Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

A recent high school graduate in a college preparatory program at the University of Cincinnati died Saturday of cardiac arrest shortly after a police officer used a Taser on him, Cincinnati.com reported. The student had been planning to enroll at the University of the Cumberlands. Police officers reported that they were called to a dormitory at 3 a.m. about a reported assault, and then the student approached them more than once, appearing angry and with balled fists, ignoring requests that he stop doing so. He was then fired on with the Taser, and police examined him and found him breathing, but they were concerned for his health, and called paramedics. He subsequently died. The university is investigating the incident and has suspended the use of Tasers. Previous uses of Tasers on other campuses have set off controversies.

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Richard McCallum, president of Dickinson State University, is resisting requests from the North Dakota University System that he resign, The Dickinson Press reported. McCallum is under fire because of an investigation indicating that some of those listed as enrolled at the university are not actually students. In a statement issued Saturday, he said he would not resign and has retained a lawyer.

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

McGill University has formally reprimanded Barbara Sherwin, a professor of psychology, obstetrics and gynecology, for not revealing that a ghostwriter contributed to an article she published in 2000, The Montreal Gazette reported. The ghostwriter was hired by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Sherwin was listed as the paper's only author. Sherwin is continuing her work at McGill. After the use of the ghostwriter was revealed, she issued a statement in which she said it was "an error" to fail to make clear there was a second author on the paper, but she added that she believed the peer-reviewed article "represented sound and thorough scholarship, and in no way could be construed as promotion for any particular product or company."

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The senior college commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has warned La Sierra University that it could face accreditation sanctions because of concerns that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has too much control over the institution, The Press-Enterprise reported. University officials say that they have discussed the warning, and are taking it seriously. La Sierra has faced scrutiny from the accreditor and some of its own students and faculty members over debates over the teaching of evolution (questioned by the church), and an incident in which a trustee, a vice president, a dean, and an adjunct professor were asked to resign over a recording made, purportedly by accident, of the four men talking informally about the church and university leadership.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The boards of three Assemblies of God institutions in Springfield, Missouri have voted to merge. If the merger receives final approval from church and state officials as expected, officials hope for economies of scale. The colleges are Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Central Bible College and Evangel University.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

More than half of English universities are projecting enrollment declines in light of the significant increases in tuition this year, according to data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Times Higher Education reported. Total enrollment is expected to decline by 2 percent.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The chancellor of the North Dakota University system has asked the president of Dickinson State University, Richard McCallum, to resign after an inquiry found about 180 people listed as enrolled at the institution even though they were not enrolled, The Dickinson Press reported. The investigation started after people complained about receiving surveys for Dickinson State students when they were not enrolled. McCallum did not respond to requests for comment.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

Corn grown on the farm of California State University at Fresno has become incredibly popular, with people lining up for hours to make purchases, The Los Angeles Times reported. The university expects to sell 1 million ears.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management on Thursday proposed regulations for the Pathways Program, which is designed to create simpler paths for students and recent college graduates to seek internships and positions with federal agencies. Politicians and educators have been pushing for the new program, saying that standard federal hiring process is so daunting that it can discourage many students.

The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration issued a statement Thursday praising OPM for moving ahead with the program. The statement stressed the importance of "the full inclusion of highly skilled graduate students in the Internship and Recent Graduates programs, letting market demand set the programs’ size." The statement added that "what will truly make or break the success of Pathways is its implementation. NASPAA urges federal agencies to begin planning substantive programs that will attract, recruit, develop, and retain students and recent graduates to become future agency leaders. We urge OPM to use its resources to support agencies throughout this process, but to exert its oversight where necessary."

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The bookstore at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville has stopped selling mints that poke fun at President Obama, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The mints feature an image similar to Obama's '08 campaign posters, with the tag line: "This is change? Disappoint/Mints." The mints were pulled from sale after State Representative Joe Armstrong complained about them. While Armstrong is a Democrat, he said he would have complained about mints mocking Republicans too. He told the News Sentinel that there were no First Amendment issues at play. "With a book or something of that nature, then fine, but that [the mints] is sort of a discretionary product they have," Armstrong said. "It wasn't viewpoint neutral. Very specifically insulting to the president."

Others disagree about the free speech issues. Glenn Reynolds, a law professor at the university, said: "Let me make very clear, there is no candy exception to the First Amendment," he said. "Free speech is free speech. If you make fun of the president in a mint, it is just as much free speech as it is if you make fun of the president in a political cartoon."

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