Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, January 10, 2011 - 3:00am

California State University at Los Angeles incorrectly told about 500 students that their grades were too low to allow them to return to campus for the spring semester, the Los Angeles Times reported. While the students were on academic probation, their grades didn't disqualify them from enrolling. The university has since apologized for the error.

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 3:00am

Jared Lee Loughner, the suspect in the shootings of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others on Saturday, withdrew from Pima Community College in October, after the college had suspended him. A statement from the college said that he was suspended after five contacts with college police officers and after the college discovered a YouTube video, made on a Pima campus, in which Loughner claimed that the college was an illegal organization under the U.S. Constitution.

Monday, January 10, 2011 - 3:00am

A student died in a track and field tryout at North Carolina A&T University, with his sickle cell trait blamed in the death, two days after a university official discouraged athletic officials from testing students for the trait until they made teams, The News & Record reported. Roland Lovelace, the chief athletic trainer, sent an e-mail to coaches saying that the tests cost too much to conduct on those just trying out. “Please do not send your student athletes to get a sickle cell test if they are participating in tryouts,” Lovelace wrote in an e-mail. “Please make sure they are actually on the team before this test is done. The reason for this is that the student health center is charging the athletic department for this test to be done.” Following criticism over athlete deaths linked to sickle cell, the National Collegiate Athletic Association required the test of athletes and those trying out, unless they sign a waiver, which the dead student did not do.

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, John Huppertz of New York's Union Graduate College explains how recommendations can influence our choice when deciding between multiple hospitals. Find out more about The Academic Minute here.

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 3:00am

Brown University is suing the City of Newport News, Va., and a Virginia collector of artifacts to recover a sword from the Civil War that was stolen from the university in the 1970s, The Daily Press reported. The sword was recently seen in a city-owned museum, but the city said that the sword came from the collector, who has not commented on the situation.

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 3:00am

A federal judge on Thursday ordered Johnson County Community College to reinstate a nursing student who was kicked out for placing a photograph of herself with a placenta on Facebook, The Kansas City Star reported. The judge granted the injunction requested by the student, ordering that she be allowed to finish up her courses from the fall and be admitted for the spring semester. The judge noted the belief of the students (disputed by the college) that they received permission to post the photos, which were taken while on a course visit to a health center. The dispute has prompted considerable debate and blog commentary. A statement from the college said that the student who sued (and three others who were also kicked out) would be admitted as ordered by the judge. "We are disappointed with the court's decision today," said the statement from Terry Calaway, the college's president. "The JCCC nursing program is widely known and respected for the quality of its instruction and its graduates. Sensitivity to patients and confidentiality of patient care is at the heart of what we teach. We took what we believed to be appropriate action, but the court saw the situation differently, so the student will be readmitted to the program."

Friday, January 7, 2011 - 3:00am

It didn't take long, unsurprisingly, for the controversy over pensions at the University of California to produce a political reaction in the state. To bipartisan applause, the San Francisco Chronicle reported, a state legislator introduced legislation Thursday that would require all public retirement programs in California to adhere to an Internal Revenue Service salary cap when calculating benefits for employees who join them, beginning in 2012. The measure is a direct and purposeful response to the threat of a lawsuit by a group of senior officials at the University of California unless the university recalculates their retirement benefits to base them on their actual salaries, rather than on the first $245,000 of their pay as the IRS cap requires. The employees say the university committed a decade ago to lifting the cap for them, but UC leaders say they will not do so. "They really need to come down from their ivory tower and see and feel what real people are going through," State Assemblyman Jerry Hill, who sponsored the legislation, told the San Francisco paper.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Corey Angst of the University of Notre Dame explains how uses of the iPad are evolving and becoming increasingly effective in higher education. Find out more about The Academic Minute here.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 3:00am

A federal appeals court on Wednesday upheld Narragansett, Rhode Island's controversial policy of placing orange stickers on the front doors of houses deemed a nuisance by the police -- generally houses of University of Rhode Island students, many of whom have criticized the public sanction, The Providence Journal reported. The appeals court said that no civil liberties issues were raised by the stickers.

Thursday, January 6, 2011 - 3:00am

States that have adopted the Common Core Standards have taken limited steps so far to connect the high school standards to college curriculums or higher education admissions requirements, says a report today from the Center on Education Policy. "Just seven states plan to align first-year undergraduate core curriculum with the standards, while 26 states did not know if this change would be implemented, and three said it would not," says the report.

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