Notes & Coffee: November 6 - 12

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. 

Higher ed in the Senate tax bill – The Senate tax reform proposal released late Thursday night includes an excise tax on large private college endowments that has been strongly opposed by higher ed groups. The tax is similar to one in the House of Representatives bill. Private college leaders say the tax would effectively punish colleges that have built up endowments that support student aid, research and other functions of higher education. And while the tax would be applied only to the wealthiest colleges, many fear a precedent in which the assets of colleges – traditionally exempt from tax – are taxed.

Congress urged to invest in blue-collar STEM jobs – Automation and other technological advancements threaten to put good-paying jobs further out of reach for marginalized groups unless more investments are made in preparing students for “Blue-Collar STEM” jobs, panelists convened Tuesday on Capitol Hill said.

Behind the publication gender gap – Numerous studies have found that men in the sciences publish at higher rates than women. But the designs of some of those studies make it difficult to isolate the possible origins of that gap. Women are less likely than men to attend prestigious doctoral programs, complicating any study of gendered publication rates among researchers with different educational backgrounds, for example, as journals favor prestige.

A lack of tuition strategy – Setting public tuition is an exceedingly complex process involving numerous power centers. It’s a process with numerous possible unintended consequences for students’ ability to pay for college. Yet it’s a process that’s not even close to being standardized from state to state. Most states don’t even have a single strategy for addressing affordability, according to a new report out today from the State Higher Education Executive Officers Association. SHEEO found that 68 percent of higher education agencies it surveyed had no unified affordability strategy taking tuition, fees and financial aid into account.

First generation to the Ivy League – Many educators talk about the need for elite colleges to recruit and graduate more students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Kerry H. Landers, assistant dean of graduate student affairs at Dartmouth College, followed a group of such students at Dartmouth to learn more about their experiences. The result is Postsecondary Education for First-Generation and Low-Income Students in the Ivy League (Springer).

More Notes

Some prisons trying to maintain college education

‘Inclusive access’ takes off

Steering more women to Silicon Valley

What we know about equity and diversity in apprenticeship

Podcast: Why public research universities are struggling

Poverty is largely invisible among college students