Andrew Feenberg has taken issue with the “neo-liberal agenda” that is currently guiding how far too many universities both conceptualize and use “educational technology.” In this article, I expand the scope of his critical discussion to include analysis of contemporary higher education initiatives that capitalize on big data.
In a report released Friday, the Obama administration offered its first public glimpse of a planned system for rating how well colleges perform, saying it wanted to group schools into three broad categories — good, bad and somewhere between.
In detailing what elements the system is likely to contain, the Department of Education also revealed how dauntingly complex the project has been, and how it continues to be hampered by the limitations of the data available.
The department labeled what the Friday release calls a “draft framework,” much of it subject to change, with a lot of work still to be done before it produces a first version of an actual rating formula. Officials said that first system should become public before the start of the next school year, about eight months away, but even then, it will remain a work in progress, to be upgraded as problems arise and better data become available.
Rapid technological change can leave colleges grasping for the right legal policies. Here are words of caution, and of reassurance.
As new technologies emerge on campuses, how can colleges avoid legal land mines? What are the areas of greatest risk, and how should higher-education leaders deal with them?
UC Berkeley officials are in the process of notifying approximately 1,600 individuals that their personal information may have been compromised in a data breach of the campus’s real estate division.
The breach allowed unauthorized access to servers that were used to support a number of UC Berkeley real estate division programs. The campus estimates that about 1,300 Social Security numbers and 300 credit card numbers were among the data accessed. The data span from the early 1990s to May of this year.
Few institutions budget in advance for data breaches, according to college officials and data-security professionals. Cybersecurity insurance in higher education remains a rarity, despite a consensus among those working in the field that the likelihood of such a breach involves “when,” not “if.”
The list of potential expenses is long. It includes forensics consultants, lawyers, call centers, websites, mailings, identity-protection and credit-check services, and litigation. Breaches can prompt major campus projects, such as risk-management reviews, campuswide encryption, and tests to determine how vulnerable networks are.
The university’s information-technology staff discovered a breach that affected five departmental servers containing information on students enrolled from 1995 to 2012. The servers also contained university ID numbers for 18,949 students.