Quick Takes: Anonymous Tips at Ohio State, Spellings Objects to Budget Legislation, Payroll Problems at Arizona State, Regent U.'s Shrinking Endowment, Worldwide Effort for Gifted Youth, Growth of Private Financing, Debating a Name
Submitted by Scott Jaschik on August 7, 2007 - 4:00am
Ohio State University is reporting success with an anonymous tip line for employees or others to report wrongdoing, The Columbus Dispatch reported. Wrongdoing -- some of it serious -- was found in 19 cases. Another 107 tips that were investigated either could not be substantiated or turned out not to involve violations of the law or university rules.
In a letter to members of Congress Friday, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings laid out a long list of objections by the Bush administration to House and Senate budget reconciliation legislation that would cut billions of dollars in subsidies to lenders and put most of the savings toward increased student aid. In the statement, Spellings was especially critical of the House legislation for directing too little of the bill's savingstoward low-income students who are currently in college, and too much toward untested new programs and a plan to cut the interest rate on student loans for borrowers after they leave school. The letter also panned the Senate bill's plan to cut federal subsidies for for-profit student loan providers more than for nonprofit ones, which Spellings argues would "give for-profit lenders a powerful financial incentive to find legal loopholes to receive the higher subsidy." Spellings also objects to provisions in the Senate legislation to renew the Higher Education Act that would "restrict the secretary's regulatory authority," including by limiting her ability to promulgate new rules on accreditation and the reporting of student learning outcomes.
Hundreds of employees at Arizona State University received paychecks that were smaller than they should have been last month, The East Valley Tribune reported. Some checks were for half the normal amount and some were for nothing. Officials told the newspaper that the problems were caused by a glitch in an overhaul of the payroll software system and would be fixed.
Regent University, which was founded by Pat Robertson in 1978 and had its endowment created by a $100 million gift from Robertson's Christian Broadcasting Network, has been struggling with deficits and using its endowment to balance budgets, The Virginian-Pilot reported. The endowment is currently valued at $277.6 million, down from $366.4 million in 2000. University officials said that they hoped to improve their financial situation through fund raising and substantial enrollment increases.
The University of Warwick, in Britain, has announced the creation of the International Gateway for Gifted Youth, to be known by the acronym IGGY. The program will be open to 11-19 year olds around the world, identified by grades and other measures as being in the to 5 percent of all students. IGGY will create online forums to link these students together, while also creating places for the students to meet in person, starting with a gathering in Britain and one in an Asian country yet to be selected. Other universities and nonprofit groups, from numerous countries. are expected to be involved in the effort over time.
Private financing is playing an increasing role in higher education around the world, according to a new report from the Institute for Higher Education Policy. While private financing has long played a significant role in the United States, it is a relatively new development in much of the rest of the world. The report outlines some of the recent trends and offers suggestions for research.
It's not every office name change that sets off a national debate, but the University of Michigan's Office of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Affairs has done just that with its recent announcement that it was starting a lengthy and multi-staged process of rethinking its name. Among those far from Ann Arbor who have weighed in: Dan Savage, the sex advice columnist, who fears that "process queens are running amuck;" Andrew Sullivan, the neocon columnist, who says he supports campus gay groups but "the p.c. crapola gets you down;" The Bilerico Project, which thinks the critics are missing the point of inclusiveness; and the higher ed blog of the National Review, which in an uncharacteristic move agreed with Dan Savage, while warning readers that the language and advertising on his site might be "colorful." The Michigan office is pleased with all the discussion, and states on its own blog about the name change, What's in a Name?, that this is "exactly the type of dialogue that we are trying to incite/encourage/foster."