A survey of fund raisers by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education projects that donations for the fiscal year that just closed will be 4.3 percent higher than the previous year, and that the next academic year will see gains of 5.7 percent. These figures, if attained, would mark a turnaround for many colleges that have experienced difficulty raising money during the economic downturn. John Lippincott, president of CASE, called the survey results "an encouraging sign that we may return to pre-recession giving levels in roughly two years."
Higher Education Quick Takes
An annual survey by CDW has again found gaps in the views on technology issues between campus IT professionals and faculty members. While 72 percent of IT professionals say that online collaboration software is an essential element to the 21st-century classroom, the survey found, only 31 percent of faculty members agreed. In addition, 68 percent of IT staff say that virtual learning is a key part of the higher education experience; only 35 percent of faculty agree.
Syrian authorities have banned full face veils at the country's universities, BBC reported. Officials said that the new rule came at the request of students and parents.
The U.S. Department of Education is today proposing new, stricter rules on eligibility of students to receive federal financial aid to attend colleges and universities outside the United States. Some of the rules increase financial reporting requirements for the institutions seeking to have their students be eligible for the aid. Some rules are specific to foreign medical schools. One that could have an impact on many of them would raise to 75 percent from 60 percent the rate at which graduates must pass U.S. medical licensing exams for the institution's students to remain eligible for aid. A report released in June by the Government Accountability Office urged the department to toughen oversight of foreign medical schools that want their students to be eligible for U.S. student aid.
A study has found that just over 5 percent of medical residency applications at a major academic medical center showed evidence of plagiarism. The study, which appears in the journal Annals of Internal Medicine, analyzed the applications with new Turnitin software that is being sold to admissions offices to detect plagiarism. The prevalence of plagiarism was greater among applicants who were not citizens of the United States.
China is starting to see some success in its efforts to battle brain drain. AFP reported that while the numbers leaving the country for graduate study continue to increase, there are now increases in the number of graduates who return, sometimes having achieved the highest levels of success at Western universities. One example: Shi Yigong, who was landing big grants as a professor at Princeton University, returned to become head of life sciences at Tsinghua University in Beijing.
Three artists whose work was to have been displayed in an exhibit at Brandeis University in the fall have pulled permission as a protest of the university's policies on its own collection of art, The Boston Globe reported. The university originally planned to sell its noted collection of modern art, likely worth hundreds of millions of dollars. While the university -- facing widespread criticism -- put the plan on hold, it has yet to rule out sales. The three artists are Bill Viola, who works with videos, and the painters April Gornik and Eric Fischl. Gornik told the Globe: "Frankly, I had thought the whole controversy had been resolved and that the collection was safe and not in danger of being sold.... I didn’t realize there was so much possibility of it being sold. We’ve been very encouraged that the president of the university apparently stated that he doesn’t intend to sell the collection, but without some sort of legally binding evidence, we’ve decided to postpone the show.’’
A jury on Thursday awarded $545,000 to Trev Kiser, the former women's basketball coach at Clark College, in Washington State, who charged wrongful termination over his advocacy for female athletes, The Columbian reported. Clark's president, Bob Knight told the newspaper: “I would just have to say we are disappointed in the verdict. Clark College is reviewing our options. It would be inappropriate to comment further.” Knight was not at the college when Kiser was dismissed.
NBC News today announced "Education Nation," a week of events in September that will bring together leaders from politics, all levels of education and policy experts, focused on a two-day summit at Rockefeller Plaza. Attendees are expected to include U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, Delaware Gov. Jack Markell, Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty, and Al Sharpton. University presidents who will be participating include Susan Hockfield, president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Bill Pepicello, president of University of Phoenix. Several hundred people -- including students and parents -- are expected at the summit. Content from the summit and special stories on education issues will be featured on “NBC Nightly News,” “Today,” “Meet the Press,” “Your Business,” MSNBC, CNBC, Telemundo, msnbc.com and nbclearn.com. NBC announced that the effort is also being supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the University of Phoenix, the Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation, American Express, Raytheon, Tishman Speyer and Scholastic.
BP has been offering lucrative research contracts -- with signing bonuses -- to marine science researchers in the Gulf region, and the deals have alarmed scientists because of confidentiality clauses and restrictions on access that would be allowed to results, The Press-Register reported. In one case, the company tried to sign on the entire marine science of an Alabama university but was rebuffed over the confidentiality clauses, the newspaper said. One contract offer obtained by the Press-Register would have barred scientists from publishing their research, sharing it or speaking about data collected for at least three years. More than one scientist said that the financial offer was $250 an hour -- and the contract suggests that the work would be used for BP's legal defense. BP declined to comment.