Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

Many colleges are relying on deception to inflate the rosters of women's teams to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, The New York Times reported. Colleges add women to teams even if the women never play or, in some cases, even realize they are on the team, recruit some women by telling them they need not attend practice, and list male "practice players" (who participate in practices) as members of women's squads, the Times reported. Colleges have found it less expensive to create women's slots through increasing the number of alleged athletes on existing teams than to create new teams -- and need to add to their women's totals because the institutions do not want to cut football.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

Authorities arrested seven students at Emory University Monday night, following a series of sit-ins, Fox Atlanta News reported. The students are protesting Emory's dealings with a food service provider.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

The for-profit higher education industry spent $8.1 million on lobbying activities in 2010, up from $3.3 million the year before, according to an analysis by The Huffington Post of data from the Center for Responsive Politics. The Huffington Post emphasized the sharp increase in such spending at a time of proposals to increase regulation of for-profit colleges. But Harris Miller, president of the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, said that the lobbying was "not unique in any sense, any more than it is for traditional higher education lobbying to get earmarks for their schools, or Boeing or defense contractors using their money to promote an agenda, which is to win a contract of the U.S. government."

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

Sometimes slow and steady is the way to get to graduation. Iowa State University has announced that one of its graduates this year -- Kathy Vitzthum -- will be finishing her bachelor's degree in accounting after taking one course a semester, for 19 years. She will graduate summa cum laude, having managed to finish her degree while also balancing family and job responsibilities.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

The Law School Admission Council announced Monday that it has agreed to make changes on its website that will make it all accessible to blind users, and that these changes are part of a settlement of a lawsuit against the council by the National Federation of the Blind. While much of the law school group's website was already accessible through various screen-reading technologies, the portion used for law school applications was not accessible, leading to the suit.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

Some University of Minnesota faculty members are criticizing the institution for a request that the faculty committee that reviews academic freedom issues consider the question of "factually incorrect" attacks by faculty members on one another. While the university has portrayed the question as legitimate, faculty critics -- as outlined in this op-ed in The Star Tribune -- see the question as one that will intimidate faculty members from raising tough questions, such as those in a recent request for more reviews of a clinical trial.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Union Graduate College's Robert Baker explores the need for pharmaceutical companies to seek input from independent ethics panels as part of the drug development process. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011 - 3:00am

A rally is planned for today at Trinity College in Connecticut following the third racial incident this semester and growing frustration by many minority students, The Hartford Courant reported. In the most recent incident, a minority student reported the use of a slur by a white student who is reported to have thrown a beer at the minority student's car.

Monday, April 25, 2011 - 3:00am

Black athletes are charging that Brigham Young University is tougher in enforcing its honor code on them than on other athletes or on other students, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. Many of the athletes accuse the university of using a "bait and switch" approach to recruiting, telling them that Brigham Young is like any other college, and then enforcing an honor code that bars premarital sex, drinking and other activities that would be standard for most college students. The university says that it enforces the honor code without regard to race.

An analysis in Deadspin found that since 1993, at least 70 athletes have been suspended, dismissed or put on probation because of honor code violations. Just under 60 percent of those punished have been black men (a figure that may be low because the race of some of those punished could not be identified). The article in Deadspin, comparing the 60 percent figure to the total minority share of athletes at Brigham Young (23 percent) and of black people in the student body (0.6 percent), argues that "something is amiss."

Monday, April 25, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Denise McKahn of Smith College outlines the challenges colleges and universities face when attempting to achieve carbon neutrality. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

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