Notes in the Margins: Unions, self-plagiarism and prepping for the admissions interview

Alumni Interview, The Home Version My daughter tolerated my parent-turned-college-interviewer demeanor and “annoying” questions for only about 15 minutes (I’m confident she reserved that adjective for just this one interview), but to my surprise, it turned out to be a chance to learn a few things about my child I hadn’t really known — or ever ventured to ask. (

Level the playing field, cut sports At a time of severe budget crisis when a business model is being invoked to justify the elimination of academic programs, non-academic units such as athletics should be held to the same standard of cost effectiveness. At a minimum, athletics should be expected to rely on the intercollegiate athletics fee and whatever external revenue they manage to attract. (Albany Times-Union)

Editorial: California's in-state tuition provision for illegal immigrants: It's the right choice In a decision that could have ramifications for higher education across the country, the California Supreme Court ruled Monday that illegal immigrants who attend state high schools for at least three years and graduate can continue to pay the lower, in-state tuition rates at California's public universities and colleges. The decision, which reverses a lower court ruling, is a huge victory for many deserving students who otherwise might have been unable to afford a college education. (Los Angeles Times)

The Move Back to Early Admissions Four years ago, momentum appeared to be growing for competitive colleges to eliminate programs in which some high school students applied early and found out early whether they were admitted -- sometimes with the requirement that they commit to enroll if admitted. Critics said early admission favored wealthy students. On Tuesday came news that discouraged some critics of early admissions programs: Virginia, one of the institutions that was seen as a leader in abandoning early admissions, is bringing it back. There is a key difference: the early program Virginia abandoned was a binding program in which admitted applicants had to agree to enroll, and the new program is non-binding. (Inside Higher Ed)

Community Colleges Push Back Community colleges have been the target of attacks from the for-profit education sector lately. Now, the community college sector is having its say. The American Association of Community Colleges has released its latest quarterly policy brief, which “examines some of the variables that differentiate community colleges from for-profit institutions … in terms of oversight, service and financing.” (Inside Higher Ed)

Unions Hold Mostly Pluses for Faculties at Public Colleges, Study Finds A new study of public four-year colleges concludes that unionizing appears to give faculty members considerably more clout in some key areas and does not seem to do them much harm. (

Plagiarizing Yourself Most of us among the ranks of tenured faculty members have recycled a presentation from one conference to the next, or trotted out a conference paper in a pinch that was merely an extract of one of our published articles. (

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