Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 7, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Michael Inzlicht, associate professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, discusses his studies of self-control and how he is helping to debunk a popular theory regarding the now widely studied topic. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

April 7, 2014

Two students linked to an Adderall distribution ring at Bowdoin College have left the institution, The Bangor Daily News reported. College officials confirmed their departure but declined to comment on reports that 10 other students were involved and were disciplined in ways that did not result in their leaving the college.

 

April 7, 2014

Many community college leaders were angered -- and many walked out -- at Saturday's opening session of the annual meeting of the American Association of Community Colleges when a comedian's performance offended them.

The performance, by an impersonator of President Clinton who was not introduced by name or identified in the program, featured jokes about Monica Lewinsky and digs at Hillary Clinton that many said were sexist and inappropriate at a time that she appears to be getting ready to run for president (and has consistently expressed support for community colleges and their mission).

Other attendees were most angered by a part of the skit in which the fake Bill Clinton discussed how political life changes people, showing images of George Washington at various stages in his life, ending with a photo he said was of Washington at his death, illustrating the dead president with a photo of Barbara Bush. Many presidents said that they weren't angry so much at the comic (who has apparently been doing his routine since jokes about the Clinton's use of White House bedrooms for donors reflected current events) but at the AACC itself.

Community college presidents, all seeking anonymity because they said they didn't want to offend association leaders, asked if the comic had been vetted, and why AACC leaders didn't say anything after a performance that visibly upset so many people. The fake Clinton followed a very well received speech by Jim Collins, author of Good to Great. A frequent comment heard at the meeting was that after Collins inspired them, the comic's performance degraded them.

A spokeswoman for the AACC, asked if the association planned to apologize or say anything, said that no statement was planned.

April 7, 2014

Emmanuel College has announced that it will no longer require the SAT or ACT of applicants for admission. "This test-optional policy reinforces the college's commitment to understand a student's overall academic experience, regardless of performance on a single test," said a statement from the college. "In addition, it encourages all students who have achieved success in high school to consider Emmanuel."

April 7, 2014

Occidental College has settled a complaint by students who say they were sexually harassed by the longtime athletic trainer at the college, The Los Angeles Times reported. The trainer, who could not be reached for comment, left the college last year. The agreement between Occidental and the students is confidential. But the complaint said that the trainer touched male students' groins inappropriately, and that they were not aware that the trainer has been required to attend sexual harassment training following an earlier complaint of inappropriate behavior.

 

April 7, 2014

The North-American Interfraternity Conference will commission three panels to study and recommend solutions to the issues of alcohol abuse, hazing and sexual assault. The conference said Sunday that the panels will include "8-12 members from higher education, public policy, public health, research, law and other sectors." The panels are charged with suggesting policies, programs and standards "to help eradicate these detrimental behaviors" among fraternities.

April 7, 2014

With a threat by the faculty union at Portland State University to strike on April 16 looming, the union and administration reached a deal on a new contract on Sunday, ending months of highly contentious negotiations. A press release from the union -- part of the American Association of University Professors -- said that deal provides raises for all professors and key advances for full-time, non-tenure-track professors. According to the AAUP, the contract will create a path for long-term contracts for 80 percent of full-time, non-tenure-track faculty members, up from the present 45 percent. And these long-term contracts will be available after four years, not the current six years. The Oregonian characterized the raises in the deal as more "than the administration had said it could possibly afford, but substantially less than the union had sought." A statement from the university quoted President Wim Wiewel as calling the deal "fiscally responsible."

 

April 7, 2014

The American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) on Sunday released a report of suggestions for how two-year institutions can improve completion rates, better work with employers and be more accountable. The guide is linked to a 2012 report from the association that called for substantial changes in how the sector operates. Over the weekend the association kicked off its annual meeting in Washington, D.C., which continues until Tuesday.

April 7, 2014

Students, alumni and others are rallying behind Patricia Prechter, whom they say was ousted unfairly as head of the nursing program at Our Lady of the Holy Cross College, in Louisiana. The college says simply that she resigned. But The Times-Picayune reported on email messages between Prechter, who had also been serving as provost, and President Ronald Ambrosetti. In the emails, Prechter says that she was trying to resign as provost to focus more of her attention on the nursing program. She said she had long worked in the nursing program and took on the provost's job in 2011 at the request of the nuns who run the college. She said she could no longer do two full-time jobs and so was giving up the provost's position. But the president said that in leaving that job, she was resigning from all employment.

An online petition seeking her reinstatement at the nursing program says in part: "Dr. Prechter is also the heart and soul of the OLHCC community. She maintains an 'open door' policy that allows students to approach her with their needs as they arise. She is a student advocate for not only the students in the nursing department, but also for students throughout the OLHCC community."

 

April 7, 2014

Applications were down about 20 percent at Cooper Union this year, as the institution prepared to start charging tuition to undergraduates under a controversial shift in its financial strategy. A statement from the university said that the drop was expected. Cooper Union admitted more students this year than in the past, assuming that its yield (the percentage of accepted applicants who enroll) will drop from 50 to 45 percent. Officials said that they believed the quality of the class was comparable to the quality in previous years.

 

Pages

Back to Top