Quick Takes: New Analysis of Dearth of Female Scientists, Improving State Budget Picture, Cash and Sex for Grade Changes, Decline in Percentage of Female Coaches, Iraq Service Disqualifies Veteran for In-State Tuition
Submitted by Doug Lederman on August 19, 2005 - 4:00am
Unconscious bias and a chilly climate that undervalues the contributions and potential of women are significantly responsible for the underrepresentation of female scientists, a star-studded group of 11 womenargue in an article in the current issue of Science magazine. The authors, who include Nancy Cantor and Denice Denton, the chancellors of Syracuse University and the University of California at SantaCruz, respectively, and Donna E. Shalala, president of the University of Miami, cite some progress but describe the many challenges that discourage women from pursuing scientific careers in academe. They also offer suggestions for how universities can take better advantage of the potential pool of female scientists.
State legislatures spent 5.7 percent more of their general funds on higher education in the 2006 fiscal year than they did last year, according to a preliminary report on this year's sessions by the National Conference of State Legislatures. Of 44 states that responded to the group's survey, 5 -- Hawaii, Nevada, New Jersey, New York and Oklahoma -- boosted spending on higher education by 10 percent or more, while Wisconsin reported a drop of 1.9 percent in its appropriations for colleges. Over all, the legislators group finds that "state budgets are healthier than they’ve been in five years, reporting an increase of about 8 percent in states' aggregate balance at the end of the 2005 fiscal year.
Two former employees of Florida Memorial University and five students have been charged in an alleged scheme in which cash payments and sexual favors were traded for grade changes, according to the Associated Press. One of the former employees entered a plea of not guilty and the other has not been found.
Despite advances for female athletes in colleges, the percentage of female coaches of women's teams is declining, according to a new report  by the Coaching and Gender Equity Project, at Pennsylvania State University.
Austin Community College is facing a barrage of criticism after a report in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that the college told a veteran that his tours of duty in Iraq disqualified him from receiving in-state tuition rates.