Higher Education News
World & Nation
NAFSA, the Association of International Educators, called for U.S. immigration policy and visa reform in their report, “A Visa and Immigration Policy for the Brain-Circulation Era: Adjusting to What Happened in the World While We Were Making Other Plans.” It was released in December.
The report urges policy actions in the post-9/11 era that allow for more education exchanges. The Obama Administration “understands that openness to foreign students and foreign talent must be a part of our strategy to get the economy moving” said Victor Johnson, the report’s author. “As Congress prepares to take up immigration reform and the Administration focuses on innovation and job creation, we believe it is past time for an in-depth look at how foreign students factor in.” For the full report, visit http://www.nafsa.org/_/File/_/visa_immigration_for_brain_circulation.pdf.
The Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE) launched the nation’s first sustainability-ranking program for higher education institutions last month. The program, STARS, Sustainability Tracking, Assessment, and Rating, allows for both internal evaluation and external comparison for all aspects of sustainability on campus. Currently, 121 institutions participate in the program, which is open to any college or university located in the United States or Canada. For more information visit www.aashe.org/stars.
More Americans are receiving associate degrees and other sub-baccalaureate certificates than have received bachelor’s degrees over the past decade, according to a report released by the Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics.
The number of associate degrees and certificates awarded by institutions that offer financial aid rose significantly from 2002 to 2007 at a 25 percent increase, while the rate of increase for bachelor’s degrees was only 18 percent during those years.
Faculty & Staff
Labor Secretary Hilda Solis is promoting rules requiring employers such as university and community college administrators and trustees to increase disclosure to workers on how their pay is computed, and about their dealings with consultants who advise on how to deal with workplace unions or unionization attempts.
Currently, employers are not required to report advice they receive from consultants. The rule falls under the 1959 Labor-Management Reporting and Disclosure Act. The Labor Department stated this exception should be narrowed to allow employees a more transparent view into what employers are doing in response to union matters.
Deputy Labor Secretary Seth Harris said to the media, “The agency is going to explore that exception and try to more accurately define what ‘advice’ means,” with the overall goal of creating more openness and transparency in the workplace and giving more power to workers and unions.
The number of available faculty jobs has reached an historic low according to reports from the Modern Language Association (MLA), the American Historical Association (AHA), and the American Economic Association. Each of the associations saw a dramatic drop in job availability in their respective disciplines in 2008–09.
The MLA saw a 51 percent decline in available English positions in the last two years, the largest ever recorded by the MLA. The AHA reported that the number of faculty jobs listed fell 23.8 percent, which does not include the 15 percent of searches called off after the positions were posted. The American Economic Association reported a 19 percent decrease.
Each of the three associations saw an increase in the number of Ph.D.s awarded in 2008–09 and are expecting the job search for new Ph.D. recipients looking for tenure-track positions to be especially competitive. Some Ph.D. candidates are delaying degree completion, and the number of postdoc applications has increased dramatically.