Clear Degree Pathways–Outrage!

What Non-Profit Universities Can Learn from the For-Profits | Inside Higher Ed.  Lessons like clearer paths to degrees, career-linked degrees and scaling up courses with technology, none of which engenders much enthusiasm among the professorate holding sway at most universities.  Where I teach, City University of New York, a “Pathways” proposal (see clearer paths to degrees above) was recently scaled back after years of faculty rage, protests and a lawsuit or two.

Non-Profit Prince Perp-Walks

It’s a old story in non-profit organizations.  Charismatic leader reigns for decades largely unfettered by the volunteer board of directors duly impressed with the public monies rolling across the non-profit’s governmental interface that the CEO seems to be working so well.  Well, according to prosecutors in this case, much of what was greasing the wheels was illegal and many pockets, not the least of which was the CEO’s, were allegedly being stuffed with cash.

Women Get the Business at HBS

Well, what a surprise–gender inequity at the Harvard Business School is long-entrenched and, at least for female faculty, likely to continue (check out the neat 5 slide chart in the story).  In the classroom, school administrators are intent on engineering more rapid change in, and for, female students. Whether this works–the outcome seems uncertain given the tenor of this piece–the last paragraph underscores that HBS will continue to punch the tickets of  “born on third base” and/or legacy admits–George W. Bush was one; so was Mitt Romney–for their first class seats on the bullet train to the economic/political power centers of the U.S.

Ably Disabled? Thanks, Doc!

Retiring as a public employee?  You’ll usually get a better deal, and earlier, if disability is the reason.  The Long Island Railroad (LIRR) in metropolitan New York has had extraordinarily high disability retirement rates–in some years over 90%–among employees who worked in an alternative universe where relatively low-intensity jobs occupationally incapacitated just about everybody. Not surprisingly, retirement-enabling diagnoses were easy to get from doctors like Peter Ajemian, whose fraudulent work-ups just earned him forced retirement to federal prison.

Ho Hum

Another legislator closely tied to a non-profit playing fast and loose with its government funding.  http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/26/nyregion/shirley-l-huntley-expected-to-plead-guilty-to-corruption.html?smid=pl-share Update after guilty plea to shopping spree. http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/31/nyregion/shirley-l-huntley-ex-state-senator-pleads-guilty-in-fraud.html?smid=pl-share

Council Person Pleads, Ho-Hum

This New York City councilman was somewhat of a court regular, first with charges involving domestic violence–he got probation–then with this scheme where a local non-profit helped finance his failed state senate run using funds directed the agency’s way by said councilperson. The common denominator between the latest case and others on this site is the structural vulnerability of community organizations that become co-dependent with corrupt politicians who founded, or funded or used their political cachet to the agencies benefit.  http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/05/nyregion/monserrate-pleads-guilty-to-misusing-city-council-funds.html?smid=pl-share

Online Edu-Porn

Bet that got your attention.  Point is, how many adult learners are going to opt for the free, online, laid out in its entirety, Harvard-MIT Electronics 101 carrying a “Certificate of Mastery,” expecially when the alternative is paying a thousand or two or more in tuition to commute over fifteen weeks to a similarly-titled course at “Local U.” which, even if it lives up to its one-paragraph catalog description, will likely be taught by a part-time adjunct instead of an Ivy League star.  Read about this future at: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/03/education/harvard-and-mit-team-up-to-offer-free-online-courses.html