Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, July 26, 2010 - 3:00am

Centenary College, in New Jersey, is closing business programs it operates in Beijing, Shanghai and Taiwan after finding rampant cheating among students there, The Star-Ledger reported. The college is also withholding degrees from 400 students at the programs -- giving them the choice of taking an exam to qualify for their degrees or receiving tuition refunds.

Friday, July 23, 2010 - 3:00am

One of the incidents that will lead to a trial by a U.S. House of Representatives panel of Rep. Charles B. Rangel involves a gift to a college, The New York Times reported. Specifically, Rangel is accused of maintaining a lucrative tax break that helped an oil executive in return for a pledge of $1 million to a center named for Rangel at City College of the City University of New York. Rangel has denied wrondoing.

Friday, July 23, 2010 - 3:00am

Sodexo has agreed to pay $20 million to settle issues raised by an investigation by Andrew M. Cuomo, New York State's attorney general, into allegations that the company overcharged the State University of New York System and 21 school districts in the state. The dispute involves a pledge by the company to provide goods at cost -- a pledge that the state says the company violated by failing to acknowledge significant rebates from suppliers.

Friday, July 23, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of California at San Diego has announced that it has authorized 33 new faculty searches for 2010-11 -- and that 12 of the searches will be focused on hires who will "contribute to diversity, equity and climate of inclusion at UC San Diego." An additional 7 slots beyond the 33 will be available for "opportunities that emerge throughout the year," with a focus there on diversity and inclusiveness as well. The move follows a year in which the university faced several racial incidents and debates over its climate.

Friday, July 23, 2010 - 3:00am

University of Colorado at Boulder announced Thursday that all study abroad programs in Mexico have been suspended for summer and fall due to continuing safety concerns. Boulder sponsors programs in Mexico in Guadalajara, Guanajuato, Oaxaca and Monterrey. The university's office of international education will work with students planning to go to Mexico this fall to find alternate locations for a study abroad experience.

Friday, July 23, 2010 - 3:00am

The San Jose/Evergreen Community College District has agreed to pay $100,000 to June Sheldon, who lost her job as an adjunct biology instructor after students complained about her answer to a question about homosexuality and genetics. Some students accused her of making anti-gay statements, while she said she had provided factual answers that were not accurately described. Under the settlement, the district maintains it did nothing wrong, but it also will remove references to Sheldon having been dismissed from her file.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 3:00am

Law schools are more likely to hire liberal professors than conservatives, but openings at top law schools are not restricted to those left of center, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California at Berkeley, National Law Journal reported. The study was based on analysis of 149 entry-level, tenure-track hires made during 2005, 2007 and 2009. Ideology was assigned based on political donations, Facebook profiles, work experience, publications and the political party of presidents who appointed judges for whom the professors clerked, the National Law Journal said. No ideological identity could be determined for 60 percent of the sample, but for those who could be pegged, 52 were liberal and 8 were conservative.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 3:00am

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has attracted widespread attention for its emphasis on college completion (as opposed to access alone). A report being released today by Grantmakers for Education argues that there is a widespread shift toward completion efforts by education philanthropies.

Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 3:00am

Duke University has suspended the enrollment of new patients in three clinical trials that depend in part on work by a scientist at the university who may have falsely claimed to have been a Rhodes scholar, The News & Observer reported. Duke has placed the scientist, Anil Potti, on administrative leave. (This item has been corrected from an earlier version.)

Thursday, July 22, 2010 - 3:00am

The Government Accountability Office released a report Wednesday detailing ways for the Department of Education's Office of Federal Student Aid to improve its oversight of lenders and third-party servicers involved in the Federal Family Education Loan Program.

The report urged the department's inspector general to update its FFEL Lender Audit Guide to reflect standards put into place since the guide was last published in 1996. (In a response, Kathleen Tighe, the inspector general, said that a new guide will be out by the end of the year.) It also called for the department to address identified gaps in the policies and procedures used in Federal Student Aid's review of audited financial statements for lender servicers involved in the FFEL program. Those issues, the department said, could be remedied in part by revisions to the guide.

GAO found fewer concerns in the Direct Loan program, but urged the department to step up its oversight as the program grows.

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