HIGHER ED DIGEST: September 27, 2021

Policy

New Jersey Congressman introduces bill to increase transparency in student aid displacement

Today, Congressman Andy Kim (NJ-03), introduced two bipartisan bills to improve transparency in student financial aid. The Helping Students Plan for College Act, introduced with Congressman Mike Kelly (PA-16), addresses the practice of scholarship displacement, which occurs when schools reduce a student’s aid award when they receive an outside scholarship. - Insider NJ

Free college? Just a theory in Illinois without pension reform 

The $2.1 billion going to the State Universities Retirement System, or SURS, exceeds the $1.99 billion being spent on higher education costs in the latest state budget. The Illinois Policy Institute recently found that absent the pension crisis -- or if the state still spent the same 4% of its budget on pensions it did in the 1990s, rather than more than 25% -- Illinois could afford to give every undergraduate enrolled in public universities nearly $70,000. Instead, only a small fraction of students receive state tuition assistance, worth an average of just $3,000. - Daily Herald

Leadership

Allison Garrett named chancellor of Oklahoma higher ed system 

The Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education announced today the selection of national higher education and business leader Allison D. Garrett as the next chancellor of the Oklahoma State System of Higher Education. Garrett will take office as Oklahoma’s ninth chancellor on Nov. 8, 2021, succeeding Chancellor Glen D. Johnson, who has served in the office since January 2007. She will be the first woman to hold the position of Chancellor. - Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education

David Russell named president of Columbia College

Dr. David Russell, former Commissioner of Higher Education in Missouri, was named Friday as the 18th President of Columbia College. Russell has been serving as interim president of the college since January. He came out as the winning candidate after a nationwide search. His contract will run through 2025. KRCG-TV

On-Campus

University of New Mexico continuing education launches cannabis education program 

“The cannabis industry is one of the fastest-growing new market opportunities in the country,” states Audrey Arnold, Executive Director of UNM Continuing Education. “As providers of professional development and career education, we want to provide the knowledge and skills that our community will need to be successful in this rapidly growing market. We are thrilled as well for this innovative partnership with Green Flower who can offer solid education in this industry and an affordable and realistic approach in training.” - University of New Mexico

How a new program is training freshmen about sexual misconduct prevention

The creators of these programs say being able to participate in the trainings from the privacy of one’s home rather than in a classroom or school auditorium is a lot less intimidating, allowing students to get more out of the training from the beginning. - Healthline