Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, April 14, 2014 - 4:31am

Three Pennsylvania State University students are facing a variety of charges -- including aggravated assault, simple assault, terroristic threats, possession of instrument of crime -- related to allegedly stabbing two students from other colleges, The Centre Daily Times reported. According to police reports, two male students from other colleges were in State College to visit a female friend. They went to her apartment, and when they arrived, the Penn State men told them to go away, and when they did not do so and called out to their friend, the Penn State men started stabbing and slashing them as they tried to leave. News articles did not quote the Penn State men or a lawyer with their side of events.

 

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 4:32am

The American Federation of Teachers on Friday announced a new campaign, "The Promise of Higher Education," to focus attention on policies that the union said are hurting students and faculty members. The AFT is planning efforts both to draw attention to and challenge these policies. "Higher education should be about expanding opportunities for middle- and working-class families, not a 'debt sentence,' and not a way for Wall Street and for-profit colleges to profit off of students and families," said AFT President Randi Weingarten in a speech announcing the new campaign. "Together we can reclaim the promise of higher education as a means to opportunity and success."

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 3:00am

The University of Oregon's Faculty Senate says it has approved a statement on academic freedom that is one of the strongest in the country, The Oregonian reported. The resolution followed months of contentious negotiation of an academic freedom statement to be included in the faculty union's contract. The collective bargaining agreement eventually was signed this year, and included what faculty members have described as a compromise between the union and the university regarding academic freedom and free speech.

The new Faculty Senate resolution goes beyond what is included in the contract, extending free-speech protections to students and non-faculty employees, as well as faculty members, for the purposes of teaching, research, shared governance and public service, "which shall be exercised without fear of institutional reprisal.” The full text of the statement is available here.

In an email, Michael Gottfredson, Oregon's president, said: “I look forward to closely reviewing the senate's latest version of the statement. Academic freedom is central to our mission and underlies everything we do as a university. I fully support the strongest policy possible to affirm and strengthen this freedom." Gottfredson has 60 days to either approve or reject the statement.

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 3:00am

Eighty-seven percent of Division III athletes who entered college in 2006 graduated within six years, according to Academic Success Rate data released Friday by the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The ASR is an NCAA formula similar to Division I’s Graduation Success Rate -- it includes athletes who transfer into a college, but omits those who leave while academically eligible. Under the government’s Federal Graduation Rate, which does not include that ASR caveat, the percentage of graduates drops to 68. Submitting ASR data is also optional, and only 139 institutions participated in 2012-13.

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 3:00am

Cardiff University abruptly called off plans on Thursday to announce its next chancellor, Wales Online reported. In Wales, as in England, university chancellors' role is largely ceremonial and it is the vice chancellor who is the equivalent of the American university president, but many academics care about who is named chancellor. At Cardiff, the university was expected to announce Thursday that Griff Rhys Jones, a comedian and television star, was to become chancellor. But news that an entertainer was up for the job led some faculty members to push for another term for Martin Evans, a biologist and Nobel laureate.

Monday, April 14, 2014 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Jeffrey Froh, associate professor of psychology at Hofstra University, shows the far reaching effects that gratitude has on children. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 3:00am

President Obama on Thursday nominated William (Bro) Adams, president of Maine's Colby College, to be chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Early in his career, Adams taught political philosophy. He rose through a series of administrative jobs and was president of Bucknell University for five years before moving to the Colby presidency in 2000. Adams announced in January that he would be stepping down from the Colby presidency -- and the college prepared this webpage with information on his accomplishments.

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 4:30am

Nine people were killed and many more injured Thursday when a truck crossed over the median on a highway and struck a bus carrying high school students from Los Angeles on a college trip to visit Humboldt State University, The Los Angeles Times reported. A statement from Humboldt State said that the students were en route to the university, the northernmost in the California State University System, as part of the Preview Plus Program, which brings low-income and first generation students from San Francisco and Los Angeles high schools to the campus.

 

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 3:00am

A major educational exchange organization has been notified that its Moscow office is not in compliance with a Russian law governing foreign nongovernmental organizations. The American Councils for International Education, which last year sent 580 American students and scholars to Russia and 1,200 Russians to the U.S., expects there will be minimal disruptions to its exchange programs as it applies for re-registration of the office.

“We do not expect any interruption at all for study abroad programs for American students. And because this year’s recruitment is already completed for the inbound programs, if we can be reincorporated in the next two months, the impact should be very small,” said Dan E. Davidson, the president of the American Councils.

The organization has directed a moratorium on the activities of its Russian offices, which primarily focus on student recruitment, alumni relations, and back office functions. Davidson said that the organization had passed a compliance review in January but was re-reviewed in March, at which point the interpretative guidance surrounding the law on international NGOs seems to have changed. He said it seemed likely that deteriorating relations between the U.S. and Russian governments over Ukraine may have triggered additional scrutiny of the council’s activities there. “For me, it’s very hard to see it any other way,” Davidson said. “These programs have served both countries well.”

Friday, April 11, 2014 - 4:35am

David Rosen announced his resignation Thursday as president of the Kendall College of Art and Design, amid student protests on his behalf, MLive reported. Rosen did not give a reason for leaving, after only two years in office, but said that he was doing so voluntarily. But students and other supporters believe he is being forced out, and they are demanding that he be retained. Kendall was founded in 1928 as a free standing art college, but the Grand Rapids institution became part of Ferris State University in 2000.

 

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