The Forum | General Education

This Week in Higher Ed 11/2/18

November 2, 2018

Repercussions Continue for the University of Maryland–College Park

Since the tragic death of Jordan McNair, an offensive tackle for the University of Maryland–College Park, calls for greater accountability have reached fever pitch. After an investigation into the football program’s “toxic” culture, the institution suspended head coach DJ Durkin. On October 30, the board of regents announced its recommendation to reinstate Coach Durkin, prompting President Wallace Loh to announce his resignation, which would be effective June 2019.

Following protests from students, players, and the public, including Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, President Loh fired DJ Durkin on October 31. Today, the University’s accreditor announced that is reviewing the institution’s accreditation status following the scandal.

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Liberal Arts Majors More Likely to Find Employment

A new report by Burning Glass Technologies, a labor market analytics firm, has found that liberal arts majors—including English, history, foreign language, and philosophy—are more likely to find employment matching their education level compared to students with vocational majors. Since our founding, ACTA has been a leading advocate for a strong and robust liberal arts education; our What Will They Learn? survey rates over 1,100 American colleges and universities based on their core curriculum requirements. At a time of vast economic change, higher education has an obligation to provide its students with the tools to be engaged citizens and compete successfully in the job market.

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Public Colleges and Universities Are Becoming Increasingly Unaffordable

In a recent study, New America found that the majority of public universities require low-income students to pay at least $10,000 a year, which can equal a third of family income; and almost 8% of public institutions expect low-income families to pay more than $15,000 a year. A second report by the Institute for Higher Education Policy shows that many state flagships are pursuing students with higher grades and test scores—who often come from wealthier families—neglecting their mission of providing educational opportunity for all students, especially state residents from low- and middle-income backgrounds.

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Every Friday, ACTA will recap on the most talked about higher education news from across the country, using over 23 years of expertise to provide commentary on issues facing our nation’s colleges and universities.


Launched in 1995, we are the only organization that works with alumni, donors, trustees, and education leaders across the United States to support liberal arts education, uphold high academic standards, safeguard the free exchange of ideas on campus, and ensure that the next generation receives an intellectually rich, high-quality college education at an affordable price.

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