Quick Takes: Call for Better Teaching at Harvard, Loan Rules, UNC E-Mail Incorrectly 'Admits' Applicants, Guilford Asks 5 to Leave Dorms, Hibbing Suspends Football, Panel Named for Accountability System, Strike in Greece

January 25, 2007
  • A faculty panel at Harvard University on Wednesday called for new efforts to improve the quality of teaching. Most of the recommendations -- greater support for pedagogical innovations, linking teaching quality to salary reviews and career advancement -- are hardly revolutionary in the context of higher education as a whole, but represent a new emphasis for Harvard, where research has dominated faculty appointments and advancement. The panel's work will be reviewed over the next year.
  • The U.S. Department of Education has issued a letter outlining when lenders can keep certain excess subsidies that have been at the center of disputes between the department and lenders -- and closely monitored by watchdog groups. The letter, which was expected, follows by several days the department's announcement that it would let the Nebraska Education Loan Network keep subsidies it had already been paid if it did not seek any further reimbursements at the disputed 9.5 percent rate. The department's letter closely mirrors the guidelines it laid out in a conference call announcing the Nelnet settlement, which was criticized by parties on all sides.
  • The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill accidentally sent an e-mail to about 2,700 applicants congratulating them on their admission to the university -- even though no decision had been made on their applications, WRAL News reported. The applicants are being contacted with the bad news that the e-mail was a mistake.
  • Guilford College has asked three football players and the two Palestinian students they are accused of attacking in what some are calling a hate rime to all move off campus for their own safety, The Greensboro News-Record reported. The decision was announced at a forum where students discussed the incident, which has stunned the college, a Quaker institution known for its commitment to tolerance.
  • Minnesota's Hibbing Community College on Wednesday announced that it was indefinitely suspending its football program, The West Central Tribune reported. The college acted based on concern that most of its football players were not academically on par with other students.
  • Seventy-eight officials of public colleges and universities have been named to help devise a new voluntary system of accountability that is being planned -- as a supplement to existing accreditation and other measures -- by the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges and the American Association of State Colleges and Universities. The plan for the new voluntary system came amid complaints from Education Secretary Margaret Spellings and others that existing systems were not doing enough to promote accountability.
  • Many Greek academics started a strike Wednesday, as part of nationwide protests against plans to permit privately controlled universities, The International Herald Tribune reported.
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