administrators

Student Charged With Trying to Act for ISIS

Federal authorities have charged Munther Omar Saleh, a college student, with conspiring to help the Islamic State carry out attacks in New York City, The New York Times reported. Officials said that Saleh was seeking to learn how to make explosive devices. The criminal complaint against Saleh says that in January, he enrolled “at a college specializing in aeronautics located in Queens, New York, and began course work and laboratory work in electrical circuitry.”

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Tension between faculty and administration impacts Nassau Community College's presidential search

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Disagreement between faculty members and administrators persists as Nassau Community College continues its three-year search for president.

UT-Austin Plans Review of Support Services for Athletes

The new president of the University of Texas at Austin said Tuesday that he would commission an independent review of the academic services the Longhorn sports programs provide to athletes, in the wake of a highly critical news report alleging that players received improper academic help. The "top-to-bottom" review, as President Gregory Fenves called it, will be conducted by Gene Marsh, a former law professor who spent many years involved in the National Collegiate Athletic Association's enforcement system. It was prompted by an article in The Chronicle of Higher Education (subscription required) charging that Texas has "let academically deficient players push the limits of its policy on academic integrity as it has sought to improve its teams' academic records."

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Performance Funding in Massachusetts

Massachusetts' nine public universities will have some of their state support tied to a funding formula based on the number of students they graduate. The state board of higher education on Tuesday voted to approve the formula and will apply $5.6 million to it in the coming fiscal year.

The board described its approach to performance funding in a news release: "It is based on a complex formula of metrics and weights developed by NCHEMS, the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems. An institution’s share of the funding will be determined in part by its five-year graduation rates, annual head count, full-time enrollment, year-over-year increases in degrees awarded, the numbers of students who reach 30 and 60 credit hours each year (with additional points awarded for low-income students who qualify for federal Pell Grants), as well as numbers and types of degrees awarded (with additional points awarded for degrees in 'priority fields' such as STEM, health, business and education). Campuses are also awarded points for 'degree productivity,' the cost of producing a degree per $100,000 in total revenue."

Community colleges in Massachusetts have received some performance funding since 2013. While the formulas are different, the board said both seek to close achievement gaps and to improve the graduation rates of underrepresented minority and low-income students.

Report Tracks Latino STEM Graduates

Excelencia in Education today released a report that lists the 25 colleges that graduate the most Latino students in science, technology, engineering and math. Using data from 2013, the nonprofit group found that 2 percent of all U.S. institutions graduate one-third of Latinos who earn STEM credentials. While the number of Latinos earning these credentials has increased, they still account for just 9 percent of STEM credentials earned. Latinos working in STEM also are concentrated in lower-paying jobs, with a higher representation in service fields than in professional occupations.

“The report shines a light on what many of us know to be true: that diversification within STEM postsecondary education, particularly among Hispanics/Latinos over the last decade, has been largely in the area of certificate/associate levels and diminishes at each successive level,” Gabriel Montaño, a research scientist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory and president of the Society for Chicanos and Native Americans in Science, said in a written statement. “The result is an increasing discrepancy in positions of leadership within the STEM workforce.”

The lists of top colleges for the production of Latino STEM graduates follows:

Certificates Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields

  1. Instituto de Banca y Comercio Inc., Puerto Rico
  2. South Texas College
  3. Miami Dade College
  4. Wyotech-Long Beach, Calif.
  5. United Education Institute-Huntington Park, Calif.

Associate Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields

  1. South Texas College
  2. San Jacinto Community College, Texas
  3. University of Phoenix-Online
  4. El Paso Community College, Texas
  5. Instituto Tecnologico de Puerto Rico-Recinto de Guayama

Bachelor Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields

  1. University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
  2. Florida International University
  3. The University of Texas at El Paso
  4. Texas A&M University at College Station
  5. University of Texas-Pan American

Master's Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields

  1. Universidad Politecnica de Puerto Rico
  2. Florida International University
  3. University of Texas at El Paso
  4. University of Puerto Rico-Mayaguez
  5. University of Southern California

Doctoral Degrees Awarded to Latinos in STEM Fields

  1. Stanford University
  2. University of California at Berkeley
  3. University of Texas at El Paso
  4. University of California at Davis
  5. University of California at Irvine

A new graduate school of education will be competency based

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A new graduate school of education will be competency-based. As demand for teachers increases and alternative preparation programs spread, this school hopes to stand out to the best aspiring educators.

A university will ban the selling of sugary beverages on campus

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U of California at San Francisco is about to ban sale of sugary beverages on campus. Will the policy make a difference? Will other colleges follow?

AAUP censures four institutions, calls out others

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Association's annual meeting on academic freedom issues features a debate on whether Steven Salaita's rights were violated and consensus that Wisconsin politicians are undermining their university system.

Judge Orders Release of Donor Emails in Salaita Case

A judge on Friday ordered the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to release emails regarding the revoked tenure appointment of Steven Salaita. The American Indian studies scholar found himself without a job last year after Chancellor Phyllis Wise objected to the tone of his Twitter comments about Israel. Salaita has maintained that donors illegally influenced Wise’s decision, based on the previous release of some emails between Wise and unnamed donors. Salaita wants the full, unredacted email record regarding his nonappointment, but the university has maintained that such a request is unduly burdensome.

Robin Kaler, university spokesperson, said that the institution maintains the request is too large, and that it will “do its best” over the coming weeks to produce the some 9,600 documents regarding Salaita’s case. Kaler said the university tried to negotiate his request to a more manageable size, with little success. Maria LaHood, Salaita’s lawyer at the Center for Constitutional Rights, said the university was trying to avoid transparency, but that the court agreed releasing the emails was in the public interest. “We look forward to seeing what the university was so eager to hide,” she said. Salaita has another ongoing lawsuit against university leaders and the John Doe donors for breach of contract and tortious interference, among other claims.

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How Star Athletes Evade Legal Consequences

Leading universities regularly intervene when men's basketball or football players are suspected of or charged with breaking laws, an investigation by ESPN has found. The investigation involved examining the athletes of 10 universities to see the percentage of them who were eventually charged with crimes. The network found that athletes are much less likely than similarly aged men in the localities where the universities are located to end up with any charges at all. The most fortunate athletes, in terms of being identified as suspects but never facing charges, were those of Florida State University and the University of Florida.

In exploring these patterns, the network wrote about how the athletics departments contact lawyers on behalf of athletes, and how the assertive defenses of skilled local lawyers discourage local authorities from taking action against athletes.

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