A Colombian journalist has been denied a visa to come to the United States for a Nieman Foundation fellowship at Harvard University, the Associated Press reported. U.S. officials declined to comment, citing privacy laws. Bob Giles, curator of the Nieman program, is trying to get the decision reversed. "We were very surprised. This has never happened before," he said.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Western universities continue to dominate the social sciences, but the disciplines are seeing significant growth in Asia and Latin America, according to a new report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Among the findings:
- Two-thirds of social science journals in the world are published in the United States, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Germany.
- In Brazil, the number of social science researchers has nearly tripled in the last decade.
- In China, spending on social sciences has increased 15 to 20 percent a year since 2003.
- Social science research has been in decline in Russia and the other states of the former Soviet Union.
- In Sub-Saharan Africa, three-quarters of publications in the social sciences are from a few universities in three countries: South Africa, Kenya and Nigeria.
Canada's government has announced a new postdoctoral fellowship in which 70 awards annually will seek to attract top early career researchers to the country. The move is part of a broader campaign to build up the country's research talent. As Maclean's noted, however, the move comes at a time that current postdocs are angry over recent rulings that make their awards taxable.
MidAmerica Nazarene University is declining to be the host of an event on immigration that was to have featured several controversial speakers affiliated with various efforts to crack down on immigration, The Kansas City Star reported. President Edwin Robinson said he was concerned about safety issues and the univeristy's reputation. “I don’t mind a clash of ideology, but the rhetoric on both sides was escalating to the point that I was concerned," he said.
Social Security numbers and other personal records of 53,000 faculty and staff members and visitors to the University of Hawaii's main campus were exposed when a computer server at the university was hacked in May, the Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported. University officials said they had no evidence that the hacker downloaded or otherwise viewed the individuals' information, the newspaper reported.
A new study in the Journal of Affective Disorders documents again that many college students think about suicide and also identifies key risk factors that may assist with prevention efforts. The findings are based on a study of more than 1,000 students at the University of Maryland at College Park who were tracked over four years. Of the 1,085 students, 151 (12 percent) said they had pondered committing suicide at least once -- with 37 saying they did so repeatedly, 10 saying that they had made plans or carried out full-fledged attempts during college. Lack of social support was identified as a key factor in predicting persistent suicidal thoughts. Other risk factors: depressive symptoms, exposure to domestic violence in childhood and having a mother suffering from depression.
The University of California is disputing the claims of Jewish organizations and leaders that there is a notable increase in anti-Semitism on the system's campuses, the Los Angeles Times reported. A recent letter to the university said that an increasing number of incidents requires a specific focus on preventing anti-Semitism. University officials have acknowledged (and condemned) a number of incidents, but disagree about the extent of the problem. In a response released Tuesday, Mark Yudof, the president, said he was disturbed by the incidents and would "do everything in my power to protect Jewish and all other students from threats or actions of intolerance." But he also said that the letter overstated the problem and the degree of concern of many Jewish students, and called the letter sent to the university "a dishearteningly ill-informed rush to judgment against our ongoing responses to troubling incidents that have taken place on some of our campuses."
The community college commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has placed the four campuses of the Peralta Community College District on probation, citing concerns about the "fiscal solvency and stability" of the two-year institutions, the Contra Costa Times reported. The newspaper said that the letter from the head of WASC's Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges raised concerns about meddling by trustees and other leadership issues as well as financial problems in citing the four Peralta colleges: Berkeley City College, College of Alameda, Laney College and Merritt College. In addition to the actions involving Peralta, the accreditor placed Northern Marianas College on "show cause" status, one step short of stripping its accreditation.
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An administrator at the San Jose/Evergreen Community College District earned a full salary on sick leave this spring while teaching a course at another community college, The San Jose Mercury News reported. Bayinaah Jones, the district's executive director of institutional effectiveness, denied to the newspaper that she engaged in work while on sick leave, but the district confirmed her sick leave and the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District confirmed that she taught there at the time.