An article in Education Week highlights the practice of some big-time university athletics programs recruiting middle school athletes. Recruits can't commit to a university until the fall of senior year, but the article noted the view that those teams that make offers early -- years before one could commit -- may have an edge in the eventual decision. Many high school coaches object to the practice.
Higher Education Quick Takes
A 16-year-old has admitted to taking entry exams under the names of others seeking to get into Piedmont Technical College, in South Carolina, WYFF4 News reported. The youth was paid $150 per test. In addition, authorities said that they believed a proctor had been helping students pass entry exams so they could become eligible for Pell Grants. The proctor was fired last year. The college asked federal officials to investigate at that time, having found what it considered irregularities in its use of Pell Grants.
- Ehren Bucholtz, assistant professor at St. Louis College of Pharmacy, has been promoted to associate professor of organic chemistry there.
- Richard Forrest, vice president for international business development and product strategy at Ellucian, Inc., has been named senior vice president of sales and marketing at Jadu, Inc.
- Wanda S. Mitchell, vice provost for faculty development and inclusive excellence at the University of New Hampshire, has been chosen as vice president for diversity and equity at Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Kathryn Plank, associate director of the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching and associate professor in the School of Educational Policy and Leadership at Ohio State University, has been appointed as director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at Otterbein University, also in Ohio.
- Kenneth Ryalls, vice president for academic affairs at Nebraska Methodist College, has been selected as president of the IDEA Center, in Kansas.
Andrew Stringer, senior vice president of human resources at Pegasus Solutions, has been named vice president of human resources at Thunderbird School of Management, in Arizona.
Urban College, a two-year institution in Boston that serves low-income and immigrant women, will stay open for the fall, The Boston Globe reported. The college had been on the verge of closing, but has received enough donations to assure operations for the fall semester, while efforts continue to place the institution on a more stable financial footing.
South Korean universities are enrolling increasing numbers of students from Hong Kong, Singapore, France and elsewhere this summer, Asia News Network reported. The students are attracted both by educational opportunities and interest in Korean pop culture.
Three faculty members at the University of the District of Columbia obtained Ph.D.s from what critics call a diploma mill -- an unaccredited institution that requires relatively little work to earn a degree -- according to Fox News. The professors, in the university’s criminal justice department, received the degrees from Commonwealth Open University, which is registered in the British Virgin Islands and claims to be accredited by the Wiener School for Advanced Studies on Global Education and Distance Learning.
The university is not recognized by a recognized accrediting agency in the United States or Britain, and it is not recognized by the Department of Education to receive federal financial aid, either.
Alan Etter, vice president of university relations and public affairs at the University of D.C., wrote in an e-mail to Inside Higher Ed that the university is looking into the legitimacy of Commonwealth Open University and the professors’ relationships with it, and administrators want to understand the questions surrounding the professors' degrees before making any judgments.
“The professors in question are all productive, have good histories and are committed to student achievement,” he wrote, adding that the university considers more than academic credentials when hiring faculty.
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Friday that an ordinance of Michigan State University -- which states that "no person shall disrupt the normal activity" of a university employee -- is unconstitutional because it is too broad, The Detroit Free Press reported. The case started with a challenge by a student who was cited for violating the ordinance after a nonviolent dispute with an employee charged with enforcing parking rules. The state's high court ruled that the ordinance was so broad that it covers constitutionally protected speech.
The biggest factor in setting the pay levels of for-profit CEOs is corporate profitability, according to the preliminary findings of an investigation by Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Maryland Democrat. Cummings examined the compensation of executives at 13 publicly traded for-profits, asking for documentation on whether the companies linked executive pay to the performance of students. Only three companies provided specific references to how they weigh student achievement in setting compensation, according to a statement from Cummings.
The University of Oxford, responding to concerns about equity for transgender students, has dropped the dress code that has been in place for students at some formal academic events, BBC News reported. The current rules, which will end August 4, require male students to wear a dark suit, black shoes and a white bow tie and a plain white shirt and collar under their black gowns. Women must wear a dark skirt or trousers and a white blouse. The rules were criticized as forcing transgender students into traditional gender roles.