Thursday, October 29, 2015

October 2015 News Digest

A lot is happening in higher education this October! Check out the summaries below for an overview of what's going on.

4 Problems That Can Sour Colleges’ Partnerships With Online-Education Enablers

With the increase in partnerships between colleges andfor-profit companies, known as "online-education enablers,” there has been an increase in tensions.

Common themes in unsuccessful partnerships between colleges and enablers:
  • inherent tensions between for-profit and non-profit entities
  • contracts between colleges and enablers tend to favor the enablers as colleges are often locked into long term commitments, and a lopsided share of overall revenue goes to enablers
  • questions arise over who controls what in course development
  • failure to meet enrollment expectations

Despite these concerns, the market for enablers is likely to expand, particularly for small colleges looking for fresh sources of revenue.
Women’s Groups Urge Colleges and Government to Rein In Yik Yak
Women’s and Civil Right’s groups urge colleges to protect students from bullying and harassment on online social media like Yik Yak.
They claim universities are arguing vague First Amendment concerns to justify not taking action.
However, some are in favor of not banning students from Yik Yak because they believe it allows students to get a “true sense of campus culture.”

Yik Yak, a social media site for sharing anonymous thoughts

The Pivotal Role of Campus Police

Many people regard campus police as “not real cops.”Although they may not be taken as seriously as other law enforcement agents, these officers are faced with many similar situations and responsibilities.

Campus police have also found themselves at the forefront of the debate regarding excessive force by cops against black students. This has led many to argue that universities should not be in the role of policing.

However, campus police see their role as important in not just protecting students and staff but also educating the younger generation.

Campus Carry at UT Austin

**Though I know many of us here at UT are already very aware of this issue, I thought it was interesting to see how it was being covered in the Chronicle of Higher Education.**

89 SB 11 or Campus Carry will allow concealed-handgun holders to bring their weapon into public university buildings.

The day this law goes into effect will be exactly 50 years after the UT Tower shooting. The coincidence of the date has both supporters and opponents in frenzy.

Opponents argue that the campus will be a dangerous place because distraught students may open fire. Supporters argue that having concealed-gun holders will make campus safer.

The state has given universities wiggle room to set their own “reasonable rules and regulations.” The board for this group is working on recommendations, but many still feel their voices are not being heard.

Demonstration by Gun Free UT

The Effect of FAFSA’s New Tax Rules on Colleges

Students will now be able to use tax data from two years prior when filling out their FAFSA application. This will make filling out the application easier for students and they will be able to start the application process much earlier.

Award packages are determined based on the expected family contribution of a student and their admission status. The question is whether universities will change the timing of their admission decisions.

The new rules may make it difficult for colleges to predict enrollment, and it will also require colleges to know or predict their cost of attendance sooner.

There may be some difficulty with the switch to prior-prior but officials are working on making the transition smoothly before the changes take effect. 

A Piece of UT Austin History

There is said to be a ghost who haunts UT Austin! Rumor has it that the Littlefield Home, built in 1893, is home to the ghost of Alice Littlefield. It is said that she roams the attic, peers out windows, and plays the piano on the first floor. Spooky!

Is that a faint ghostly shimmer I see?!

Alice Littlefield

The Littlefield Home in spooky lighting

Summaries written by Kelsey Thompson and Stephanie Nandlal

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

ACA October 2015 General Meeting

What an excellent October ACA meeting. Thanks to the Business Foundations Program for sponsoring the meeting and providing breakfast! Additional thanks to the folks at the Texas Union for catering the food.

No shortage of plates!

Tacos and coffee: truly a breakfast of champions

Decaf too!!
Our fearless vice president, Amanda Golden, kicked off today's meeting with a reminder that the November meeting will be starting at 8:00am instead of 8:30am to accommodate President Fenves who will be speaking.

There were other people at this meeting, promise!

She turned it over to Regina Hughes with the Business Foundations Program.

In addition to very helpful information about the Business Foundations Program, Regina told us about the idea of giving a sussy, a small present given to someone just because. BFP was very generous in giving us all wallet toolkits. I learned what a butterfly screw wrench was! Though I am still trying to figure out what the direction auxiliary indication is...

I guess it lets you measure the size of your diamond ring
Regina also talked about the Business Foundations Summer Institute, which as you can see below, gives students an action packed summer learning experience!

On the last day, they climb Mount Everest.
Regina concluded with a delightful video extolling the wonders of Excel. If you didn't get a chance to see Excel Func at the meeting, I highly recommend you watch it now.

Stop, wait a minute
Fill my cells, draggin’ data with it

Dr. David Laude, Senior Vice Provost for Enrollment and Graduation Management, was up next to talk about the work that has been done over the past five years and how we can be part of continuing to moving forward.

Dr. Cassandre Giguere Alvarado and Kathy Uitvligt, also from the Provost's Office, talked about updates in Student Success Initiatives and the importance of getting students to participate in Senior Countdown. 

We ended with kudos and announcements! Thanks again to everyone who submitted kudos.

See other people really were there

In case you missed them, check out the kudos below:

Matthew Haynes & Courtney Sy & the ROAD Committee have put together a great program of learning opportunities for advisors, going way beyond the standard professional development fare of webinar after webinar. The interactive discussion elements of common reads & TED talks & webinar talk-backs have been AWESOME!

Kudos to Mei Lai for being one of the greatest people that anyone could ever know. She's hardworking, her students love her, she's selfless, and never fails to make me smile. Thanks for also being an amazing friend and sister.

Kudos to Kayla Ford and all the work she's doing to lead the ACA Advisory Council and their work to improve the orientation experience for our students.

Kudos to all the new academic advisors going into their first fall advising season!

Kudos to the FUNdraising team for organizing some great opportunities for us this semester to get together outside of the monthly meeting

Thank you Kelsey for setting up the kudos! :)

From Malik Crowder:
Kudos to Melva for being a great colleague and friend. For her service to students, staff and faculty.

To David Spight our new NACADA president!

To my great friends in Discovery Scholars Program (UGS) for their expert support of undeclared students here at UT-Austin.

From Diane Larson:
Kudos to Maggie Rigney for the awesome job advising Public Health and Laboratory Science majors! 

From Theresa Thomas:
Congratulations to Shannon-A'lyce Oulds on your new job!  We miss you an awful lot and wish you the very best in your new position!

From Andrea Gonzalez:
To Casey Butler: You have been here two months and it seems like 2 years or more based on all of the ways you have worked to integrate yourself into the fibers of campus life. Thank you for your efforts to make UT Austin an inclusive and enriching environment!

To Michelle Weichold, working alongside you has been rewarding and fun. I appreciate your unending efforts to maximize our capabilities and laugh along the way. Thank you for being YOU!

Lovelys, thank you for being there whenever I need to pick your brain about something or just blab about whatever. Your support and friendship is something I treasure deeply!

Christine, your efforts to connect us to each other and our surrounding community are admirable. Thank you for investing so much time and energy in your colleagues!

From Lexi Losch:

Since it's my last day here at UT, I want to recognize ALL of the advisors for all the hard work you do (we do!) on a daily basis. Through the laughs and the tears, we support each other like no other staff group. I am so grateful to have met each and everyone of you, especially my Cockrell School of Engineering family and my Platinum Pod family. Please continue to fight the good fight for the future of our students but don't forget to fight the good fight for yourselves. Self-care is vital in this profession. So many hugs and lots of love. Be well my UT family.