Your hapless higher ed reporter hasn’t quite mastered Twitter yet, but everyone else has. Eight Loyola freshman are tweeting their experiences in the first weeks of classes (desire to sleep in versus getting money’s worth out of tuition by showing up to class is a common refrain). Loyola was one of the first colleges in Chicago last year to deal with H1N1 and that has the school taking extra steps early. The university’s Wellness Center has a Twitter feed and a blog with regular updates. In unrelated Twitter news, former Daily News intern Craig Kanalley is now teaching a class at DePaul about how to extract news from Twitter. Yes, a college-level class solely about Twitter.
Tearing down buildings at UIC?
UIC is toying with making some pretty dramatic changes over the next few years as part of its master planning process. Replacing parking lots with garages. Adding evergreen trees. Creating nicer walking paths to connect opposite sides of the campus. Maybe even tearing down a couple of buildings, including the 28-story University Hall monolith. There are a couple of town hall meetings coming up, on Sept. 9 and 10, to discuss the ideas.
Inside UChicago's endowment
I wrote a while ago about the hits that many colleges in Chicago had taken to their endowments over the last year. The Wall Street Journal paints a detailed picture of the debate over UChicago’s endowment. Unable to get rid of those risky investments like derivatives and private equity, last fall the school’s endowment sold about $600 million worth of stocks (which were also losing value) and put the money in safer investments instead. The article gets a bit technical for non-finance types but it’s an interesting look into a process that most universities don’t talk about much.
Online courses take more time, effort
A new study released today takes the most thorough look yet at online classes, and whether the benefits of easy accessibility for students far from physical campuses are worth the tradeoffs in quality. Most professors feel they don’t get enough support from their universities in developing online courses, the survey of nearly 11,000 professors found. Overwhelming majorities agreed that it takes more effort to develop and teach online classes than traditional courses. And many think the quality of online courses is lower than classroom counterparts. Both Inside Higher Ed and the Chronicle of Higher Education write about the survey.