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National CrossTalk
Spring 1999 National Center for Public Policy & Higher Education
News Editorial Other Voices Interview
Texas' Demographic Challenge   In This Issue
Do you want to know how to write a 17th century four-voice counterpoint composition? Or discuss whether Aristophanes was justified in his criticism of Socrates? If so, St. Johnâs, a small liberal arts college where the ãGreat Booksä are the only curriculum, might be the place for you.

Texas' Demographic Challenge
New programs attempt to substitute for race- based admissions policies

An Experiment in Florida
Gulf Coast University tries faculty contracts, no tenure

News from the Center

A Quiet Counterrevolution
St. John's teaches the classics - and only the classics

Kati Haycock
As president of the Washington-based Education Trust, Kati Haycock has been a leader in the movement to increase collaboration between higher education and the public schools.

Is the Door Closing?
The narrowing of higher education opportunity

Other Voices
A Good Deal for All?
The Berkeley-Novartis agreement

Press Release Journalism
Higher education reporting is not tough enough
  New Admissions Policies
  New admissions policies and a large state scholarship program are expected to increase Hispanic enrollment at the University of Texas, Austin, where they were only 13 percent of last fallâs freshman class.
TWO YEARS AFTER a federal court barred use of race in admissions, Texas has responded by liberalizing admissions policies at public campuses and by preparing to launch a massive scholarship effort aimed at low-income minority students.

The new law, which requires automatic admission for students who graduate with grade point averages in the top ten percent of their high school classes, made little difference last fall, a year after the court ruling led to a drop in African American and Hispanic undergraduate enrollments at the stateâs two most selective public institutions÷the University of Texas at Austin and the main Texas A&M campus in College Station.

One reason, educators and political leaders believe, is that many poor minority students can't afford to attend Austin or College Station (or some of the state's 33 other public universities and colleges) even if they are admitted.....(continue)
An Experiment in Florida  
Don't feed the alligators  
Students at Florida Gulf Coast University are warned not to feed the many alligators who live on or near the swampy campus.  
APRIL 30 WILL BE an important date in the brief history of Florida Gulf Coast University, where 85 percent of the faculty has been hired on multi-year contracts instead of tenure-track positions.

By then, about 50 professors with three-year contracts will know if these agreements have been renewed or if they should plan to look for jobs elsewhere. Although most expect to be renewed, an air of anxiety hangs over this small campus, built on swamplands at the edge of the Everglades.

"I'm a little nervous about it, to tell the truth," said Eric Strahorn, a young history professor who has taught at Florida Gulf Coast since the campus opened in August 1997. "Everybody says most of us will be renewed, but until I have it in my hand, I'm going to be nervous."...(continue)

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