The number of community college students who transferred to University of Texas System campuses rose by 11.3 percent from 2008 to 2009, a spike that officials attributed to a set of new programs and policies the system has implemented in recent years. The comparable increase from 2007 to 2008 was 1 percent, UT officials said.
Higher Education Quick Takes
A national survey of college students has found them to be worried about job prospects, but maintaining strong levels of support for President Obama. The survey was conducted by the Panetta Institute for Public Policy, at California State University at Monterey Bay. Only 64 percent of the students are confident in their ability to find good jobs -- a record low level. While President Obama's approval ratings have fallen among students and the public, they remain quite high among students: 66 percent, compared to about half of all Americans.
Michael Hogan, president of the University of Connecticut, was named Tuesday as the next president of the University of Illinois system. Prior to going to UConn in 2007, Hogan held senior positions at Ohio State University and the University of Iowa. Hogan replaces B. Joseph White, who resigned as Illinois's president last year amid a scandal over admissions preferences for the politically connected.
Arizona State University has lost about 15 to 20 faculty job applicants since the passage of an immigration law that is widely viewed as encouraging ethnic and racial profiling, The Arizona Republic reported. Michael Crow, president of the university and a critic of the law, cited the figures in an interview. He also said that the university has received calls from officials "all over the world asking if it's still safe to send students," he said. "We say everything will be fine."
The University of Wisconsin at Madison has barred Gary Splitter, a tenured professor who studies an infectious disease, from his laboratory for five years because of unauthorized experiments with a potentially dangerous, drug-resistant germ, The Wisconsin State Journal reported. Such punishments are extremely rare. Splitter said he had not been aware of the experiments, and that they were conducted by graduate students in his lab whom the university failed to train on safety issues. "The University of Wisconsin failed to provide the right education," Splitter said. "The bottom line is that this wasn't just an investigation of one individual. It was a major meltdown by the university."
Under a plan pushed by Gov. David Paterson, most state employees -- including faculty members at the four-year campuses of the City University of New York and the State University of New York -- will be furloughed for one day next week. The furloughs apply only to state employees, which exempts community college faculty members, who are considered local employees. The university systems say that they will try to carry out the furloughs in ways that are least disruptive, which may be particularly challenging given that they will take place at the end of the academic year. The City University of New York scheduled its furloughs for Friday, May 21, but also said that any faculty members with teaching or proctoring duties on that day should be furloughed on another day that week.
It's the time of year -- after one class has been admitted and before the next year's cycle is fully under way -- that colleges tend to announce they are ending standardized testing requirements. And Southern New Hampshire University has just done so -- becoming the second institution this month in in the state to make such a shift.
John T. Casteen III, president of the University of Virginia, met with Gov. Bob McDonnell Tuesday to urge reforms in state law so colleges would be informed of the off-campus arrests of their students, The Charlottesville Daily Progress reported. Casteen noted that the university was never informed of an incident in which the student who is facing murder charges in the death of another student this month was arrested in 2008 and allegedly threatened a police officer. “Information of that kind would have lit up our system,” Casteen said. “Students who do those sorts of things would find themselves suspended immediately … In any event, I would like to know if one of my students threatened to kill a police officer.”
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has vetoed a scholarship reform bill, arguing that it does not go far enough, the Chicago Tribune reported. The legislation concerns scholarships that legislators are allowed to award the scholarships to whomever they want in their district -- and critics have noted for years that these scholarships frequently go to the relatives of political contributors. The legislation that the governor vetoed would have banned the awarding of scholarships to anyone whose family could be linked to a contribution in the previous five years, but Quinn said that was not enough. "A scholarship program that is not based on need or merit, I don't think is a proper thing for our state. That's why I vetoed this bill and urged the legislature to abolish this program," he said.
John McHugh, secretary of the Army, has withdrawn as commencement speaker at the State University of New York at Oswego, telling officials there that "it is clear my presence at the ceremony might well have a disruptive effect." Some students planned to wear buttons and others to engage in potentially louder protests of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. The university stood by the invitation, amid criticism of some on campus. “Civic responsibility is demonstrated as much in free expression as it is in listening to different views on important subjects,” said Deborah F. Stanley, the president. She added that she “regretted missing a chance to see our free society in meaningful and educational exchange.”