Education

Eyeing Lunch

Aug 11, 2015
Virginia Commonwealth University

Hungry students will find something new at Virginia Commonwealth University. They'll be able to pay for their meals with their eyes. 

With 5,000 meals served each day, Shafer Court is a busy place, and Stephen Barr – director of campus services at Virginia Commonwealth University says food service workers can’t always keep up.

Virginia residents have just a little more time to provide feedback to the Department of Education as it redesigns public school performance report cards, which provide accountability ratings. The final product is not only supposed to allow users to sift through information more fluidly, but will also provide a more customized layout of demographics. 

Flickr user Nayu Kim, Creative Commons

Less than a third of each dollar spent on higher education today goes to those who do the teaching.  The rest is spent on administration, campus maintenance and other services students expect for the often high tuitions they pay, but that situation may be changing as low-paid faculty members join unions and find new ways to get better compensation. 

Flickr user Ron Cogswell, Creative Commons

Fifty years ago, more than 75% of college faculty members were full-time and had tenure or were on track to get it.  Today, only a third are part of that elite group.  Many of those doing the teaching at American universities are poorly paid, have no job security and limited benefits.  Some have PhD’s but still qualify for government assistance to buy food.  

The general public might think of universities as places for learning - and that would make teaching a valued resource, but a growing number of people at the head of college classrooms are making less than the minimum wage, have no job security and no benefits.  In the first part of our series, we look at how a majority of college instructors are not tenured or even on track to full-time, tenured positions.

Rose Forp spent many years training adults in the workplace.  Over time, it dawned on her that she loved to teach.

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