Academic Libraries at a Pivotal Moment

Posted in Research on April 6th, 2020 by steve

“Higher education institutions are suffering tremendously from the impacts of the pandemic. And, as one university president noted last week, if any colleges and universities are unable to reopen for residential instruction in the fall due to the pandemic’s continuing effects, the results will be ‘cataclysmic’. Even putting aside worst case scenarios, instability in the economy means that many higher education institutions will likely face reduced revenue this upcoming academic year …” (more)

[Roger C Schonfeld and Christine Wolff-Eisenberg, The Scholarly Kitchen, 6 April]

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A 20 Foot Cable And The Explosion Of Online Cheating

Posted in Teaching on April 5th, 2020 by steve

“Millions of college students are suddenly going to school online, whether they wanted to or not. Testing those students, administering the assessments of these newly displaced students is, well, a major test for the house of academia. That’s because students cheat …” (more)

[Derek Newton, Forbes, 5 April]

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Advice for University Leaders in the post-coronavirus world

Posted in Governance and administration on April 1st, 2020 by steve

“You’ve sent your students home for the rest of the semester, moved heaven and earth to shift your classes online, moved your workforce to telework, and scheduled a virtual commencement. What’s next for university leaders as the COVID-19 crisis deepens across America? The most important task this week for presidents, provosts, CFOs and board members is to begin to pivot from short term emergency response to long term strategic adjustment …” (more)

[John Kroger, Inside Higher Ed, 1 April]

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Irish ambassador urges people on J1 visas in the US to return home

Posted in Governance and administration on March 31st, 2020 by steve

“Ireland’s Ambassador to the United States has urged those who are currently in the country on J1 visas to return home as soon as possible. Daniel Mulhall posted a video on his Twitter page urging people to return to Ireland, saying that people affected should contact their airline immediately …” (more)

[Rudi Kinssella,, 31 March]

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For Higher Education, Nothing Matters More Than September

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on March 29th, 2020 by steve

“Residential colleges and universities are scrambling to finish the academic year online, fretting over next fall’s enrollment, and struggling with cash flow challenges. What terrifies so many higher education leaders is a scenario in which the coronavirus persists into late summer and campuses are not permitted to reopen next fall. If the Class of 2024 is forced to starts its college career from home and an online, the impact will be cataclysmic …” (more)

[Paul LeBlanc, Forbes, 29 March]


Academic Library Response to COVID-19: Real-Time Data Gathering and Dissemination

Posted in Research on March 23rd, 2020 by steve

“As higher education institutions in the United States began to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic by moving classes online, emptying residence halls, and authorizing remote work, academic librarians found themselves in need of real-time information – not only about their own institution’s practices, but also how other libraries were responding …” (more)

[Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe and Christine Wolff-Eisenberg, The Scholarly Kitchen, 23 March]

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Major universities suspend most lab research – but not into coronavirus

Posted in Research on March 21st, 2020 by steve

“This week, Erin Goley froze research at her Johns Hopkins University lab — literally. With the university sending students and professors packing in the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Goley stopped experiments in the medical school lab, went to a freezer and stored bacteria that scientists are studying …” (more)

[Susan Svrluga, Washington Post, 21 March]

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60-day pause placed on J-1 visa programme over coronavirus concerns will not impact students travelling this summer

Posted in Governance and administration on March 14th, 2020 by steve

“A 60-day temporary pause has been placed on J-1 visa programmes in response to coronavirus concerns, but students looking to travel Stateside this summer are currently unaffected by the measure. The US Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA) on Thursday announced it is temporarily pausing all ECA-funded programs, including the J-1 visa, for 60 days …” (more)

[Aoife Walsh, Independent, 14 March]

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As Coronavirus Drives Students From Campuses, What Happens to the Workers Who Feed Them?

Posted in Governance and administration on March 14th, 2020 by steve

“The University of Texas at Austin announced on Friday that it would suspend operations in response to the coronavirus pandemic and Covid-19, the disease it causes. The university suspended campus visits and in-person admission events, as well as all university-sponsored international and domestic travel through at least April 30 …” (more)

[Dan Bauman, Chronicle of Higher Education, 13 March]

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China Recruitment Disrupted

Posted in Governance and administration on March 5th, 2020 by steve

“More than three-quarters (76%) of US colleges said that outreach and recruitment of students from China has been affected by the new coronavirus, according to a survey from the Institute of International Education …” (more)

[Elizabeth Redden, Inside Higher Ed, 5 March]

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American university cancels study trip to Ireland due to virus

Posted in Governance and administration on March 4th, 2020 by steve

“A group of American students on their way to Ireland to partake in a study-abroad programme have had their plans cancelled mid-journey due to the coronavirus epidemic. The party of 15 history students and three tutors from Mercyhurst University in Eerie, Pennsylvania was heading to Dungarva, Co Waterford, to spend their spring semester in the region …” (more)

[Christy Parker, Irish Examiner, 4 March]

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The Jerks of Academe

Posted in Life on February 4th, 2020 by steve

“This morning you probably didn’t look in the mirror and ask, ‘Am I a jerk?’ And if you did, I wouldn’t believe your answer. Jerks usually don’t know that they are jerks. Jerks mostly travel in disguise, even from themselves …” (more)

[Eric Schwitzgebel, Chronicle of Higher Education, 31 January]


Dramatic decline in J1 visa popularity prompts calls for government action

Posted in Governance and administration on January 7th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“The number of students flying over to the US on a J1 visa is in decline – but the companies that sponsor travelling students say they’re committed to the programme …” (more)

[Dominic McGrath,, 7 January]

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US open access mandate projected as painful but needed

Posted in Research on January 7th, 2020 by steve

“An expected move by the Trump administration to mandate immediate open access publication of federally funded research has been hailed a major step away from the subscription journal model, with the expected damage to some of the US’ academic societies seen by some as a potentially necessary trade-off. The White House was widely understood to be drafting an executive order that would follow in the footsteps of Plan S, the European-led initiative …” (more)

[Paul Basken, Times Higher Education, 7 January]

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Number of Students Participating in J1 Visa Programme Declining – Haughey

Posted in Governance and administration on January 6th, 2020 by steve

Ireland“Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Foreign and European Affairs Seán Haughey TD has revealed that the number of students participating in the J1 Visa Programme has declined steadily since 2013. The information was released to Deputy Haughey by way of parliamentary questions …” (more)

[Fianna Fáil, 6 January]

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The New Humanities

Posted in Teaching on November 14th, 2019 by steve

“Once-robust fields are being broken up and stripped for parts. The humanities, we’re often told, are dying. And yet, even as traditional majors like English and history are indeed shrinking, the past decade has also seen the rise of a new kind of humanities, including a wave of hybrid fields such as the digital humanities, environmental humanities, energy humanities, global humanities, urban humanities, food humanities, medical humanities, legal humanities, and public humanities …” (more)

[Jeffrey J Williams, Chronicle of Higher Education, 14 November]

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Luxury student accommodation related to poorer academic performance, says US study

Posted in Fees, access and admissions, Governance and administration on October 10th, 2019 by steve

Ireland“Students who stay in luxury accommodation achieve, on average, lower grades that those who stay in more traditional style student accommodation, according to a study carried out in the United States. The study, which examined the academic performances of college students staying in accommodation with a luxury-style apartment design that provided privacy and added amenities and students staying in a traditional double-corridor design with shared bathrooms at the ends, found that those staying in the latter type of accommodation achieved higher first semester grade point averages …” (more)

[Finn Purdy, Trinity News, 10 October]

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Education publisher Pearson says US students going digital faster than expected

Posted in Teaching on September 26th, 2019 by steve

“Education publisher Pearson has warned students are turning to online and digital resources faster than bosses expected – hitting its balance sheet. Profits are now expected to be at the bottom end of expectations between £590 million and £640 million, with the news sending shares plunging 17%, down 148p to 712.8p …” (more)

[Simon Neville, Independent, 26 September]

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Desperate Housewives star Felicity Huffman jailed in college admissions scandal

Posted in Fees, access and admissions on September 14th, 2019 by steve

“Actress Felicity Huffman has been sentenced to 14 days in prison for her role in a sweeping college admissions scandal. The Desperate Housewives star was sentenced in Boston’s federal court after pleading guilty in May to a single count of conspiracy and fraud …” (more)

[Independent, 13 September]


The Crisis of University Research

Posted in Research on September 3rd, 2019 by steve

“Academia’s pursuit of corporate and government dollars has undermined its commitment to learning. The debate over the role of research in the life of the university was settled a long time ago. In a classic 1852 book, The Idea of a University, the Catholic priest and future cardinal John Henry Newman made what in retrospect appears to have been a last stand against the proposition that research should be an intrinsic part of university life …” (more)

[Richard Drake, The American Scholar, 3 September]