Friday, March 6, 2015

POSTED: Thursday, March 5, 2015, 2:29 PM

Unveiled in 2009, Drexel’s Sacramento campus was supposed to be the first of five new locations in growing cities around the country that would help the university expand its reach for new students and build fund-raising among alumni.

And it was supposed to be a toe in the water for a larger plan to open a 5,000-student undergraduate campus on a large swath of land in Placer County, Calif.

That’s what late Drexel President Constantine “Taki” Papadakis envisioned.

POSTED: Wednesday, March 4, 2015, 2:43 PM
Former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell smiles as he talks about The Rendell Center for Citizenship and Civics. Judge Marjorie Rendell announced the finalists for the 2013 Citizenship Challenge Essay Contest during a press event at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on November 21, 2013. (DAVID MAIALETTI / Staff Photographer )

Two public policy centers in the Philadelphia region are joining forces to improve civics education in schools.

The Rendell Center for Civics & Civic Engagement has relocated its headquarters to the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, the institutions announced Wednesday.

The Rendell Center, led by Marjorie O. Rendell, 3rd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge, has targeted its civics work in lower grades, while the Annenberg Center has worked with middle and high schools.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 4:39 PM
Gov. Tom Wolf delivers his budget address for the 2015-16 fiscal year to a joint session of the Pennsylvania House and Senate on Tuesday, March 3, 2015, in Harrisburg. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

After years of flat or declining funding, Pennsylvania’s state universities and community colleges would see significant increases in their budgets under Gov. Wolf’s proposed spending plan unveiled Tuesday.

But as Wolf said in his budget address, there are strings attached: He asked the colleges to freeze tuition for next year.

“And I expect them to answer that call,” he said.

POSTED: Tuesday, March 3, 2015, 12:00 PM

Vijay Kumar, a member of the University of Pennsylvania’s engineering faculty since 1987, was named dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, the university announced Tuesday.

Kumar, who has appointments in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, Computer and Information Science and Electrical and Systems Engineering, will take the helm on July 1.

“Vijay is one of the most recognized figures in his field and has been instrumental in the development of extraordinary new technologies,” Penn President Amy Gutmann said. “That experience will be invaluable in leading the School through what we know will be dynamic years ahead.”

POSTED: Wednesday, February 25, 2015, 6:12 PM
Rowan University has been increasing the number of professional advisers, creating a faculty mentor system, and is expanding the use of a computer tracking program that allows faculty and advisers to communicate and see an overview of student success. ( DAVID M WARREN / Staff Photographer )

Public colleges in New Jersey and Pennsylvania have among the highest graduation rates in the country, according to data released this week.

More than 70 percent of students that start at public four-year schools in those two states graduate within six years, according to state-by-state data released this week by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which conducts research based on data it receives from almost every public and private college in the country.

The data track students across schools and states, which the organization says makes it the most complete measure available. Schools generally do not track students who transfer out, meaning those students get grouped together with those who leave college altogether — “noncomplete” ends up meaning both transfers and dropouts. The new data are based on students who first started college in fall 2008.

POSTED: Thursday, February 19, 2015, 6:52 PM
Phoebe A. Haddon, the chancellor of Rutgers-Camden, said Thursday that the campus needs increased funding from private donors. (TOM GRALISH / Staff Photographer)

Rutgers-Camden needs money.

Specifically, its chancellor said Thursday, it needs increased funding from private sources — not from tuition hikes or the state.

Chancellor Phoebe A. Haddon was asked at Thursday’s meeting of the Rutgers-Camden Board of Directors about how “ambassadors” from the rest of the university — i.e. members of governing boards who are alumni of other campuses — can support the southernmost campus.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 12:01 PM
Penn State University president Eric J. Barron. (File photo: Michael S. Wirtz / Staff Photographer)

Penn State President Eric Barron has accepted all 18 recommendations from a task force on sexual assault and harassment, including requiring most employees - from janitors to professors and secretaries - to report allegations of sexual misconduct.

Barron said the university will move first to hire someone to oversee all issues around Title IX, the federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex and requires universities to investigate sexual assaults..A standalone office also will be created.

Many of the rest of the recommendations will be implemented over the next 12 months, he said.

POSTED: Tuesday, February 17, 2015, 10:30 AM
Colleen M. Hanycz

La Salle University Tuesday named a Canadian educator its 29th president, an historic choice that marks the first time the 152-year-old university will be headed by a lay leader and woman rather than a Christian brother.

Colleen M. Hanycz, head of Brescia University College, a Catholic school in London, Ontario, will take the helm of the 6,200-student La Salle on July 10.

“I can’t tell you how excited I am at having this opportunity,” said Hanycz (pronounced Han-ich), 48, who was on the Philadelphia campus for the announcement. “It is really a tremendous opportunity for me.”

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CampusInq provides higher education news about colleges and universities throughout the Philadelphia region and beyond. Look here for breaking news stories, features and newsy nuggets that might or might not appear in the print version of the Inquirer.

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