Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 3:00am

Non-tenure-track faculty members at Antioch University’s Seattle campus voted overwhelmingly in favor of forming a union affiliated with the Service Employees International Union, they announced Wednesday. The news came on the heels of decisive defeat of a proposed SEIU union at the University of St. Thomas in Minneapolis earlier this week. The official count at Antioch was 84 adjuncts in favor and 14 opposed.

Antioch is the third university to hold SEIU adjunct union elections in Washington State, after Pacific Lutheran University and Seattle University (both of which have challenged adjuncts’ right to form a union, based on the colleges’ religious identities). Antioch’s administration has not challenged the union bid there, but Chancellor Felice Nudelman has publicly expressed concern about how a union will affect the university’s ability to work as partners with the faculty.

Nudelman reiterated that sentiment in a statement Wednesday, saying “Antioch has and does operate in a socially and economically just manner without interposing a third party between it and its employees. It is our sincere hope that the university’s ability to solve problems creatively and collaboratively is not diminished by the formation of this union. To that end, we will now begin the process to meet and bargain in good faith with our union colleagues over the terms of a contract.”


Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 3:00am

A new California law will allow college students under the legal drinking age of 21 to drink alcohol in class as long as they are enrolled in a beer brewing or wine-making course, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Further, the students are permitted only to taste, not to swallow, and that has led to the legislation being called the "sip and spit" bill. Instructors who teach wine and other alcohol-related classes pushed for the measure, signed into law Monday, so that their students could have the full experience of learning about various beverages.


Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 4:27am

BioHealth College Inc., which owns for-profit colleges in four cities in California, has filed for bankruptcy, The San Jose Mercury News reported. While the colleges are operating, the U.S. Education Department placed them on "heightened financial monitoring" status, which could slow the flow of federal student aid dollars to the institutions. The colleges used to be owned by Corinthian Colleges, but were sold in 2013. The BioHealth CEO did not respond to requests for comment.


Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 3:00am

Senator John Walsh, a Montana Democrat, plagiarized significant portions of the thesis that won him a master's degree at the U.S. Army War College, The New York Times reported. The article said that Walsh "appropriated at least a quarter of his thesis on American Middle East policy from other authors’ works, with no attribution." Confronted with examples of the plagiarism, he told the Times that he did not "do anything intentional here." The article said that when asked directly if he had plagiarized, Walsh said, “I don’t believe I did, no.”

Thursday, July 24, 2014 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Keith Robinson, assistant professor of sociology at the University of Texas at Austin, examines the educational benefits that occur when parents directly assist their children in the learning process. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 4:19am

Enrollment of out-of-state students continues to rise, and provoke debate, at University of California campuses. The Los Angeles Times reported that the percentage of new freshmen from outside California will hit 20.2 percent in the fall, up from 18.3 percent last year and 15.5 percent the year before. While some public universities have for years admitted substantial percentages of their students from outside their states, the trend is relatively new for California, where officials say it is necessary because of the tuition revenue the students bring. The highest share of out-of-state students in the fall will be at UCLA (30.1 percent), followed by Berkeley (29.8 percent) and San Diego (28.4 percent). Merced is the lowest at 1.2 percent.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 3:00am

Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson on Tuesday announced lawsuits against the Minnesota School of Business and Globe University, charging that the for-profit institutions were duping students into enrolling in programs that wouldn't help them, The Star-Tribune reported. Many of the students Swanson references were enrolling in law enforcement training positions, apparently unaware that the programs would not qualify them for such work in Minnesota. School officials strongly denied the charges.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 3:00am

The board of Howard University has tapped the interim president, Wayne A.I. Frederick, to take on the position on a permanent basis. Frederick holds three degrees from Howard. He was 16 when he first enrolled, traveling from his native Trinidad, seeking a career as a physician. At Howard, Frederick taught in the medical school and was a surgeon at the hospital before rising through the ranks of academic administration. The historically black university has struggled financially in recent years. In an October interview with The Washington Post, Frederick expressed confidence that the university was working through its financial difficulties.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 3:00am

ESPN released the results of a poll of the 300 top high school football recruits this year (of which more than 150 responded). Among the results:

  • 60 percent believe college athletes should be able to unionize.
  • 86 percent believe players should receive stipends.
  • 61 percent would play with a concussion.
Wednesday, July 23, 2014 - 3:00am

British universities are less likely to admit ethnic minority applicants than they are white applicants, even when controlling for academic record, social background and other factors, Times Higher Education reported. The finding was from a study done by the London School of Economics and Political Science. The disadvantage is most evident for Pakistani applicants.



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