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Quick Takes: Harvard Will End Early Admissions, Oberlin President Plans to Quit, International Spending Comparisons, Band Director Charged With Raping Student, Poor Morale for Older British Academics

September 12, 2006
  • Harvard University is eliminating early admissions next year and shifting to a single application deadline of January 1 for undergraduates. The move comes after several years in which many education experts said that early admissions programs favor wealthy applicants, who are more likely to be able to figure out their first choice early in the process and who may not need to compare aid packages among institutions. As colleges have admitted larger and larger shares of their classes early, many applicants have also felt pressure to apply early, adding to the hysteria that surrounds elite college admissions. Harvard officials said that they hoped other colleges would follow. Given Harvard's prestige in admissions, the move is sure to prompt consideration, but it may take time. And some college officials very much like early decision -- for giving them control over the process and helping their "yields" in ways that tend to improve rankings. When the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill eliminated early admissions in 2002, many predicted a wave of colleges would follow, and while a few top institutions tinkered with programs, eliminations did not ensue. In June, the University of Delaware announced that it would eliminate early admissions.
  • Nancy S. Dye, president of Oberlin College since 1994, announced Monday that she would leave the position at the end of the current academic year. Board leaders praised Dye's fund raising skills, her oversight of numerous campus building projects and her efforts to promote international ties for the college. And several faculty members circulated letters praising her, including one from a minority faculty member praising Dye's commitment to diversity and helping students. But other faculty members said that they were pleased by the announcement that Dye would be leaving. While raising many millions of dollars a year, Dye has also presided over a series of budget cuts and some faculty members have faulted her priorities, with some charging that Oberlin's board has failed to properly evaluate her performance. In a message to the campus, Dye said that she concluded last month that this is "the right time" to plan her departure.
  • A common refrain of public higher education officials in the United States is that government support is covering smaller shares of their budgets -- and it turns out state universities have much in common with higher ed worldwide. Among the countries in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (a group of industrialized, democratic countries), the share of higher education budgets covered by the government dropped to 76 percent in 2003, from 81 percent in 1995, according to a report released today by the OECD. Only four countries -- the Czech Republic, Ireland, Norway and Spain -- saw increases in the government share of support during that period. The report also contains comparative data on educational performance. That data show that the United States remains a leader in many categories, but is losing ground rapidly, a trend noted by numerous other studies.
  • Delaware State University has placed Miguel A. Bonds, its band director, on paid leave following his arrest Sunday on charges that he raped a student, The Delaware News Journal reported. Bonds, who is in jail, could not be reached for comment. Authorities told the newspaper that Bonds that the victim talked to Bonds about his plans to pledge a fraternity and that Bonds invited him to his apartment to learn about pledging. At the apartment, police say, Bonds gave the students drinks and raped him while he was drifting in and out of consciousness.
  • British academics over 50 have much lower morale than their younger colleagues and 43 percent would retire immediately if they could afford to do so, according to a survey by the University and College Union.
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