Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, May 20, 2010 - 3:00am

Canadian academics and government leaders are analyzing the results of an effort to attract top research talent from other countries. As The Globe and Mail reported, the quality of international talent is considered high, leading many to say that the tactic of going after the best with generous offers was effective. A total of 19 researchers have committed to offers at Canadian universities. But as The Montreal Gazette reported, many female academics in Canada are asking why all 19 of those newly recruited faculty stars are men.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 3:00am

Venezuela's president, Hugo Chavez, this week nationalized Santa Inés University, a private institution, boasting to students that tuition would now be free, the Dow Jones News Service reported. Many students aren't pleased in the least. Carlos Chavez, a student leader who is not related to his president, said, "He's going to impose his revolutionary, Marxist, socialist agenda on us students, and he'll kick out good professors who allow us to study capitalism."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 3:00am

  • Ronald Ally, chief financial and operations officer for School District U-46, in Illinois, has been selected as executive vice president of finance and operations at Harper College, also in Illinois.
  • Joseph Bekken, director of finance counseling at Grand Canyon University, in Arizona, has been appointed director of financial aid at North Idaho College.
  • Thomas W. Giffin, senior director of development at Clemson University, in South Carolina, has been chosen as vice president for institutional advancement at Coker College, also in South Carolina.
  • Margaret Jablonski, vice chancellor for student affairs at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has been named vice president for student affairs at the University of New Haven.
  • Laurie Koehler, director of admissions at Miami University, in Ohio, has been chosen as dean of admissions at Bryn Mawr College.
  • Troy Miller, associate professor of Bible & theology at Crichton College, has been promoted to chair of the department of Bible & theology there.
  • The appointments above are drawn from The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of upcoming events in higher education. To submit job changes or calendar items, please click here.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 3:00am

    Sen. Arlen Specter's defeat in Tuesday's Democratic primary in Pennsylvania will end a political career in which the senator was frequently a key ally of advocates for biomedical research and education. Specter, a Republican until last year, was for many years the ranking Republican on the Senate appropriations subcommittee with jurisdiction over spending on education programs and the National Institutes of Health -- and he backed spending increases in both areas, in particular for the NIH. Joe Sestak, who defeated Specter, doesn't differ from him significantly in views on those issues.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 3:00am

    The Boston Globe explores the case of Adam Wheeler, the former Harvard University senior who used fraudulent materials to gain admission, to ask the question of whether admissions systems are too trusting. The article notes that many leading universities engage in relatively limited verifications of materials.

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 3:00am

    The officers and board of the American Historical Association on Tuesday issued a statement calling on the Texas State Board of Education to reconsider history standards that have been widely criticized for attempting to put a conservative spin on history by adding and subtracting certain people and ideas. The AHA statement said that the state's standards are inconsistent with national standards and with what Texas school children learn in the early grades. As but one example, the historians said that the Texas standards are "almost entirely discounting the importance of human activity in North America before the British colonization of the Atlantic Coast." Offering a comparison to science, the AHA statement said that "no curriculum in chemistry would be of much value to students if it made arbitrary selections and deletions among the elements to be studied; if the focus were to be on oxygen with hydrogen omitted, then students would be at a considerable disadvantage when it came to understanding water."

    Wednesday, May 19, 2010 - 3:00am

    A coalition of academic associations issued a joint statement Tuesday condemning Arizona's new immigration laws. The policy "threatens to inflame anti-immigrant sentiments and undermine constructive solutions to the challenges faced by communities in Arizona and across the nation. We call upon the governor, legislators, and people of Arizona to work diligently and swiftly to repeal these laws," says the statement. "Our organizations include members from fields including sociology, criminology, political science, peace studies, psychology, anthropology, environmental studies, Chicano/a studies, and a multitude of related areas of study. Our collective membership numbers more than 10,000 scholars, educators, and activists, with many residing in Arizona. The decision to join together in issuing the open letter below represents an unprecedented and historical moment of collaboration."

    The groups endorsing the letter are: the American Studies Association; the Chicano/Latino Faculty and Staff Association of Arizona State University; the Justice Studies Association; Mujeres Activas en Letras y Cambio Social; National Association for Chicano and Chicana Studies; Native American and Indigenous Studies Association; Peace and Justice Studies Association; Psychologists for Social Responsibility; Society for the Study of Social Problems; and Sociologists Without Borders.

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 3:00am

    A Texas grand jury has indicted four former Texas Lutheran University football players for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in an alleged attack on a football player from the University of the Incarnate Word -- at a party in the fall not long after Incarnate Word defeated Texas Lutheran at football, The Gazette-Enterprise reported. The local district attorney describe the deadly weapons involved: “A deadly weapon is anything that in the manner of its use or intended use is capable of causing death or serious bodily injury. In this particular case, we alleged the hands and feet of the perpetrators as deadly weapons due to the brutal way in which they were used in this particular assault,” she said. “When deciding to allege that the hands and feet were utilized as deadly weapons, we look at all the circumstances, including the number of assailants, the injuries inflicted, the area of the body the injuries are located and the helplessness of the victim.”

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 3:00am

    Jewish leaders are criticizing the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee for failing to respond adequately to incidents that took place during an April 29 celebration of the anniversary of Israel's independence. During the event, a person protesting the event was arrested for assaulting one of the organizers. Also, pro-Palestinian students chalked the area where the event was to take place with anti-Israel, pro-Palestinian statements. According to the Jewish organizations, the chalkings also included a swastika. "The events -- including the image of the swastika -- were reported in the media. Jewish students on campus expressed fears for their safety; some said they no longer felt safe and welcome on the UWM campus, cited other anti-Semitic incidents and, sadly, spoke of giving up the display of their religious symbols on campus," said the statement from Jewish leaders in Milwaukee. They went on to say that "a strong statement" condemning the actions taken against the pro-Israel group had not been made by the university.

    On Monday, Carlos E. Santiago, the chancellor at Milwaukee, did release a statement. (A spokesman said that he had held off in hope of being able to issue a joint statement with the Jewish leaders, but respected their right to release their own statement.) In Santiago's statement, he said that he wanted to "reaffirm the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee as a place for the free exchange of ideas and perspectives. Such exchanges, however, should be made in a civil, peaceful and constructive manner. UWM does not tolerate violence as an expression of any viewpoint." He said that he would encourage the creation of "programs that will enhance our campus community's commitment to a culture of safety, civility and respect in the exchange of ideas and opinions."

    However, Santiago declined to condemn the chalkings -- in part because he said a swastika was never verified as part of that protest. He said that after officials learned of the chalkings, administrators went to the area. "At the time of the inspection, no members of the administrative team saw any evidence of a swastika. The messages that were seen represented protected political speech, and, therefore, were left undisturbed. I want to emphasize that chalking on university property that crosses the line of free speech to create an atmosphere of harassment for students of any race, religion, nationality or other protected status will not be tolerated."

    Tuesday, May 18, 2010 - 3:00am

    An adjunct who was fired from his job at Northwest Arkansas Community College is getting his position back, the Associated Press reported. Terry Phillips lost his job after he made critical comments to a newspaper about a local judge who had been arrested. Phillips said he was "appalled" that the judge had not resigned. The judge's wife is a member of the college's board, the AP said. However, the adjunct is now being rehired.

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