Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 3:00am

Robert L. Bogomolny, president of the University of Baltimore, on Monday issued a memo in which he disputed the claims of Phillip Closius, who was ousted last week as law dean, The Baltimore Sun reported. Closius attracted considerable attention when he told law school colleagues that the university was taking tuition money from the law school to support other parts of the university. Bogomolny denied that charge and said that the fight over finances was not the reason for the dean's departure. Bogomolny said he had met with alumni and faculty members and that "the overwhelming conclusion was that a change in leadership was in the best interests" of the law school and the university.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011 - 3:00am

Delinquency rates on student loans have not improved as the economy has stabilized in recent years, as have the rates for other kinds of consumer loans, raising the prospect that significant numbers of student loan borrowers will be unable to repay their loans in the coming years, Moody's Investors Service says in a new report assessing the stability of the student loan market. The report notes that the student loan market expanded during the last part of the 2000s, in contrast to mortgages and other kinds of borrowing that was significant tightened during the economic downturn. But while delinquency rates on those housing and car loans that were issued after the worst of the downturn have improved, those for student loans have flattened, Moody's says. "Unless students limit their debt burdens, choose fields of study that are in demand, and successfully complete their degrees on time, they will find themselves in worse financial positions and unable to earn the projected income that justified taking out their loans in the first place."

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Jordan's King Abdullah on Sunday pledged increased financial support for the country's universities and for scholarships for low-income students, The Jordan Times reported. The king also called on the universities to increase their focus on science and technology and to seek "untraditional ways" to improve their finances.

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

In today;s Academic Minute, Michael Palladino of Monmouth University explains efforts to create
affordable personalized genomes to guide medical care. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Adam & Eve, which describes itself as "America's most trusted source for adult products," on Friday announced that it was providing funds to the University of Minnesota Medical School to establish an endowed chair -- believed to be the first of its kind -- in sexual health education. The chair will be named for Joycelyn Elders, who was surgeon general during the Clinton administration until her frank discussion of sex cost her the position.

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Many higher education officials talk about how alumni will react to the firing of popular coach. The Raleigh News & Observer used last week's firing of Butch Davis, the football coach at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, to find out. The newspaper filed an open records request for the e-mail of Chancellor Holden Thorp before and after the dismissal of Davis (whose teams have had success on the field and numerous scandals). Much of the reaction fits the stereotype of how alumni react. There are threats to never give another penny, and e-mails like this one: "You folks are spineless, slimy slugs who have dishonored our whole university." One messages was sufficiently threatening that UNC public safety is investigating.

But there were other messages that supported the move. And one alumnus, who two days before the firing wrote that he stood behind the football coach "110%," wrote again after Thorp acted. "I know that this has been a long and stressful situation but I support y'all and The University of North Carolina 110%."

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Phillip Closius resigned, under pressure, as law dean at the University of Baltimore, and he sent students and faculty members a detailed explanation of his conflicts with the central administration, The Baltimore Sun reported. Specifically, he said that the law schools is increasingly subsidizing the rest of the university in ways that he sees as unfair. "I was becoming increasingly uncomfortable justifying tuition and fee increases to law students when the money was actually being used to fund non-law university initiatives," he wrote. (The full letter is here.) Robert L. Bogomolny, president of the university, did not debate the budget issues raised, but issued a statement praising Closius. "He has strengthened an already outstanding faculty, increased the national recognition of the school, and enhanced the success rates of our students," the statement said.

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Everyone knows what to expect in the class updates. So-and-so made partner, bought a new house, had a second kid, made plans to attend homecoming. Some Yale University alumni were thus taken aback when a note in the Class of '73 section of the alumni magazine opened this way: "Sam Taylor sent this intriguing note. 'Did you know that one of your classmates is officially considered a 'hate-monger' by the Southern Poverty Law Center. I believe this is a first for Yale." He went on to plug his latest book (he writes under the name of Jared Taylor), White Identity: Racial Consciousness in the 21st Century. E-mails from Inside Higher Ed to the editor and class notes editor of Yale Alumni Magazine were not answered. While some readers assume that alumni may exaggerate their activities just a bit in class notes, Taylor was truthful when he said he has been criticized by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Monday, August 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Law schools and the American Bar Association, facing criticism over the accuracy and completeness of job placement statistics, have been planning new requirements. But last week, NALP: The Association for Legal Career Professionals, wrote the ABA to oppose proposals that would require more reporting by law schools to the ABA on the issue. NALP, which has collected such data, said that dual reporting requirements would impose burdens on law schools and discourage them from participating in NALP's surveys. Moving ahead with its plans would be "detrimental and harmful to legal education, and will in the long term diminish the amount of information available about the legal employment market," the NALP letter said.

Friday, July 29, 2011 - 3:00am

A state investigation has concluded that the tuition increases proposed by Michigan State and Wayne State Universities do not exceed the 7.1 percent cap set by state leaders, so the institutions do not face the loss of millions in state funds, The Detroit News reported. A legislative agency had said this month that the two universities' proposed increases would exceed the cap, which lawmakers set to try to limit the extent to which institutions sought to make up for state budget cuts by charging more to students and families. Officials at Michigan State and Wayne State said that the state's method of accounting misstated their increases, and letters sent to the universities' presidents by the state budget director pegged the increases at 6.9 percent. Michigan State will receive its $18.3 million "tuition incentive grant," and Wayne State $12.8 million.

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