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Quick Takes: NCAA Settles Antitrust Suit, Emerging Technologies for Learning, Career Colleges Fight Default Provision, Sex Workers' Art at William

January 30, 2008
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association -- to settle an antitrust lawsuit -- has agreed to ease rules on funds athletes may receive. The suit challenged NCAA rules limiting scholarship funds to tuition, room and board, and books -- and said that athletes should be entitled to additional funds for other expenses associated with attending college. An NCAA statement said that current rules are adequate for most athletes, but there are some for whose "needs are still not met." The settlement will require the use of $218 million to pay for additional expenses by athletes and a change in rules to allow athletes to receive year-round health insurance, The Indianapolis Star reported.
  • Six areas are identified in a new report as emerging technologies likely to impact learning in higher education. The "Horizon Report" is issued annually by the New Media Consortium and the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. The 2008 areas: grassroots video, collaboration webs, mobile broadband, data mashups, collective intelligence and social operating systems.
  • A Higher Education Act provision that would alter how the U.S. government calculates the rates at which student borrowers default on their government backed loans is projected to hurt for-profit colleges more than any other institutions. So it's not surprising that the Career College Association is ramping up its efforts to oppose the proposed change. On Tuesday, the association of for-profit institutions held a "fly-in" in which leaders of career institutions traveled to Washington to make the case against the plan to their Congressional representatives. The career college group also released a study, produced by researchers at Indiana University's School of Education, suggesting that default rates are not a good indicator of institutional quality. “While some may wish to extend the cohort default rate calculation period as a way to punish career colleges, there is no evidence that links educational quality or type of institution with loan repayment rates," said Harris N. Miller, president of the Career College Association. "At a minimum, the issue of extending the default rate calculation deserves careful deliberation and additional study. A rush to judgment will only hurt tens of thousands of working class and low income students by foreclosing their higher education options.”
  • The College of William & Mary, of late the site of debates over social issues and the First Amendment, has affirmed the right of students to sponsor an art show by sex workers. The Sex Workers' Art Show features visual and performing arts by strippers, prostitutes, porn stars and others. While the show tends to tour college campuses, some have suggested that William & Mary might be better off finding another venue in the area for the show, scheduled for the campus on February 4. Gene R. Nichol, president of the college, issued a statement in which he said that while he wished that students hadn't scheduled the event, it would be wrong for him to censor it. "There are powerful reasons that colleges have student-funded and student-governed speaker series. They help assure a robust program of expression on campus. Censoring them because administrators disagree with a performance’s content contradicts values residing at the core of the American university," he said.
  • A New York judge has dismissed a lawsuit in which a former student sought $1 million from New York University, claiming that the institution was responsible for injuries he sustained while wrestling with friends in a kiddie pool full of Jell-O. The New York Post reported that the judge ruled that Avram Wisnia knew what he was doing and took on the risks himself. John Beckman, a spokesman for NYU, told the Post: "This case broke the mold but in the end justice was served sweetly."
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