Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 4:31am

A month after The Boston Globe reported on bullying allegations against Kelly Greenberg, the head women's basketball coach, she is resigning. The university conducted a review of the allegations, failing to confirm some of them, but still finding problems. At least four players quit the team in the last year, the university said. BU released a statement from Todd Klipp, senior vice president and senior counsel, in which he said that “a compelling case was made, based on interviews with the team as a whole, that the manner in which Coach Greenberg interacted with many of her players was incompatible with the expectations and standards for university employees, including our coaches.” Klipp added that “when we shared these conclusions with Coach Greenberg, she determined that it would not be possible for her to continue coaching at Boston University.”

The university statement also included this comment from Greenberg: “I do not agree with some of the findings of the review panel regarding my coaching style, which was intended to produce well-rounded athletes and a winning team. However, given all that has transpired, I do not believe that it will be possible for me to continue as an effective coach at Boston University.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 3:00am

Public historically black colleges are playing a key role in educating black and non-black students, but are "under siege" by many state policies, according to a new report from the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. The report finds that many states are adopting funding mechanisms that disadvantage black colleges. The report focuses on Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina.


Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 3:00am

Some students at Suffolk University are criticizing the selection of Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League, as commencement speaker, The Boston Globe reported. The students object to Foxman's refusal to back a push in Congress to recognize the mass killings of Armenians during World War I as genocide. Others say he has defended the ethnic profiling of Muslims. Foxman could not be reached for comment. The university released a statement that said that “Mr. Foxman’s body of work is well deserving of recognition.... It is our hope that Mr. Foxman’s personal story as a Holocaust survivor and attorney who has dedicated his life to public service will inspire our graduates as they embark on their professional careers.”

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Susan Thomson, assistant professor of peace and conflict studies at Colgate University, examines life in the African nation since the genocide in Rwanda. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 3:00am

In 2012 the proportion of American adults who held a college degree crept up 0.7 percentage points, to 39.4 percent, according to the Lumina Foundation's fifth annual progress report on the national college completion agenda. The small jump was the largest of the last five years, the foundation said today, and the rate of increase is accelerating.

Lumina also released data on racial and ethnic achievement gaps. While the college-going rates for blacks and Hispanics are increasing, the report found that degree attainment levels for both groups lag far behind those of whites and Asians. For example, only 20 percent of Hispanics adults hold a degree compared to 44 percent of whites.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 4:27am

A new poll by Gallup has found that paying for college or paying student loans is the top financial problem for adults who are 18-29 years old, with 21 percent citing the issue. That issue beats out lack of money/low wages (15 percent) and housing costs (14 percent). Paying for college or students was also the top issue cited by those 30 to 49 years old, but the percentage citing the issue was smaller (14 percent).

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 4:28am

A new study in Education Next argues that the primary impact of the "10 percent" plan in Texas -- under which those in the top 10 percent of high school graduating classes are assured admission to the public university of their choice in Texas -- has been more on where students enroll, not whether they enroll. The study looks at students in a large urban district, comparing those who just made it into the top 10 percent and those who didn't. The student found those in the top 10 percent are much more likely than the other group to enroll in a flagship university, but they do so at the expense of enrolling at private colleges, and were likely headed to college either way.


Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 3:00am

U.S. Department of Justice officials will visit about a dozen colleges this week and next to speak with administrators, police, students and others “about how best practices and lessons learned are plying out in areas such as prevention, public awareness and peer support,” the office announced Monday. The 11 colleges are recipients of the DOJ Office on Violence Against Women’s grant program “to Reduce Sexual Assault, Domestic Violence, Dating Violence and Stalking on Campus.” The grant money is used for prevention programming and training, education, and creating “a coordinate community response to enhance victim assistance and safety while holding offenders accountable.”

The 11-campus tour starts Wednesday at North Carolina Central University and ends May 1 at California State Polytechnic University. Also next week, Obama administration officials are expected to comment publicly on the findings of a task force charged with recommending ways to better handle sexual violence on campuses. The report should provide a glimpse into forthcoming federal legislation.

Also on Monday, the office of Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) released a letter that she and a handful of lawmakers (from both sides of the aisle) sent last week to the White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault. The senators suggest requiring that colleges conduct annual, anonymous surveys about sexual violence; that the U.S. Education Department appoint one person to oversee all national policy on sexual misconduct on campuses; and that the department’s Office for Civil Rights be more transparent about ongoing campus investigations by issuing updates and creating a searchable database.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Joanne Dickson of the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society at the University of Liverpool, discusses her survey on the personal goals of people with depression and people who have never suffered from the mood disorder. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, April 21, 2014 - 3:00am

Graduate assistants at the University of Connecticut, who have organized in affiliation with the United Auto Workers, won union recognition last week from the State Board of Labor Relations. The board verified that a super majority of graduate employees signed cards authorizing the Graduate Employee Union, or GEU-UAW, to represent them in collective bargaining. The unit is made up of 2,135 students, and bargaining will focus on work place issues, not academic ones. Stephanie Reitz, a university spokeswoman, said via email: “The university has been, and will continue to be, neutral with regard to this effort. Individual graduate students are free to make their own decisions.”


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