Dear Faculty and Staff:
The annual Campus Leadership Luncheon (9 October 2018) brought together students, faculty and staff leadership to focus on student success. Table discussions sought to better understand barriers to student engagement and belongingness. This event also furnishes the opportunity for campus leaders to meet one another and put a face with a name. Leadership contributions are very much appreciated and valued.
- Chadron State 2020 — http://www.csc.edu/president/2020/index.csc
- MAP Priorities & Sub-Priorities – http://csc.edu/library/mapsupport/index.csc
- MAP Overview and Purpose: click on overview within About CSC’s Master Academic Plan (MAP) — http://csc.edu/library/mapsupport/index.csc
- Visit the VPAA Update archive versions on the VPAA website: http://csc.edu/vpaa/snaresreleases/index.csc
- Presidential Committees — http://www.csc.edu/president/index.csc
- Campus-Wide Committees: click on Campus-Wide Committee in left column — http://csc.edu/president/2020/index.csc
New Nebraska State College System (NSCS) Chancellor
Earlier this month the NSCS Board of Trustees named the new NSCS Chancellor Paul Turman. Dr. Turman begins 2 January 2019 (10 October 2018 NSCS, http://www.csc.edu/modules/news/public_news/view/11915). Various news reports provide further details, 1 October 2018:
- Omaha-World Herald: https://www.omaha.com/news/education/highereducation/nebraska-s-state-college-system-has-a-new-leader/article_9cb14381-72b45e06-86f8-7a6b3786ea27.html
- NSCS Office: http://www.csc.edu/modules/news/public_news/view/11909
During October and November 2018 President Rhine is conducting listening sessions with community leaders in Western Nebraska: Alliance, Scottsbluff, Sidney, Chadron, North Platte, and Broken Bow. The feedback is sought to assist in ways that CSC may contribute to the region, enhance or cultivate collaboration, and assist with CSC planning. For instance, the information will help with development of the Master Academic Plan (MAP) 2019-2023 that is currently being crafted during the fall 2018 and spring 2019 semesters.
Average Tuition and Fees as a Share of Median Household Income
Average tuition and fees at a public four-year university as a share of 2017 median household income varies by state from 8.4% in Wyoming to 27.1% in Vermont. Nebraska is on the lower end of the share of median household income at 13.2% — 11th lowest percentage of the 50 states.
For the surrounding Nebraska states the percentage is the following: Colorado = 14.9%; Iowa = 14.1%; Kansas = 15.8%; Missouri = 16.1%; South Dakota = 14.4%; Wyoming = 8.4%. Nationwide in 2008 the average was 14% of median household income whereas by 2017 it accounted for 16.5% (4 October 2018 Center on Budget and Policy Priorities).
Importance of Public Higher Education
A recent analysis on selective and for-profit higher education institutions also suggests the importance of public higher education. “The analysis shows that public colleges and universities act as an equalizing force and help shrink the earnings gap between those in the top and bottom rungs of the income ladder,” said Thomas Harnisch, director of state relations and policy analysis at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU). “Public colleges and universities are a force for economic mobility.” Harnisch noted the six and 10-year earnings time segment analyzed in the study is a portion of lifetime potential earnings; students attending public institutions pay less tuition and typically have less debt (https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2018/09/06/analysis-finds-benefits-attending-selectivecollege-and-penalties-attending-profit).
A recent article citing Education Department data and the Brookings Institute indicated the student loan default rate has “more than doubled between 2003 and 2011, and 40 percent of borrowers are expected to fall behind on their loans by 2023” (Nova 2018, https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/21/the-student-loan-bubble.html). It’s going to be very consequential for the future of the country,” says Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations at AASCU. The average college debt is over $30,000; according to the Department of Education, the average debt for CSC graduates is $17,786. The importance of public higher education is another example that what you do everyday makes a difference in the lives of students and communities. Thanks for contributing to the betterment of the region and world.
CSC is a member of AASCU. AASCU has been at the forefront of many higher education issues. For instance, it currently is arranging a February 2019 pre-conference on Rural Serving Institutions (RSIs). One aspect of the pre-conference is to better understand RSI and rural regions – the similarities and differences. Within the AASCU membership there are 147 RSIs. CSC is participating in the development of the sessions.
Data Breaches, Cybersecurity, and Proactive Security Protection
Unfortunately, data breaches are on the rise in all sectors, including higher education. A recent report published by cybersecurity firm Shape Security showed that 80% to 90% of the people that log into a retailer’s e-commerce site are hackers using stolen data. This is the highest percentage of any sector. https://www.businessinsider.com/data-breaches-2018-4. Last year, over 2.3 billion credentials from 51 different organizations were reported compromised (http://info.shapesecurity.com/rs/935-ZAM-778/images/Shape_Credential_Spill_Report_2018.pdf). According to a survey based on the responses of IT professionals working in the federal sector, 57 percent of federal agencies experienced a data breach in the past year. This is a vast jump from an estimated 34 percent in 2016-2017, and 18 percent in 2015-2016 (https://www.zdnet.com/article/us-suffers-highest-databreaches-of-government-agencies-worldwide/).
However, human error is also a major threat and is on the rise. In a survey of its attendees, organizers of the annual Black Hat security conference showed that 84 percent of cyberattacks reported had been due to human error, Computer Weekly reported. This could include failing to apply a patch, using easy-to-guess passwords or leaving physical devices in an unsafe area. The 2017 IT Risks Report from Netwrix found that 100 percent of government workers surveyed saw their own employees as the most likely culprits during a security breach. Again, this doesn’t necessarily mean malicious activity — 41 percent said such incidents are likely the result of human error. Infosecurity Magazine pointed first to improving the way staff are educated about data protection, no matter what device or application they may be using for work purposes. Policies that limit access, combined with employee education, are important (https://securityintelligence.com/news/insider-threats-account-for-nearly-75-percent-of-securitybreach-incidents/).
A recent report (Samantha Menlo, Spring 2018) explores data breaches in higher education institutions (https://scholars.unh.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1407&context=honors). From a data security perspective, higher education institutions are important because they hold vast amounts of data belonging to a large portion of the population. In fact, the National Center of Education Statistics (NCES) reports that higher education institutions enroll approximately 20.4 million students and 1.6 million faculty members. In many cases, while in college, students begin to prepare themselves, financially, for the rest of their lives. They apply for jobs, rent apartments, and purchase vehicles. Such endeavors require financial stability; therefore, having personal data stolen could be detrimental. A current study on government data breaches found that human and software incompetence were the most common breach type. Higher education institutions with stricter data protection policies are less susceptible to a data breach (Menlo 2018).
This is a follow-up to the VPAA Update from 24 September 2018: Administrative Level Rights to Computers Changed. The Educational Technology Committee (ETC), a faculty senate committee, has worked with the Information Technology (IT) Department in this process. In the world today balancing security with innovative learning environments is challenging. The efforts of ETC and IT are greatly appreciated.
Graves Lecture Series
The Graves Lectures Series began on 29 August 2006 with Dorset Graves as the first speaker. Since its inception 107 presentations have been conducted on a vast array of subjects. The variety of areas is illustrated in the three remaining presentations for the Graves Lecture Series this semester: Tuesday, 30 October: Nathaniel Doherty, “Equanimity Among the Ruins: The Doubtful Value of Humanity in Colson Whitehead’s Zone One”; Tuesday, 13 November: Mathew Brust, “Current Conversation Status of Rare Butterflies and Grasshoppers in the
Nebraska Panhandle”; Tuesday, 27 November: Markus Jones, “The Shaping of the Story”. These presentations begin at 7:00 pm in the Sandoz High Plains Atrium. Contact Shawn Hartman (firstname.lastname@example.org) for information on the Spring 2019 presentations.