Quick Takes: Report Says U.S. Science Still on Top, Faculty Criticism Vanishes in Accrediting Report, No Confidence at SW Oregon CC, Security Clearance Denials Protested, Math Standards Questioned, Boost for NEH, Anthropologists Stick With New Orleans

  • Despite warnings in many recent reports that the United States is losing its edge in science and technology, the lead remains significant and U.S.
  • June 12, 2008
  • Despite warnings in many recent reports that the United States is losing its edge in science and technology, the lead remains significant and U.S. investments in science remain high, according to a new report from the Rand Corporation. The study said that the United States should not be complacent, and that some other countries are stepping up, but that the idea of a significant decline having taken place is unfounded.
  • Some Coppin State University faculty members are angry that substantial criticisms about college governance that they produced for an accreditation report were removed from the study before it was formally presented to the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, The Baltimore Sun reported. In addition, the Sun reported that university officials said that the criticisms were removed at the suggestion of the chair of the Middle States review team, who told the university he found the comments "too negative." That chair and Middle States officials declined to comment.
  • Faculty members at Southwestern Oregon Community College have voted no confidence in President Judith Hansen. The Register-Guard reported that professors complained about management style, budgeting and widespread stress. Hansen told The Coos Bay World that she would work to resolve "misunderstandings" at the college.
  • Rep. Brad Miller, chair of the Oversight Subcommittee of the House Science and Technology Committee, has released a letter protesting the denial of security clearances to some foreign graduate students studying oceanography at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. As The New York Times reported last month, the students -- from several European countries considered allies of the United States -- were told that they were security threats. Miller's letter calls for changes in rules and processes to prevent legitimate graduate students from being treated in this way. "Through no fault of their own, the students are limited in their ability to carry out the research expected by their academic program," he wrote.
  • Professors at Missouri universities are calling on the state to revised proposed standards for elementary and secondary schools, saying that they will not produce high school graduates capable of college-level mathematics, The Columbia Tribune reported.
  • An appropriations subcommittee in the U.S. House of Representatives approved a spending bill for 2009 that would increase funds for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts to $160 million each. That would represent a $15 million boost for both cultural agencies over what they are receiving in the current fiscal year. President Bush's own budget plan for 2009 called for providing $144 million for the humanities endowment and $128 million for the arts endowment.
  • The American Anthropological Association is the latest scholarly group to face controversy over its selection of meeting locations. The association plans to convene in New Orleans in 2010 -- and many of the hotels to be used are not unionized. With some members complaining, association leaders have published a defense of the process used to select locations, noting the expense that the group would face for moving at the last minute. In addition, the statement notes that when the association took a vote on whether to require union hotels, the membership didn't back the idea as a requirement. The association is identifying some unionized hotels near the convention site so that members have those as an option.
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