Mark G. Yudof, president of the University of California, said Wednesday that he would like to see all of the University of California campuses adopt "holistic" review of applicants, the Los Angeles Times reported. Under holistic review, personal characteristics -- such as overcoming poverty -- are considered, in addition to more traditional measures such as grades and test scores. Currently the broader review is used at the system's Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses, but Yudof said he hoped all of the campuses would adopt it. His comments came as system leaders apologized for a series of racial incidents at the San Diego and other campuses. At San Diego, only 1.6 percent of students are black.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The University of Cincinnati largely shut down in the wake of the Kent State University killings in 1970, and when many students left the area, they missed out on their graduation ceremony. Now, the Associated Press reported, the university is welcoming back to campus those who missed the graduation and offering a special ceremony for them prior to this year's graduation.
The legislation that Congress passed last winter to stimulate the economy ratcheted up federal spending on research and development in the 2009 fiscal year, the National Science Foundation said in a report Wednesday. The NSF said that total federal R&D spending rose by 12.2 percent in 2009, to $157 billion from $140 billion in 2008. Virtually all of the increase came in non-defense spending, with most of the gain coming in health-related research and in general science research.
The Kansas House of Representatives voted Wednesday to allow anyone in the state with a license to carry a concealed weapon to bring the weapon on campuses, KCTV News reported. The measure, which now moves to the Senate, has been opposed by higher education leaders, who say it would make campuses more dangerous and that they should be allowed to continue to ban concealed weapons.
The University of South Carolina could soon lose its only black board member, and with black legislators unhappy about the prospect, they are warning black football recruits to reconsider enrolling, The Associated Press reported. "We are asking young athletes to be aware ... there are folks in this state who say it's fine to play ball but not be on the governing board," the chair of the Legislative Black Caucus told the AP. Steve Spurrier, the football coach, declined to talk about the controversy.
Shaw University has received a $31 million loan to help stabilize its finances, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. While the loan is welcome news for supporters of the historically black college, the institution is facing questions from alumni about whether board members are giving enough money or are making good on past pledges.
Some faculty members at Canada's University of Regina are objecting to a scholarship program -- being embraced by most colleges in the country -- for the children of dead soldiers, CBC News reported. Faculty critics say that they don't object to helping these students, but singling them out -- when there are others whose parents have died or who face hardships -- glorifies war.
Harvard University's secretive seven-member governing board is reviewing its functioning, Bloomberg reported. While few details about the review are known, it is being welcomed by critics of a system that is seen as lacking in accountability or transparency. The Harvard Corporation, created in 1650, is the oldest incorporated body in the United States.
Adam Habib of the University of Johannesburg and Tariq Ramadan of the University of Oxford University are about to once again travel to the United States to participate in academic meetings. Both scholars were denied visas during the Bush administration, but those restrictions were ordered lifted by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in January. Habib will arrive this week and participate in several university visits, including a discussion of ideological exclusion on March 31 at Harvard Law School. Ramadan, who will arrive in April, will participate in several events, including a panel discussion in New York City on April 8 entitled “Secularism, Islam & Democracy: Muslims in Europe and the West,” co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union, the American Association of University Professors, PEN American Center and Slate.
Organizers of a talk by Ann Coulter at the University of Ottawa said that a "threatening" crowd of 2,000 student protesters forced her to call off a talk Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported. Those who organized the protest said she engaged in hate speech and questioned why she was invited to the university. The conservatives who brought her to campus said that the protest was squelching free speech. On Monday, Coulter spoke at the University of Western Ontario, and she told a Muslim student that rather than traveling via a flying carpet, he should "take a camel."