Five years into the process of moving its sports program into the National Collegiate Athletic Association's top competitive level, Winston-Salem State University has decided to remain in Division II, the university announced Friday. Winston-Salem began the process of reclassifying its athletics programs to Division I, with the hope of increased visibility and the prospect of attracting higher quality athletes with increased scholarship funds. But Winston-Salem's board backed a recommendation by President Donald J. Reaves to return to Division II after the 2009-10 season. “In the final analysis the resources to complete the reclassification simply were not available, currently nor prospectively, in sufficient amounts" to support the move, Reaves said.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Responding to objections from American Indian students and staff members, the University of Michigan will remove a set of dioramas depicting scenes of Native American life from its natural history museum, Indian Country Today reported. Some American Indian professors at Michigan said they found it insulting for them and their culture to be represented as miniaturized dolls amid the museum's dinosaur bones and fossils. “We are living, breathing, contemporary human beings,” Margaret Noori, a professor of Ojibwe language and literature at Michigan, told Indian Country Today. A Michigan official confirmed that the dioramas would be removed by January.
Enrollments of male students have stagnated but held stable at public historically black colleges and universities over the past two decades, while the number of female students has risen by more than a third, according to a report published Monday by the Thurgood Marshall Scholarship Fund. The philanthropic group's report provides a wealth of data about the institutions' students, finances, academic programs and study abroad programs, among other aspects.
A Cornell University student died Friday from H1N1-related complications, the university announced. Hundreds of Cornell students have H1N1, but most of them -- as it the case at many other campuses -- are experiencing mild cases. Warren Schor, the Cornell student, was 20. He is the third student nationally to die from H1N1 or related illnesses.
Morgan State University has set off an unusual debate by challenging the right of University of Maryland University College to start a doctoral program to train community college administrators, The Baltimore Sun reported. Morgan State is a historically black college and Maryland, like other states that once operated segregated higher education systems, has policies designed to block other state institutions from starting degrees programs near black colleges that would compete with their offerings. Such questions have in the past involved other colleges that are, like Morgan State, in the Baltimore area. The challenge to an online program is new, although the idea is similar in that Morgan State says that it shouldn't have competition for its program for community college administrators. The state's secretary of higher education will rule on Morgan State's complaint. Because state authorities have already given UMUC the right to offer the program to students outside the state, a ruling in Morgan State's favor would result in a state university being able to offer a program only to those outside its home state.
Colleges and universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association (all three divisions) plan to add 174 teams over the next two years and cut 59, according to a survey by the Associated Press. An article on the survey noted that while some colleges cut teams for economic reasons, many add teams for economic reasons, seeing them as key to their enrollment or other strategies.
Wesley College, in Delaware, has been punished by the National College Athletic Association’s Division III Committee on Infractions for major financial aid violations in its football program. An NCAA report released last week revealed that, during the 2006-7 academic year, Wesley “awarded financial aid packages to freshman football student-athletes that were clearly distinguishable from the aid packages awarded generally to all incoming freshman aid recipients at the institution.” In particular, incoming freshman football players were made aware of a financial aid appeals process that was not widely known among other freshmen. The policy, though not published, was considered a “word of mouth” phenomenon that football coaches made sure to note to their prospects. Only 43 percent of all incoming students in 2006 appealed their financial aid packages and received more aid, while 59 percent of incoming freshman football players appealed their packages and received more aid. Division III of the NCAA does not allow its member institution to award athletic scholarships. Still, the committee noted that “there was no evidence to suggest that the football coaches were deliberately attempting to circumvent NCAA rules.” Wesley has been placed on probation for two years and its athletic and financial aid staff must attend an NCAA rules seminar.
Pyongyang University of Science and Technology will open this week as the first foreign-sponsored university in North Korea, AFP reported. The university is backed by a foundation in South Korea, which has spent more than $32 million on the project. Faculty members will be Koreans -- from North and South Korea, and ethnic Koreans who live elsewhere.
A plan to increase charges at the University of California would result in students paying more than $10,000 annually by next fall in fees (which in every other state would be called tuition), an increase of 44 percent since the fall of 2008, the Los Angeles Times reported. The increases -- now under consideration by the Board of Regents -- are a response to deep cuts in state support.
The American Council on Education announced a new round of grants to encourage colleges to offer flexibility to professors seeking to advance their careers while also handling family responsibilities. Among the winners: Bowdoin College, which will use the funds to continue its work to accommodate partners using half-time tenure-track positions, job sharing for academic couples, and a "research associate" title for partners seeking an institutional affiliation. Washington and Lee University will receive funds to provide more options for child care, offer technological alternatives to compensate for necessary time away from campus, and create a "culture of acceptance for flexible career trajectories." Information on all the awards may be found here.