higher education

College Choice: The Value of It All

Nov 30, 2016
Elissa Nadworny / NPR

A special from NPR News, "College Choice: The Value of It All" follows nine college seniors. NPR's Robert Siegel spent more than a year checking in with the students, talking with them about their choice of school and how things turned out.

Cornell picks new president

Nov 15, 2016
Courtesy of Cornell University

Cornell University has picked Martha E. Pollack to be the school’s next president. Pollack is the provost of the University of Michigan and a computer science professor.

The search for the new president began after the death of the university’s previous president, Elizabeth Garrett. Garrett died of colon cancer in March after less than a year in office.

Pollack is already affiliated with Cornell. She heads the advisory board the university’s partnership with The Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and plans to try to improve the public's view of academia.

Tom Magnarelli / WRVO News

Members of the Academic Governance body at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry plan to hold a vote of no confidence in President Quentin Wheeler. Some faculty members have been raising issues about Wheeler's leadership for more than a year.

Cornell president dies

Mar 7, 2016
USCPublicDiplomacy / Flickr

Cornell University Elizabeth Garrett died of colon cancer last night, according to Board of Trustees Chairman Robert Harrison. 

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Recent college grads in New York can now get some help paying off their loans with the state’s new student loan forgiveness program.

There are quite a few boxes you have to check to be part of the program:

Students, faculty reflect on a turbulent term at SUNY Potsdam

Jan 1, 2016
Brit Hanson / NCPR

The first hate letter came last spring. Since then, a total of three threats have arrived at SUNY Potsdam, singling out a professor, then adding in other minorities and the LGBT community.

Those notes sparked deep concern at the college. Students and faculty said it was a hard fall semester, filled with fear and stress, and questions about diversity and fairness on campus. There are signs of progress. But there’s also a need for some kind of reset before the conversation resumes in January.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News File Photo

Adjunct faculty at Wells College in Aurora, New York took a big step toward unionizing last week. Organizers filed for an election with the National Labor Relations Board. At an election, adjuncts would vote “yes” or “no” to a union.

Ithaca College

Ithaca College students will release the results of a confidence vote in their college president Monday, and the college faculty hold their own vote next month. President Tom Rochon has faced criticism and protests for his handling of racial incidents and what some call top-down leadership. 

He spoke to reporter Solvejg Wastvedt about how the college has responded and what he’s learned. Here are the highlights:

Kent Kanouse / Flickr

The federal government’s new College Scorecard is out, and it’s stirring debate on some campuses. It's a slick website that makes finding data on higher education institutions easy, but one of the metrics has some schools worried.

David Chanatry / New York Reporting Project at Utica College

While the cost of a higher education has continued to rise across the United States, one small private college in central NY is attempting to buck that trend.

The affordability of college education has come under increased scrutiny from lawmakers and parents alike. Utica College President Todd Hutton announced plans yesterday to help change that.

“It gives me great honor to share with you that beginning in the fall of 2016, Utica College will reset its published price of tuition and fees from $35,514 to under $20,000," Hutton said.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Part-time professors at Tompkins Cortland Community College want a union, but not just any union.

The college wants its adjuncts to join the full-time faculty union. The adjuncts say they need their own space, and they’re fighting for independence.

Last week, Robert Earle leaned back in his chair in front of his class at Tompkins Cortland Community Colllege, or TC3. Soft jazz played in the background.

Earle is an adjunct professor, and despite his easy demeanor, when he’s not teaching, he’s one of the driving forces behind the TC3 union fight.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News File Photo

Start-Up NY is getting good grades from SUNY. Chancellor Nancy Zimpher says it’s taken a while, but the program is taking off on several state university campuses.

Zimpher says she didn’t expect Start-Up NY, which offers new businesses 10-year tax breaks if they set up shop on or near a college campus, to become a massive success out of the gate. But now that it’s had more than a year-and-a-half under its belt, she says new businesses with jobs in tow have settled into several SUNY campuses.

Solvejg Wastvedt / WSKG News

Summer is a lean time for adjunct professors. They teach part-time, and in the summer there are often fewer courses available for them. At Binghamton University, things get even tighter.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

SUNY faculty and students are calling on Gov. Andrew Cuomo to sign a bill that would mean more money for the state university system.  

Michael Lyon, professor at Upstate Medical University, knows what it’s like to be buried in student debt.

"I finished paying for my education when my first adult child started college. So it was a never-ending payment,” said Lyon.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

What goes up must come down, and luckily for researchers at SUNY ESF in Syracuse, a weather balloon they launched just over a month ago from their Syracuse campus, was finally discovered along a remote area in Cortland County.

The project was part of the Global Space Balloon Challenge, and engineering students, led by professor Giorgos Mountrakis, fashioned the high-altitude balloon so it could carry information-gathering electronics thousands of miles high.

SUNY Oswego

SUNY Oswego is expanding to Syracuse.

The state university has had an extension site on Clinton Square in downtown Syracuse for a little over six years. Now the New York State Board of Regents just approved designating SUNY Oswego's Metro Center a "branch campus." That means starting in fall 2016, SUNY Oswego student will now be able to complete degree and certificate programs in Syracuse. Currently, students are required to take a course at the main campus.

Michael Staab / International Institute of Species Exploration, SUNY ESF

The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry in Syracuse has come out with a top ten list of new species discovered in the last year. SUNY ESF President Quentin Wheeler says the list is culled from the 18,000 new plants and animals scientists discover every year. 

Wheeler says it’s not just plants or animals on the list. There’s a 600-pound chicken-like dinosaur that researchers used to think was a bird, nicknamed the “chicken from hell” because they hung out in nests of dinosaur eggs.

via Wikimedia Commons

Today is Cornell University’s 150th anniversary. Its charter was signed in Albany in 1865. One of the school’s founders, Ezra Cornell, was a farmer and made veterinary science a priority. This is the story of the career of the first doctor of veterinary medicine to graduate from Cornell.

This Sunday, join us for another debate from "Intelligence Squared U.S." This time we ask the question "Are liberals stifling intellectual diversity on campus?"

What is college for? For many, it's a time for personal and intellectual growth, to meet new people, and to explore ideas and philosophies that challenge their beliefs. Or is it? Recent cancelations of conservative speakers, rescinded honorary degrees, and scrutiny of certain campus groups have heightened perceptions that there is pervasive liberal intolerance on campuses.