Quick Takes: International Principles for Rankings, Interest Rates to Spike, Increase in State Student Aid, Larry Summers's Last Stand, Financing Graduate School, Catawba in the Clear, Capital U. CFO Quits, Speech Clampdown for LSU Professor

May 31, 2006
  • Higher education officials from more than a dozen countries have crafted a set of principles designed to standardize what they call "the global phenomenon of college and university rankings." The "Berlin Principles," as the series of good practices are called, touch on the purposes and goals of such rankings,  the design and weighting of the measures used, collection and processing of data, and presentation. The principles were drafted at a meeting in Berlin this month convened by the UNESCO-European Center for Higher Education and the Institute for Higher Education Policy.
  • The interest rate on most student loans will jump by nearly 2 percentage points as of July 1, based on the 91-day Treasury bill auction held Tuesday.
  • States distributed $7.9 billion in total financial aid in 2004-5, up 8 percent from the previous year, according to an annual survey released Monday by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs. The proportion of the total aid that was distributed based on financial need continued to decline, falling to 73 percent. That figure was 81 percent in 1998-99.
  • Boston Magazine's June issue offers an in-depth, behind the scenes look at the last days of Larry Summers's presidency at Harvard University. It isn't pretty.
  • Just under three-quarters of graduate and first-professional students received some form of financial aid and more than half attended exclusively part-time in 2003-4, according to a study released Tuesday by the U.S. Education Department's National Center for Education Statistics. The study examines how graduate and professional students paid for their educations.
  • The National Collegiate Athletic Association has approved Catawba College's continued use of the "Indians" nickname, taking the North Carolina institution off its list of colleges and universities restricted from participating in NCAA championships because they use "hostile and abusive" Native American imagery. The NCAA said it had dropped Catawba from the list because the Catawba Indian Nation had endorsed the college's use of the name.
  • The chief financial officer at Ohio's Capital University resigned Tuesday amid reports that the institution's deficit has ballooned to $5.4 million, Columbus Business First reported. The newspaper said that President Ted Fredrickson had announced the departure of Donald Aungst in a memo to the university's faculty and staff Tuesday.
  • Louisiana State University administrators sought to rein in a professor's critical views about engineering design flaws that may have contributed to the toll of Hurricane Katrina because the institution was worried about losing federal funding, The New York Times reported. According to the newspaper, university officials discouraged Ivor van Heerden, deputy director of LSU's hurricane center, from talking to reporters last fall and directed him to limit his interviews about the catastrophe to those arranged through the media relations office. LSU officials dropped the request within a week.
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