Quick Takes: Shulman to Retire From Carnegie, Sex Scandals, Loan Database to Open Again, Lenders Rated on Treats, 6 Colleges Make Deals With Cuomo, Accreditation Panel to Meet Again, Student Body Head Charged With Gun Possession, UK Qualms on Bologna
Submitted by Scott Jaschik on May 1, 2007 - 4:00am
Lee S. Shulman announced Monday that he will retire next year as president of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Shulman, who has been president since 1997, led the foundation during a period in which it overhauled the Carnegie Classifications, issued a series of reports carrying on the foundation's work in promoting the "scholarship of teaching," and studied the state of professional education in numerous fields.
The latest Washington sex scandal -- in which a woman is alleged to have run a prostitution ring frequented by high profile people in government and society, including a senior State Department official who resigned suddenly last week -- may end up featuring professors in an unusual role. Several news outlets familiar with records about the business report that among the employees of the escort service were several university professors. Deborah Palfrey, who ran the escort service (which she says was totally legal) has boasted about only employing women with at least two years of college education, but the new reports are the first to suggest that her employees may have had much more education. The Diamondback, the student newspaper at the University of Maryland at College Park, has reported that it ran advertisements for employees for the service. In an unrelated sex scandal, Friends University, in Kansas, on Monday issued a statement saying that officials are "shocked and saddened" by the arrest over the weekend of Wayne Morgan Jr., associate vice president of academic affairs. Wire reports said that Morgan, who is in jail and could not be reached for comment, was caught in a sting after he went to a house where he expected to find a 14-year-old girl who wanted to have sex.
The Education Department said it was finalizing plans to begin letting lenders regain access (under strict conditions) to the National Student Loan Data System, to which access was cut off temporarily for banks, guarantee agencies and others last month amid reports that some lenders were obtaining and using information in the database inappropriately. The department's announcement also said that current users of the database -- college officials and students -- would as of Monday face new security restrictions in their own access to the database. [ This corrects an earlier version of this item.]
Officials at the University of Texas at Austin -- already facing scrutiny over how they recommended lenders to students -- have a new embarrassment to face. The Daily Texan obtained and published documents showing that the office rated lenders not just on the quality of services provided to students, but on the "treats" provided to the aid office -- treats like fajita lunches, happy hours, birthday cakes and more.
Six more colleges have reached agreements with Andrew Cuomo, attorney general of New York State, to abide by his "code of conduct" to bar "revenue sharing" or other benefits for encouraging students to borrow from certain lenders. The colleges include four institutions in New York State -- Manhattanville, Marist, and Mercy Colleges and the Pratt Institute. In addition, agreements were signed with Lewis & Clark College, in Oregon, and Texas Christian University. In New Jersey, meanwhile, the state agency that oversees the state's loan programs has ended a deal with Sallie Mae in which the agency promoted Sallie Mae loans, The Star-Ledger reported.
U.S. Education Department officials said late Monday that they would convene a one-day meeting in late May or early June for the members of a negotiating panel whose efforts to reach consensus on possible changes in federal regulations governing accreditation ended in deadlock last week. The group's members reached the necessary "tentative agreement" on just five of the dozen or so issues before it, and seemed far apart on several of the thorniest proposals on the table, including those aimed at requiring colleges to report significantly more information about the learning outcomes of their students and at providing due process to accreditors under review by the federal government. If the panel fails to reach consensus on the entire package of proposed regulatory language, the Education Department can propose virtually anything it wants by way of new regulations.
Matthew Arthur Corwin, the president of the student body at East Los Angeles College, is in jail following his arrest on charges of unlawful sales of assault weapons, unlawful possession of assault weapons and receiving stolen property, the Associated Press reported. Corwin reportedly posted photographs of some unregistered assault weapons on his MySpace Web page.
A panel of the British Parliament has issued a report warning European leaders that parts of the "Bologna Process," through which most European nations are trying to "harmonize" their higher education systems, may be taking away too much autonomy from British universities, The Guardian reported. British educators are particularly concerned that some joint undergraduate-master's programs in the sciences would be considered the equivalent of just a first degree by some European leaders.