Around the industry: 13 students suspended for Facebook sexual assault threats

Bite-sized college and higher education industry news

  • Kansas: Several universities are experimenting with new ways to improve retention. Eleven universities have joined a partnership called the University Innovation Alliance, which collaborates to develop and test early intervention methods and predictive analytics systems for at-risk students. At Kansas University, professors can flag students who miss classes or underperform, sending an alert to each student's advisor and resident assistant. Haskell Indian Nations University encourages incoming students with lower high school GPAs to visit the TRIO program or Haskell Success Center, where they are connected with a personal retention advisor (Valverde, Lawrence Journal-World, 1/3).
  • Nova Scotia: Officials at Dalhousie University partially suspended 13 male dentistry students for misogynistic comments made to a Facebook group. The comments included threats of sexual assault and harassment, including jokes about chloroforming and sexually assaulting their female classmates. The university is investigating the matter seriously—at least five internal processes related to the case are running simultaneously. Officials have not settled on final consequences for the men. If they are allowed to continue their studies, they will still likely face heavy questioning and potential rejection by the province's licensing board, which says it considers whether applicants demonstrate "good character" (Chiose, The Globe and Mail, 1/5).
  • Wisconsin: For-profit Herzing University has converted to a nonprofit institution. The school was one of Wisconsin's oldest and largest for-profit colleges, enrolling about 6,000 students across campuses in eight states. A member of the state's Educational Approval Board says he believes the shift was motivated by upcoming gainful employment rules and the promise of state financial aid available only to nonprofit colleges. The board also recently frustrated for-profit colleges in the state with a regulation proposal in 2013 that drew sharp criticism before being rejected (Romell, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 1/2).

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