USG e-clips for September 8, 2022

University System News:


Sonny Perdue joins GHC leadership at Ribbon Cutting for new Site

University System of Georgia Chancellor Sonny Perdue spoke about the importance of access to higher education and the return on investment students can expect from completing a college degree during the Ribbon Cutting for Georgia Highlands College’s new Marietta site.  Georgia Highlands College (GHC) opened the new site over the summer with the goal of bringing even greater access to one of the most affordable colleges in the state and country to Marietta.  GHC is a state college in the University System of Georgia (USG) and currently offers over 40 areas of study both in the classroom and online with associate degree and bachelor’s degree options at one of the most affordable rates in the state and country with a cost of less than $8,000 and less than $15,000 respectively. GHC’s newest location is at 1090 Northchase Parkway.


Georgia Southern University Professor of Music Receives National Awards

Allen Henderson, D.M.A., professor of music in the Fred and Dinah Gretsch School of Music at Georgia Southern University, has been recognized by two national organizations for his significant role in the voice industry.

The Voice Foundation presented Henderson with the 2022 Voice Education Research Awareness (VERA) Award for his “outstanding contributions to the field of voice.” He received the award in Philadelphia as part of the foundation’s annual symposium. The award honors unique leaders who have enhanced appreciation for the human voice, and recognizes those who have a dedication to excellence, education or mentorship. … A month later, the National Association of Teachers of Singing (NATS) awarded Henderson the IMPACT Award for his exceptional and unwavering dedication to the organization, and for the significant impact his leadership, initiative and achievements have made on the association during its 57th national conference in Chicago. NATS is the world’s largest professional association of voice and collaborative pianists with more than 7,000 members in the United States, Canada and more than 35 other countries.

WGAU Radio

UGA study: how parents teach math matters

By Kathryn Kao, UGA Today

“You’re so smart!” This encouraging response may actually do more harm than good to children’s math performance, according to a new study by the University of Georgia. Co-conducted by Michael Barger, an assistant professor in the Mary Frances Early College of Education’s Department of Educational Psychology, the study found that encouraging children with responses related to their personal traits or innate abilities may dampen their math motivation and achievement over time. Parents who make comments linking their children’s performance to personal attributes like intelligence (e.g., “You’re so smart” or “Math just isn’t your thing”) are using what’s referred to as person responses. In contrast, parents who link their children’s actions, such as effort or strategy use, to their performance (e.g., “You worked hard” or “What might be useful next time you have a math test?”) are using process responses.

Albany CEO

Dr. Doug Patten on Impact of Pandemic on Education Efforts

Dr. Doug Patten is Campus Dean of the Medical College of Georgia. He talks about the situation now with education as a result of the pandemic.


Are Americans open to yearly COVID vaccines? Health experts hope so

The White House COVID Response Team said once a year shots are in the future.

Author: Jerry Carnes

Most Americans forgo their yearly flu vaccine, raising concern among some medical experts who fear resistance to an annual COVID vaccine. Updated COVID boosters are now available in many pharmacies. The signal from the White House COVID Response Team is that we’ve moved into a new era of the COVID pandemic, where multiple shots each year are not necessary. “We want to get in the cadence and rhythm of once a year getting an annual shot,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. After suffering through with COVID, Atlanta resident Jamie Howard is prepared to roll up her sleeve every year. Some of her friends are not on the same page. “It’s part of life like a flu shot now,” Howard said. “Most of my friends have had all the boosters so far. I think it’s the continued part they’re all a little anxious about.” Less than half of all Americans get their yearly flu shot. Desire for COVID shots seems to have flattened. Seventy-four-percent of America had at least one shot in the arm at the start of the year. Nine months later, it’s 79%. Dr. Ashley Hannings of UGA’s College of Pharmacy said many people have started to downplay the impact of COVID much like they do each year with the flu.

Hindustan Times

How exercise can counter diabetes damage: Study

One way exercise can counter the damage of diabetes is by enabling activation of a natural system we have to grow new blood vessels when this disease ravages existing ones. Angiogenesis is the ability to form new blood vessels, and diabetes not only damages existing blood vessels, it hinders this innate ability to grow new ones in the face of disease and injury, say experts at the Vascular Biology Center at the Medical College of Georgia. Endothelial cells line our blood vessels and are essential to that new blood vessel growth. Now the MCG scientists have the first evidence that in the face of diabetes, even one 45-minute session of moderate intensity exercise enables more exosomes, submicroscopic packages filled with biologically active cargo, to deliver directly to those cells more of the protein, ATP7A, which can set angiogenesis in motion, they report in The FASEB Journal.

Mirage News

Researchers discover potential treatment for Chagas disease

Researchers from the University of Georgia have discovered a potential treatment for Chagas disease, marking the first medication with promise to successfully and safely target the parasitic infection in more than 50 years. Human clinical trials of the drug, an antiparasitic compound known as AN15368, will hopefully begin in the next few years.

Higher Education News:


U.S. prepaid college savings plans shine as inflation soars

By Chris Taylor

When inflation is low, locking in prices now for something down the road is hardly worth considering. But now it can be a big deal. Just ask Dennis Nolte. The senior vice president for Seacoast Investment Services in Winter Park, Florida, had the foresight to invest a lump sum in Florida’s prepaid college tuition plan in 2014 for his daughter Jessica, then aged 12. Jessica is now a sophomore studying finance at the University of Florida in Gainesville, with her tuition and fees all paid for. … Nolte’s experience shines a light on an interesting corner of the U.S. college-savings market: ‘Prepaid’ plans which let you buy credits or years of education at a set rate. When the price of everything seems to be going up – the annual U.S. inflation rate was 8.5% as of July – the idea of fixing future expenses at current levels can be appealing. This is especially so in higher education, where the average annual sticker price for four-year in-state colleges has risen to $10,740; four-year out-of-state colleges hit $27,560; and private nonprofit colleges are $38,070, according to the College Board.


Why State Universities Are Buying Up Online Colleges

By Jeffrey R. Young

Even before the pandemic, big-name colleges and universities were getting serious about online education. And that already-growing interest has ballooned since COVID-19 forced pretty much every institution to teach temporarily online. But we’ve seen an interesting trend in how some state universities have decided to get into online learning—with a big splash. Here’s the emerging approach: buy an existing online college that already has thousands or even tens of thousands of students.

Inside Higher Ed

The Mindset List

Marist College releases annual list of what freshmen know (and what they don’t know).

By Scott Jaschik

LeBron James and Hillary Clinton are important figures to incoming first-year college students, according to the latest mindset list released by Marist College. The list is designed to help those in academe adjust their perspective to that of the new freshmen. Marist took over the annual project from Beloit College in 2019. The Marist list is prepared by Tommy Zurhellen, associate professor of English; Vanessa Lynn, assistant professor of criminal justice; and Joyce Yu-Jean Lee, assistant professor of art and digital media. Their list said the Class of 2026 “is exploring” a range of disciplines. They follow, verbatim.

Higher Ed Dive

Over 1 in 20 students at a state flagship are caregivers, researchers found. They face these challenges.

Laura Spitalniak, Associate Editor

Dive Brief:

Colleges should identify which students are most likely to be caregivers and design policies to help minimize emotional and academic risks they face, according to new research published in Humanities and Social Sciences Communications, a peer-reviewed academic journal. Researchers working with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill surveyed over 7,500 undergraduate and graduate students and found that 5.6% identified as caregivers. Specifically, 3.2% cared for someone who was chronically ill or aging, such as a parent or grandparent, and 2.9% cared for a minor, with some overlap between the two groups. Caregiving students were disproportionately women, graduate students, financial aid recipients and were enrolled part time. Students who said they cared for someone three to five days a week had lower GPAs on average, and the likelihood they would report anxiety and depressive symptoms rose the more hours per day they spend taking care of others.

Inside Higher Ed

COVID Goes Back to School

As students return to campus, colleges are reporting record-high numbers of COVID cases—but don’t expect a revival of heightened safety measures.

By Liam Knox

The start of the fall semester has brought more than students back to college campuses. As dorms and lecture halls fill up again, COVID-19 cases are spiking at some institutions. Ever since the pandemic started in March of 2020, campus COVID cases have surged with the return of students at the beginning of each new semester, only to level off a few weeks later. Still, some of this fall’s numbers have been alarmingly high, raising concerns that safety protocols and guidelines were relaxed too early. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has seen more cases in the past few weeks than at any time since the start of the pandemic. On Aug. 30 the university reported 326 new cases, its highest ever single-day count; the next highest was on Feb. 1, 2022, when 287 cases of the virus were reported. During the first week of classes, which started Aug. 22, the university reported over 1,000 new cases of the virus—a positivity rate of 21 percent.

Higher Ed Dive

Baylor College of Medicine notches rare win against insurer in COVID-19 damages case

Rick Seltzer, Senior Editor

Dive Brief:

A Texas jury last week found that COVID-19 caused direct physical loss or damage to the Baylor College of Medicine’s property and awarded the institution $48.5 million from Lloyd’s of London syndicates that provided it with commercial property insurance. Ten members of a 12-person jury in Harris County District Court ruled against the insurer, the minimum number needed to decide the case in Baylor’s favor. They awarded the institution almost $42.9 million for lost net profits because COVID-19 interrupted business, $3.4 million for extra expenses to recover lost or damaged property, and $2.3 million in research project expenses caused by the virus.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

In Tenn., a Lawmaker Tells Colleges to Scrub References to Gay and Transgender Rights Under Title IX

By Katherine Mangan

A tug of war over gay and transgender rights has escalated across Tennessee in recent weeks as public universities statewide respond to a lawmaker’s letter telling them to scrub references to Title IX protections for these groups from their policies and websites. At issue was an August 22 email from Rep. John D. Ragan, a Republican from Oak Ridge who co-chairs the Joint Government Operations Committee in the state’s House of Representatives. In it, he told the leaders of Tennessee’s public universities “to immediately revoke and/or remove any publications, policies, and website entries for which your institution is responsible that state or imply that LGBTQI+ students, etc., are a protected class under Title IX.” He gave them until September 2 to do so. If they didn’t, he warned, they could be violating state laws that conflict with the Biden administration’s interpretation of the federal law that bans sex-based discrimination in educational settings. Ragan said he was sending the letter because a federal district court in July had issued a ruling temporarily preventing the U.S. Department of Education from enforcing 2021 guidance that included gay and transgender students under Title IX protections. The suspension applies to Tennessee and 19 other states that joined it in a lawsuit challenging that policy. Universities that violate Title IX risk losing federal funding, although that penalty has never been levied.

Inside Higher Ed

Faculty Strike at Eastern Michigan

Professors say the university’s health care cost-sharing proposal, which would dramatically increase their premiums, forced their hand. Eastern Michigan files for an injunction to force faculty members back to work.

By Colleen Flaherty

Tenured and tenure-track faculty members at Eastern Michigan University went on strike indefinitely Wednesday over stalled negotiations for a new contract. Scores of professors spent much of the day on a campus picket line, while the university directed students to attend classes and wait 15 minutes to see if an instructor showed up. Many professors did not, following a 91 percent faculty vote in favor of striking Tuesday. Negotiations were ongoing Wednesday, with no agreement reached. By the end of the day, Eastern Michigan had filed a complaint in Washtenaw County Circuit Court asking for an injunction ordering faculty members back to work. Public employee strikes are illegal in Michigan, and the university’s complaint cited injury to students and others.

The Chronicle of Higher Education

U.S. Tells Harvard It Could Be Liable for Retaliation by Professors

By Nell Gluckman

The U.S. Department of Justice said on Wednesday that Harvard University could be held responsible for retaliation carried out by its professors. The government filed a brief in a case in which three graduate students sued Harvard, alleging that the university had failed to protect them from sexual harassment and threats of retaliation. The three students, all members of Harvard’s anthropology department, had accused the university in federal court of “deliberate indifference to the retaliatory acts of its employees,” including an anthropology professor, John L. Comaroff. The students alleged that Harvard’s actions had violated Title IX and that the university’s investigation into claims of misconduct by Comaroff had been insufficient. They wrote in their complaint that “Harvard denied that Professor Comaroff engaged in repeated sexual harassment or retaliation.”

The Chronicle of Higher Education

HBCUs Should Join Forces

Until the institutions form a single system, their impact will be diluted.


By Tony Allen

In 2018 my historically Black institution, Delaware State University, began providing all incoming students with an iPad or MacBook. When Covid struck in 2020, our digital-learning collaboration with Apple allowed our faculty to transition more than 1,440 course sections from traditional classrooms to digital platforms in only five days. Our free-device program hinges on negotiating bulk prices. Between college students, early-college high-school students, faculty members, and staff members, we manage 7,500 tablets and laptops, and add another 1,800 annually. That dependable reorder qualifies us for substantial discounts. Yet the day we received our first 1,400 devices in 2018, a nearby Maryland school district received 30,000. Our discount pales in comparison to theirs. That made me wonder: What would happen to our price break if, instead of ordering for a university of 5,600 students, we were ordering for a nationwide community of 325,000 students? And what other benefits would we see from being part of a large system?

Inside Higher Ed

OPINION – The Freedom to Disparage and Be Disparaged

Colleges and universities should adopt policies prohibiting the use of nondisparagement clauses in any legal settlements, John K. Wilson writes.

By John K. Wilson

Gag orders on college campuses are all the rage right now, as Republican legislators seek to ban the discussion of critical race theory and other “divisive concepts” that offend conservative sensibilities. A new PEN America report, “America’s Censored Classrooms,” identified 137 educational gag bills introduced so far in 2022, compared to 54 in 2021, which marked a dramatic increase from previous years. While these external attempts at censorship make headlines for the dire threat to academic freedom they pose, few academics are aware of the gag orders imposed by colleges themselves. The recent settlement between Ferris State University, in Michigan, and Barry Mehler, a professor who was suspended earlier this year for sending students a video that referred to them (jokingly) as “cocksuckers” and “vectors of disease,” raises important questions about academic freedom in the classroom. But the March settlement between Ferris State and Mehler, paying him $95,000 to retire immediately with emeritus status, also raises other important questions about academic freedom because of its nondisparagement clause, a kind of gag order designed to silence criticism.

Inside Higher Ed

Water Woes in Jackson

The latest water crisis in Jackson, Miss., is nearly over, but area colleges and universities are calling for long-term fixes.

By Katherine Knott

Thomas Hudson, president at Jackson State University, had hoped to kick off this academic year by celebrating a large freshman class, record fundraising, new programs and the football team’s quest to defend its national championship. He set those thoughts aside after the Pearl River, which runs through Jackson, Miss., flooded and knocked the city’s water treatment plant off-line Aug. 29—leaving the city of more than 150,000 without safe tap water and extremely low water pressure for about a week. Jackson State and two of the area’s other colleges and universities moved classes online as a result, brought in portable showers and restrooms, and provided students and staff with bottled drinking water, Mississippi Today reported. The city had already been under a boil-water notice for more than a month This was not the first time Jackson State had to quickly improvise to respond to a water emergency.

The Wall Street Journal

Student-Loan Forgiveness Raises a Question About College

Are too many young people attending to begin with? Degrees have benefits for many, but not for all.

By Jason L. Riley

Some 20 million students will head off to college and university this fall, and we wish all of them well. But are we allowed to ask whether that number is too high? Economists call it the “fallacy of composition,” which is the assumption that what’s true for members of a group must also be true for the group as a whole. To use a popular example: It’s true that if someone stands up in a football stadium, that person will be able to see better. But it’s not true that if everyone stands up, everyone will have a better view.  Much public support for President Biden’s student-loan forgiveness plan rests on the same faulty logic. Just because some will benefit from a four-year degree in pay and choice of jobs, it doesn’t follow that everyone will. Yes, the student-debt problem stems from the dramatic rise in college costs in recent decades. But it’s also a function of too many young people who have little to gain from four more years of classroom instruction being tempted to take out loans and attend college anyway.