Talking Points: Safe and Sound?
CURRENTS Article In spring 2011, the U.S. Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) issued a letter to schools delineating institutions' responsibilities in preventing and addressing sexual harassment. But as institutions set out to revise their policies in the wake of the new guidance, they are finding that the new requirements raise as many challenges as they seek to resolve.
Partners in Crisis
CURRENTS Article A consortium of Chicago area higher education institutions developed and signed a mutual aid agreement that is intended to provide support—such as access to facilities, equipment, and personnel including police, human resources, and communications staff—to member campuses in the initial hours of a crisis situation. The agreement has garnered approval from risk management experts, who tout the benefit of such cooperative emergency planning efforts.
UK Vice-Chancellors to Address Extremism, Academic Freedom
Article Universities UK has announced plans to establish a working group that will look at how universities can best protect academic freedom while at the same time safeguarding students, staff and the overall community from potential violent extremism.
Ethics Case Study: Hide and They'll Seek
CURRENTS Article A sexual assault takes place in a dorm in which both the victim and the suspect live. After checking with the student affairs office, it's discovered that the suspect was not actually enrolled at the time and should not have been living in campus housing. The student affairs office asks that this information not be shared with reporters. Of course a reporter does call and asks for the suspect's hometown, which is provided, but nothing else. Is it ethical to respond to only those questions the reporter has asked? Is it ethical to withhold information about the error? CASE members respond.
Talking Points: Spotlight on Safety
CURRENTS Article The Clery Act and other legislation, including the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and Title IX, draw attention to the extent of crime on campus. This column explains the laws and what campuses must do to comply with them.
AdvanceWork: Spotlight on...
CURRENTS Article The general counsel of Catholic University of America maintains a Web site with information on the myriad federal laws that affect higher education.
AdvanceWork: Who's Minding the Children?
CURRENTS Article A community relations program at the University of Southern California trains neighborhood volunteers to keep an eye on children on their way to and from school.
AdvanceWork: Campus Crime Goes Online—Again
CURRENTS Article The U.S. Department of Education publishes campus crime statistics online, which is likely to raise as many constituent questions about data accuracy as about on-campus crime.
Handle with Care
CURRENTS Article Public relations officers often must take the lead in handling campus crises -- a job requiring many levels of negotiation, compromise, communication, and implementation. The article describes how five campuses are successfully managing these potentially explosive situations and keeping their institutional reputations intact. Examples include campus protests (Georgetown University), student demonstrations (Henry Ford Community College), alcohol abuse (Michigan State University), racial tension (University of Hartford), and sexual misconduct (University of Toronto). A sidebar provides seven crisis-planning tips.
Talking Points: In Good Hands?
CURRENTS Article Institutions receiving federal financial aid funds must report crime statistics annually, but guidelines for these reports are unclear, leading to misinterpretations and misleading comparisons by the press and the public. When discussing campus crime statistics with constituents, show how seemingly high numbers may reflect the nature of a residential campus, aggressive law enforcement, and student awareness and comfort with reporting crimes. The U.S. Department of Education is developing regulations to help institutions comply more uniformly with reporting requirements.
What Are We Doing Wrong?
CURRENTS Article In an interview with CURRENTS staff, Chronicle of Higher Education managing editor Scott Jaschik describes how those who cover the education beat approach sensitive issues like campus crime, or tuition costs, why journalists may feel thwarted by campus administrators in trying to cover these stories, and how providing more information may be beneficial to educational institutions in presenting an accurate picture of these often difficult situations. Specific examples of the types of information the media may want on various issues are presented.