Notes & Coffee: November 20 - 26

Notes & Coffee is here to keep you informed of all the trending student affairs and higher ed news stories most critical to our field as they develop. In the age of information overload, we’re here to bring you vetted examinations of the stories that matter to our field. We invite you to brew a favorite morning beverage, kick back, relax, and catch yourself up for the week ahead with Notes & Coffee.  

Will Greek crackdown change anything? – The responses to these incidents have dominated headlines because of their seemingly drastic nature -- a complete and sweeping prohibition of sororities and fraternities at three powerhouse state institutions with a major Greek presence (in the case of Ohio State, just its fraternities were suspended). Yet similar bans have been tried before, and deaths associated with Greek organizations have never ceased.

Bounty of promise programs in California – California’s Legislature and governor may have officially signed off on covering tuition costs for the first year of community college last month, but many of the state’s colleges have already been offering some type of tuition-free program on their own. And now questions remain about how those more than 40 tuition-free plans in the state will change once the statewide California Promise goes into effect. Despite the measure being signed into law, the statewide tuition-free initiative is dependent on funding that will need to be secured in the state budget next year, which many college officials are optimistic will happen. The legislation is estimated to cost $31 million

No consistent sanctions for silencing – The penalties for students who interrupt speakers vary drastically among institutions, in part because each case is so specific, but also because campus leaders remain reluctant and a little unsure of how hard to come down on these protesters, experts say. Campus officials prefer to educate rather than punish students, especially when the students are engaging in a fundamental and long-standing tradition of higher education -- exercising free speech, albeit in an imprudent way. Administrators increasingly must respond to lawmakers and other outside forces to more harshly discipline these students.

Big legal win for trans academic – A federal jury on Monday found that Southeastern Oklahoma State University discriminated against Rachel Tudor in denying her tenure, and ordered the university to pay her $1.165 million. The case has become a pivotal one in the area of transgender rights. Tudor, who is transgender, sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars gender discrimination, among other forms of bias, in employment. Tudor and her supporters argued that the discrimination she faced as a transgender woman was a form of discrimination barred by Title VII

More Notes

Charlie Rose has honors from two journalism schools rescinded

Getting personal about cybersecurity

Withering humanities jobs

Fighting censorship… with trigger warnings

The push for education programs that pay people as they learn