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"Education Empire" & "Non-tenured Faculty Hope for Better Working Conditions" Win Awards for Excelllence

May 26, 2015
For more information, please contact: Robin Burns

Washington, DC—Writers Mina Kimes and Michael Smith of Bloomberg News are this year’s recipients of the Iris Molotsky Award for Excellence in Coverage of Higher Education, given annually by the American Association of University Professors (AAUP). The AAUP’s purpose in giving this award is to recognize exceptional journalism and to encourage thoughtful, in-depth coverage of issues that are critical to faculty and higher education. “Education Empire” (February 2014) takes readers behind the scenes to show how Laureate Education Inc. employed tactics banned in the U.S. to lure students in developing countries struggling to give young people access to higher education.  Award judge Dane Claussen wrote, "Bloomberg's investigation of Laureate is overdue as even faithful readers of The Chronicle of Higher Education see Laureate's ads but not articles about it. The result is a devastating picture of for-profit education: a lot of underqualified students overpaying for overcrowded and overrated colleges. Laureate's defense seems to be that it is a great company merely because it exists!"

Martin Kich, one of the judges, commented that the article, “focuses attention on an online institution that will almost certainly impact higher education in the U.S. far more significantly than the University of Phoenix, et al, ever have. The article is very thoroughly researched and should be eye-opening for most American readers, especially academics.”

Michael Smith is a senior writer responsible for coverage of Latin America for Bloomberg Markets magazine. Smith, a University of North Carolina graduate, has been with Bloomberg since 1992, covering financial and general news from New Jersey, New York, Santiago, Chile and Rio de Janeiro. He started his career in Chile as a freelance journalist covering the fall of Gen. Augusto Pinochet's regime. He then went to the Daily Record in Morristown, New Jersey and the Associated Press in Newark. Smith is based in Rio de Janeiro. Mina Kimes is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, where she writes features and a column about the business and culture of sports. Before joining ESPN in 2014, Kimes worked as an enterprise reporter for Bloomberg News and a features writer for Fortune Magazine.

The award will be presented at the AAUP’s Awards Luncheon on Saturday, June 13.

Additionally, the AAUP presented the Martin D. Snyder Award for Excellence in Student Coverage of Higher Education, for high-caliber reporting in student newspapers to Sarah Brown and Hayley Fowler for their story “Non-tenured Faculty Hope for Better Working Conditions.” The story ran in the University of North Carolina’s The Daily Tar Heel on September 24, 2014.

About the judges:

Dane S. Claussen is an independent scholar, author of Anti-Intellectualism in American Media, and former editor of Journalism and Mass Communication Educator. Until December 2010, he was chair of faculty and professor at Point Park University’s School of Communication.

Martin Kich is an editor for Academe Blog and a professor of English at Wright State University, where he has been a faculty member for almost 25 years. He serves as co-chair of the Ohio AAUP Conference's Communication Committee.

The mission of the American Association of University Professors (AAUP) is to advance academic freedom and shared governance; to define fundamental professional values and standards for higher education; to promote the economic security of faculty, academic professionals, graduate students, post‐doctoral fellows, and all those engaged in teaching and research in higher education; to help the higher education community organize to make our goals a reality; and to ensure higher education's contribution to the common good. Founded in 1915, the AAUP has helped to shape American higher education by developing the standards and procedures that maintain quality in education and academic freedom in this country's colleges and universities.

Publication Date: 
Tuesday, May 26, 2015