You made this little mistake and all of a sudden you’re barred from coming to the country for three years."

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Colleges start new academic programs

Inside Higher Education - Mar, 15 Mayo 2018 - 02:00
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Los robots aprenden modales

El País - Educación - Mar, 15 Mayo 2018 - 01:19
La Universidad Pablo de Olavide desarrolla máquinas con inteligencia social, que prevén tus intenciones, reconocen por la cara el estado de ánimo y saben comportarse en público

¿Quieres estudiar la carrera en Reino Unido sin arruinarte? Aprovecha antes del Brexit

El País - Educación - Mar, 15 Mayo 2018 - 00:38
El prestigio de las universidades y un interesante sistema de créditos llevan a 12.000 estudiantes españoles al país cada año

En la crianza menos es más

El País - Educación - Lun, 14 Mayo 2018 - 22:47
Pese al estrés cotidiano y la presión por tener hijos perfectos, se puede criar de forma más tranquila

La Iglesia de Nicaragua acepta iniciar un incierto diálogo

El País - Educación - Lun, 14 Mayo 2018 - 18:48
Los obispos convocan al Gobierno a una reunión para el miércoles, aunque no ha cesado la represión contra las manifestaciones pacíficas

How campus police can deal with racism

Inside Higher Education - Lun, 14 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

In the past few weeks, a black student at Yale University had the police called on her for napping in a common room, and two Native American teenagers, prospective students at Colorado State University, were stopped on a campus tour after another parent was reportedly nervous, calling them “creepy” in a 911 call.

While generally much of the criticism of these incidents has been levied toward the people making the phone calls to law enforcement, some have also criticized the police for not outright dismissing those making racist complaints on law-abiding nonwhite individuals.

Though police will always be called to deal with the bias of others, experts say, how officers handle the situation when they arrive on scene, and their training in this area, can influence the outcome and how these marginalized students feel.

In the case of Yale, a black graduate student was napping in a common room, her books and laptop spread around her, when another student, a white woman, found her there, interrogated her and called the police.

Most of the encounter was documented and posted to Facebook by the student who was napping. Police arrived and requested that Lolade Siyonbola, the graduate student who was “napping while black,” as some online have said, provide her identification. She did so, reluctantly, but only after telling the officers that she had every right to be there.

The institution apparently agrees -- according to news reports, police admonished the graduate student who made the call, and the university has said it needs to re-evaluate how to handle these incidents.

Police stopped two young men on a campus tour in the case of Colorado State, and they were made to provide a confirmation email that they were supposed to be on the grounds that day. They were asked to empty their pockets. Their mother, in an emotional Facebook post, said her sons were the victims of racism -- they had scraped together the money to visit the campus. It was a longtime dream of one of the boys to enroll there, and simply because they were shy and quiet, they were made out to be suspicious, their mother wrote online.

In both these episodes, critics say that the police officers never made wholehearted attempts to hear out the students or apologize deeply afterward.

“That’s what gives these incidents such painful resonance for students of color,” said Jennifer Eberhardt, the Morris M. Doyle Centennial Professor of Public Policy at Stanford University. “Not only is it hurtful that they are viewed as ‘suspect’ by those around them, the actions and attitude of the police can validate the idea that they’re not trusted, that they don’t belong.”

Many policing experts said that the reality is that officers regularly respond to calls about behavior that may not be illegal. It's not always clear to those being sent to check out a call that the person who complained may have acted based on their own prejudices.

Ideally, when police arrive after this type of phone call, they would “as expeditiously as possible” ask for identification and wrap up a misunderstanding, said Sue Riseling, executive director of the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). The first layer of scrutiny can start with the dispatcher on the other end, asking detailed questions about what the issue is beyond merely a person’s presence, Riseling said.

What police can’t do is not ask for identification, which is the protocol, she said. Law enforcement has had a complex and strained relationship with some minority groups, but sometimes just this reputation can exacerbate a tense situation, Riseling said.

She recalled a call she received when she worked at University of Wisconsin at Madison, where a black man and a white man were fighting in the street, and a group of white people called the police.

Riseling said she openly acknowledged immediately that this was a racially tinged situation to the black man. She asked him to take a breath while she went over and talked to the group of white people -- and she ended up figuring out that the white man had started the fight.

“He was having a hard time believing I was being right up front with him,” Riseling said.

Police need to be sensitive to the experiences of marginalized men and women, she said. When people of color have police called on them, it’s an attack on who they are at their core -- their race.

“The other person has so much more at stake emotionally at that point,” she said.

But law enforcement agencies need to go beyond simply understanding these people -- training is necessary for officers, said Jody David Armour, the Roy P. Crocker Professor of Law at the University of Southern Carolina. Armour specializes in racial injustice and profiling.

Officers need to start recognizing their inherent biases, Armour said. When they encounter someone they view as suspicious, they should take a moment to reflect why that’s the case -- he suggested engaging in some racial “role reversal.” If the person was white, would there still be a problem?

“It’s important to still do your job,” Armour said. “You still have to investigate, you still have to do your job, but we would hope that it would be informed by your recognition there may be frustration on the part of the person you are investigating.”

With the rise of movements such as Black Lives Matter, recognition of these issues on college campuses has improved, he said. Armour said that when police talk to students who may have biases, they can be the ones to talk with them about these issues.

“In the spirit of we’re all in this together, we can treat these biases as more of a public health problem than bad actors with bad intentions,” Armour said.

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Student's protest of acting professor's comments about 'short shorts' spark conversations whether it's ever OK to comment on students' attire

Inside Higher Education - Lun, 14 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

In the undergraduate thesis presentation being shared around the world, a senior at Cornell University responds to a clash with her theater professor about what she was going to wear. The professor questioned why she was wearing shorts, and the student called the comment sexist.

Ultimately, though, the story has became about what the undergraduate didn’t wear during her presentation: clothes.

"I'm more than a woman. I am more than Letitia Chai," the student said at beginning of her talk, which she streamed on Facebook Live. Removing the same outfit her acting professor had questioned days earlier, during the practice presentation, Chai revealed her bra and underwear.

”I am a human being and I ask you to take this leap of faith, to take this next step, or rather this next strip, in our movement,” she said, “and to join me in revealing to each other and to seeing each other for who we truly are, members of the human race.”

Some other students in the class reportedly removed their clothing, as well, as did followers on social media. Chai had previewed her protest in a Facebook post, saying that an unnamed professor -- later revealed to be Rebekah Maggor, assistant professor of performing arts -- had told her the shorts she was wearing were too short during the practice presentation and that she was inviting the “male gaze away from the content of my presentation and onto my body.”

 I do not resent people struggling with internalized oppression. I empathize. However, I stand against oppressive beliefs and discrimination. Dear friends, This morning I experienced my deepest disappointment in Cornell. I was supposed to perform a draft of my college scholar thesis presentation in my Acting in Public class. I’ve worked very hard on researching refugee rehabilitation this year and I couldn’t wait to share my findings with the class. When I got up to start, my professor said, ‘Is that really what you would wear?’ I was wearing a long-sleeve blue button-down shirt and denim cutoffs. She, a white woman, continued, ‘Your shorts are too short.’ The professor proceeded to tell me, in front of my whole class, that I was inviting the male gaze away from the content of my presentation and onto my body. She said I was making a statement by wearing my outfit. I told her that I sure as hell wouldn’t change my statement to make her or anyone else feel more comfortable. A student (man) spoke up to the professor by questioning her low perception of men. He was taken aback by the fact that the professor genuinely believed that he was incapable of focusing his attention on the content of a presentation rather than on the presenter’s outfit. Another student (woman) backed him up and commented on how inappropriate the professor was being. Then, an international student (man) said that I should have more respect for the audience and that it was a moral obligation to dress more conservatively. Needless to say, I was shook. ‘Am I morally offending you?’ I asked. I had to step outside the classroom because my eyes filled with tears of rage and disbelief.”

Chai also said that while one male student defended her, another man in the class said that she should have more respect for the audience and that it was her “moral obligation to dress more conservatively.”

“‘Am I morally offending you?’ I asked. I had to step outside the classroom because my eyes filled with tears of rage and disbelief,” Chai wrote.

Chai said that Maggor spoke with her privately outside the theater and asked her what her "mother would say." Chai said she told Maggor that her mother is a feminist and would approve of her shorts. She said she walked back into the theater and finished her practice presentation, in her underwear.

Then, a few days later, she delivered the same presentation, streamed online, in her underwear as part of her College Scholar thesis requirement. The topic was on the host-country relationship for Tibetan refugees in India.

Different Interpretations

The majority of students in the seminar-size class on acting in public have since challenged aspects of Chai’s public accounts of what happened. In a public statement, the students expressed support for both Chai’s overall position and for Maggor, whom they praised as a teacher and who they said had been misrepresented in discussions about the incident.

 Letitia stood up to give her speech. Before she began, our professor asked Letitia if she would wear “those shorts” to her actual presentation on Saturday. Our professor regularly asks all of the students, male and female, such questions to clarify appropriate attire for public speaking. Our professor went on to say that what you wear and how you present yourself make a statement. She noted that if you were to wear jean shorts to your thesis presentation, that is a statement. Her focus on attire was a means of noting the importance of professionalism in certain public speaking situations.

The students said Maggor was typically sensitive to students' identities and had apologized for her choice of words regarding Chai.

Dress code controversies are more common at the high school level, most typically when students object to prohibitions against clothes deemed to be immodest or “distracting” as sexist against women. That’s because most colleges and universities do not have general dress codes, Cornell included. But some do. They tend to be religiously affiliated institutions, military institutions and historically black colleges and universities. Morehouse College, an all-male HBCU, for example, drew praise and criticism when it instituted a dress code in 2009. While some onlookers found the code befitting of Morehouse’s leadership ethos in a society where many black men face bigotry, others said banning things such as caps, do-rags and hoods in the classroom, along with women’s garb, was discriminatory in terms of race, gender and sexual orientation.

Beyond general dress codes, many pre-professional programs have codes specific to the field. Last year, for instance, Rutgers University Business School apologized after a high-profile incident at its annual career fair, in which some students were turned away due to a newly instituted event dress code. Specifics aside, the news sparked a round of criticism of dress codes as fundamentally discriminatory in nature.

Thalya Reyes, a graduate student in public policy at Rutgers, later wrote in the Daily Targum student newspaper that professionalism’s “unspoken rules stifle individuality and creativity and ultimately reinforce social hierarchies that center the white, male, cisgender, heterosexual and upper-class aesthetic. To those who do not fit this mold, existing in a professional space can be tiring or even traumatic.”

For example, she said, “the prohibitive cost of professional clothing alienates impoverished people from accessing higher-income positions so much so that there are a number of nonprofits with the specific mission of helping people in poverty access these resources.”

The Cornell case has garnered similar news coverage and attention on social media, with commenters tending to describe Chai as either a patriarchy-smashing millennial hero or someone deeply out of touch with the norms of the world she’s graduating into. “What will Chai do when she encounters a work dress code?” is a common line of inquiry among her detractors. “I have confidence in the next generation when I see stuff like this” is a common line of praise.

Chai could not immediately be reached for comment. Cornell declined comment.

Maggor said via email that she never comments “on my students' attire generally; I only comment when it's part of a performance assignment.”

She explained that after a typical warm-up on the day in question, Chai got up to rehearse her College Scholar thesis presentation.

“Before she began, I asked her if she thought shorts were the appropriate choice for this particular occasion,” Maggor said. “I regularly ask my students about their attire in this class because it is a performance course; it is specified in the syllabus as something they need to consider every time they perform in class.”

Chai, however, “seemed to think that I was making a comment about shorts as inappropriate attire for women,” Maggor said. “I tried to clarify my point, but she seemed determined to interpret my question as aimed at women and her dress in particular.”

Maggor added, “As a teacher, I do not tell my students what to wear, nor do I define for them what constitutes appropriate dress. I ask them to reflect for themselves and make their own decisions. This is a public speaking class where we use various acting exercises, and ask my students to consider how they might dress for different scenarios and occasions.”

Is It Ever OK to Comment on Students' Attire?

The syllabus for the Acting in Public: Performance in Everyday Life class describes it a public-speaking course grounded in classical rhetoric and modern acting techniques. It explicitly says that dress matters. So while context is a crucial part of Chai’s case, the incident has nevertheless led to discussions about whether it’s ever acceptable to comment on a student’s attire and, if so, how.

 The work in this course requires the ability to move freely. Wear clothes and footwear that are comfortable and will allow you a free range of movement in class. For your performances, dress appropriately for the persona you will present. (For example, how would you dress for a specific job interview? How would you dress when introducing a famous speaker at a particular conference? How would you dress to give a speech at a protest rally?)

“Did the professor make it explicit beforehand that comments on performances might include matters such as how students dress? If so, were the comments delivered in a professional manner?” Rosemary Feal, Mary L. Cornille Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Humanities at Wellesley College, said Sunday.

“Chastising" students on the way they dress is "inappropriate, and shaming young women for their clothing choices is particularly egregious," she added. "It’s bad enough when parents of daughters do it -- but a professor has absolutely no right to voice disapproval of a female student’s dress.”

Alireza Tabatabaeenejad, research assistant professor of electrical engineering at the University of Southern California, who has been following the case, said he hasn’t “dealt with an even remotely similar situation in my classes.” Yet “I would never comment on appropriateness of a student's attire, inside or outside of class,” he added, saying he couldn’t agree more with Chai’s reported comment that "I am not responsible for anyone's attention, because we are capable of thinking for ourselves and we have agency."

Tabatabaeenejad said that while he was sure Maggor “was trying to make an honest comment and didn't mean any disrespect,” she and her syllabus had nevertheless “contributed to the notion that we are responsible for others' distraction by what we wear.”

Professors should consider themselves responsible for designing a course syllabus that respects the "otherness" of students, he said, “even if the university policy or the societal stereotypes seem to ignore that otherness from time to time.”

Jennifer Saul, professor of philosophy at the University of Sheffield in Britain and moderator of the Feminist Philosophers blog, said she's commented on attire when advising Ph.D. students about job interviews. That's very different from "moralizing" about clothing choices, however, she noted.

“I've told them that it's standard to dress up for interviews and that it might harm their chances to wear jeans and a T-shirt,” she said. Still, Saul said she’s “very” careful “to make clear that I'm talking about conventions in the world that they should be aware of, rather than rules for proper behavior.” 

Justin Weinberg, an associate professor of philosophy at the University of South Carolina who runs Daily Nous, another popular philosophy blog, said that if a student's attire is “explicitly relevant to the goals of the course,” as it appears to have been for Chai’s class — “then the professor is well within her rights to comment, in ways that are appropriate, given the goals of the course.” 

Beyond Chai’s case, in the the absence of university-wide dress codes, a professor may comment on attire that "reasonably and significantly distracts" from the achievement of course goals, Weinberg wrote in an email. So if a student comes to class wearing a suit covered in “bright, flashing LEDs” or “nothing but a fedora,” he said, a professor may ask the student to power down or suit up, as both blinding lights and nudity are distracting.

Those are easy cases, of course, he said. The hard cases, meanwhile, “are ones in which it is difficult to tell whether the students' distraction is reasonable." 

In such cases, “professors should err on the side of not commenting on their students' clothing choices," Weinberg said, partly "because commenting on the clothes may create more of a distraction than the clothes themselves." And if professors do feel compelled to comment on their students' attire, “they should do so privately, and with sensitivity and maturity.”

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Anger at Sweet Briar over commencement speech

Inside Higher Education - Lun, 14 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

The commencement address at Sweet Briar College Saturday stunned many attendees, who found it sexist and demeaning to the Me Too movement and feminism. Some of the new graduates and other alumnae who have learned of the remarks are expressing anger on social media -- not only about the speech but about an email sent out by the college's president Sunday that noted the controversy but did not challenge the remarks that were made. Many said that the speech and the college's lack of strong reaction to it send the wrong message, particularly at a women's college.

The speaker was Nella Gray Barkley, who graduated from Sweet Briar in 1955 and who founded a career counseling company. Much of her address focused on career advice for students -- and much of the advice wasn't controversial. But in remarks at the beginning and end of her talk, she touched on feminism and sexual harassment.

Barkley said that she was in "partial sympathy" with the Me Too movement and cited as an example of a victim of harassment whom she would back someone who was physically blocked from leaving a room where her boss harassed her.

But Barkley went on to say that she did not have sympathy for women who report being summoned to a boss's hotel room.

"I have little patience with the woman who arrives breathlessly at her boss's hotel room for a so-called conference," Barkley said. "What did she think was going to happen?"

She followed that by telling graduates that "it is you who makes the ground rules" in future careers. Further, she said, it was "only natural for men from Mars to follow the shortest skirt in the room."

The response throughout the speech was tepid, perhaps because Barkley started off by seeming to favor the social mores of her years at Sweet Briar over the present. She talked about how she met her husband while she was in college. "Those were the days when University of Virginia men came to look over the freshmen." And she noted the tradition of the age in which students would gather and examine the engagement ring of a newly engaged student.

In referencing her husband, Barkley said, "I'm no raging feminist. I actually love men, and I married one."

Almost immediately after the graduation ceremony, some of the new graduates started to talk about the speech, noting that the comments suggested that loving men and being a feminist are not compatible, and that there is nothing wrong with male employers being skirt watchers. Much of the discussion took place on closed Facebook groups, but some members shared screen shots from the discussion on condition that names not be used.

Some who were present wrote about how shocked they were. "Sweet Briar should be embarrassed," wrote one student. Others said the speech was "tasteless and insensitive." Many said it was odd to have someone without an understanding of feminism as a speaker at a women's college.

Several comments noted the impact on graduates or others in the audience who have experienced sexual assault or sexual harassment.

One recent graduate called the speech "shameful and disgusting," adding that "there were sexual assault survivors in the graduation class today who had to relive horrible memories as Ms. Barkley participated in victim blaming and internalized misogyny."

Many noted that after Barkley finished her speech, the commencement proceeded without any reference to the comments many found so upsetting.

And some of the new graduates were also bothered by an email sent on Sunday by Meredith Woo, president of Sweet Briar, to those who received their degrees Saturday.

The email noted that Sweet Briar is "a diverse and inter-generational community of women. We cherish this diversity and seek to perpetuate it because the problems we face are complex and require wise and educated solutions. We need to learn from people with diverse skills -- people with different ways of conceptualizing, imagining, and doing things; people with different life experiences, and different memories of what worked and what didn’t; people with different referents."

With regard to Barkley, Woo wrote that she was "a distinguished alumna of the college … and she meant to provoke and start a conversation that will get you thinking. She succeeded. Even as I know the deep emotional reaction some of you may have had to her message, I would urge you to remember that she is a trail blazer, who has coached people at various points of their career as they navigate the complex terrain that we call life.

"At this stage in your life, you have not experienced the complexities and contradictions which get presented in so many guises and contexts. Regardless, one principle is unassailable: that you, as woman, have dominion over your physical self, free from coercion, pressure or influence related to your sexuality. The speaker celebrated and applauded women who came forward through the #MeToo movement, to shed light on the vexing problem of power and coercion. But she also raised the question of agency and purpose: how we act responsibly to avoid and thwart situations that happen all too often in life."

Woo added, "You don’t have to accept or refuse her perspective -- that is not the point -- but I ask you to think about it. That’s what you have earned as [an] alumna of Sweet Briar -- a woman with an ability to listen, cogitate, and take from it what you wish, and get on with your life."

Alumnae who are criticizing that email aren't upset by the call to listen to a range of perspectives politely. And a recording of the speech shows that the students who were graduating got quiet but never interrupted or disrupted in any way. But critics are asking why Woo didn't dispute some of the statements in the speech.

Inside Higher Ed asked Sweet Briar about the frustrations over the speech, and the fact that no one from the college -- during the ceremony or after -- disputed any of Barkley's statements. The college responded Sunday evening by noting that it had not received an advance copy of the remarks (something Barkley noted).

With regard to the questions, the Sweet Briar statement said the following: "The college hopes that the comments over all inspired the Class of 2018 to think deeply and carefully, and we are proud that our graduates listened with discernment on what was a joyous occasion celebrating their triumphs. We have an opportunity to continue a very important conversation -- one that we all should be having and one on which women should take leadership -- about power, responsibility and advocacy. Sweet Briar College has always been an institution that encourages discussion on subjects of profound importance for our women and our society. We hold this truth to be unassailable: Every woman has dominion over her physical self and must be free from coercion, pressure or influence."

When the college announced in March that Barkley would be the speaker at commencement, the announcement noted that Barkley had received a "distinguished alumna" award from the college in 2002 for "her many personal and professional accomplishments as well as her ongoing support of the college."

The college placed the entire commencement ceremony on YouTube. Barkley's talk begins shortly after the 27th minute.

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Professors warned about popular learning tool used by students to cheat

Inside Higher Education - Lun, 14 Mayo 2018 - 02:00

Many students graduated last week, and on Twitter, many thanked the free app Quizlet for getting them there.

“Today I graduated and I couldn’t have done it without God and Quizlet,” says one tweet.

Shout out “to Quizlet for making this possible,” says another, above a picture of a student in their graduation cap and gown.

Why such devotion to Quizlet?

Quizlet is a free app (that makes money from advertising and paid subscriptions for additional features) for making flash cards and online quizzes, which can be used privately or shared publicly. It’s very popular with students, and many are likely using the site legitimately. But some students are also using the tool to upload questions from real exams, and other students are finding them.

"Yeah sex is cool and all but have you ever found your entire final on quizlet [sic],” asks one student in a tweet.

“When you Google one question and find a quizlet [sic] for the whole test,” says another above a picture of a cartoon cat dying and going to heaven.

Other students openly tweeted about using Quizlet to cheat -- either opening Quizlet in another browser while taking an online test, or studying questions on Quizlet in advance that they knew were likely to be on their test.

At Texas Christian University last week, news broke that 12 students were suspended after allegedly using Quizlet to cheat on a final. The students are contesting the decision, saying that they used Quizlet to study but didn’t know that the questions they were seeing would be on their final. CBS News reported that their professor said the students had a duty to say that they recognized the questions.

A TCU spokesperson said the students’ appeal process is ongoing. Chip Stewart, associate dean and professor of journalism at TCU, is the administrator handling the academic misconduct case. Stewart was not permitted to comment for this article, but he said on Twitter that the professor in this case was not at fault for not changing the questions in the exam.

“I find a moral flaw in the argument that if a prof has a copy of his/her exam from a previous semester stolen and posted on Quizlet, students who knowingly use and pass around a secret link to it are innocent because it’s the prof’s fault for not changing the exam,” he said in a tweet.

In another tweet, Stewart warned that “all profs should be on notice -- just expect that your exams have been stolen and posted on Quizlet or elsewhere.”

All profs should be on notice - just expect that your exams have been stolen & posted on Quizlet or elsewhere. Also, don't just search using your name, class, college. Students don't use these so they can hide from obvious searches. https://t.co/BPBLgaXRHc

— Chip Stewart (@MediaLawProf) May 11, 2018

At least one professor has already discovered her exams on Quizlet. Reading about the TCU case, Genelle Belmas, associate professor in media law at the University of Kansas, decided to check Quizlet out. She said she was “disturbed” by how many of her own test questions she found on the site after less than one minute of searching.

Belmas said that one of her students from last semester had posted two sets of questions from her weekly reading quizzes, as well as questions from a midterm. The student, easily identifiable by her username on Quizlet, had received an A-minus in the class, said Belmas.

The student’s motive for sharing the questions isn’t clear, but Belmas suggest that the student might have been part of a sorority (Greek houses have been known to create and share test banks).

Though the questions were word for word the same, some of the answers to the questions were wrong, said Belmas. Luckily, Belmas said, she had switched up the questions this semester, but if you’re asking students something factual, “there’s only so many ways you can ask the question,” she said.

Kelly Ulto, clinical professor of accounting at Fordham University, said that she wasn’t aware of any of her materials being on Quizlet, but said it was a “real possibility” for many professors that their materials were being shared. “Because of this possibility, I try to stay away from test banks and will make up new exams each semester.”

Laura Oppenheimer, marketing director for Quizlet, said that Quizlet is built to help students and their teachers practice and master whatever they are learning. “Our goal is to support legitimate educational growth, not cheating,” she said.

“The misuse of our platform to develop bad habits, such as cheating or cutting corners on assignments, is disappointing to us and our team works hard to uphold academic integrity on our platform.”

Oppenheimer said that Quizlet’s team is “continuously adding features -- both seen and unseen -- to ensure Quizlet is used properly to support learning everywhere.” Quizlet has an honor code that asks that students “be aware of and uphold their teacher or institution’s policies regarding posting or sharing course materials online,” said Oppenheimer.

“What may be acceptable at one institution (reviewing past exams, for example) may not be at another,” said Oppenheimer. “That’s why we ask that students review their institutions’ policies and use that as a guide when determining how to best prepare for their classes.”

Quizlet’s community guidelines explicitly prohibit cheating and publicly posting copyrighted content, including test banks, exam questions and other confidential course content. Oppenheimer said that any student or educator can request that content be removed if it is negatively affecting their course.

David Rettinger, associate professor of psychology at the University of Mary Washington and president of the International Center for Academic Integrity, said he was aware of cases of plagiarism on Quizlet and other learning platforms such as Course Hero, another site where students can upload and share learning material.

Rettinger said that these sites “often have material that instructors would be surprised to discover is there.” But Rettinger said it is plausible that some students might use the site without knowing what they were looking at.

In the TCU case, Rettinger said, the university is in a difficult position as it could be tricky to prove what the students did or didn’t know about the content they saw on Quizlet. “Without knowing what was posted and how the students used it, I couldn’t venture an opinion about whether it qualifies as cheating,” he said.

But there are some questions that the university can use in its determination, he said -- did the students receive an unfair advantage over their peers? Did they violate the trust of the community? Did the students knowingly do something dishonest?

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Colleges announce commencement speakers

Inside Higher Education - Lun, 14 Mayo 2018 - 02:00
  • Bellarmine University: Susan M. Cameron, former CEO of Reynolds American.
  • Bennington College: Liz Lerman, the choreographer.
  • Berkshire Community College: Jay Ash, Massachusetts secretary of housing and economic development.
  • Dominican College, in New York: Tom Rinaldi, the ESPN correspondent and author.
  • Harris-Stowe State University: Vivica A. Fox, the actress.
  • Holy Names University: Rebecca Eisen, a lawyer; and Sister Carol Sellman, vice president for mission integration at the college.
  • Houston Community College: Bernard Harris Jr., a former astronaut; and Jim "Mattress Mack" McIngvale, a business leader.
  • Manhattanville College: Brigadier General Cindy R. Jebb; and others.
  • MGH Institute of Health Professions: Paula Milone-Nuzzo, president of the institute.
  • National University: Peter Seidler, general partner of the San Diego Padres, founder and managing partner of Seidler Equity Partners.
  • National Louis University: Michael J. Sorrell, president of Paul Quinn College; and Robin M. Steans, board chair of the Steans Family Foundation.
  • Washington & Jefferson College: George Anders, the author.
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