Policy Issues


FCC Broadband Plan Pushes Ambitious Agenda for U.S. Education

After almost a year of development that included holding 36 public workshops in person and online and reading through 23,000 public comments, the Federal Communications Commission has released its national broadband plan with a formal report to Congress. Calling high-speed Internet access "indispensable for the 21st century, the foundation for our economy, the foundation for our democracy in the digital age," FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski declared the plan "ambitious but achievable."

Jobs for Graduates in the Knowledge Economy?

Traditionally, undergraduate education has prepared students with background knowledge for entry into a field or for graduate school, rather than focusing on current and specific job-related skills. In an economy that has turned sour, that emphasis may have to change.

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Rallying the Troops

A new series of environmental challenges, led by Carbonrally, is pitting universities against one another in an ongoing online competition to see which can be the most "green."

U Maine Moves to Sustainability Governance

The University of Maine in Orono will be using a governance model from 4tell Solutions to track sustainability efforts. The company sells a number of reporting systems that draw data from multiple sources to provide a dashboard view of performance in specific areas. The university will be using iPlan Sustainable Performance Governance.

Brown Signs International Sustainable Campus Charter

Brown University in Providence, RI recently signed the Sustainable Campus Charter. The charter pushes universities to follow sustainable practices in development, construction, and operations campus-wide and to include sustainability in its teachings.

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House Bill Opens E-Rate to Community Colleges

E-Rate could be in for some major changes as it heads toward "version 2.0." A bill introduced in the House this week would add a five-year pilot program to subsidize broadband equipment and services for colleges, with funds totaling $750 million over the life of the pilot.

The CSU's Affordable Learning Solutions Campaign

The California State University is launching a major campaign to drive down the cost of learning resources for students while offering greater access to no- or low-cost academic content for faculty. The campaign, Affordable Learning Solutions, builds on the rapid emergence of high-quality, digitally delivered content, and on the CSU’s long history as a national leader and innovator in this area.

American U Adopts Self-Reporting Sustainability Program

American University in Washington, DC is the latest university to announce its participation in a new self-reporting sustainability program launched by the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education (AASHE), the same organization that created the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment.

As We May Learn: Revisiting Bush

Information technology has taken us well beyond the collection-and-search of information archives. Educators should consider how they will respond to an era in which the teaching and learning conversations must center not around pre-existing, "finished" and past-tense information, but around information that is currently being created in the "continuous tense."

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Moving Toward a 'Net-Zero' Campus

Portland Community College in Oregon is taking the first step in a larger effort to retrofit its aging campuses and shift to energy-efficient, environmentally friendly facilities.