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Quick Takes: New Evidence of Gender Gap, New Evidence in WVU Degree Dispute, Professor Reinstated at Oral Roberts, Prices on Their Heads, President Placed on Leave, New Tack Urged on College Cost Disclosure, Stagnant British Enrollment

January 11, 2008
  • Among all adults in the United States 25 and older, men remain more likely to have earned a bachelor's degree (30 percent vs. 28 percent), but recent trends in which more women than men enroll in college suggest a reversal is on the way. Data released by the U.S. Census Bureau Thursday show that among those aged 25 to 29, women are much more likely to have a bachelor's degree: 33 percent to 26 percent.
  • The chief of staff to the president of West Virginia University directed the investigation of whether a degree should be retroactively awarded to a politically connected executive and directed that university statements about the issue be cleared with the executive (who is the governor's daughter), The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The newspaper, which has raised questions about the legitimacy of the degree, made its latest report based on university e-mail records obtained through open-records requests.
  • Oral Roberts University has reinstated one of the three dismissed professors whose ouster led to public accusations of financial irregularities, The Tulsa World reported. The three professors sued the university and the agreement to reinstate one of them settles his suit. Details of the settlement were not available. Also on Thursday, the university announced the resignation of two regents.
  • A University of Washington athletic booster pledged $100,000 if the university would fire its football coach and another $100,000 if it would get rid of the athletic director, The Seattle Times reported. The unusual pledges became public because of an open-records request for e-mail to the university president about athletic matters. The coach kept his job, but the athletics director, Todd Turner, did not.
  • Alabama officials have suspended Susan Salatto as president of Southern Union State Community College, and are planning to fire her, the Associated Press reported. Board leaders were told that Salatto had violated many procedures, and had hired several pairs of husbands and wives where one spouse was supervising the other. The AP said that until recently, Salatto's husband was a dean at the college. A lawyer for Salatto declined to respond to specific allegations, but said that she had done nothing wrong.
  • The association of State Higher Education Executive Officers is urging members of Congress to abandon language in pending House and Senate legislation to extend the Higher Education Act that would impose a set of new requirements aimed at limiting colleges' tuition increases and producing more information about how they set their prices. In a letter to House and Senate leaders, the state higher education leaders call for replacing the current language with a directive to the Education Department to add data on colleges' "net price" to the information it collects through the annual Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, and "publish a consolidated report that compares similar institutions on key dimensions of college costs." The group argues that its approach would produce lawmakers' desired effect without being "cumbersome" and "potentially unfair" as the Congressional plan would be.
  • While foreign enrollments continue to rise at British universities, the number of British students has stalled, The Guardian reported.
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