Quick Takes: Tech Transfer, Data on Online Courses, NCAA Punishes Ga. Tech, Wristbands Are In and Bush Is Not, Improving Job Market, Rules for N.J. Trustees, Hawaii Faculty Opposes Navy Research, CBO Report on Loans, Professors of the Year
Submitted by Scott Jaschik on November 18, 2005 - 4:00am
Last year saw an increase of almost 25 percent in the number of companies created based on academic research, according to a report released Thursday by the Association of University Technology Managers. The report generally found that technology transfer is on the rise, although the number of patents issued to universities saw a slight decrease in 2004.
Online education is entering the mainstream of higher education, according to the 2005 edition of "Growing by Degrees." Among the findings: 63 percent of colleges offering undergraduate, face-to-face instruction also offer online courses and 65 percent of those offering graduate courses in person also offer online courses. Most institutions reported using the core faculty to teach their online courses.
The National Collegiate Athletic Association placed  Georgia Institute of Technology on two years' probation because it allowed 17 athletes to compete who were actually academically ineligible to do so under the association's rules. The Division I Committee on Infractions found that in certifying athletes in several sports (many of them "prominent" on their teams) as making sufficient progress toward a degree, institution officials had counted non-degree courses -- in some cases quite a number of them. The NCAA also noted with consternation that Georgia Tech had investigated this alleged wrongdoing two years ago and failed to uncover the violations.
The annual fall poll of college students by Harvard University's Institute of Politics found that students gave low ratings to President Bush and expressed interest in alternative political acts like engaging in boycotts or wearing wristbands to back certain causes.
College students who graduate this spring will find a stronger job market than existed a year ago, according to a national survey by the Collegiate Employment Research Institute, at Michigan State University.
New Jersey Gov. Richard J. Codey signed an executive order that would bar trustees of public colleges from doing business with the institutions they run, The Trenton Times reported. The newspaper noted that many trustees have business relationships that would be banned by the order.
The Faculty Senate at the University of Hawaii's Manoa campus voted 31 to 18 to oppose the establishment of a Navy research center, the Associated Press reported. The faculty vote is not binding, but administrators at Hawaii had postponed a decision on whether to create the center until the senate weighed in. University officials say the center would bring in much-needed research funds, but opponents say the money will come with too many strings attached and compromise academic freedom.
The Congressional Budget Office has issued a report in which it explains the sizable gap between federal subsidies for the government's two competing student loan programs. "The two biggest factors" behind the significantly larger costs to the government for loans in the guaranteed loan program than for those in the direct lending program, the report says, "are the government’s payments to lenders in the [guaranteed loan] program and the government’s collection of interest in the direct loan program at a rate that is higher than the discount rate used in the subsidy calculation." It adds: "A third, lesser factor is the difference in how much of the recoveries on defaulted loans the government retains in the two programs. Finally, a small portion can be ascribed to the fact that the subsidy calculations for the two programs treat administrative costs differently."
The 2005 "Professors of the Year" have been announced by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education: W. A. Hayden, a professor of English history at the College of Wooster; Katherine R. Rowell, a professor of sociology at Sinclair Community College; Buzz Alexander, a professor of English language and literature at the University of Michigan; and Carlos G. Gutierrez, a professor of chemistry at California State University at Los Angeles.