Higher Education News

How Sexual-Harassment Charges at U. of Rochester Spiraled Out of Control

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 10, 2017 - 1:07pm
Researchers have accused a professor of crossing professional boundaries and pressuring students for sex. Now, in a federal lawsuit, they say the university tried to smear them as gossips and liars.
Categories: Higher Education News

Why One University Wants to Close Lots of Small Libraries and Create ‘Hubs’

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 8, 2017 - 12:08pm
The University of Wisconsin at Madison’s plan follows a trend of libraries’ focusing less on books and more on students. Still, some professors see moving collections offsite as a loss.
Categories: Higher Education News

This UNC Student Is a College Trustee at 23. Here’s What She Thinks of the Confederate Monument on Her Campus.

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 7, 2017 - 6:50pm
“You may be tempted to call me a coddled millennial,” said Mya Roberson in a message to the university’s trustees and chancellor. “But I am human. I am black. And I am fed up.”
Categories: Higher Education News

California Wildfires Upend Exams at Region’s Colleges and Heighten Tensions at UCLA

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 7, 2017 - 5:07pm
At least 10 institutions canceled classes on Thursday, only days before finals were to start. Meanwhile, students at the University of California at Los Angeles were angry over what they called a delay in its emergency-notification system.
Categories: Higher Education News

What’s a Fair Wage for Adjuncts?

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 7, 2017 - 4:29pm
For the City University of New York’s faculty union, the answer is $7,000 per course.
Categories: Higher Education News

Higher-Ed Lobbyists Are Told to Make Peace With Republicans

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 7, 2017 - 10:55am
Stop with the playground spats about state appropriations, said the opening speaker at the annual Higher Education Government Relations Conference. Focus on how your institutions are performing.
Categories: Higher Education News

House Republicans May Be Backing Away From Taxing Grad-Student Tuition Waivers

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 7, 2017 - 9:48am
Thirty-one lawmakers, led by Rep. Pete Sessions of Texas, are sending a letter on Thursday to leaders of the House and the Senate urging them to prevent the provision from making it into final tax legislation.
Categories: Higher Education News

Teaching Is a Private Act. How Can Professors Open Up About It?

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 7, 2017 - 9:12am
Efforts to spark conversations about pedagogy can be large-scale or ad hoc, but they all require a level of trust.
Categories: Higher Education News

What Happens When Sex Harassment Disrupts Victims’ Academic Careers

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 6, 2017 - 9:16pm
People who say they’ve been harassed also speak of ripple effects and lasting consequences — personally, professionally, and for their disciplines.
Categories: Higher Education News

Building a Coalition to Fight a Sea Change

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 6, 2017 - 7:09pm
Old Dominion University can’t ignore the issue of sea-level rise, which is right on “our back door,” says its president.
Categories: Higher Education News

Confronting History on Campus

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 6, 2017 - 4:04pm
Campuses are littered with buildings and monuments named for alumni, past presidents, and former professors. Problems arise when their fame is overtaken by changing mores. Here's how some colleges are trying bridge that divide.
Categories: Higher Education News

Are Colleges Engines of Inequality?

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 6, 2017 - 2:49pm
Higher ed still doesn’t provide enough opportunity to needy students. Here’s a look at some causes of that phenomenon, and what colleges might do better.  
Categories: Higher Education News

‘I Love You,’ Big U. of Virginia Donor Told Harvey Weinstein

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 6, 2017 - 12:51pm
Paul Tudor Jones II, who has given nearly $50 million to the university and serves on the board of a center there, told the embattled film producer that talk of his serial sexual harassment would be soon “forgotten,” The New York Times reports.
Categories: Higher Education News

Rising Waters, Threatened Campuses

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 6, 2017 - 9:59am
As the climate changes and seas swell, here’s how four universities — urban and rural, from Virginia to California — struggle to become more resilient in the face of an unprecedented crisis.
Categories: Higher Education News

Is Protesting a Privilege?

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 5, 2017 - 5:28pm
A study finds that protests against racial microaggressions are likelier at elite colleges, and asks why.
Categories: Higher Education News

After 10 Years in Court, a Student-Loan Whistle-Blower Fights His Last Battle

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 5, 2017 - 4:31pm
Jon Oberg was an Education Department researcher nearing retirement when he discovered that student lenders were improperly pocketing millions of dollars. Thus began his unexpected final act.
Categories: Higher Education News

Welcome Students! Need a Checking Account?

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 5, 2017 - 3:00pm
A growing number of institutions are making deals that help connect banks with students. The banks — and the colleges — make money. But do students come out ahead?
Categories: Higher Education News

Moody’s Downgrades Higher Ed’s Outlook From ‘Stable’ to ‘Negative’

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 5, 2017 - 1:15pm
The credit-rating agency cited muted growth in tuition revenue and “uncertainty at the federal level over potential policy changes.”
Categories: Higher Education News

Very Special Student Artists Display Vision, Imagination in VSA Exhibit at U.S. Department of Education

U.S. Department of Education Blog - December 5, 2017 - 1:03pm

Seventeen-year-old Keevon Howard has mastered one cardinal rule laid down by his high school art teacher, one that resonates beyond the classroom. “Don’t erase,” his teacher counselled — accept the mistake and weave it into your composition. Coping is a vital life skill, she said, so whatever you put on the paper, that’s what you deal with.

Keevon was at the U.S. Department of Education (ED) headquarters in Washington, D.C., for the opening of the 13th annual VSA exhibit, a joint project of ED and the Department of VSA and Accessibility at the Kennedy Center. His collage is on display at ED through December, along with the works of other students with disabilities from five countries. The opening, and the panel discussion, “Changing Lives Through Arts Education,” drew artists and their families, ED staff, representatives from VSA and the Kennedy Center, and arts educators and advocates.

“You can express yourself better with art than with words,” the Rhode Island teen said. In his collage, light and dark scraps of newsletter are crowded around the heads of a nuzzling mother and child. “The dark surroundings symbolize all of the problems in the world,” he explained.

Amid the chaos, however, the mother and child, illuminated by yellow paint, remain connected. Keevon’s mother, Kinya Howard, said her son has behavioral issues and created his artwork during a time when the two often clashed. Struggles notwithstanding, Keevon’s bond with his mother has blossomed.

Keevon Howard and his mother, Kinya Howard, with his collage “Strength in the Face of Hardship”

The exhibit is titled “Ubuntu: Yo Soy … Je Suis … I Am … Because You Are.” A South African concept, “Ubuntu” colloquially translates to “my humanity is connected to yours.” Like Keevon’s work of art, all of the pieces in the show explore this relationship among humans via a variety of visions and of mediums. Click here for photos of the exhibit.

During the panel discussion, the hopes and goals of the student artists and people close to them came through forcefully: to develop a voice, to connect and to communicate.

“The world can be very hard and very harsh on those who are different from the mainstream,” said Jeannine Chartier, executive and artistic director of VSA Arts Rhode Island. Chartier has a personal link to her vocation; the limp with which she walks is the result of childhood polio.

Another panel member, 25-year-old Mara Clawson, a 2016–17 winner of a VSA Kennedy Center Emerging Artists with Disabilities award, has a neurogenetic disorder, as well as developmental delays. “Her first language was sign language, and we didn’t know if we’d get beyond ‘I want more,’” Mara’s mother, Michelle Marks, explained.  When Mara was about 11, however, a teacher placed newsprint and pastels in front of her, “and the world came out in an amazing conversation of stories about eggs falling out of nests and bowling pins flying,” Marks added. “We had no idea that this was inside of her.”

The artistic capacities of special education students are often underestimated, according to panel member Carmen Jenkins-Frazier, a D.C. arts teacher at the School Without Walls at Francis-Stevens. “If you have patience and your children are able to trust and understand that you are there for them, and they feel secure in your space — then anything is possible in that classroom.”

The panel moderator was Mario Rossero, senior vice president of education at the Kennedy Center. From his experience in this role and as a former arts teacher, Rossero offered these thoughts: “When students create artwork it plays a critical role in their learning, growth, development, and ability to make connections; they are often able to communicate complex ideas that would be difficult to say through other means.”

Kimberly Richey, ED’s acting assistant secretary for special education and rehabilitation services, said, “Our partnership with VSA allows us to say to all of our employees and all of our visitors every day that arts education develops knowledge for all people, no matter their differences — cultural, geographic, abilities, age, gender — and that we each have a lot to learn from the artists, not least of which is about having the courage to be creative in our life’s work.”

Following the panel discussion and the ribbon-cutting ceremony by the students, attendees reflected on what they had learned at the opening.

“I liked the focus on artists with disabilities,” Kali Wasenko, an external engagement specialist at the D.C. Commission on Arts and Humanities, remarked. Beyond demonstrating the importance of art as therapy, she added, “the exhibit is very validating of their talents as artists.”


Nancy Paulu is a writer and editor in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach.

Chareese Ross is a student art exhibit program associate and editor in ED’s Office of Communications and Outreach.

Photo at the top: A ribbon-cutting signaled the official opening of the Kennedy Center/VSA exhibit. 

All photos are by ED photographer Leslie Williams.

ED’s Student Art Exhibit Program provides students and teachers with an opportunity to display creative work from the classroom in a highly public space that honors it as an effective path to learning and knowledge for all. To visit the exhibits or for information about exhibiting, contact Jackye Zimmermann at Jacquelyn.zimmermann@ed.gov or visit https://www.ed.gov/student-art-exhibit.

Click here for a Washington Post article on the exhibit.

Click here to find a teacher resource guide providing visual art lesson plans to engage students with disabilities.

The post Very Special Student Artists Display Vision, Imagination in VSA Exhibit at U.S. Department of Education appeared first on ED.gov Blog.

Categories: Higher Education News

8 Grad Students Are Arrested Protesting the GOP Tax Bill on Capitol Hill

Chronicle of Higher Education - December 5, 2017 - 12:08pm
“I’ve put a lot of work into this, and to have to throw that all away because some Republicans don’t like universities is really upsetting,” one student said.
Categories: Higher Education News


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