Two British academics have conducted a survey of colleges and universities in the country, finding that few of them have policies barring students or faculty members from working in the sex industry, The Times Higher reported. At the same time, many colleges have "unwritten assumptions" discouraging such out-of-class employment. In a related article, the newspaper reported about discussion of a blog called Diary of a Russell Group University Call Girl. (The Russell Group is the organization of Britain's leading research universities.)
Higher Education Quick Takes
The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Friday approved a plan to raise tuition at the flagship campus at Madison by substantial amounts, but to designate those funds for spending -- such as additional faculty slots -- that directly improves undergraduate education. Biddy Martin, the new chancellor at Madison, championed the plan -- and won student support for it -- by noting the many ways that inadequate state funding has hurt the student experience. For example, she noted that the university has lost faculty slots, and that students are turned away regularly from key courses they need for their majors. Students from families with incomes up to $80,000 will be exempt from the tuition surcharge. Following the board vote, Martin issued a statement that said in part: "We pledge to deliver value. We'll do this by providing more faculty and instructional support in high-demand areas, classroom innovations and better student-support services."
Officials at Shasta College places white poster board over a student's painting in an art exhibit, allowing those at the exhibit to lift up the board to view the painting, but hiding it from the view of those who don't take that step, The Redding Record Searchlight reported. The painting at the California college shows two young children, in the style of the Dick and Jane books, greeting a man in a bathrobe, which is open, exposing him in an aroused state. The student who painted the work, "See It Go," said that it was a response to sexual abuse she suffered as a child.
The National Institutes of Health on Friday said it was considering issuing new regulations to govern financial and other conflicts of interest in biomedical research and invited interested parties to weigh in on a set of possible changes. In an advance notice of proposed rule making published in Friday's Federal Register, the NIH and its parent agencies, the Public Health Service and the Department of Health and Human Services, posed a set of questions that have emerged in recent years as biomedical researchers' ties to industry have come under increasing scrutiny. Should researchers have to report more information about their sources of income to the institutions, even if they do not believe it is germane to their work? Should the minimum threshold of payment that is perceived to be a financial conflict of interest be raised? Should research institutions be required to establish committees to review their employees' financial disclosures?
Intercollegiate athletics, dormant at Roosevelt University for 20 years, will return. The university on Thursday announced a plan to create a minimum of 12 teams over the next five years, with the first squads competing in 2010. The university will not offer athletic scholarships. Students pushed for the return of athletics. While Roosevelt is best known for having nontraditional older students, in recent years it has been enrolling more full-time, traditional age undergraduates.
A doctoral student's unpublished study suggesting a link between extensive Facebook use and lower grades received a ton of attention last month. Now a new study finds no such correlation. The new study, published in the journal First Monday, used large samples and found no negative relationship between grades and Facebook use. The new study was conducted by Eszter Hargittai, associate professor of communication studies at Northwestern University; Josh Pasek, a doctoral student at Stanford University; and eian more of the University of Pennsylvania’s Adolescent Risk Communication Institute.
Colleges have been quicker to green their facilities than their curriculums, as a 2008 National Wildlife Federation study showed, and a new report released by the American College and University Presidents Climate Commitment Thursday aims to help colleges integrate "climate neutrality" and sustainability into their academic programs. "Education for Climate Neutrality and Sustainability: Academic Guidance for ACUPCC Institutions" includes more than 200 examples and resources.
Bob Kerrey announced Thursday that he will leave the presidency of the New School in June 2011, when his contract expires. He said in a statement that his intent has long been to leave at that time, but he also acknowledged the controversies at the New School, whose student and faculty groups have become increasingly critical of his management. "To understate the case this has been a challenging semester for the university and my family," he said. "There have been moments when I reached the limit of my willingness to continue serving as your president. There have been moments when my tendency to fight and to directly engage in confrontation, argument and disputes have been counterproductive." A Web site maintained by students who have clashed with Kerrey offered its own analysis of Kerrey's plans and record, ending its commentary by saying "onward in struggle."
Laureate Education Inc. has released a statement outlining its possible vision for the College of Santa Fe, a financially struggling private college that the for-profit chain may end up operating under a bailout plan being pushed in New Mexico. The college is known for its arts programs and Laureate is known for its campuses in many countries around the world, primarily educating people from countries other than the United States. While Laureate's statement was vague -- officials noted that negotiations are still going on -- it suggested that Santa Fe would become a "global center of excellence in the teaching of the arts," in which Laureate's students worldwide would gain from the expertise at Santa Fe.
Supporters are rallying around the Louisiana State University Press, which is on a list of units at LSU that may face deep cuts or even elimination. The many distinctions of the press include winning four Pulitzer Prizes, more than any other academic publisher. The press is also the only university press to have won Pulitzer Prizes in both fiction and poetry. Peter Givler, executive director of the Association of American University Presses and a member of the advisory board of the LSU Press, said, "Things are tough everywhere and everybody is making sacrifices, but the idea of shutting down a press that has brought so much national distinction and honor to LSU, and to Louisiana, is just plain nuts." LSU's chancellor, Michael Martin, issued this statement about the situation: "We hope the Governor and our Legislature will provide sufficient funding to maintain support of LSU Press, as it is a very valuable asset to this university, the people of the state and many beyond. We face, however, extraordinary economic conditions and we must protect the academic core of LSU first and foremost."