As part of the 2016 presidential election and the post-election analysis, the topic of “fake news” was discussed almost as much as the email hacking of the Democratic National Committee. With both sides pointing fingers, conservatives at progressives and vice-versa, it’s clear that both sides were successful in distributing “news” that their followers could post on Facebook or Twitter and opt for broader distribution of the “truth” vis-à-vis their political perspective.
The Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges’ (CCJC) president, Barbara Beno, was placed on administrative leave for six months up to her scheduled retirement. The leave begins 30 days before the Commission is scheduled to make its final decision on accrediting the City College of San Francisco (CCSF). Her removal also precedes the U.S. Department of Education’s (ED) decision whether to revoke CCJC’s ability to accredit two-year colleges, scheduled to follow CCJC’s meeting to determine the fate of CCSF.
A former University of Virginia associate dean, Nicole Eramo, received a favorable verdict from a federal jury in her defamation lawsuit against Rolling Stone magazine. A 2014 article entitled A Rape on Campus stated that university administrators did little to help women who were sexually assaulted. It was published at a time when colleges around the U.S.
Last week marked the passing of Dr. William G. Bowen, former provost and president at Princeton University, president of the Mellon Foundation, and author of several noteworthy books on higher education. During his tenure at the Mellon Foundation, he created an internal research division, the non-profit reference sources JSTOR and ARTstor, and the iThaka research foundation dedicated to examining the interface between technology and education.
The fourth conference organized by the Policy and Internet Journal (PIJ, founded in 2009) and the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) was held at the Mathematics Institute at Oxford University in late September. I was pleased to attend and represent American Public University System. The following recaps some of the presentations.
“We move from one online platform to another as part of our daily lives,” said Professor Helen Margetts, OII chair.
Reuters wrote about how a Chinese company, Dipont, bought access to admissions officers at elite U.S. colleges and universities including Vanderbilt, Tulane, the University of Virginia, and Wellesley College. Eight former Dipont employees were interviewed about the company’s practices with U.S. admissions officers. One of those practices, hosting a summer program in China and inviting U.S.
The Presidents’ Forum, established in 2004, is a collaboration of accredited, national, adult-serving institutions and programs that have embraced the power and potential of online education. The Forum provides a venue for leaders in higher education and stakeholders to share their knowledge and learn from others’ best practices. It was originally affiliated with Excelsior College and Excelsior’s president, John Ebersole, deserves credit for organizing and supporting it in its early years (note: I currently serve as Forum vice chair and APUS has supported the Forum for years).
A recent Inside Higher Education article, Oberlin Expands Its Reach, noted that Oberlin College is willing to open its library to online students in a Pioneer Academics program, and grant them credit for completing college level courses requiring a 15-30 page research paper. Oberlin is remunerated for the use of its library and for the credit granting.
Wally Boston glances back to when he acquired his first camera and later down the line, his first digital camera. As technology in this area evolves and becomes more sophisticated, so do consumers' needs for devices that can keep pace. Boston says that while he can only speculate on the power of government-operated facial recognition software, the power distributed to the person on the street through their phones and online software platforms is notable.
Oakland has been chosen as a pilot for the concept of UBI (universal basic income). Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley incubator and early-stage funder of Airbnb and Dropbox, announced a pilot in May to provide 100 individuals a monthly stipend for up to a year. The purpose is not just to test whether the UBI theory will succeed, but to also test the logistics of how to manage such a program. Matt Krisiloff, the manager of the pilot, noted that he was inspired to conduct the experiment based on his work with Artificial Intelligence.