Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:00am

Jessica Goode, 23, a student at Ferrum College, was shot and killed Tuesday, and another student was shot in the hand, when a hunter mistook the students for deer, The Roanoke Times reported. The students were collecting specimens for a biology class. The hunter has been charged with manslaughter, reckless handling of a firearm and trespassing.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:00am

The board of Metropolitan State College of Denver has voted to fire Angelina De La Torre, a tenured professor of criminal justice and Chicana/o studies based on incorrect information submitted on her post-tenure review paperwork, INDenver Times reported. De La Torre submitted a report listing a paper as having been published in a journal in 2005, but an investigation found that the paper hadn't been published, and the college cited that in dismissing her. De La Torre, however, said that she never intended to misrepresent anything, and that she made a harmless mistake in not finding out if the article had appeared or in properly recording the issue in which she thought it had appeared. She said she plans to sue the college.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:00am

Using community colleges in Texas as models, a new report suggests that there are common features present at colleges that have success at promoting transfer to four-year institutions by low-income and first generation college students. The report, by the Pell Institute for the Study of Opportunity in Higher Education, found that the common themes are a "structured" pathway to transfer, featuring clear articulation agreements; a "student centered culture," with a range of academic support services; and leadership that is sensitive to the challenges facing disadvantaged students.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:00am

China and the United States on Wednesday announced a series of steps to improve relations between the two countries. One part of the joint announcement was the statement that the United States would seek to send 100,000 students to China over the coming four years. While the statement suggested that this would be an increase over 20,000 Americans who currently study there, the increase could really be larger. Data released this week by the Institute for International Education placed the number of Americans currently studying in China at 13,165.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:00am

A federal agency report expected to be issued today finds that most universities do not report their researchers' financial conflicts of interest to the government as required, The New York Times reported. The report by the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services examines how National Institutes of Health grantees complied (or not) with federal rules governing researchers' financial conflicts, and concludes that most institutions do not report conflicts and that when they do, few require researchers to eliminate or manage the conflicts.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:00am

About 2,000 students at Israeli universities were admitted under affirmative action programs designed to diversify the student bodies, according to research released this week, Haaretz reported. The study found that these students -- once admitted -- performed nearly as well at their universities as did those admitted through traditional means.

Thursday, November 19, 2009 - 3:00am

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops held a closed-door meeting Wednesday to discuss, among other things, relationships between the bishops and Roman Catholic colleges and universities, the Associated Press reported. Plans for the discussion started in the wake of the controversy over the invitation to President Obama to be the commencement speaker at the University of Notre Dame.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 3:00am

A key panel on Tuesday rejected a 1 percent tax on tuition proposed by Pittsburgh's mayor, Luke Ravenstahl, but he is vowing to push ahead on the idea, and Tuesday's decision does not block him from doing so, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The Intergovernmental Cooperation Authority unanimously rejected the mayor's plan, citing the tuition tax, which members said had been authorized by no state or city legislation. The mayor blasted authority members, and accused them of conflicts of interest because of some members' ties to local colleges, which oppose his plan. He now plans to seek City Council approval of the tax, which could set the stage for a court battle as colleges are vowing to fight it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 3:00am

Although more than half of the athletes in the Football Bowl Subdivision of the National Collegiate Athletic Association are black, leadership positions are overwhelmingly held by white men, according to a new report by the Institute for Diversity and Ethics in Sport at the University of Central Florida. Among the 120 universities in the subdivision, in the 2009 season there are seven African-American coaches, one Latino coach and one Asian coach -- a net increase of one minority coach since 2008. The report also notes that institutional leaders at these universities are overwhelmingly white in the bowl subdivision. White people make up 100 percent of the conference commissioners, 93.3 percent of presidents, 86.7 percent of athletics directors, 92.6 percent of faculty athletics representatives, 92.5 percent of head football coaches, and 82.9 percent of the faculty, the study found.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009 - 3:00am

Graduate teaching assistants at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign reached a tentative contract agreement with the university Tuesday, and both parties now say the accord protects tuition waivers. The Graduate Employees Organization, a union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers, went on strike Monday as contract negotiations broke down. The tentative contract agreement, however, prompted the GEO's strike committee to suspend the strike Tuesday evening in expectation of a ratification of the contract by the full union membership. Prior to the strike, the student employees argued that out of state tuition waivers were insufficiently protected in the contract, but the newly agreed upon language requires the university to bargain with the union if any changes are made to the practice of offering waivers.

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