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Weekly Review
September 9, 2022
At AKA, we closely follow trends and latest developments
in higher education and the nonprofit sector.

Here are some recent articles and reports that we found particularly informative.
From The New York Times:
Why I Changed My Mind on Student Debt Forgiveness
By Susan Dynarski
An economist who once wrote off loan forgiveness as an expensive Band-Aid argues that the landscape of our college funding system has shifted. When more than a quarter of those who start college drop out with no credential, the case that a bachelor’s degree ensures relatively painless loan repayment no longer holds water. Loan forgiveness that targets for-profit and community college students, who have relatively small loans but the highest default rates, will improve many lives without forgoing much revenue. Read this article

From The Boston Globe:
Higher Education Needs a New Mission. How about Climate Justice?
By Alaina D. Boyle and Jennie C. Stephens
These authors argue that universities are uniquely positioned to lead the effort for climate justice. The scale of commitment needed, however, would require changes from these institutions to everything from what they teach and research to how they are governed and financed. While such transformation may seem unachievable, it would represent a vivid demonstration of how higher education provides values to society at a time when many question the return that families and taxpayers receive for their investment in colleges and universities. Read this article
From University World News:
Expanding Access is not a Priority for Top Schools
By Nathan M Greenfield
Despite their stated commitment to student equity and diversity, America’s most elite colleges and universities are not using their large endowment increases to expand access for poor and underrepresented students. In fact, the study described here notes that there is an inverse relationship between endowment growth and admission to these institutions by the nation’s poorest students. Where does the money go? Into spending that increases selectivity and student yield—responses to the formulas used by college rankings. Read this article
From Artnet News:
Scientists Are Training A.I. to Reconstruct Long-Lost Underpaintings by Artists Including Van Gogh and Leonardo da Vinci
By Jo Lawson-Tancred
An artist, physicist, and neuroscientist work with AI technology to reconstruct hidden underpaintings by renowned artists. Using examples of an artist’s work, the team trained a neural network to accurately reconstruct the underpainting from an X-ray-type image. While these are not exact reproductions, they use color and style estimated by the AI to bring to shed light on otherwise lost works by history’s greatest artists. Read this article
From the Video Vaults
The Lizard King at Florida State University
What university enrollment manager wouldn’t want a rock ‘n roll legend pitching their institution? Starring FSU freshman, Jim Morrison—a few years before he rose to fame as front man for The Doors and a 1960s counterculture icon—this short clip from an FSU promotional film sounds notes about public higher education that resonate today: a mechanism for economic development and job creation facing declining state funding and less than supportive taxpayers—lines almost as familiar as “C’mon baby, light my fire.” Watch this video
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