St. Petersburg State University has clarified rules -- of concern to many scholars -- about who must seek approval before presenting or publishing work abroad, The New York Times reported. Researchers in the humanities and social sciences will not be covered by the regulations.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Idaho State University has fired Habib Sadid, a tenured engineering professor who had been suspended, the Associated Press reported. A faculty panel recently released an opinion that there was not enough evidence to justify Sadid's dismissal, but the university president said that his ouster was in the best interests of the institution. Sadid has been a long-time critic of the university's leaders and he says he is being fired for his dissent, while the university says that he crossed lines from dissent into abusive and unfair behavior.
The tenure denials of four women at DePaul University are leading to student protests and threats of legal action, the Chicago Tribune reported. Of 33 professors who went up for tenure this year, seven were rejected, five of whom were women. In the cases of four represented by the same lawyer, departmental reviews were quite positive, but a university-wide committee -- with professors in other fields -- raised questions about the candidacies. The university, without talking about specific cases, has defended the process as free of bias.
Gov. Jennifer Granholm decided not to veto funds for Michigan State University's agricultural extension programs after striking a deal in which the university agreed to restructure the programs to focus on environmental issues, the Detroit Free Press reported. Granholm had been widely expected to veto much of the $64 million in state funds that Michigan State's extension and experiment station programs receive annually, but changes announced by the university Wednesday appeared to have averted the cuts.
The University of Florida received attention this month for a spoof disaster planning document -- place on the university's Web site with other disaster preparedness documents -- on dealing with a zombie attack. On Wednesday, an improv student group called Theatre Strike Force demonstrated what a zombie attack might actually look like. The Independent Florida Alligator has video of the "attack."
Just under 11.5 million students were enrolled in a college or university in the fall of 2008, and 39.6 percent of all Americans aged 18 to 24 were enrolled -- both figures that set records, according to an analysis released Thursday by the Pew Research Center. Community college enrollments accounted for almost all of the gains over the previous year, consistent with the enrollment booms they experience when the economy falters.
Presidents of Division I universities in the National Collegiate Athletic Association moved ahead Thursday on several changes designed to rein in perceived abuses and excesses in big-time college basketball. The Division I Board of Directors approved a set of recommendations aimed at limiting the flow of money to third parties (like informal sports agents) who have increasingly cropped up in the college recruiting pipeline, and increasing the penalties against college coaches who violate the new guidelines. The board also endorsed and put on the agenda for a vote at January's NCAA Convention a set of proposals that would cut the length of the men's basketball season by one game, to 28, and restrict the number of physical education courses that basketball players who transfer from two-year colleges can count toward their credentials. The association's Executive Committee also formally began its search to replace Myles Brand as the NCAA's president.
Metropolitan Community College has announced plans to sue five other community colleges in Nebraska, in an escalating dispute over state financing of the institutions, The Omaha World-Herald reported. Metro, in Omaha, has been arguing that the state's financing formula unfairly favors colleges in rural areas. The suit is over allegations that the other colleges submitted incorrect information about tuition rates to the state, so that the formula would provide them with more money. Officials of the other colleges were quoted as saying that they were responding to Metro submitting questionable figures itself.
The University of Illinois is getting ready for its first admissions deadlines without "clout" admissions -- the system that led to a major scandal over the way politically connected applicants received special treatment. The Chicago Tribune reported that new protections have been added barring the kind of influence that went on routinely in the past and that would make public any attempts at influencing the process.
Colleges have seen a surge in the rates at which students are being diagnosed with H1N1 or similar flu illnesses, according to new data from the American College Health Association. The association has been using a national sample of 270 colleges and universities to track the spread of H1N1, and, in the last week, the rate of cases increased by 34 percent. In addition, several regions where H1N1 had appeared to be in decline -- the Northeast, Southeast, Mid-Atlantic and the Midwest -- saw increases. Of the colleges in the survey, 97 percent reported new cases. Details on the latest data are available here.