Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 3:00am

Nizhny Novgorod State University this week fired an American vice rector, Kendrick White, shortly after a pro-Kremlin television show questioned why an American would have a senior position, the Associated Press reported. The television show criticized White for, among other things, hanging up portraits of American scientists. The rector, Yevgeny Chuprunov, asked about White's dismissal, said "such are the times now."


Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 3:00am

A report from the European University Association released on Wednesday analyzes the impacts of performance-based funding systems in which universities are rewarded for producing certain outputs included in funding formulas or meeting targets agreed upon in performance contracts. The report finds that performance-based university funding can increase transparency and accountability in public spending and can support the strategic positioning of universities. But it also finds that "its effects are hard to control and are highly dependent on other factors such as the regulatory framework of a specific higher education system, the funding system and the share of funding allocated on the basis of performance as well as the institutional profile, income structure and internal management and governance." The report also warns of unintended adverse effects of performance funding tied to teaching or research-related outputs, such as the risk of professors "slicing" their research into multiple papers to boost their publication numbers. 


Thursday, July 2, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Keith Clay, biologist at Indiana University, details the increasing presence of these insects. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 3:00am

Mark Emmert, president of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, took home $1.8 million in compensation in 2013, USA Today reported. Emmert's compensation included $1.37 million in base pay, up 8 percent from the year before, plus a mix of deferred and other reportable compensation, according to the newspaper's review of the NCAA's federal tax form.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 4:17am

A national study released today finds that 70 percent of college students are stressed over their finances. The study, conducted by Ohio State University researchers, used a sample of students at 52 institutions, including two- and four-year, public and private colleges. Nearly 60 percent of students said that they worry about paying for college, while more than half worry about paying living expenses. Despite the stress, more than three-quarters of students said that they believed college was a good investment.



Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 3:00am

The nonprofit Center for Investigative Reporting this week published an article alleging that the University of Phoenix “sidesteps” an executive order by the White House that seeks to prevent for-profit colleges from paying for preferential recruiting of students who are recipients of the Post-9/11 GI Bill. The article said Phoenix has paid the U.S. military $250,000 over the last three years to sponsor 89 recruiting events, including concerts, a chocolate festival and a fashion show.

Officials with the Apollo Education Group, which owns Phoenix, said the center portrayed the university unfairly. In a written statement, the company said it supports and has "devoted significant resources to ensure compliance" with the executive order. It also defended its outreach to veterans, saying the "work of the university and Hiring our Heroes, including its presentations, stand above reproach and should serve as an example of exactly the type of information and services our nation’s war heroes need as they transition into the civilian workforce." 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 3:00am

Physics Ph.D.s who don't pursue academic careers are doing quite well, according to a study released Tuesday by the American Institute of Physics. Tracking physicists who are at least 10 years postdoctorate, the study found that they feel well compensated and intellectually engaged and are using their science knowledge.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 4:26am

Two top Chinese universities -- Peking University and Tsinghua University -- have been taking to social media, each accusing the other of unfair tactics in attracting top students, The Wall Street Journal reported. Each accused the other of using money to lure students with top test scores to attend. The Education Ministry responded by calling on colleges to maintain an orderly admissions process and not to use large scholarships to “maliciously carry off students.”

Wednesday, July 1, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Hal Haggard, a physicist at Bard College, describes the life cycle of black holes. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015 - 3:00am

Apollo Education Group, the publicly traded company that owns the University of Phoenix, announced continued enrollment and revenue declines in its third-quarter corporate filing, which Apollo released Monday

Phoenix saw its revenue decrease $379.3 million, or 18.8 percent, during the nine-month period that ended May 31. The university's enrollment of degree-seeking students declined to 206,900 students by the end of May, a nearly 15-percent dip from the same time last year. 

In the filing, Apollo also said it was laying off approximately 600 employees, "most of whom were enrollment counselors," as part of measures to reduce costs and to streamline services.


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