Monthly Archives: December 2013

Higher-Ed Trends for 2014

National Journal has a story previewing  5 Higher-Ed Trends for 2014. The article identifies five broad trends that look likely to impact higher education this year. National Journal does excellent reporting and their list looks solid to me.

Grade Inflation

National Journal has a story (“Harvard Is Completely Ordinary When It Comes to Grade Inflation“) how an A has become the most common grade in the US and the average GPA has risen from 2.52 in 1966 to 3.11 in 2006.

The rise of grade inflation is on display every day at The picture isn’t pretty.

Chart of grade inflation

This is a problem that faculty need to take responsibility for. Why aren’t we doing a better job holding the line?

Athletic Spending Database

The Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics has released a database (“Athletic & Academic Spending Database for NCAA Division I“) that let users put together custom reports that compare spending for Division I athletic programs.

I did a quick comparison of spending at Stephen F. Austin vs the University of Texas (that is, where I am compared to where I went to school). You can click on the graph to see a larger version.

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 7.37.59 AM

As you can see, there’s no real comparison. I have occasionally been amused by colleagues here who like to talk about “big time college athletics” at SFA

The Knight Commission’s system allows you to compare spending on academics (I chose “Instructional Spending per FTE) to academic and non academic spending per student. You can compare all kinds of schools and all kinds of variables. It’s big-time college fun.

Turning down student requests for deadline extensions

A story in Inside Higher Ed (“McGill professor manages to turn down student request and gain popularity“) looks like a great example of turning the plea for extending a deadline a fun and teachable moment.