California State University, the nation's largest four-year, public university system, is in trouble. Wednesday, professors authorized a strike over working conditions and pay, and students began a hunger strike demanding a tuition freeze.
The faculty authorization allows for two-day strikes at each of the schools in system, one after the other. A strike date is pending, though, and will only take place if negotiations fail.
This unfolding crisis is the result of massive state cuts in funding that have pushed higher education in California to the breaking point.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are teaming up in a $60 million venture to provide classes online for free. The move is the latest by top universities to expand their intellectual reach through the Internet — a trend that is changing higher education.
It's a gray April evening, and two men have driven from Easton, Pa., to Manhattan. The men are administrators at Lafayette College. They're wearing solid black suits with Lafayette pins on their lapels.
They're here to see 12 students — high school seniors who have been admitted to Lafayette and are trying to decide where to go to college.
The men have come to make the students "feel that Lafayette is in their future and make them think that they'll ruin their lives if they go elsewhere," says Greg MacDonald, Lafayette's dean of admissions.
As high school seniors wrestle with big decisions before Tuesday's deadline about which college they want to go to, some of the nation's top liberal arts colleges are dealing with big decisions of their own. Many of the most elite private schools are trying to figure out how they may have to adapt at a time when they're seen as a more expensive — and less direct — path to landing a job.