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AKA Review
June 9, 2023
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:
Let’s Smash the College Admissions Process
By David Brooks
Riffing on the Supreme Court’s likely takedown of affirmative action this month, New York Times columnist David Brooks builds on extensive research and analyses to argue that an admission system giving preference to applicants from poor families would address a core inequality in our society—where economic disadvantage poses seven times as large an obstacle to student achievement as does race. Moreover, he argues such programs, structured properly, would lift the poor and middle class and address the unfairness historically experienced by Blacks and Latinos. Read this article
From The Atlantic:
No One Knows What ‘Race Neutral’ Admissions Looks Like

By Issa Kohler-Hausmann
Recent legal challenges to "race-conscious" admissions policies at Harvard and University of North Carolina have led to a discussion of what a "race-neutral" admissions process could look like. As the author points out, college applications often include information provided by students themselves that identifies their racial or ethnic backgrounds. Determining compliance with such a policy would be exceptionally difficult, and thus could render non-discrimination laws ambiguous. Read this article
From Bloomberg:
America’s Educational Superpower is Fading
By Adrian Wooldridge
American universities have long topped worldwide rankings, recognized for their excellence, innovation, and impact, most recently with respect to issues of equity, technology, distance learning, and mental health. However, today’s U.S universities are plagued by spiraling tuition costs, employment actions, and political attacks from the right and the left. The author suggests that higher education institutions could learn from "some of the tougher techniques" of the private sector, such as reestablishing a focus on pedagogy, improving efficiency, and thinking and acting more strategically. Read this article

From The Chronicle of Higher Education:
This massive and endlessly sortable compilation of data on the race, ethnicity, and gender of faculty at the majority of American universities is a service to anyone thinking about these characteristics of institutions of higher education. It is also helpful to institutional leaders themselves, who can use it for peer comparisons, setting institutional goals, and baselines against which to measure their progress. With data of this quality previously difficult to find in one place, this compendium is a treasure trove. Read this article
From The Chronicle of Higher Education:
Only 7 Universities Make THE’s Sustainability Impact Rankings’ Top 100 List
By Alcino Donadel
This article draws attention to a metric that has long been a blind spot for U.S. higher educational institutions—sustainability. Surprisingly few U.S. universities are included in the Times Higher Education’s Sustainability Impact list, which ranks institutional commitments to sustainability efforts in research, outreach, and teaching, as defined by the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. It is important that all universities—but particularly U.S. ones—uphold commitments to development goals like these because they are a shared blueprint for reversing the increasingly evident implications of climate change and the urgency of achieving sustainability. Read this article

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