Higher Ed

Higher Ed

Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

NC State officials say troubled chemistry building has been found safe, but scientists who work there question testing

After a series of tests at N.C. State’s Dabney Hall, home to the Chemistry Department, the school’s Environmental Health and Safety office is saying concerns expressed by staff, faculty and students about air quality are overblown. But chemistry and safety experts in the department say the methodology of the tests was faulty and still show concerning levels of chemical compounds in areas where they shouldn’t appear — including offices where no chemicals are used or stored.

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Environment Higher Ed

PW exclusive: NC State faculty, safety officer and graduate students sound alarm over potentially harmful air contamination in chemistry building

Students reported headaches, nausea, vomiting, but say their concerns about poor ventilation were dismissed On the morning of Oct. 7, NC State University chemistry professor Jim Martin arrived at Dabney Hall carrying boxes to pack up his office in Room 822A. In less than 10 minutes, an air sensor gave him some disturbing results.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

Walter Hussman returns as UNC’s journalism school faces crisis of values, diversity

The mega-donor's 'hush-hush homecoming' reignites concern among faculty When Walter Hussman returned to UNC-Chapel Hill this week, he hoped to begin mending relations with the journalism school that bears his name. But that proved to be difficult, given the mega-donor’s lobbying against the hiring of Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones. 

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Journalism historian discusses role of American newspapers in abetting white supremacy

Prof. Kathy Roberts Forde previews upcoming talk at UNC-Chapel Hill and reflects on recent controversies that have roiled her alma mater Journalists like to think of themselves as part of a long lineage of truth seekers, a “fourth estate” in American life keeping government honest and shining light in dark places since the founding of the republic.

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Education Higher Ed News Top Story

Monday numbers: A closer look at the North Carolina School of Science and Math

Beginning next year, graduates of the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics will be guaranteed admission at UNC System schools. The new policy, approved at last month’s meeting of the UNC Board of Governors, will apply to all Science and Math students applying for first time admission beginning with the Fall 2022 semester.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Search for new UNC journalism school dean commences in aftermath of Hannah-Jones/Hussman controversy

The search committee charged with finding the next dean of UNC-Chapel Hill’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media set out its goals and a rough timeline this week. The search comes in the wake of this summer’s fight over the school’s failed attempt to hire Pulitzer Prize winning journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones in a tenured position...

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Education Higher Ed Top Story

New fee hike spurs UNC-Chapel Hill students to seek more and better mental health, public safety services

Student leaders at UNC-Chapel Hill are asking that money from a recently increased security fee go toward student priorities, including additional mental health services on campus, hiring gender violence service coordinators and improving safe nighttime transit on campus.

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COVID-19 Higher Ed News Top Story

UNC System faculty push for more flexibility as pandemic semester unfolds

Two weeks into in-person instruction at UNC System campuses, faculty members at universities small and large are pushing for more flexibility to deal with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, including, in some cases, a temporary shift back to online classes. On Tuesday, Duke University announced new protocols as its campus deals with a spike in infections, largely among vaccinated students. These include giving professors the ability to shift to online-only classes for the next two weeks.

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Higher Ed News Top Story

How can a higher education scandal last for years? Money, power, and politics.

As a student reporter and editor at the Daily Tar Heel, Andy Thomason was at ground zero for the UNC-Chapel Hill “paper classes” athletics scandal that broke in 2010. He helped direct coverage at the independent student paper during the rest of his college career and followed it for the Chronicle of Higher Education after landing a reporting job there in 2014.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: UNC pandemic specialist says school is repeating mistakes from 2020

Veteran epidemiologist and ethicist is fearful university leaders have not learned vital lessons from last year As students return for the fall semester at UNC-Chapel Hill Wednesday, Dr. Jim Thomas is having an uneasy sense of déjà vu. “I’m very uneasy about what I’m seeing,” said Thomas, a professor emeritus in the Epidemiology department at the Gillings School of Global Public Health. “Or what I’m seeing again.”

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

PW exclusive: Author Geeta Kapur discusses her new book detailing the history and legacy of racism at UNC

As a lawyer and civil rights activist, Geeta Kapur was well aware of racism in North Carolina. But she had a blind spot ...
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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

State law: UNC Press leader can stay on despite opposition from UNC Board of Governors

Conservatives on UNC BOG want to remove Prof. Eric Muller, but legal experts say they lack the authority to do so In a high-stakes game of political poker with the UNC Board of Governors, a state statute may provide the UNC Press with a trump card.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

UNC journalism faculty members: Wealthy donors should not define the school’s values

Members of the UNC-Chapel Hill journalism school faculty overwhelmingly reject the notion that a mega-donor's "core values" of journalism should be the official values of the school, according to a recent survey. Instead, the faculty members favor independently determining the school's values.

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Education Higher Ed News Top Story

New members join UNC Board of Trustees, shifting demographics but likely not ideologies 

Six new members are set to join the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees, changing the board’s demographic makeup but likely not its conservative bent. The new trustees will have to contend with the fallout from the Nikole Hannah-Jones case, which has prompted an exodus of Black faculty and raised questions about the effectiveness of the university’s shared governance structure.

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Higher Ed Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

Nikole Hannah-Jones declines UNC tenure offer, heads to Howard University

In an exclusive interview, Hannah-Jones reveals that she and fellow award-winning journalist Ta-Nehisi Coates will launch new Center for Democracy and Journalism at Washington, DC HBCU After months of public controversy and behind-the-scenes political struggles, acclaimed journalist Nikole Hannah-Jones has decided not to join the faculty at UNC-Chapel Hill.

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Higher Ed News Policy Watch Investigates Top Story

As board prepares to vote on Hannah-Jones tenure, struggle continues over direction of UNC

Tenure supporters express optimism even as outside political pressure mounts After more than a month of headlines, revelations, petitions and protests, the UNC-Chapel Hill Board of Trustees will meet Wednesday to confront the issue of tenure for Nikole Hannah-Jones.

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