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Week in Review: #CuteAnimalTweetOff to the Rescue

What. A. Week. I don’t know about you, but this week had me ready to throw up my hands in defeat. Luckily, zoos and aquariums across the country offered a perfect remedy—Cute Animal Tweet Off. And it seems like I wasn’t the only one in desperate need of some adorableness to lighten the grim pall cast by this week. #CuteAnimalTweetOff went viral, moving beyond U.S. zoos when international zoos started to get in on the action. Even the New York Times ran an article about it. Do yourself a favor and if you haven’t already, check out the intensely cute Twitter battle.

Do yourself another favor by scrolling down for the latest in higher ed news.

What’s new this week:

Since the new FAFSA timeline went into effect for the 2016-2017 admissions cycle, there has been a lot of uncertainty about what impact changes may have on colleges and students. Not to worry—our campus experts have some answers. Financial aid director at College of the Holy Cross Lynne Meyers weighed in on financial aid changes students and families can expect this year in a piece for U.S. News & World Report. Anne Kremer, dean of admission at Drake University, offered thoughts on how colleges are adjusting to the new timeline in a piece for The Chronicle of Higher Education.

Drake University professor Renee Cramer wrote an op-ed for the Des Moines Register on why defunding Planned Parenting does not accomplish pro-life goals.

Professor David Cook-Martin of Grinnell College examined why Trump’s plan for a wall with Mexico is so popular and why it won’t work. The piece, which originally appeared in The Conversation, also ran in other outlets including the AP, United Press International, and Newsweek, and was referenced in EconoTimes. Professor Cook-Martin also did an interview on the topic with KRLD Radio, the CBS radio affiliate in Dallas, Texas.

Congrats to professor Karla Erickson, associate dean and chair of sociology at Grinnell College, on her successful presentation of preliminary research at the annual AAC&U meeting. Inside Higher Ed featured the co-investigated research, which makes a case for supporting midcareer professors and gives new insight and proposes a framework for how to best work with these faculty members.

This week on Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog, don’t miss resolutions for higher ed marketing leaders and an introduction to an eight-part series on crafting a unique, authentic brand.

What’s next on our calendars:

On February 3, Erin will co-present at NACUBO’s 2017 Endowment and Debt Management Forum in New York City on how institutions can communicate effectively about their endowments in a time of heightened legislative scrutiny.

On March 30, Erin will be presenting with Inside Higher Ed’s Paul Fain on crisis communications at CASE’s 25th Annual Conference for Institutionally Related Foundations.

What we’re recommending:

Kristine Maloney
Some weeks you just need a feel-good story. Here’s one from NPR about Madrid’s Robin Hood restaurant. They charge the rich at breakfast and lunch and the cost of their meals covers the bill for 100 homeless diners at night. Reservations for paying customers are booked through the end of March.

Cristal Steuer
I’m with Kristine this week—sometimes you just need an uplifting, feel-good story. The Massachusetts Fallen Heroes group worked with a local insurance company and car repair shop to restore an SUV for the wife and family of a fallen marine. Marine Sergeant Danny Vasselian was killed in Afghanistan three years ago and while his wife and children have a scholarship and memorial fund in his name to help other military families, they needed help as well. The Fallen Heroes organization says this is the first time they have donated to a Gold Star family, but the need is still great. The group has donated six other cars to local veterans.

Ali Lincoln
I have an embarrassingly long list of books that I probably should have read by this point (especially as an English major). And I always have such good intentions of getting around to finally reading them, often working them into my resolutions each year. But sometimes—perhaps because I feel like I should be giving my utmost attention to the revered tomes—I find them to be a bit weightier, a more challenging read and I find myself reading the same sentence several times while fending off the siren call of sleep. So for this year, my goal is a little more flexible: to keep a “should read” in my book rotation each month. I kicked off with environmental classic Silent Spring. Although it isn’t high literature, it does have some weight and cultural significance, and quite frankly, it feels particularly relevant these days.

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