Friday, March 29, 2013

Bad apples do exist

“One ringleader, the government said, recruited more than 40 people to apply as students for enrollment and aid, even though most had neither a high school diploma nor a GED, and were therefore ineligible to receive student aid. As a result, participants in that scheme alone received more than $665,000 in federal student aid. Meanwhile, two of the same ringleader’s brothers orchestrated a similar scheme”.


“The rings target mainly lower-cost institutions because student loans can easily cover tuition for their courses, resulting in a higher award balance -- known as a refund -- paid to the student. It is these financial aid refund awards that the crime rings are after. The student applicants have no intention of pursuing a degree, and often are not even eligible for the aid, authorities say. Instead, they take a cut of the financial aid refund proceeds, and turn the rest over to the ring leaders”.

This sort of fraud can ruin things for so many people as well as the schools themselves.

Another thing to keep your eyes open for because if the system is clean, it will last longer for students.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Remember what the purpose of education is

 Sometimes, we take the wrong things in educational institutions more seriously than the actual education. Case in point:
The ‘nappy hair’ incident from 1999 in New York City
Knee jerk reactions by people without having all the facts. We do remember what academic freedom is correct? Let us give people or groups of people the benefit of the doubt before going on the warpath. We have to believe in inherent goodness or we will become cynical and lost (of course please continue to pay attention, trust but verify).
The purpose of education is to educate, and the learning never stops.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

UNC rape case

So the story continues in the mishandle UNC rape case. The university made a decision… of some sort (aka CYA):

“For several weeks, the University has grappled with how best to respond to a public claim of retaliation against the university while maintaining the autonomy and integrity of our Honor Court proceedings and the privacy of the individuals involved,” UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp wrote in a message to students, faculty and staff. “Recognizing the potential conflicts that may exist by allowing both processes to continue, we have asked the student attorney general to suspend the Honor Court proceeding pending an external review of these allegations of retaliation”.

“UNC Suspends Hearing Against Student Who Made Rape Allegation”

“U. of North Carolina Halts Case Against Student Who Spoke Out on Sex Assault”

Is this justice? Yes we know the rape was ‘alleged’, but she was still a victim, then you retaliate against her because you did not like that she talked about her experience, and then you ‘suspend’ the case not close it, without an apology. Guess what? She still needs compassion and help!

Sexual assault on college campus needs to be stopped and now. Why is this such a difficult concept to understand? Keep our students safe!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

More on an adjunct’s life in academia

Alex Kudera's Fight for Your Long Day: an academic novel offers an Everyman for the new American economy” (

This Novel offers a view of the world of an adjunct in a way that is not often fully seen.

 “It is about Cyrus Duffleman, a depressed, saggy, almost-40 adjunct who makes, he calculates, about $10 an hour teaching courses to disengaged—and sometimes mentally ill—students at universities all over Philadelphia”.

I have written about this topic before, and will of course continue to do so as time goes on; the life of a professional adjunct is not easy. It is full of uncertainty, long distances, under appreciation, and sometimes desperation, held only together by a love of teaching.

“Kudera was an adjunct in Philadelphia from 1998 to 2007, so the novel is an exposé and manifesto in the muckraking tradition, but it also has strong absurdist elements. In an e-mail Kudera wrote, "Cyrus has incredible feelings of inadequacy, marginality, deep-seated feelings of failure, based in part on the conditions surrounding him—the society that dictates he must work 12 or more hours a day and is not worthy of decent health coverage or pay, and that he is supposed to be grateful for this exhausting life” (

Even if you do not read the book, try to appreciate your adjuncts. They are the glue that holds together much of today’s university instruction, they are human with all the usual human frailties, yet they are almost superhuman in their time management skills and drive to teach.

Hug and say thank you to an adjunct today!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, March 25, 2013

More investigations…

“Education Management Corp. Faces SEC Investigation”
“The huge for-profit higher-education company, which operates a range of postsecondary institutions, received a subpoena to provide investigators at the Securities and Exchange Commission with “documents and information relating to the company’s valuation of goodwill and to its bad debt allowance for student receivables,” according to a corporate filing. The company said it planned to cooperate with the investigation”.
EDMC is the parent company of: Argosy University, The Art Institutes, Brown Mackie College, and South University.
The watch continues, this affects us all.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, March 22, 2013

Sharing more…

Not sure if this actually passed, but:

“Sequester Watch: Congress Votes to Protect Military Tuition Assistance and Limit NSF Spending”

“Congress completed work on a stopgap spending bill on Thursday that includes provisions to restore military Tuition Assistance Programs but also limit spending on political-science research”.


Keep your eyes on this as it develops!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Protecting all our troops

Not all men are rapists, but even one gives all men a bad rap. However, the level of sexual assault in the military, against women, should leave a bad taste in the mouths of all men.
When a person puts on a uniform and takes the oath of service, they are signing a contract to protect us from our enemies both foreign and domestic. They are not expecting to be assaulted by the very people who are supposed to have their backs.
“Off The Battlefield, Military Women Face Risks From Male Troops”
“Sexual Violence Victims Say Military Justice System Is 'Broken'”
“Under military regulations, a commander who convenes a court martial, known as the convening authority, has the sole discretion to reduce or set aside guilty verdicts and sentences or to reverse a jury’s verdict. That is what the convening officer, a lieutenant general, did in this case, overturning the colonel’s conviction and having him released from the U.S. Naval Consolidated Brig in Charleston where he was serving a year’s sentence after which he was to be dismissed from the service”.
This goes on and on.
People, this is a national shame! Why are we still blaming the victims? Why is this not being punished? Why is this occurring on such a massive scale?
We need to support our troops, every single one of them.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sharing an article today

My suggestion is you read the whole article:

“For Veterans, Unmet Goals”

Some snippets:

“ORLANDO -- The disparity between college administrators' desire to help student veterans succeed and their ability to do that is becoming more apparent as the issue gains increased attention”

“Three out of four institutions have either an office or staff member focused exclusively on active duty military and student veteran affairs, according to the NASPA survey, yet only one in four report having "a detailed understanding of the root causes" of those students' withdrawing or dropping out”.

So the questions are, what can we do, what is being done, and do we have eyes on this?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Classism in higher ed continued

Interesting article titled “Not a School for People Like Them”

“When I teach my undergraduates at my elite, private school they all recognize the for-profit college ads I play to introduce the idea of higher education stratification. I ask them why they did not apply to Everest or Strayer when they were applying to college. They tell me that it’s not a school for people like them”.

That is quite a statement!

Other than access to contacts, what do you think are the advantages of going the elite route? What do you think are the advantages/disadvantages of the for-profit route? What is best for today’s non-traditional student?

Hope you all chime in.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, March 18, 2013

Transfer credits

I can remember choosing my transfer institutions as an undergrad, I based it upon the campus and as well as the amount of credits, that would transfer from my AA degree.  The information was given to me for free without hassle, and I made my choice.

Looking at a story today in the news, and having personally seen many attempts at dissembling when it comes to the transfer of credits, I realized that this is another area of concern that needs light shined upon it. Military students can be especially affected by this, especially when they are not aware that their training is ACE certified.

“Many colleges require a transfer student to make a commitment to attend—in the form of a nonrefundable deposit—before they will give out information about transfer credits. In short, they are saying, "Buy now! We'll tell you later what it will actually cost you". (,

What is wrong with this picture? Does this not smell funny? The opportunity for bait and switch is too high!

Student service my friends, not student steal. Let’s get this right!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Friday, March 15, 2013

Who owns your image in highered?

This short article got me wondering if my image is being used somewhere that I do not know it.
“Friends of Kholood Eid, a graduate student at the University of Missouri at Columbia, called her and asked why her photograph was in an advertisement they saw at the St. Louis airport for Webster University's M.B.A. program. Eid earned an undergraduate degree from Webster and -- as she told The Riverfront Times -- she remembers the university taking her photograph sometime before graduation. So she wanted to know why she was advertising a program in which she never enrolled. Webster officials said that she signed a release stating that the university could use the photograph in any way it wanted -- so Webster is not bothered by promoting its M.B.A. program with someone who never studied for an M.B.A. The university said that the image was a good one. Eid, whose parents are Palestinian, said she has a theory about why her photograph was used: "They just wanted an ethnically ambiguous face."
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, March 14, 2013

A bill that could help students graduate?

“California lawmakers detailed a plan Wednesday to require the state’s 145 public colleges and universities to grant credit for low-cost online courses offered by outside groups, including classes offered by for-profit companies”. (

I personally applaud this decision because there are so many students stuck in the public school system who cannot graduate because of one class or so.

This is an opportunity to get all public and private institutions to truly work together in a manner that is in the best interests of students.

I just hop politics and egos do not get in the way.


Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Keep watching because it is still happening…

“The Air Force and the Coast Guard have become the latest branches of the United States military to suspend their Tuition Assistance Programs, following significant, across-the-board cuts in defense spending that took effect this month in a process known as sequestration”.

Remember, government “for the people”; and these particular people help us protect our government so we should probably figure this out for them.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Good idea or selective prosecution

I have said it before and I will say it again: for-profit institutions have a place in this world of higher education. There are good players, there are bad players, and there are some institutions that might care about students more than other institutions. However, find me a school that does not want to make a profit and I will show you Bigfoot and his three brothers.

I have been fortunate to work at all kinds of institutions, and my conclusion is if you want to make this thing we call higher education work properly, all players need to work together.

“Profit and the Public Good” (, “We felt it was important to make a statement -- that education is a public good, said Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission (HLC) of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools”.

The question is: whose definition of public good? I am not taking sides, just pointing out some things, and the biggest thing I see right now is politics (on all sides).

Please make sure that when a punishment is meted out that it is in the best interests of the most important stakeholders: the students.

This will be interesting to watch.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, March 11, 2013

Update on some TA programs

“Sequester Watch: Army and Marines Suspend Tuition Assistance Programs”
“The Army announced on Friday that it had suspended new requests in its Tuition Assistance Program, joining the Marine Corps in halting the program due to significant cuts in federal spending that took effect last week”.
Please watch this issue because it affects our servicemembers!
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Friday, March 8, 2013

Interesting fact…

“Liberty Is Now Largest Private Nonprofit University”

“Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, has doubled its enrollment in the last six years -- twice -- to become the largest private university in the country, The Washington Post reported. Much of the growth has been online. Total enrollment at Liberty is now 74,000, with 62,000 enrolled online. (The 74,000 figure is more than 30,000 more than the enrollments at other large private nonprofit institutions, such as New York University, the University of Southern California and Brigham Young University.) A 2010 article in Inside Higher Ed explored Liberty's online strategy”.

I find this an interesting and previously unknown fact. What do you think?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Update on UNC sexual assault case

“U.S. to Investigate UNC-Chapel Hill's Handling of Sexual Assaults” (
 “The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights plans to investigate how the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill handles sexual assaults on the campus, the Associated Press reported. The agency said in a March 1 letter that it would conduct an inquiry into a complaint filed on behalf of 64 women in January that alleged, among other things, that said the individuals who run the campus judicial system mistreated victims and that upper-level administrators pressured them to underreport sexual assault statistics to the federal government”.

While the investigation is to be applauded for effort, it seems that investigations often just investigate, but with no definitive action in cases of sexual assault. Where are the arrests and prosecutions? Where is the deterrent for would be assaulters?
Please keep watching this ongoing issue because we are talking about the safety of our students.
Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Highly Qualified in Higher Education Today

There was a time when a person’s word was their bond, and that you said what you mean and meant what you said; anything less was a stain on one’s honor.

Higher education has changed in many ways and no, this has nothing to do with for-profit or non-profit, private or public institutions. All institutions want a profit and always have; find me one who does not and I will find you a unicorn. What has changed is how we take people at their word, or how we do not take them at their word. How we treat each other and how we are secretly fighting behind each other’s backs. How frontline decisions are being made by faceless folks thousands of mile away, and how we question those who are highly qualified as suspects in some sort of conspiracy.

In education, does it not make sense that a highly educated and highly qualified candidate would be desirable? Yes, there is the theory that they will move on to something ‘bigger and better’, and that does happen from time to time. If that is the case, you need to ask yourself, what did I do to try to retain this person? It is not all about money. In addition, when you make the decision not to hire this person, do you truly keep their resume “in mind for future opportunities” (or “keep on file”), or is that just lip service. Remember, they are highly qualified and can be an asset.

The truth is, in this economy, there are very few ‘bigger and better’ opportunities, and educators just want to work, they want to educate. Let us assume they are telling the truth, and let us value the skills these highly qualified individuals are bringing. Since when has having a graduate degree become a crutch? Since when has a person who should be an example to others (because they keep learning), become less desirable in the workplace? When did experience become a bad thing?

A better-qualified candidate will bring a lot to the table, and their knowledge can ultimately help the most important stakeholder; the student.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More on college sexual assault

An article today: “Push to Improve Campus Policies on Sexual Violence Gains Momentum” (, seems to show some positive gains in this fight.

"We're not merely talking about risk reduction anymore," said S. Daniel Carter, a project director with the VTV Family Outreach Foundation and a longtime campus-safety advocate. The ultimate goal of the programs, he says, is to "eliminate cultural norms that tolerate sexual violence"; and this is the kind of action needed.

Keep the momentum and chime in!

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Monday, March 4, 2013

Two steps forward one step back…

“Occidental College officials are defending their decision not to issue a campus alert after a student reported that she was sexually assaulted at a party near the campus last weekend. In an e-mail to the campus, Barbara J. Avery, the college’s dean of students, wrote that officials determined there was no “continuing threat” following the reported assault, which involved two students. A campus group that seeks to raise awareness of sexual assault condemned the college’s handling of the incident” (

Are we there yet?

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III

The ETeam

Friday, March 1, 2013

Someone is listening, but it is just a start

“New U.S. Law Includes Sexual Assault Provisions for Colleges” (, this is a start.

The questions are: will this be enough of a deterrent and what can be done to change the culture so this does not happen in the first place?

Please do not let this issue get buried somewhere; this is something we can change in education. We want our students safe.

Dr Flavius A B Akerele III
The ETeam