The Association of Research Libraries Board of Directors unanimously has adopted a set of nine principles to help university libraries in negotiations with publishers or other vendors over the digitization of special collections. The move comes as many libraries are looking for outside partners for such projects, but want to assure that these relationships are consistent with scholarly values. The principles cover such issues at the need for libraries to maintain their own copies of all materials, the need for as open access as possible to the digitized versions, and the need to protect the privacy of those who use digitized versions by limiting information that can be collected about them.
Higher Education Quick Takes
An arbitrator has ordered the University of Florida to rehire David Therriault, an assistant professor of educational psychology who was laid off last year, The Gainesville Sun reported. Under the ruling, he is assured a job for a year and a chance to earn tenure. While Florida has the right to impose layoffs, the arbitrator found that the university did not meet its obligations under a contract with the faculty union to attempt to find Therriault another position when his was eliminated.
For the third time, the board of Quincy College has canceled a meeting at which a vote had been expected on a new president, The Patriot Ledger reported. The board is divided on whom to hire, whether the board's meetings have met legal requirements, and whether the board is properly constituted -- among other issues.
Authorities in India, backed by scholars worldwide, are moving to revive Nalanda, an ancient university that was destroyed more than 800 years ago, The Financial Times reported. The university was once a center of Buddhist learning, attracting thousands of students from all over Asia. The plan for a new Nalanda would extend beyond Buddhist thought to a range of disciplines.
The sudden closure this week of Ascension College, a for-profit college in Louisiana, has been followed by the arrest of a financial aid officer who was charged with felony theft of $7,600 in tuition payments by students, The Baton Rouge Advocate reported. The college closed after the U.S. Education Department revoked its eligibility for loan programs, citing the institution's "inability to meet multiple aspects of the standards of financial responsibility.” Officials of the college said that they couldn't operate without the loan funds, and that many student cash payments were missing.
A cancer researcher at the University of Wisconsin at Madison resigned this spring after campus administrators began investigating alleged conflicts of interest involving clinical trials he led and a consulting arrangement he had with a manufacturer of cancer treatment devices, the Wisconsin State Journal reported. The newspaper based its special report on the controversy involving Minesh Mehta on a series of open records requests, among other things.
Wagner College has ended a requirement that all applicants submit either SAT or ACT scores. “We believe that the best predictor of a student’s potential to succeed at Wagner is the student’s high school transcript,” said Angelo Araimo, vice president for enrollment and planning, in a statement.
An article in Business Week looks at why some universities (a small minority in fact) select CEOs, not academics, to lead business schools. "That kind of narrow and bounded perception of what deans do has changed really dramatically, so now in many places there is really a heightened expectation that the dean should be the public face of the school," Dan King, executive director of the American Association of University Administrators, told the magazine. "Business schools, in particular, want to present a prestigious public face. One way of presenting that image is showing they can recruit a leader who has been a successful executive in business and industry."
Leaders of a United Auto Workers unit representing 6,000 doctoral researchers at the University of California said Monday that they had reached a tentative agreement with administrators over what would be the union's first-ever contract. A spokesman for the union said he could provide no details on the deal until postdocs ratified the agreement, probably next week. But he said it would improve the researchers' standing on a range of issues, from pay to benefits to working conditions. The UAW has spent years trying to unionize postdocs at UC.
Research that will be published today in the journal Health Affairs suggests that graduates of foreign medical schools perform as well as graduates of medical schools in the United States, as measured by mortality rates for patients with a common set of conditions. The findings could be significant given a growing debate over the quality of medical care provided by doctors who were educated outside the United States -- a group that makes up nearly 25 percent of physicians in the United States. At the same time, however, the study found that the performance of foreign medical graduates who were U.S. citizens lagged the performance of other graduates, the kind of figure that could add to scrutiny of colleges outside the United States that serve many American students.