UC affirmative action discussion is back on the table

Although the upcoming Supreme Court case on the University of Texas’ race-conscious admissions policy will be largely irrelevant in the Golden State, the University of California and others have filed briefs to emphasize that if the nation goes the way of California, then diversity – and the educational benefits that come with it – will suffer, the California Watch reports. The UC president and chancellors, the state of California, the California Institute of Technology and a group of student organizations at UC campuses are among at least 69 organizations that have filed amicus – or friend of the court – briefs in support of the University of Texas at Austin. At least 15 groups filed amicus briefs in support of Abigail Fisher, who filed the original lawsuit against University of Texas after she was denied undergraduate admission in 2008…

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Mandatory fees would need approval from students

California State University students would wield more influence over the creation of new mandatory campus student fees, such as fees for health services, instructional activities and materials, under a bill that advanced this week through the Senate Education Committee, California Watch reports. Under current law, the CSU chancellor has the ultimate say when it comes to establishing or adjusting campus-based mandatory fees, which are charged to students in addition to the base tuition set by the board of trustees. Campus presidents are required to consult with students before establishing these fees – either through a student referendum or through special consultation with student groups – but the referendum and consultation are advisory only. Ultimately, the campus president and CSU chancellor make the final call.

“It overrides the rights of students to self-govern,” Sen. Michael Rubio, D-Bakersfield, said at the Wednesday hearing…

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State urged to form strategy to produce needed college degrees

Experts warn that California needs to significantly boost the number of undergraduate degrees granted each year in order to turn around the state’s economy and help the country remain competitive, reports the California Watch. But a new report [PDF] from Sacramento State University’s Institute for Higher Education Leadership & Policy says the state’s public higher education segments are not on track to meet that goal. Also, the report finds the UC, CSU and community colleges have no guidance on how to divide increasingly precious state resources among themselves to produce the necessary degrees…

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For-profit college company admits inflated job placement success

A for-profit education company with five locations in California has admitted that some of its health education campuses reported inflated job placement rates for its graduates, reports California Watch. The announcement comes as the Illinois-based Career Education Corporation has tentatively agreed to pay $40 million to settle a class-action lawsuit involving another of its subsidiaries, the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. In that case, former students claimed they had been duped by the college’s claim that 97 percent of graduates got jobs in the field…

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