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Quick Takes: Aid Applications Up, Unauthorized Campus Operated for 4 Years, Iowa Prof Faces Fondling/Bribery Charges, Town-Gown Peace at Santa Cruz, Plagiarism at Sea, Finishing Up in Philly, USC vs. USC, How to Buy Degrees

Quick Takes: Aid Applications Up, Unauthorized Campus Operated for 4 Years, Iowa Prof Faces Fondling/Bribery Charges, Town-Gown Peace at Santa Cruz, Plagiarism at Sea, Finishing Up in Philly, USC vs. USC, How to Buy Degrees
August 11, 2008
  • During the first six months of 2008, nearly 8.9 million students filled out federal financial aid applications, a 16.3 percent increase over the same period in 2007, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. In California, the increase was 19.8 percent.
  • Officials in North Carolina are trying to figure out how North Carolina Central University operated a branch campus for four years at a church outside Atlanta without the permission of the University of North Carolina system (of which North Carolina Central is a part) or the university's accreditor, whose objections this summer led to the program closing, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools sent a letter to the university this summer raising questions about the credentials of some of those teaching at the branch, one of whom had a degree listed as "doctor of graduation." The pastor of the church where the campus operated is a North Carolina Central alumnus, board member and donor.
  • Arthur H. Miller, a professor of political science at the University of Iowa, was arrested Friday on bribery charges related to accusations that he told female students he would give them higher grades if they let him fondle their breasts, The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported. In one case, a student who said she was not doing well in class went to meet him and says that he told her she "would have to do something," and then grabbed and sucked on her breast. The student said that the professor sent her an e-mail congratulating her on earning an A+ and offered to meet to help her get into law school. Miller told the newspaper, when it asked about the charges: "I don't have any knowledge of that."
  • The University of California at Santa Cruz, local officials, and residents announced a deal Friday to resolve tense disputes and lawsuits over the university's expansion plans. Under the pact, the university will be able to expand its campus to serve an additional 4,500 students -- and attempts to block the growth will be stopped, The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. In return, the university pledged to house 67 percent of the new students on campus, and to pay some development and water fees from which the university earlier said it was exempt.
  • When the University of Virginia took over academic sponsorship of the Semester at Sea program in 2006, the university applied its honor code -- which is famous for its sole sanction of expulsion -- to the program. Most colleges are not nearly as strict on such matters as plagiarism, but those at Semester at Sea are finding that they need to take Virginia's approach seriously. The Associated Press reported that the university recently kicked two students off the boat in Greece, expelling them from the program for plagiarism. Program officials noted that they briefed students on the rules, but one of the students said that one of the instances of plagiarism (copying some phrases from Wikipedia) shouldn't have been viewed as such. A spokeswoman for the University of Virginia told Inside Higher Ed via e-mail that the program's student guide is explicit about the application of Virginia's honor code. In addition, the spokeswoman noted that students who are forced to leave the ship are never disembarked in unsafe locations, and that their parents are contacted to arrange for safe transportation home.
  • The Community College of Philadelphia and the city are starting a joint scholarship program that will cover tuition, fees and some book costs for students who have completed at least 30 credit hours toward an associate degree but who never finished and have been out of the college for at least two years, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported.
  • The University of Southern California has won a trademark fight with the University of South Carolina over the intertwined S and C both universities have used, the Los Angeles Times reported.
  • It's easy to buy degrees, if you don't care about their legitimacy. A reporter for the Chicago Tribune details his purchases and invites readers interested in his surgical skills (which he could verify with a degree for just $699) to stop by his cubicle for a procedure or two.
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