The Obama administration is planning to ease travel restrictions to Cuba -- and specifically to make it easier for academic and research programs to take place, The New York Times reported. Many American education groups have argued for years that the limits are so severe that they inhibit programs that could benefit both countries.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Like many states, Texas gives car owners to option of paying extra for customized license plates honoring various colleges and universities. Some are even out-of-state institutions. But as The Dallas Morning News reported, a proposed additional option -- a plate saluting the University of Oklahoma, an arch-rival for the University of Texas at Austin -- is generating opposition. One critic posted a comment saying: "In no shape or form. ... Not ever."
These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar on The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education. This listing will appear as a regular feature in this space.
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A growing number of business schools are creating doctoral programs for business executives, Business Week reported. The programs are typically three years, non-residential and designed for business leaders who already have an advanced degree and considerable work experience.
King's University College, in Alberta, has found itself drawn into the military tribunal in Guantanamo considering murder and terrorism charges against Omar Khadr. The Globe and Mail reported that the defense has indicated that a college dean has offered admission for Khadr to the institution. While the dean acknowledges reaching out to him and offering to help, she and the university deny that any offer of admission has been made.
In the United States, public and private universities are trying to recruit in California, thinking that budget cuts and resulting enrollment limits there may create more interest in enrolling elsewhere. With British universities facing budget cuts that will limit spaces, a Dutch institution, Maastricht University, is recruiting those who will be rejected in the U.K., Times Higher Education reported.
While two institutions share the name Wheaton College, and both are proud of their liberal arts traditions, they are actually quite different. The one in Illinois is a Christian college, while the one in Massachusetts is not. The one in Massachusetts was for many years a women's college, while the one in Illinois never was. But people seem to have a hard time telling them apart. In May, the commencement speaker in Massachusetts talked about alumni who were in fact alumni of Wheaton in Illinois. Now Forbes is having difficulties. In its new college rankings, the entry with data for the Illinois college features contact information and a photograph of the college in Massachusetts, and vice versa.
The University of Scranton Press is being closed due to the tight budgets of its university, The Times-Tribune reported. The press is relatively small and relatively young, and published about 200 books during the 22 years in which it operated. "Basically, it was a budgetary decision. We are a tuition-driven institution, and these are tough economic times," said Harold Baillie, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "Our main priority is the education of our students, and that takes precedence in the distribution of our resources." Among the areas of focus for the press have been Roman Catholicism and Pennsylvania. Books currently under contract will be released.
The president of Tel Aviv University, Joseph Klafter, has asked to see the syllabi of several sociology courses, raising concerns among some professors, Haaretz reported. The request followed a report from a right-wing group that said that some sociology courses at the university have adopted a "post-Zionist" philosophy instead of a Zionist one. Some say that the president is just trying to get a read on the situation to better respond to criticism. Others say that requesting the syllabi is inappropriate. "Right-wingers are trying to divide and label people in academia in a process designed mainly to sow fear. The university president shouldn't have cooperated with such an attempt," one told Haaretz.
Washington State University, facing a new round of state budget cuts, is planning to eliminate three of its nine vice president positions, The Moscow-Pullman Daily News reported. While the university has not announced details of the plan, officials said that it would save at least $700,000 from that change.