A federal grand jury is investigating scholarships awarded by a former legislator in Illinois, The Chicago Tribune reported. Under the legislative scholarship program, then-Representative Robert Molaro could award scholarships to anyone in his district. The inquiry relates to issues exposed by the Tribune a year ago, namely that family members of a supporter of Molaro received scholarships with questions about their residency. They signed documents indicating they lived in his district, but public records suggested otherwise.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The Michigan Employment Relations Commission ruled 3-0 on Monday that there was no reason to reverse a 1981 ruling that research assistants are not employees and are thus not entitled to unionize, The Detroit Free Press reported. The ruling was a setback to a drive to unionize those workers. The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted to permit collective bargaining, but groups skeptical of the union asked the commission to block the process. While critics of the union see the commission vote as a major victory, the union says it could still hold an election. The University of Michigan said that it was studying the decision.
The Army is shutting down eArmyU, a major distance education effort of the last 10 years, Army Times reported. More than 64,000 soldiers have participated in the program, though only 1,429 are doing so today. Army officials said that other educational programs -- some of them online -- were filling the need once met by eArmyU.
An article in Bloomberg Businessweek reviews the slow progress of women on the faculties of business schools. Women make up 29 percent of business school faculties, up from 24 percent a decade ago. But most of the growth has been in the junior faculty ranks, and women make up only 18 percent of full professor positions.
The chancellor of North Dakota's university system said he had fired the president of Dickinson State University in the wake of charges that the institution inflated its enrollment statistics, the Associated Press reported. Chancellor William Goetz said that he had delivered a notice of termination to Dickinson State's Richard McCallum after the president failed to respond to a letter Goetz sent him last week urging him to resign. McCallum had told faculty and staff members that he would not resign.
WASHINGTON -- A survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings and the author of a book advocating more gun ownership debated here Monday as part of a conference held by a group that favors broader access to weapons on campuses. The 2011 meeting of Students for Concealed Carry, which fell just just three days after false reports of a gunman at Virginia Tech evoked a mass shooting similar to the one in 2007 that left 33 people dead, including the gunman. Colin Goddard, who survived the Virginia Tech shootings and now works for the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said that preventive measures like strengthening background check laws would be more effective than changing state laws to allow guns on campus, as several states have passed or are considering. John R. Lott Jr., the economist and gun rights advocate who wrote the book More Guns, Less Crime, argued that penalties tacked on for carrying a firearm on-campus or in so-called "gun-free zones" only deter noncriminals from carrying weapons, as most perpetrators of mass shootings either commit suicide or plan to, he said.
A majority of college and university officials responding to a National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators survey said their campuses would be "moderately" or "greatly" affected if administrative cost allowances for federal financial aid were eliminated. The allowances, $5 per student receiving Pell Grants, are used to offset the expenses of administering campus-based financial aid programs, and are used primarily for salaries, office supplies, and training and travel.
The money is considered a possible target for deficit reduction, NASFAA wrote in a summary of the survey's findings. More than 500 institutions responded to the survey, and 31 percent said they would be "greatly affected" if the allowances were eliminated, including more than half of all responding public four-year universities. More than half of the public four-year universities said their financial aid office heavily depends on the funds. "Elimination of the ACA would have a detrimental impact on the financial aid offices that serve our nation’s postsecondary students," the group wrote. "We urge lawmakers to consider its importance and necessity as they make difficult budgetary choices."
In today’s Academic Minute, Richard Young of the State University of New York at Geneseo explains
how modern technology has provided a more accurate history of the Grand Canyon. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.