Around the industry: President praised as an innovator will advise Department of Education

Bite-sized college and higher education industry news

  • Iowa: Students at the University of Iowa, which houses one of the top creative writing programs in the nation, are working to bring author J.K. Rowling to campus. Rowling is known for being the author of the popular Harry Potter series, but she is also notoriously selective about public appearances. Members of the university's Lecture Committee are collecting letters—the goal is 100—inviting the author to campus. Seeing her would be "like seeing a movie star," says one student, adding, "She's really the reason why I wanted to become a writer," (Coffey, USA Today College, 3/5).
  • New Hampshire: Paul LeBlanc, president of Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU), will spend three months in the Department of Education serving Under Secretary Ted Mitchell as a temporary senior advisor. LeBlanc will help develop non-traditional higher ed programs that will be piloted at selected universities as "experimental sites." LeBlanc explains that he will help develop the expectations, guidelines, and goals for the sites. LeBlanc is credited for guiding SNHU to becoming a leader in innovative programs, including the first federally approved competency-based degree (Lessard, NHPR, 3/5; Southern New Hampshire University release).
  • Nova Scotia: Staff, faculty, and students at Cape Breton University (CBU) are petitioning the Canadian government to make tuition free. CBU President David Wheeler supported the proposal in a blog post last week, calling abolishing tuition "the most elegant solution" to the problem of student debt and provincial funding. Brandon Ellis, president of CBU's student union, says he believes "Everyone should have a right to higher education" (Chonicle-Herald [1]; Chronicle-Herald [2]).

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