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Quick Takes: Physicists Affirm Stance on Climate Change, Resignations at VCU, Tuition Cut at Salt Lake CC, Building Capacity for Study Abroad, Australia's Segregated Campuses

July 23, 2008
  • The American Physical Society on Tuesday issued a statement affirming that it still believes the statement it issued last year on climate change. That statement, consistent with a broad consensus of scientists, states: "Emissions of greenhouse gases from human activities are changing the atmosphere in ways that affect the Earth's climate.... The evidence is incontrovertible: Global warming is occurring. If no mitigating actions are taken, significant disruptions in the Earth’s physical and ecological systems, social systems, security and human health are likely to occur." A non-peer-reviewed newsletter of a group affiliated with the society recently ran an article with different conclusions, leading some to wonder if the society had reconsidered its views, and leading to Tuesday's statement.
  • Virginia Commonwealth University on Tuesday announced the resignations of four administrators. While the announcement appeared focused on job transitions, it came less than a month after the university announced that a degree had been awarded inappropriately to Richmond's former police chief and that personnel changes would be made as a result. A spokeswoman for the university said that the the board had announced at the "outset that any personnel actions would remain confidential. It would be incorrect to assume that these all are related in to the degree situation." At least one of the resignations appears to be a protest of the way the university had handled the entire issue, reported The Richmond Times-Dispatch.
  • At a time many public colleges are being forced to raise tuition rates significantly, Salt Lake Community College is moving in the opposite direction for some vocational programs. The college is cutting fees for open-entry, open-exit programs that train computer technicians, mechanics and other skilled trades. Students are expected to save a combined $254,700 over the next year, The Salt Lake Tribune reported.
  • The National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and NAFSA: Association of International Educators on Tuesday announced the creation of a new center to support "capacity building" in study abroad. The center will gather information to help colleges expand their study abroad programs, help identify "emerging, potentially high-demand study abroad markets" beyond the traditional destinations favored by American students, and will bring colleges together to share ideas on these topics.
  • Foreign students have become an increasingly important part of Australian higher education, but they are largely segregated from Australians, The Canberra Times reported. Australians increasingly spend their non-class time away from campus and many foreign students spend most of their times with others from their home countries, the newspaper reported.
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