higher education

Kansas Board of Regents

Although some tried to stop it and many don’t like the idea, the Kansas Board of Regents is expected to approve a new conceal-and-carry weapons policy at its regular meeting Wednesday.

As it now stands, come July 1, 2017 anyone will be able to carry a gun on a public school campus in Kansas.

But the vast majority of faculty and staff oppose the change.

COD Newsroom / Flickr

First-generation college students head to campus saddled with hopes and dreams, but not necessarily the same resources as their peers. With rigorous academic demands, responsibilities to their families, rising college tuition and increased focus on experiences like study abroad, students breaking through the higher-ed barrier face a unique set of challenges. 

Guests:

The November resignation of R. Bowen Loftin as chancellor of the University of Missouri's Columbia campus occurred at the height of student protests there and many attributed his decision to the unrest. Steve Kraske talks with the journalist who traced Loftin's stepping down to another source, one that began well before the first protestor's tent was pitched on the Mizzou quad.

Guest:

Tyler Adkisson / KBIA

Recent racially charged protests at the University of Missouri-Columbia have stirred up memories of the hostility toward blacks that Kwame Thompson says he saw and experienced at the university.

Thompson, a 1995 Mizzou graduate, describes his transfer to the University of Missouri as “culture shock,” explaining the campus had few black faculty members at the time.

“I can only remember ever being called (the N word) twice in my life,” Thompson tells us. “Both were at Mizzou.”

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Brandon Ellington from District 022 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss race relations at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Guests:

  • Brandon Ellington, Rep. from District 022, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Dan Curry, Citizen
  • Dan Margolies, Heartland Health Monitor Editor, KCUR
Matt Hodapp / KCUR

Democrat Missouri Rep. Brandon Ellington from District 022 provides an insider perspective on the Missouri General Assembly as we discuss race relations at the University of Missouri in Columbia.

Guests:

  • Brandon Ellington, Rep. from District 022, Missouri General Assembly 
  • Dan Curry, Citizen
  • Dan Margolies, Heartland Health Monitor Editor, KCUR
KCUR 89.3

 

The issue of race has exploded once again on college campuses, with the University of Missouri, among others, erupting in protests.

As student activists speak out in Columbia, Missouri, — where University of Missouri President Tim Wolfe resigned after a series of racist problems that students said he ignored — we want to know more about what this emotional issue means to you.

Tell KCUR: What's Your College Experience With Race?

Kansas Board of Regents

In 18 months, almost anyone will be able to carry a concealed gun on a Kansas public university campus but the Board of Regents is already working on new safety procedures.

Later this month, the Regents Governance Committee will meet in Wichita to discuss a draft policy on weapons possession that was just released. Regents spokesperson Breeze Richardson says the Board hopes to vote on the new policy at its December meeting.

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Most people know by now that it's pretty hard for women to land a high-tech job.

In fact, while 57 percent of all professional jobs are held by women in the United States, only 26 percent of computing jobs go to women, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

But, it turns out, landing that high paying tech job is even harder for women who go to Midwestern universities.

  MU Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin announced Thursday that the University of Missouri will soon require faculty and new students to go through diversity and inclusion training.

His announcement came following an incident of racism that occurred during the early hours of the morning on October 5. The Legion of Black Collegians homecoming royalty court was practicing a performance at Traditions Plaza when a racial slur was yelled at them.

Kansas Board of Regents

An improving economy may be affecting enrollment numbers of Kansas community colleges.

The Board of Regents released enrollment numbers for its six universities, plus Kansas community colleges and technical schools Friday — and the results are mixed.

Overall enrollment at the state’s 19 community colleges is down 2.9 percent.

That’s probably due to an improving economy and people no longer scrambling to improve their education to land a job.

Wikipedia--CC

Jonathan Richard of Brookside recalls being a homesick undergraduate student at Drake University in Iowa in the mid 1990s.

Joining Sigma Chi fraternity made him feel like he was part of a family, even though his real family was in Boston.

“The secret rituals and camaraderie immediately created a special and altogether unique sense of pride and belonging,” Richard wrote us in an email.

“There were certainly stupid antics and drunken parties — but no more so than the typical experience of a college student.”

Wikipedia--CC

Nearly a third of female undergraduate students at the University of Missouri-Columbia say they have experienced some form of sexual assault or misconduct during their time at the school.

A survey released earlier this week by the Association of American University asked more than 150,000 students about their experience with sexual assault and sexual misconduct.

Of the 27 universities and more than 150,000 students that took part in the survey, MU had the third-highest rate.

Courtesy photo / Kansas State University

Critics say the Kansas State University marching band put a Kansas Jayhawk in a compromised position during halftime of the Wildcats' season opener Saturday. (Decide for yourself here.)

The band performed a 'space'-themed show and at one point began playing music from Star Trek. One half of the band formed what looked like a Jayhawk; the other half formed what any Trekkie would recognize as the Starship Enterprise. Then, the two formations started coming towards each other, causing the uproar.

Kyle Palmer / KCUR

On a recent summer morning, a dozen would-be teachers gathered outside Kansas City's Juvenile Justice Center, preparing to go inside. 

"This is a lockdown facility," cautioned Uzziel Pecina, the professor leading what was a rather unusual field trip. "Are there any questions before we enter?" 

Pecina teaches what he calls a "summer community immersion" course at University of Missouri-Kansas City's Institute for Urban Education. 

Praeger publishing

The escalating problem of student debt isn't just about the pain of writing large checks. So say two University of Kansas professors who have co-written a book on the crisis, using their own personal stories to make a case that differences in access to higher ed begin long before loans, and influence life and career paths far beyond graduation.

Guests:

Sam Zeff / KCUR

Usually the Kansas Board of Regents has weeks to ponder and discuss how much students will pay in tuition and fees at its six universities. But the 113 day Kansas legislative session has forced those discussions into less than 36 hours.

Higher education leaders in the state agreed to a 3.6 percent tuition cap with lawmakers in exchange for not cutting other state funding to universities.

It didn't get the state of Kansas far in trimming the 2016 budget but higher education, the Board of Regents believes, did its part.

Gov. Sam Brownback held a news conference Tuesday to announce he has signed legislation that will raise the state's sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.5 percent. But that still leaves the state short of a balanced budget and many thought Brownback would outline cuts today.

But all he cut was $1.9 million from a Regents program called GED Accelerator. This is money that helps the state's 26 two-year institutions pay for programs that result in students receiving both a GED and an industry-recognized credential. So, a high school drop out could simultaneously finish their secondary education and, for example, earn a welding or mechanics certificate. The money goes to the institutions and not the students.

The former dean of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s business school died Tuesday.

Teng-Kee Tan was named dean of the Bloch School of Management in 2009. Tan, who was in his 60s, died “peacefully,” surrounded by family in Seattle, the Kansas City Star reports, citing an email from the current dean, David Donnelly. 

The dictionary definition of the word adjunct is: "something that is joined or added to another thing but is not an essential part of it." But have adjunct professors become essential to higher ed? And if so, what are the implications for students attending local universities and colleges?

Guests:

A budget-writing subcommittee in the Kansas Senate has proposed cutting millions of dollars from the University of Kansas and shifting that money to the KU Medical Center. The plan would also cut Kansas State University.

The proposal from Republican Sen. Tom Arpke would cut KU’s main campus by more than $9 million over the next two years. Arpke says there would be a similar funding increase for KU Med, with the goal of training more doctors for rural areas.

A Kansas law currently allows some students who are in this country illegally to pay in-state tuition at state community colleges and universities. Around 650 students are now using the program, but a Kansas House committee is considering a bill that would take away that benefit. Lawmakers heard testimony on the proposal Tuesday.

Republican Rep. John Rubin, from Shawnee, is against the idea of giving in-state tuition to the children of immigrants living here illegally. He says the policy has helped turn Kansas into a “veritable sanctuary state.” 

A recent scandal at the University of North Carolina involved academic fraud within the athletic department. In this edition of Up To Date, we examine the causes and solutions for the challenges facing today's student athletes. 

Guests:

Fort Hays State

Trying to figure out how to pay for college?

Turns out one of the best deals in the country is in Kansas.

When it comes to higher education in Kansas, most of the attention centers on the University of Kansas or Kansas State University.

But there are three other regent schools in the state. And according to U.S. News and World Report, for in-state students, Fort Hays State University has the second-lowest tuition and fees in the country.

Frank Morris / KCUR

Charles and David Koch are well known for funding political campaigns, but the Kochs also donate tens of millions of dollars to colleges and universities.

Nothing unusual about wealthy people giving to higher education, but some professors warn that Koch funding can come with conditions that threaten academic freedom, and that has sparked a debate about the influence of big donors in an age of diminishing public university funding.

Nine-by-nine

It's no surprise to parents, but the cost of a college education continues to rise.

The College Board issued a report Thursday showing the average in-state student paid $9,139 in 2013-2014. That's up 17 percent in the past five years, according to the report.

In-state students in Kansas and Missouri fare a little better.

The average cost in Kansas is $8,086. That's up 16 percent in the past five years.

In Missouri, in-state students paid $8,383 last year. But that's an increase of only five percent in the last five years.

Visha Angelova / CC Flickr

High school seniors have a lot on their minds: graduation, applying to colleges, a whole year of "lasts." Meet two members of the class of 2015; we'll check in with them throughout the year, exploring the tricky issues that come up in that final stretch to the finish line.

Guests:

The Kansas City Star recently published a report indicating that UMKC's highly-touted Bloch School of Management's rankings might be misleading. Money's Kim Clark and Kaplan's Arthur Ahn discuss how publications rank universities, and what those rankings mean to prospective students and employers.

Guests:

University Of Missouri Sets Fundraising Record

Jul 11, 2014
Courtesy photo / University of Missouri

Donors deposited a record-breaking amount of money into the University of Missouri’s coffers last fiscal year.

The university in Columbia, Mo., beat its 2013-14 fiscal year goal of raising $150 million by pulling in $164.5 million. The amount broke the previous record of $160 million raised in fiscal year 2008.

Thomas Hiles, ​MU vice chancellor for advancement, says the record is noteworthy because it was reached without mega gifts, which the university has received the previous two years.

Wikimedia Commons / Harvard Business School

It's a struggle today for college students to pay their tuition. As costs continue to rise, states are backing away from funding higher education. Steve Kraske talks with the co-author of a recent report on this very problem. They look at why lawmakers in so many states are turning their backs on helping students get their degrees.

Learn More: Find out who pays for public higher education, the state or the student.

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