A Compendium of Recent Research and Books of Interest to Higher Education Professionals


 Hearing Vocation Differently: Meaning, Purpose, and Identity in the Multi-Faith Academy
David S. Cunningham, editor (Oxford University Press, 2019)

Hearing Vocation Differently is the third book from CIC’s Network for Vocation in Undergraduate Education (NetVUE) Scholarly Resources Project. The book demonstrates that the language of vocation and calling is useful not only in Christian contexts, but in multi-faith and secular settings as well. The book’s 13 contributors write from a variety of faith traditions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Sikhism, as well as the perspectives of atheism and multiple religious belonging. Collectively, the essays will help institutional leaders re-imagine their vocational programming in ways that are attentive to the increasingly multi-faith character of undergraduate life. The book is available to CIC and NetVUE member institutions on the Oxford University Press website at a discount using code AAFLYG6. Like the previous two volumes in the series, the new book is edited by David Cunningham, who now serves as director of NetVUE.

 Out of Many Faiths: Religious Diversity and the American Promise
Eboo Patel (Princeton University Press, 2018)
In his most recent book, Eboo Patel draws on his personal experience as a Muslim in America to examine broad questions about the importance of religious diversity in the nation’s cultural, political, and economic life. Patel—founder and president of Interfaith Youth Core and co-director of CIC’s Teaching Interfaith Understanding seminar series—explores how religious language has given the United States enduring symbols and inspired vital civic institutions as well as how religious diversity is central to American identity. The book includes commentaries by Laurie Patton, president of Middlebury College (VT) and co-director of CIC’s Teaching Interfaith Understanding program; Robert P. Jones, founding CEO of PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute); and John Inazu, Sally D. Danforth Distinguished Professor of Law and Religion at Washington University in St. Louis, on American civil religion, faith and law, and the increasing number of nonreligious Americans.

 Race on Campus: Debunking Myths with Data
Julie J. Park (Harvard Education Press, 2018)

Race on Campus argues that pervasive myths about diversity on college and university campuses obscure the notable significance and admirable effects that diversity has had on campus life. Based on her analysis of extensive research and data about contemporary students and campuses, Julie J. Park addresses myths such as charges of pervasive self- segregation on campus, arguments that affirmative action in college admissions has become counterproductive, and suggestions that programs and policies meant to promote diversity have failed to address class-based disadvantages. Through her response to these myths, she presents a positive and nuanced portrait of diversity and its place on American college campuses. Park is an associate professor of education at the University of Maryland, College Park, as well as a presenter for CIC’s 2019 Diversity, Civility, and the Liberal Arts Institute and a contributor to the Association for the Study of Higher Education–CIC Collaboration book The Challenge of Independent Colleges: Moving Research into Practice (2017).

 White Guys on Campus: Racism, White Immunity, and the Myth of “Post-Racial” Higher Education
Nolan L. Cabrera (Rutgers University Press, 2018)

An important complement to Park’s volume, Nolan L. Cabrera’s book offers a critical examination of race in higher education centered on whiteness. Cabrera, an associate professor in the Center for the Study of Higher Education at the University of Arizona who studies the racial dynamics on college campuses, interviewed more than 100 white male undergraduate students to explore their unspoken assumptions about racial identity and the impact of systemic racism on college campuses. His analysis provides new insights into the racial attitudes of college students, their spoken and unspoken racism, resistance to affirmative action and efforts to diversify the curriculum, and the racial politics of campus space. The book also offers practical suggestions to engage and challenge students of all backgrounds to become “anti-racists.”

 Pivot: A Vision for the New University
Joanne Soliday and Mark Lombardi (Advantage Media Group, 2019)

Although U.S. institutions of higher learning face many challenges, independent colleges and universities can remain relevant and sustainable and can best serve students by “pivoting” toward anew university. Pivot argues that the new university would refocus structure and pedagogy on students and their learning; reimagine the structures of leadership, tenure, and the higher education business model; and produce national examples for access and inclusion. Joanne Soliday, cofounder of Credo, and Mark Lombardi, president of Maryville University of Saint Louis (MO), note that pivoting will not look the same at all institutions. Instead of a traditional linear and incremental approach to change, pivoting implies a new approach that will enable higher education leaders and their institutions to leap over small, incremental steps, making the most important events happen quickly.

 Educational Odyssey of a Woman College President
Joanne V. Creighton (University of Massachusetts Press, 2018)

In this autobiography, Joanne V. Creighton situates her 15-year tenure at Mount Holyoke College within a life and career that have navigated tremendous changes in higher education and society. Creighton has held multiple roles in academia—undergraduate, professor, dean, provost, and president—and served at both large public universities and small private colleges—including Wayne State University, the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, Wesleyan University, and Haverford College (PA). Her account of her early years in rural Wisconsin to her presidency of a women’s college, shows how Creighton developed key leadership skills. And her account of difficult campus crises—such as student protests, potential alumnae association revolts, and a faculty scandal—and how they were resolved hold important takeaways.

 Demographics and the Demand for Higher Education
Nathan D. Grawe (Johns Hopkins University, 2018)

Nathan D. Grawe, Ada M. Harrison Distinguished Teaching Professor of the Social Sciences at Carleton College, developed the Higher Education Demand Index to estimate the probability of college- going using basic demographic variables. In this book, Grawe analyzes demand forecasts by institution type and rank while disaggregating by demographic groups. He provides separate forecasts for various types of institutions and argues that the future demand for college attendance depends critically on institution type. While many institutions may face painful contractions due to demographic declines, demand for elite institutions, for example, is expected to increase by more than 15 percent in future years. The book may guide college and university administrators and trustees as they navigate future enrollment challenges. Although the book predicts general trends, institutions will be affected differently and thus will need to develop customized response strategies.

 Going to College in the Sixties
John R. Thelin (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2018)

Breaking the stereotype that colleges faced in the 1960s—of being places of protests, drugs, and rock and roll—John R. Thelin reinterprets the campus world shaped during one of the most dramatic decades in American history and reconstructs many phases of the college experience. The book explores how students during the period competed for admission, paid for college, managed crowded classes and dormitories, voiced concerns about the curriculum, struggled with tensions in big-time college sports, and overcame discrimination. Thelin supplements anecdotal experience with a survey of landmark state and federal policies and programs shaping higher education, a chronological look at media coverage of college campuses over the decade, and an account of institutional changes in terms of curricula and administration. Thelin, the author of A History of American Higher Education and other well- known books, is a university research professor and a member of the Educational Policy Studies Department of the University of Kentucky.

 Managing Risk in High-Stakes Faculty Employment Decisions
Julee T. Flood and Terry L. Leap (Cornell University Press, 2018)

This book examines the legal and human resource management practices that are relevant to college and university faculty members throughout U.S. higher education institutions. To help minimize potential pitfalls in the hiring and promotion processes, Julee T. Flood and Terry Leap suggest ways to apply risk-management principles within the culture of academia. The authors state that claims of workplace harassment, discrimination, and violations of free speech, as well as a high number of non-tenure track and adjunct faculty, should require those involved in hiring and promotion decisions to be more knowledgeable about contract law, best practices in hiring, and risk management. Yet, the authors find, many newly appointed administrators are insufficiently trained in these matters and do not understand how to apply risk management principles in an academic setting. This book may serve as a useful resource for human resources departments, hiring committees, and department chairs, as well as academics seeking faculty jobs. Flood is an attorney, business owner, and consultant with experience in the private, nonprofit, and public sectors; she has taught at Elon University School of Law. Terry Leap is Lawson Professor of Business at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

 Women’s Leadership Journeys: Stories, Research, and Novel Perspectives
Sherylle J. Tan and Lisa DeFrank- Cole, editors (Routledge, 2019)

This volume brings together research from leading scholars with stories from women leaders in diverse sectors to provide insights from their leadership journeys. The book begins with personal stories by women who are in positions such as chief executive officer, former U.S. ambassador, and college president. Scholars then discuss novel research that can guide women in navigating their pathways to leadership, including on followership, competition, and the role of biology in leadership. The book contains contributions by Carolyn J. Stefanco, president of the College of Saint Rose (NY), as well as leaders and scholars at other CIC member institutions: Azusa Pacific University (CA), Biola University (CA), College of the Ozarks (MO), Geneva College (PA), Scripps College (CA), University of Richmond (VA), Whitworth University (WA), and Woodbury  University (CA). The volume is part of Routledge’s Leadership: Research and Practice Series and emanates from the 24th annual Kravis-de Roulet Leadership Conference.


 2019 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers
Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman, editors (Inside Higher Ed and Gallup, January 2019)

Conducted by Gallup and answered by 475 chief academic officers (207 of whom are from private nonprofit colleges and universities), Inside Higher Ed’s 2019 survey explored a range of challenges these leaders face arising from both internal and external sources. The survey covered such topics as academic and financial health of the institution; liberal arts education; faculty tenure; sexual misconduct; inclusivity, civil discourse, and civic engagement; general education requirements; and attitudes toward open resource textbooks. Most CAOs (86 percent) indicate that their institutions provide an excellent or good education for their students. Although they have some doubt about whether students understand the purpose of general education courses, a majority of provosts across all sectors (68 percent) believe that faculty members at their institutions are enthusiastic about teaching general education courses. Many CAOs (62 percent) reported concerns about key constituencies (politicians, presidents, and board members) being “unsympathetic” to the liberal arts, with that sentiment most strongly expressed by private college CAOs (65 percent). One bright spot in the survey was an appearance of greater financial health for these colleges: The majority of CAOs at private institutions (53 percent) agreed that their college’s financial situation has improved, while a smaller proportion (39 percent) at public institutions believe that to be the case. And although two-thirds of overall CAOs (68 percent) say that most new funds for academic programs will have to come from reallocation of existing funds rather than from new revenues, CAOs at private nonprofit institutions are less likely than those at public institutions to believe that funding for academic programs will rely on reallocations (see Figure 1 below). For the report, visit Inside Higher Ed.

 Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report
Lorelle L. Espinosa, Jonathan M. Turk, Morgan Taylor, and Hollie M. Chessman (American Council on Education, February 2019)

An examination of the state of race and ethnicity in U.S. higher education, this report shows that while the number of students of color on the nation’s college and university campuses continues to rise, gaps in access, attainment, and debt levels remain. The report indicates that more than three-fourths of full-time undergraduate students across all racial and ethnic groups at private, nonprofit four-year institutions completed their degrees within six years. Moreover, the completion rates for students from all racial and ethnic groups are higher at these private institutions than at their public counterparts (see Figure 2 below). In other key findings, the report confirmed that racial and ethnic diversity among college faculty, staff, and administrators still does not reflect that of today’s college students. White students represented about half of all undergraduate students in 2016, but among the over 700,000 full-time faculty employed by higher education institutions in fall 2016, 73.2 percent were white, 21.1 percent were faculty of color, 3.1 percent were international, and 2.6 percent were of unknown racial and ethnic backgrounds. The report examines more than 200 indicators drawn from 11 data sources, most of which were collected by federal agencies. View the Race and Ethnicity report and its accompanying interactive microsite.

 Minority-Serving Institutions: America’s Underutilized Resource for Strengthening the STEM Workforce
National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (January 2019)

America’s nearly 700 two- and four- year minority-serving institutions (MSIs) include historically black colleges and universities, tribal colleges and universities, Hispanic-serving institutions, and Asian American and Native American Pacific Islander- Serving Institutions. MSIs educate roughly 30 percent of U.S. undergraduates and produce one-fifth of the country’s STEM bachelor’s degrees. This report states that although MSIs are positioned to meet U.S. STEM workforce needs, higher education leaders, policymakers, and the private sector must increase their focus and investments to strengthen STEM programs and degree attainment at MSIs. Based on a review of research literature, data, and site visits to nine MSIs (including CIC member Dillard University [LA]), the report finds that seven broad strategies will likely strengthen the quality of STEM education and workforce preparation for MSI students. Strategic recommendations include that campuses have multilevel, mission-driven leaders; institutional responsiveness to meet students’ needs; welcoming campus environments; tailored academic and social supports; strong mentorship and sponsorship; availability of undergraduate research experiences; and mutually beneficial public- and private-sector partnerships. The report also offers a range of recommendations to stakeholders. View the Minority-Serving Institutions report.

 International Graduate Applications and Enrollment: Fall 2018
Hironao Okahana and Enyu Zhou (Council of Graduate Schools, February 2019)

This latest Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) report indicates that for the second year in a row, both graduate application and first-time enrollment rates by international students at U.S. colleges and universities have declined. Between fall 2017 and fall 2018, the number of international graduate applications received by the institutions participating in the CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey declined by 4 percent, and first-time graduate enrollment decreased by 1 percent. The decline in applications was driven primarily by a 6 percent drop in applications to master’s programs; the number of doctoral applications rose by 1 percent between fall 2017 and fall 2018. The 2 percent overall decline in new international master’s students seems to have been propelled by decreases in enrollment at master’s-level institutions (-15 percent) and doctoral institutions with moderate or higher research activity (-8 percent). Conducted since 2004, the CGS International Graduate Admissions Survey tracks the applications, admissions, and enrollments of international master’s, certificate, and doctoral students at U.S. colleges and universities. In 2018, 369 U.S. public and private graduate institutions who are members of CGS or its regional affiliates responded to the survey. View the International Graduate Applications and Enrollment report.

 Impact: A 2018 Report on the Progress of the American Talent Initiative in Its First Two Years
Elizabeth Pisacreta, Emily Schwartz, and Martin Kurzweil (Ithaka S+R, December 2018)

This report, the first public reporting since the American Talent Initiative (ATI) launched in December 2016, shows that ATI members have increased enrollment of students who receive federal Pell Grants by 7,291 since the 2015–2016 academic year, demonstrating progress toward the ATI goal of enrolling 50,000 additional low- and moderate-income students at high-graduation-rate institutions by 2025. The report details that progress and identifies five key strategies that ATI members are employing in their efforts to expand opportunity. These strategies include institutionalizing commitments to socioeconomic diversity through presidential leadership and board engagement; increasing the size of the student body or maintaining long-held commitments to access; forging new pipelines for nontraditional students; prioritizing need-based financial aid; and reducing gaps in retention and graduation rates. The report also describes how ATI supports the work of its 108 current members, both public and private institutions, including 29 CIC member institutions. ATI is co-managed by the Aspen Institute’s College Excellence Program and Ithaka S+R. View the full Impact report.

Figure 1: CAOs Report on Funding for New Academic Programs

Most new funds my institution will have to spend on academic programs will come from reallocation rather than new revenues.*

Bar graph: 72% agree at public; 63% agree at private nonprofit  

*Note: Percentage of CAOs who agree or strongly agree.

Source: 2019 Survey of College and University Chief Academic Officers. 2019. Inside Higher Ed and Gallup. Figure created by the Council of Independent Colleges.

Figure 2: Completion Rates for Full-Time Students at Public and Private Four-Year Institutions

The six-year total completion rates for full-time students from all racial and ethnic groups are higher at four-year private nonprofit institutions than at their public counterparts.

Bar graph: six-year completion rates for seven racial categories for public and private nonprofit institutions  

*Notes: Based on the report’s Table 5.4 “Six- Year Outcomes (150% of Normal Time) for Exclusively Full-Time Students Who Started at Public Four-Year Institutions: Fall 2011 Cohort” and Table 5.6 “Six- Year Outcomes (150% of Normal Time) for Exclusively Full-Time Students Who Started at Private Nonprofit Four-Year Institutions: Fall 2011 Cohort.” (Public n = 529,995; Private n = 293,818)

Source: Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education: A Status Report. American Council on Education. 2019. Figure created by the Council of Independent Colleges.