Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 3:00am

President Obama is expected to issue an executive order Tuesday aimed at strengthening federal efforts to improve the educational attainment of Hispanic Americans. The revised document, which will come on the heels of a summit held Monday by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, is expected to establish a presidential commission that will work with community leaders to gather advice on Hispanic education, and an "interagency working group" to help coordinate the federal government's efforts on a wide range of issues important to Hispanic Americans, including housing, health, finance, employment and education.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 3:00am

National Collegiate Athletic Association investigators have closed their review of possible rules violations in the men's basketball program at the State University of New York at Binghamton, finding no major infractions, the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin reported. The Binghamton basketball program has been ravaged by damaging headlines since last fall, when The New York Times described allegations of academic and other misconduct. The letter from the NCAA saying that investigators had found insufficient evidence of major wrongdoing prompted the lawyer for the university's suspended coach, Kevin Broadus, to call for his reinstatement. But given the academic and other breaches uncovered in an audit at Binghamton, such a return would seem unlikely.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010 - 3:00am

Its much-hyped Super Bowl commercials feature buxom young women in revealing clothing (and in one instance, encountering a wardrobe malfunction that got the spot barred from the airwaves). Now GoDaddy.com, the domain name registry, says it is attaching its name to one of the 429 -- oops, we mean 35 -- bowl games certified by the National Collegiate Athletic Association this year for Football Bowl Subdivision (formerly Division I-A) teams. The GoDaddy.com Bowl will be the new name for the GMAC Bowl, which has been played in Mobile, Ala., since 1999. This is just one of the games with new names this year; others include the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl (previously the Emerald Bowl) and the uDrove Humanitarian Bowl (formerly the Roady's Humanitarian Bowl, and at least two other sponsors before that). And one other new entrant in the bowl naming game this year is Bridgepoint Education Corp., parent of fast-growing Ashford University and the University of the Rockies. Bridgepoint, a San Diego-based company, announced in April that it would sponsor the Holiday Bowl through 2012. Terms were undisclosed.

Monday, October 18, 2010 - 3:00am

Although an Arizona law added two seats to the board of the Maricopa Community College District, the seats have been delayed because of a federal review of the civil rights implications of the change, The Arizona Republic reported. The new seats would be elected at large, while the five current seats are all elected by districts within the district. The federal review focuses on whether the creation of at-large seats would dilute minority representation.

Monday, October 18, 2010 - 3:00am

President Obama on Friday announced the 10 researchers who have been named recipients of the National Medal of Science. They are:

  • Yakir Aharonov of Chapman University.
  • Stephen J. Benkovic of Pennsylvania State University.
  • Esther M. Conwell of the University of Rochester.
  • Marye Anne Fox of the University of California at San Diego.
  • Susan L. Lindquist of the Whitehead Institute of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Mortimer Mishkin of the National Institutes of Health.
  • David B. Mumford of Brown University.
  • Stanley B. Prusiner of the University of California at San Francisco.
  • Warren M. Washington of the National Center for Atmospheric Research.
  • Amnon Yariv of the California Institute of Technology.
Monday, October 18, 2010 - 3:00am

Three campuses experienced fatal shootings of students in the last week:

  • Police shot and killed Danroy Henry, a football player at Pace University, early Sunday morning after he allegedly tried to drive away from a bar fight, crashing into two police officers, The New York Post reported.
  • A student at Lane College, in Tennessee, died last week after being accidentally shot by his roommate, the Associated Press reported.
  • A student from Hampton University was shot and killed early Sunday morning at a post-homecoming party at California University of Pennsylvania, and two students were injured in the shooting, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.
Monday, October 18, 2010 - 3:00am

Ronald Mason Jr., president of the Southern University System, set off a controversy last week when he suggested that the University of New Orleans be merged into the system. The University of New Orleans is part of the predominantly white Louisiana State University System, while Southern is historically black. Headlines about Mason's comments led some to believe he wanted to merge the UNO campus into Southern's New Orleans campus -- an idea he has since stressed isn't what he was talking about, The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported. The idea he wanted to put on the table -- likely equally controversial, but different -- was to move the University of New Orleans into the Southern system. Mason has experience with controversial merger proposals and black colleges, having in January, while president of Jackson State University, backed a plan to merge Mississippi's three public black colleges. (That plan didn't advance.)

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 3:00am

California State University has told an entrepreneurial recent graduate that he must shut his course notes website because it violates state law, the Los Angeles Times reported. Ryan Stevens' NoteUtopia.com, set up in August, was one of many new websites designed to give students a place to collaborate and share work. But Cal State officials have warned Stevens that the site violates an obscure state law that bars students from distributing course materials for commercial purposes, and have told students who use it that they risk expulsion. Stevens told the newspaper that the policy violates students' rights.

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 3:00am

Administrators at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire say they will punish a professor who sent an e-mail discouraging students there from holding a gay film festival because he decries "attempts to legitimize (homosexuals') addictions and compulsions," the Eau Claire Leader-Telegram reported. The student had sent an e-mail to a group of employees last month asking for faculty support in publicizing the Eau Queer Film Festival, a new event that took place last week. In reply, the newspaper said, Tom Hilton, chairman of the university's information systems department, sent what university administrators characterized as a "hurtful and condescending" reply, saying that gay people, "our fellow humans, deserve our best efforts to help them recover their lives. We only hurt them further when we choose to pretend that these walking wounded are OK the way they are, that their present injuries are the best they can hope for in life." Hilton told the Telegram Leader that he had worded his e-mail "very badly" and said that he was sorry and would cooperate if the university punishes him.

Friday, October 15, 2010 - 3:00am

Michigan's Department of Human Services has heard enough rumors that college students are abusing its equivalent of a food stamp program that it has deemed the idea "Myth No. 5" on its list of welfare program myths. But the Lansing State Journal, in an article published Thursday, quotes numerous store clerks complaining that local college students are using their "Bridge Cards" -- which are supposed to be used only for essentials -- on mixes for liquor and junk food. "They fill their carts with Red Bull, jerky, Doritos," one clerk told the newspaper. "They tell their friends, ‘Throw in whatever you want … the government’s paying for it.' ” While state officials said that as many as 18,000 college and university students were receiving food assistance at any given point in 2009-10, they called the notion of widespread abuse of Bridge Cards by students an urban legend.

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