Highlights from Higher Ed: Science Longevity and Faculty Retention

A Simple Invitation, Increased Application Rates

Low-income students typically believe they cannot go to top schools, despite having the grades and test scores required for admission. But researchers recently found out that by encouraging these students to apply, almost 70% of them did. The University of Michigan was able to use this information and attract students by sending them a scholarship letter and by following up with parents and principals to reinforce the invitation to apply.

Source: The Chronicle of Higher Education

Longevity at Risk in Select Science Fields

Over the last 50 years, the percentage of scientists writing papers in the astronomy, ecology and robotics fields has decreased substantially. In these three fields, it takes about five years for half of a team to leave academic work in 2010, compared to 35 years in the 1960s. The decrease in the “half-life” of a career in these fields may affect admissions as career growth and projection alters.

Source: Inside Higher Ed

Technology Still Important for Faculty Retention

When looking at technology as a tool for application and retention, institutions need to spend a bit of time looking at how it relates to their faculty and staff. Driving retention is hard in higher education, and education climbed to the top five for the highest turnover rates for employees according to 2017 LinkedIn data. Challenges include expanding classrooms geographically and online, shrinking budgets and changes in student demographics. But technology can help give students and professors better access to mobile-friendly platforms, programs that help automate workloads and collaborative tools and also connect campuses, which can cut costs.

Source: Ed Tech

Increasing Diversity, Better Late than Never

Since the affirmative action ban in 1996, the University of California, Berkeley has struggled to admit a diverse freshman class. In 1995, before the ban, 23% of the freshman class was from underrepresented minority groups. In 1999 that number dropped to 11% and in 2012 was up only a bit to 16%. Now, the University has a plan to increase diversity, which includes outreach at the K-12 level and removing financial barriers.

Source: Education Dive