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Week in Review

It’s finally here—glorious fall weather has returned! The humidity has broken, I’ve turned the AC off and thrown open my windows for the first time since moving from Massachusetts to Virginia. Time to break out the sweaters and dust off the leather boots. There are a lot of reasons why fall is my favorite time of year—new school supplies, apple cider donuts, changing leaves, scarves, some very important birthdays for the TVP Comms staff—but soup definitely plays a big role. If you’ve got any good recipes for me to set simmering away on the stove, please send them my way!
If your only soup recipe is for cup of noodles, then I’ll politely pass and instead I’d like to direct your attention to the latest in higher ed news below.
What’s new this week:
Augustana College President Steven Bahls isn’t convinced that Hillary Clinton’s college plan would expand student opportunities. While it’s a step in the right direction, the plan would actually limit opportunities—especially for first-generation, low-income students—because it largely excludes private institutions.
Another Augustana hit: Executive Vice President W. Kent Barnds celebrated the FAFSA policy changes in a piece for Inside Higher Ed.
Congrats to Grinnell College student Yesenia Ayala on being named a Champion of Change by the White House for her work with Latinos in the community.
While it’s best to not use private loans to cover tuition and education costs, sometimes it’s unavoidable. Before signing anything, however, Mary Johnson of Higher One has some important advice for students on avoiding predatory loans.
Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin system and University of Wisconsin Extension, weighed in on Obama’s college scorecard and found more minuses than pluses.
Higher education can make a big difference in someone’s life, and California State University San Marcos President Karen Haynes urged support for all students.
What we’ve been talking about:
It can be easy to get bogged down in the weeds of higher education and sometimes lose sight of why we do things. Erin Hennessy reminded us that we’re in this business to help students.
On Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, Teresa Valerio Parrot stressed the importance of one of her cardinal rules for handling crises on campus—tell internal audiences first.
What we’ve been reading:
Teresa Valerio Parrot
So often, Buzzfeed quizzes just get me. It’s as if someone on staff is following me around and creating lists in my wake. And here’s this week’s gem: “13 Awkward Moments That Happen When You Get Braces.”
The prospect of taxing colleges and universities has been something I’ve strongly opposed for years and a bit of a soapbox issue for me. I’m not surprised to see it resurface yet again. For years I’ve watched as institutions allow critiques of their nonprofit status to pile up and am stymied that they refuse to defend themselves and the industry more vigorously. Maybe the study cited in this story will finally galvanize us. Probably not, but a girl can dream…
Kristine Maloney
September tends to be an especially stressful time in the world of academia. If you’ve recently found yourself venting more, this article has some great tips for how to make venting at work more productive. Might as well use all that energy for some good, right? At TVP Communications, I think we excel at #2 and #4, in particular.
Kyle Gunnels
I love following politics, however this week’s biggest political story for me didn’t have anything to do with the GOP circus (or debate depending on your take). Instead, I was glued to information coming from Australia, where the Liberal Party (in AUS, the Liberal party is akin to our GOP) held a spill vote to oust the sitting Prime Minister, Tony Abbott. Australia’s political system has fascinated me since living there, especially because the party in power can, at any time, hold a vote to replace the Prime Minister—and it’s happened three times in the past five or so years! The Australian version of The Conversation had a great round up of opinions on what this most recent “coup” means for the country.
Ali Lincoln
Erin Hennessy is like my own personal book fairy. Not only do I regularly ask her for recs (and stalk her book-related posts on Instagram to bulk up my library hold list), but she also brings me books when I see her—even when I forget to return previously lent books. This week, I finally got my hold on How To Build a Girl from the public library (which my husband hilariously mistook for a parenting book on how to raise daughters), and my scores from Erin’s personal library system included Saint Mazie and The Trip to Echo Springs.
I like the idea of being more self-sufficient and being more connected to what I consume, so I know how to do things like make paper and grow different kinds of food. Sometimes I continue making things from scratch, and sometimes it’s not worth the time, effort, or money to do it, though I like knowing that I can in fact do it. But this guy takes “from scratch” to a completely different level with his sandwich making efforts. He even makes his own salt (which I’m totally going to try at some point, especially since I don’t have to smuggle anything on an airplane). Watching the video of all of the steps was impressive, but six months and $1,500 is a lot to invest in a sandwich
Erin Hennessy
Growing up, my sister and I both swam competitively during the summers and in high school. Our parents’ approach to our athletic endeavors was basically to drop us off, pick us up, and cheer during our meets…basically 180 degrees from how the family of Josh McKenzie is approaching his athletic endeavors. “Josh also embodies the runaway free-for-all youth sports have become. Specialized training. High school coaches lining up to woo players. Working out to the point of total exhaustion. Repeating a grade for athletic advantage. Bouncing from team to team. It’s all part of his family’s all-in, college-scholarship-or-bust gamble.” I don’t know if this article makes me tired or angry or sad.
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