Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

The Monterey Institute of International Studies, which offers graduate programs, will shift from being affiliated with Middlebury College to becoming a full part of the college on July 1. Middlebury has long been known for its strengths in foreign languages and international studies and officials said they believed having Monterey as a full-fledged part of the college would allow both institutions to improve. Monterey's current board will continue, but will now be appointed by the Middlebury board.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

The Apollo Group on Monday said that its University of Phoenix subsidiary had received a letter signifying the end of the U.S. Education Department's review of its compliance with federal financial aid laws and rules, and that university had "successfully completed the corrective actions and satisfied the obligations arising from the review." Apollo said that the university had paid the government $660,000 in the second quarter of 2010 to resolve some of the claims, and returned roughly another $1.1 million in federal financial aid funds as well.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

Louisiana lawmakers have sent to Gov. Bobby Jindal legislation he had urged that would give public colleges and universities greater flexibility to raise tuitions in exchange for meeting stricter performance goals, The Advocate of Baton Rouge reported. The legislation's chief sponsor, Jim Tucker, the speaker of the House, had wanted to delay implementation of the new authority for colleges to raise tuition until 2012, so that they would have to meet at least one year's worth of performance goals before earning that power. But with the legislative session due to end Monday, Tucker and his House colleagues accepted Senate changes that would allow such increases -- which higher education leaders had argued were needed with the state facing deep budget cuts -- this year.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

Some former students have filed a class action against the Illinois School of Health Careers, a for-profit provider, after they spent eight months completing a program (with federal loans financing their tuition) to become nursing assistants, only to find out that the program wasn't approved for them to receive state certification, the Chicago Tribune reported. Those suing cite materials they received that said that completing the program would allow them to sit for the state exam. The school admitted that some "unauthorized and wrong" information had been given out.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

The Community College of Baltimore County has agreed to pay $50,000 to settle an age discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as a retaliation lawsuit filed by an employee of the college, the EEOC announced Monday. The agency's announcement asserted that it had sued after the two-year institution declined to hire a clerk as an English as a second language instructor, citing her age (60). In addition to the financial payment, the settlement bars the college from "further engaging in any employment practice which discriminates on the basis of age, including failing to hire or promote applicants or employees based on age," the EEOC said. College officials did not respond to requests for comment.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

A review at Northern Virginia Community College has identified some areas of concern in the response to a campus shooter -- who fired but didn't hit anyone -- last fall, The Washington Post reported. Among the findings: The campus police officers who responded didn't have floor plans or master keys to enter various rooms or buildings, and 36 of the 45 security cameras on the campus where the shooting took place were not working.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

Loyola Law School in Los Angles took some grief in the legal blogosphere when blogs noted that it had raised the grade of every student -- retroactively -- by one level (with every B turning into a B+ and so forth), saying that it was just reacting to easier grading standards elsewhere. It turns out that at least 10 law schools have in the last two years made grading standards easier, The New York Times reported. The goal has been to make students more competitive in a tight job market.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

The Wadena campus of Minnesota State Community and Technical College suffered substantial damage from a tornado last week. Officials have vowed to rebuild, but have announced that, for the summer, courses will be relocated.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010 - 3:00am

Colorado College announced Monday that it is shifting its admissions requirements to offer more options for applicants. Instead of facing a choice of the SAT or ACT, applicants may submit any three exams from a choice of SAT and ACT exams (including SAT subject exams), Advanced Placement exams or others. At least one test must be quantitative and one must be verbal or writing. "The new testing policy will allow students greater flexibility in demonstrating their unique strengths and mastery of subjects, while allowing the Admission Committee to remain committed to focusing on both objective and subjective criteria," says a statement from the college.

Monday, June 21, 2010 - 3:00am

A federal trial begins this week on what could be a key legal case for Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The case involves a suit against Quinnipiac University over a move to eliminate its women's volleyball team. The university has denied wrongdoing. The suit charges that the university counts its men's and women's rosters in ways to create a false impression of relative gender equity. One of the issues in contention, as the Associated Press reported, is whether the university can count its "competitive cheer squad" as an athletic team.

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