The winner or winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics will be announced this morning. This item will be updated as soon as information is available.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Three researchers will share the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae." The three are:
- Saul Perlmutter, head of the Supernova Cosmology Project and professor of astrophysics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.
- Brian P. Schmidt, head of the High-z Supernova Search Team and distinguished professor at the Australian National University.
- Adam G. Riess, professor of astronomy and physics at Johns Hopkins University.
Suffolk University is going through an extensive transition following the resignation last year of President David Sargent, who was criticized for being one of the country's most highly paid college presidents. The Boston Globe reported that the university is expected to appoint 12 new members to its board of trustees today, with more trustee changes possible ahead. In addition, the jobs of several top administrators have been eliminated. Some trustees who were close to Sargent are among those leaving the board.
Two top administrators are leaving their positions at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, amid reports of possible conflicts (in one case) with President Shirley Jackson, The Albany Times-Union reported. Jackson has long had a contentious relationship with faculty leaders. Those leaving their positions include Provost Robert Palazzo, who is returning to the faculty, and Laban Coblentz, chief of staff and associate vice president, who left suddenly and with no public explanation. The Times-Union reported that he left because he had criticized Jackson and her administration, and university officials declined to comment.
The Association of American Colleges and Universities is today announcing a new project to work with state systems and individual colleges and universities so that faculty members and state system leaders and assessment experts can test ways to assure that students demonstrate achievement of key competencies. Funds for the program come from the Lumina Foundation for Education, and the project represents a beta test of Lumina's Degree Qualifications Profile.
The state systems in the new effort are in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin and Virginia.
The University of British Columbia has started a campaign to raise $1.5 billion -- more than has been raised in any Canadian university campaign -- by 2015. The university has already raised just over half of that amount in the quiet phase of the campaign. Other Canadian universities are also the midst of major campaigns. McGill University is nearing its goal of $750 million.
Faculty members who staged a one-week strike returned to work Friday at Cincinnati State Community College, The Middletown Journal reported. The union, affiliated with the American Association of University Professors, says that it always planned for a strike of only a week -- not wanting to disrupt students' educations. The main issue dividing the union and the administration is faculty workload.
A proposal to create a center on constitutional law at North Carolina Central University has been withdrawn amid criticism of the source of funds, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. The money would have come from the John William Pope Foundation, which is led by Art Pope, who has spent large sums of money funding conservative organizations and Republican politics. Some faculty and alumni of the university have questioned whether it should take funds from Pope or entities he leads.
The nation's educators must work to improve college completion rates for Latino students if the United States is to remain economically competitive in the world, according to a report released Friday by the College Board. While Latinos make up the fastest growing group of students in the nation, they are behind the national average for college completion by more than half. At present, 19.2 percent of Latinos who enter college complete college, while the national average hovers around 40 percent, according to the report.
Gaston Caperton, president of the College Board, said the report is a "call to action." “Our nation will not become No. 1 again in college completion unless we commit ourselves to giving these students the support they need to achieve their full potential,” Caperton said.
To attain better completion rates for Latino students, the report recommends making voluntary preschool education available to low-income students, improving middle and high school counseling and simplifying the financial aid system, among other things.