Updated: Good news for higher ed, better news for UO faculty

7/26/2013: The NYT reports on a dip in higher ed enrollment:

College enrollment fell 2 percent in 2012-13, the first significant decline since the 1990s, but nearly all of that drop hit for-profit and community colleges; now, signs point to 2013-14 being the year when traditional four-year, nonprofit colleges begin a contraction that will last for several years.

But it’s a poorly researched scare story with no data, focusing on some small southern catholic college where enrollment fell 30% this year. The latest NCES projections are for a 10% increase in enrollment at 4-year public institutions over the next 8 years. Oregon’s demographics are even more favorable than the national ones, and of course our governor has hired Rudy Crew, a change agent with a national reputation for a short attention span, Nancy Golden, a respected, experienced Oregon leader with a long-term proven track record to implement his 40/40/20 plan which calls for roughly doubling college enrollment in Oregon

So, the worry here at UO is how we will handle this increased growth. Enrollment is already 4% above the academic plan, admissions standards are increasing, and Forbes Magazine just rated us as the 65th best college in the U.S. (Anon commenter fact-check: among public universities, that is. Overall, UO is #217, OSU is #304.) I checked their weighting scheme, it’s all about costs, student employment outcomes, and satisfaction with teaching. Football and beach volleyball count for 0%.

In unrelated news, it turns out the President of the National Academy of Arts and Sciences, which I’d always assumed was the arts and letters version of the NAS, is a fraud who has lied about having a PhD for years, and gets paid ~$700K a year. From the Boston Globe, via the wicked Margaret Soltan:

CAMBRIDGE — Every fall, Leslie Cohen Berlowitz, president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, oversees the induction of hundreds of the brightest scholars, artists, and leaders into the prestigious organization, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected honorary societies, whose membership includes more than 250 Nobel laureates and 60 Pulitzer Prize winners. … 

And the NAAS has hired a PR flack for her:

Berlowitz, a 69-year-old New York native, declined repeated requests for interviews over the past two weeks and refused to meet with a reporter who stopped by the academy Monday morning. The academy referred calls to an outside public relations consultant, Ray Howell, who declined to answer specific questions but issued a general statement Monday evening: 

“Neither the academy nor President Berlowitz is going to respond to subjective, interpretive, and gossipy allegations from former employees and unnamed sources,” Howell said in the statement. “Nor are they going to respond to personal questions that are irrelevant, do not belong in the public domain and, frankly, smack of sexism.” 

For comparison, the AAU only paid the distinguished Dr. Bob Berdahl $550K a year. The State Higher Education Executive Officers Association is probably only paying Dr. Pernsteiner $300K or so, and the UO Foundation’s Paul Weinhold only got $340K, last time they released the data, which was a few years back.

Spend a little time on guidestar.org and you will be amazed at how many higher ed “non-profits” pay salaries like these. Or wait for Carl Malamud of public.resource.org to get the IRS to release the digitized data, and for enterprising bloggers to start analyzing it.

Update: The Globe is now reporting on Berlowitz’s resignation and scandalous golden parachute deal:

Under the terms of her resignation, the academy said Berlowitz will receive no severance, but will get a one-time $475,000 payment for retirement benefits, deferred compensation, and accrued vacation under her contract, something the office of Attorney General Martha Coakley pledged Thursday to investigate. Berlowitz will also receive supplemental health insurance for five years at a cost of no more than $3,500 a year.

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7 Responses to Updated: Good news for higher ed, better news for UO faculty

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hate it when my family sees lists like that. My mother is always on my to get a job closer to home, suggesting that such and such a college or whatever university are plenty good. I try to explain the differences, but lists like this make it much more difficult.

    Maybe I’ll say, “Hey, at least our faculty are well paid.”

    • Anonymous says:

      My mother-in-law once asked me why I had to get a PhD, since “the sisters at Holy Mary can teach with Masters degrees.”