Higher Education Quick Takes
Faculty members at Edison State College have voted no confidence, overwhelmingly, in Kenneth Walker, the president, and James Browder, the senior vice president, The Naples Daily News reported. Faculty members have been complaining for some time about the management of the college. Last week, Walker was able to delay a vote of no confidence by promising various reforms, including the reassignment of Browder. A spokeswoman for the college said that "certainly, Dr. Walker and Dr. Browder take it extremely seriously, and Dr. Walker is hearing the message that the faculty is sending."
Bethany University, an Assemblies of God institution in California, is facing severe financial difficulties, The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported. The university has suspended major building projects, and has cut some majors and athletic teams, moves that have led to an enrollment decline from 534 to 448 in the last year.
The top recipient of federal student aid in Virginia is Liberty University, which last year took in $445 million in such funds, largely because of the rapid growth of Liberty's online programs, The News & Advance reported. While Liberty has 12,000 residential students, it now has 52,000 online students. The news has prompted considerable online commentary about the flow of funds to Liberty at a time that conservative lawmakers are trying to cut Pell Grants and other programs. Salon noted that Liberty received more federal funds last year than the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
The College Board has announced that some of those to whom it sends e-mail messages have had those addresses captured by a hacker of its e-mail provider. All of those whose e-mail addresses were captured were sent an e-mail, so those who have not been notified should not be affected. The College Board said that names and e-mail addresses -- but not Social Security numbers (which the College Board doesn't have and so were not in danger of being stolen) -- were captured by the hacker.
College and university governing boards must respect the central role of faculty and academic administrators in curricular and other academic matters, but trustees themselves are ultimately responsible for ensuring their institutions' educational quality, the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges said in a statement released Monday. The document, released in conjunction with the group's annual meeting in Los Angeles, states: "While academic administrators and faculty members are responsible for setting learning goals, developing and offering academic courses and programs, and assessing the quality of those courses and programs, boards cannot delegate away their governance responsibilities for educational quality. The board’s responsibility in this area is to recognize and support faculty’s leadership in continuously improving academic programs and outcomes, while also holding them -- through institutional administrators -- accountable for educational quality."
The American Council of Learned Societies has started a new fellowship program that will place eight recent humanities Ph.D.s in paid positions (with health insurance) for two years in government agencies and nonprofit groups. The effort, funded with a grant from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, is designed "to demonstrate that the capacities developed in the advanced study of the humanities have wide application, both within and beyond the academy."
The Council of Graduate Schools is today releasing a report on steps taken by universities, academic departments and other groups to improve graduate education in the year since the release of the council's study "The Path Forward: The Future of Graduate Education in the United States." The new report suggests that many universities have become more strategic about graduate education in the wake of the earlier report.
The University of Colorado Board of Regents may vote this week on a plan to shut down a free-standing journalism program at the university's Boulder flagship and replace it with "journalism plus" in which students may earn a bachelor's degree in journalism, as long as they also complete another major, The Boulder Daily Camera reported. Colorado's review of journalism education has attracted considerable interest and criticism from some journalism education advocates.
China has restored the University of Calgary to the country's list of accredited universities, a list that many Chinese students rely upon when deciding where to enroll, The Calgary Herald reported. The university disappeared from the list last year, following a visit to the campus by the Dalai Lama.