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College Ratings and Rankings: The Debate Continues

BY BRIAN C. MITCHELL Last month’s Huffington Post College article (also published on Academe), “Grading Higher Education: When Worlds Collide,” sparked a lively offline discussion and is worthy of additional exploration. In that post, we examined how various magazines, journals, and other outlets grade American higher education in their version of what some call the…

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Nothing Certain But Death & Taxes? Not for Higher Ed.

BY BRIAN C. MITCHELL Rick Seltzer reported recently in Inside Higher Education on a complex decision by Princeton University to settle litigation with neighboring homeowners who argued that the University was a profit-making institution and therefore subject potentially to millions of additional dollars in taxes annually. Arrangement Doesn’t Settle Issue of Tax Exemption The arrangement…

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Grading Higher Education: When Worlds Collide

BY BRIAN C. MITCHELL One of the most persistent problems facing American higher education is how best to explain its importance and enduring value to the public. The problem is that various perspectives shape the approach utilized. Higher education leadership – especially at the research universities and the liberal arts colleges – often speak to…

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The Stubbornly High Cost of Doing Business

BY BRIAN C. MITCHELL In the Hechinger Report’s recent story, “University Bureaucracies Grew 15 Percent During the Recession, Even as Budgets Were Cut and Tuition Increased,” reporter Jon Marcus examined the confounding trend that many university systems are showing “new resolve . . . to improve the efficiency and productivity of stubbornly labor-intensive higher education”…

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Politician for President? Consider This.

BY BRIAN C. MITCHELL Some politicians make good college presidents, at least on paper. As Rick Seltzer reported in Inside Higher Education last week , the best possess many of the same skills as successful college and university presidents. They are typically well connected with outside stakeholders, enjoy good name recognition, and know how to…

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Look Beyond Elites for True Picture of Admissions

BY BRIAN C. MITCHELL For thousands of high school students, October marks the start of the college application season. Application deadlines approach, standardized tests and essays are finalized, and this year, an earlier deadline for the FAFSA financial aid application. In a series of reports last month, seasoned higher education journalist Scott Jaschik presented some…