Notes & Coffee: August 14 - 20

Notes & Coffee is here to keep you informed of all the trending student affairs and higher ed news stories most critical to our field as they develop. In the age of information overload, we’re here to bring you vetted examinations of the stories that matter to our field. We invite you to brew a favorite morning beverage, kick back, relax, and catch yourself up for the week ahead with Notes & Coffee.

What U.Va. students saw in Charlottesville – The college town of Charlottesville, Va. became the scene of deadly chaos after a rally to protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee was held there over the weekend. In recent years, college towns and campuses have attracted divisive figures like Richard Spencer, the white nationalist leader who organized the rally, as youthful activism in the community all but guarantees protest and media coverage. The New York Times reached out to University of Virginia students to reflect on the event.

After Charlottesville violence, colleges brace for more clashes – Berkeley is ready to spend as much as $500,000 to protect a single lecture, Mr. Mogulof said, and will do so regardless of the speaker’s ideology. The new protocol was unveiled on Sunday, a day after a woman was killed and dozens of people were injured in Charlottesville, Va., after a series of white supremacist gatherings at the University of Virginia and in the city. The timing was a coincidence, but across the country, college administrators and law enforcement officials are bracing for a wild fall of protests as their campuses become battlegrounds for society’s violent fringes.

Legal grounds to turn away white supremacist speakers – When Auburn University said it would block Richard Spencer from speaking on campus in April, the white nationalist sued -- and won. A federal judge in Alabama rejected Auburn's argument that the speech would be unsafe, and it took place. This precedent has not deterred the University of Florida or Texas A&M University, both of which this week have canceled plans for events where Spencer was slated to speak on their campuses, citing the violence at white supremacist events last weekend in Charlottesville, Va.

Finances a troublesome subject at many HBCUs – When college leaders across the nation begin rolling out their welcome mats for the coming school year, few are likely to be more anxious about the days ahead than those operating historically Black colleges and universities (HBCUs). The institutions – 49 are private nonprofit institutions and 51 are public institutions – are facing increasingly tough times, with few exceptions, as warning flags abound and time appears to be running out on solving the myriad challenges that these schools face.

More diversity means more demands – Campuses  that have prided themselves on increased diversity in admissions are now wrestling with students who want more control over the institutions they attend, including a say in hiring (even of visiting professors), housing (a theme house at the University of California, Santa Cruz, must be painted in Pan-African colors) and curriculum (among nearly 50 demands presented to the University of Chicago: the creation of courses on the Islamic golden age, sequences on Caribbean and Southeast Asian civilizations, and a required diversity/inclusion course).

More Notes

Ole Miss edges out of its confederate shadow, gingerly

Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban, is going to Oxford

More law schools begin accepting GRE test results

Belly of the beast

It’s no coding camp: Vocational training aims to diversify tech