A Multigenerational Hit: Student Debt Traps Parents and Kids

From the AP’s Josh Boak, more on rising student debt loads and the long term effects on families:
“America’s crushing surge of student debt, now at $1.2 trillion, has bred a disturbing new phenomenon: School loans that span multiple generations within families. Weighed down by their own loans, many parents lack the means to fund their children’s educations without sinking even deeper into debt.” 
USC is no exception. The average borrower is now looking at $28,474 in undergraduate student debt upon graduation.1

Among all universities in the country, USC is ranked 5th in graduate student loan debt. That’s $460 million of debt to USC graduate students in 2013-2014.2

Read the whole article here.

1 SOURCE: College Insight indicates USC’s graduates average $28,474 in debt upon graduation: http://college-insight.org/#spotlight/go&h=0ec593691290fb03da41effda3bf4911
2 SOURCE: Center for American Progress Analysis of U.S. Department of Education Data: https://studentaid.ed.gov/sa/about/data-center/student/title-iv

The Corporatization of Higher Education: With a System That Caters to the 1 Percent, Students and Faculty Get Screwed

Fed up with a higher education system that prioritizes profits above all else, students and faculty are fighting back against exploitation in universities across the country. From Salon:
“Per-course pay for adjunct faculty averages around $2,800. Three courses is typically considered full-time. Trevithick is teaching six. At the average rate, if he did that in both spring and fall — the equivalent of working 80 hours a week, 10 months of the year — he’d make less than $34,000 pre-tax. And that’s at the high end: According to a 2014 congressional report, the median salary for an adjunct was $22,041. 
This exploitation of low-wage faculty is part of what’s known as the corporatization of higher education. Increasingly, both public and private colleges are being run on the cost-cutting model of American business. Which presents a burning question: If faculty are being paid less, class sizes are growing and tuition is higher than ever, where is the money going?”
Head over to Salon for the full article.

The Plight of The Adjunct Professor

Emily Maloney at the Georgia Political Review outlines the real problems faced by faculty and students when universities drive down the cost of instruction through the use of cheap academic labor:
“At the end of the day, adjuncts all over the country are often highly educated, compassionate, effective teachers that make a difference in their students’ lives every single semester. When they enter the profession, they are hoping to be lifelong educators, researchers, and mentors, but the university system is not allowing them to fulfill these goals. Universities need to be held accountable for their treatment of these professors both on a humanitarian basis, but also from the perspective of providing the best resources and educational experiences to students.”
Read the whole article here.

Higher Education's Reliance on Adjuncts Has Consequences

In the Tampa Bay Times, Kym O’Sullivan speaks out about academia’s dirty little secret:
“Students are often clueless about the situation, believing all professors to be full time, but adjuncts are so disconnected from campus life that the classroom experience is diminished. For instance, we don’t have our own offices, so we must cart our supplies in rolling suitcases, making it easy to forget assignments or lose essays. We have no phone lines, so students must reach us via e-mail, which can be inefficient.
Furthermore, our time on campus is limited, making it difficult for students to locate us outside of the classroom. Full-time professors interact with their student body all day, every day, while adjuncts are available only a few hours a week.
The most trying issue for adjuncts, however, is the lack of decent compensation.”
69% of USC faculty work in temporary, non-tenured positions.
Read the full story here.

The College President-to-Adjunct Pay Ratio

A great piece from The Atlantic’s Laura McKenna:
“While income inequality in higher education isn’t as high as Chipotle, it does rival that of other publicly traded corporations, including Nike, IBM, and Motorola.
State schools with the highest-paid presidents seem to be offsetting their administrative bloat with cheaper labor.”
Just a reminder: USC President Nikias raked in over $1.9 million in total compensation from the university last year.
Head over to The Atlantic for the full story.

USC Sees Increase in Administrative Staff

From the Daily Trojan:
“Amid concern over rising tuition, USC has seen a 305.8 percent increase in hired administrative employees over a 25 year period, while the number of enrolled students has only increased by 66.3 percent, according to a study by the New England Center for Investigative Reporting and the American Institutes for Research which looked at data from 1987 until the 2011-12 academic year.
The administrative increase comes during a time when colleges have claimed it necessary to both cut costs and raise tuition. The increase in university staffers who neither conduct research nor teach has continued, slowing only slightly during the economic downturn.”
Read the whole story here.

There Is No Excuse for How Universities Treat Adjuncts

Caroline Fredrickson of The Atlantic writes:
“That colleges and universities have turned more and more of their frontline employees into part-time contractors suggests how far they have drifted from what they say they are all about (teaching students) to what they are increasingly all about (conducting research, running sports franchises, or, among for-profits, delivering shareholder value).”
“The problem is that universities are using https://sites.google.com/view/instagramviewer/ their power in ways that shortchange both contingent teachers and, ultimately, students.”
69% of USC faculty work in contingent positions. Head to The Atlantic for the full story.

Colleges Flush With Cash Saddle Poorest Students With Debt

From Long Island Press:
“NYU is not the only university with a billion-dollar endowment to leave its poorest students with heavy debt loads. More than a quarter of the nation’s 60 wealthiest universities leave their low-income students owing an average of more than $20,000 in federal loans.
At the University of Southern California, which has a $4.6 billion endowment, low-income students graduate with slightly more debt than NYU’s graduates: $23,375.”
Click here for full story.

USC Administration Shuts Down Art Students’ Blog

HyperAllergic on the latest in a long string of recent conflicts at Roski:
As tensions between the students and the Dean heated up, especially surrounding the mass drop out of the #USC7 earlier this year, “the Tumblr turned into a hosting site for our many open letters and support comments from our petition to remove Dean Muhl,” said Jacinto Astiazarán who graduated in 2015. He sees the timing of the site’s deletion as directly related to these recent conflicts. “Beyond it being a retaliative move, it was a strategic attempt at wiping those statements off the web.”
So much for academic freedom? Read the whole thing here.

USC’s Once Heralded MFA Program Opens With Only One Student

You read that right. From the LA Weekly:
“It’s an absurdly small class for any MFA program, and particularly for USC’s Roski School of Art and Design. Last May, the once-lauded program suffered a devastating blow when the entire class of 2016 left the school in protest of alleged broken promises and a perceived corporate takeover of the program.”
THIS. THIS is the price we pay for the corporatization of higher education. Head over to the LA Weekly for the full article.