Quick Takes: Pace's Approach to Accountability, UC Joins Google Project, Private Colleges Challenge U.S. Panel, Mo. May Check Profs' Criminal Backgrounds, Honor Roll for Community Service, Treatment for Eating Disorders, More Great Publicity for Lacrosse

August 9, 2006
  • With a federal panel calling for colleges to be more accountable for what they do, Pace University is sending lawmakers a report detailing its use of various tests and other measures to track the institution's progress. The theme of the report is that while colleges should assess themselves (as many do), the federal government shouldn't impose tests or other assessment systems.
  • It's official: The University of California and Google have reached an agreement under which the university will become the seventh participant in the company's controversial efforts to digitally scan the book collections of libraries, Reuters reported. UC, which has 100 libraries on 10 campuses, is the first party to join since groups of publishers and authors sued the company to stop the project.
  • The president of the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities reiterated its intense opposition to the federal higher education commission's proposal to create a federal database of student academic records in a letter to the panel's chairman Tuesday. David L. Warren, who has been the most persistent and vociferous critic of the Secretary of Education's Commission on the Future of Higher Education, said the "cradle-to-grave database" would invade students' privacy and open sensitive information to security risks. The letter also urges the panel to abandon its calls to "dismantle" the federal student-aid programs and to try to compare all institutions using similar measures of student outcomes.
  • The University of Missouri is developing a policy under which new faculty members at its four campuses may have to undergo criminal background checks, the Associated Press reported. Officials told the AP that the policy was not being created because of a particular problem, but to treat professors in the same way as other employees.
  • The Corporation for National and Community Service is creating an "honor roll" for colleges with many student volunteers and campus programs to encourage service. Winners will be notified in October.
  • Internet-based education programs have the potential to help college-aged women who are at high risk of eating disorders, according to research supported by the National Institutes of Health. The research studied the impact of an eight-week program involving education and attempts at behavioral change.
  • Catholic University of America said Tuesday that it would forfeit three women's lacrosse games from last spring and place the team on probation for 2006-7 after an investigation into a freshman initiation party. The university began its investigation after photos appeared on the BadJocks Web site that appeared to show a male stripper entertaining the players. Michael Allen, Catholic's athletics director, said in a statement: "After interviewing members of the lacrosse team and carefully reviewing the facts, we have determined that team members engaged in regrettable activities that are contrary to the expectations we have for our students and to the values of the university. As we communicated directly to the student-athletes in question, we are deeply disappointed by their actions, particularly for any embarrassment and humiliation which the freshmen being initiated may have experienced at the time and subsequent to the event."
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