February 23, 2005

Jaschik '85 Starts News Site on Higher Ed.

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When Scott Jaschik ’85 left his position two years ago as an editor for the top news source for academia, The Chronicle of Higher Education, he decided to create a new rival publication that would be “the place where people come to find out about higher education, but at the same time, wouldn’t take itself too seriously.”

Launched last month with two of his former Chronicle co-workers, Doug Lederman and Kathlene Collins, insidehighered.com provides news and opinion articles as well as links to weblogs about higher education. Unlike the Chronicle, which charges users for its services, insidehighered.com is free. The website will generate its revenue through a soon-to-be-launched job recruitment service for professionals, with a resume database and applicant recommendations.

Collins, who runs the site’s business side, said the publication has picked the best aspects of other sites’ recruitment services and “polished and shaped them so they are just right for the academic and administrative hiring services in higher education.”

Jaschik said the publication hopes to cover all aspects of academia, an exciting field that is expanding very rapidly.

“There is a lot of growth geographically in terms of international reach, in community colleges and in for-profit education,” he said.

The trio decided to create an internet publication rather than a print magazine because higher education is becoming increasingly wired. In addition, they wanted their publication to be free so it would be more accessible to all members of the academic community, from graduate students and new professors to senior administrators.

“Many people that work and study are interested in higher education and want high quality information but either aren’t willing or can’t afford to pay a lot of money for it, “said Lederman, who serves as the site’s editor along with Jaschik. “One of our major goals is to democratize the availability of high-quality news commentary and jobs for people interested in higher education.”

Jaschik said that the feedback he has received from the website’s users has been “phenomenal.”

Collins agreed with her co-worker, calling the feedback “uniformly ecstatic.” “We get e-mails from people who are grateful that higher education finally has a free place for this kind of timely exchange of ideas,” she said.

The publication will be expanded further with daily news and opinion coverage, as well as career news.

While at Cornell, Jaschik honed his journalism skills on The Sun while serving as the Managing Editor during his junior year and the Editor-in-Chief as a senior. Jaschik said that working at The Sun prepared him well for the excitement of covering daily news.

“It taught me that a university community is fascinating and worth covering,” he said. “It also taught me the importance of knowing all the players and the issues that matter at a given college.”

Jaschik said that covering Cornell as a journalist is unique, because of the University’s large size and its complexity, with both private and state college issues.

“Cornell is a great place because so many higher education issues are in play one way or another,” he said.

Jaschik served several posts at The Chronicle, before being appointed an editor in 1999. After four years at the publication, Jaschik departed with Lederman and Collins.

Archived article by Olivia Oran
Sun Staff Writer