Higher Education Quick Takes
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.
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.
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.”
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.
The American Studies Association announced Thursday that its membership has grown by 700 since the group took the controversial measure of adopting a boycott of Israeli universities. The association says that it has gained more membership revenue in the last three months than in any three-month period over the last 25 years.
Indiana University announced Thursday that it will increase the minimum wage paid to university employees to $8.25 an hour, up from the current minimum of $7.25, the federal minimum wage. About 8,750 employees at Indiana campuses -- many of them students -- currently are paid minimum wage. "Indiana University depends on the hard work of many part-time and temporary employees on all our campuses, and this much-deserved pay increase is one way we can recognize their important contributions to the success of IU," said President Michael A. McRobbie. "Many of these employees also are students at IU, and increasing their pay is consistent with our commitment to student affordability and accessibility."
Families' overall savings are up 7 percent from last year, but the picture is mixed on college savings, according to a new report by Sallie Mae. The total average savings is now $115,604, but 53 percent of that total is earmarked for retirement, while only 10 percent is set aside for college for children. During the last year, savings for college by middle- and upper-income families went up, but the value of savings by low-income families dipped.
A University of Connecticut sorority has been suspended while it is being investigated for hazing not of women, but of men, The Hartford Courant reported. The newspaper reported that the Delta Zeta sorority was "accused of forcing men involved with a school fraternity to consume alcohol, eat dog treats, paint their bodies, wear women's thong underwear and take shots of alcohol off each other's bodies, among other things."
Tel Aviv University is shutting down its French department, shortly after the University of Haifa made the same decision, Haaretz reported. Michele Bokobza Kahan, a French studies professor at Tel Aviv University, said: “We don’t have enough students and have very few faculty members. We cannot maintain the department like this. We work very hard to provide the students with what they need and it was very moving to see their reactions and how sad they were.”