Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Manitoba has suspended the gym memberships of 80 students after linking them to a Facebook group that was promoting a fight club meeting in a squash court on the campus, The Winnipeg Free Press reported. The Facebook group has since been deleted.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010 - 3:00am

The following meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar on The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education. This listing will appear as a regular feature in this space.

To submit a listing, click here.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 3:00am

Students, alumni and supporters of Mississippi's three public historically black universities marked Martin Luther King Day by marching in Jackson to protest Gov. Haley Barbour's plan to merge two of the institutions, Alcorn State and Mississippi Valley State Universities, into Jackson State University, WJTV reported. While the governor says the plan will save money, advocates for the college argue that it will limit opportunities for black students.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010 - 3:00am

Education fund raisers are projecting a 3.7 percent increase in giving during 2010, according to a survey being released today by the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. CASE is expecting final figures for 2009 to show a slight decline in giving. If the projection is correct, it would still be a smaller increase than was the norm before the economic downturn hit, but would still be welcomed by many colleges in comparison to 2009's performance.

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 3:00am

St. John's College in New Mexico, ever proud of its emphasis on the classics, printed a T-shirt last year that in Attic Greek (theoretically) said: "If you can read this, you're overeducated." As The Santa Fe Reporter detailed, however, someone at St. John's needs some help with Greek. The accents were wrong, so the phrase doesn't read as intended, as the college discovered when someone sent a T-shirt to Thomas G. Palaima, a professor of classics at the University of Texas at Austin. He sent word back and the T-shirts are off the market. Via e-mail, Palaima said that the error didn't make it impossible to understand the meaning of the phrase, but was the equivalent of writing the college's name this way: "sT' joHns. College."

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 3:00am

Four freshmen at the Mississippi University for Women were killed in a fire that broke out in an Alabama motel Saturday night, The Jackson Clarion-Ledger reported. University officials are reaching out to those who knew the students and are offering counseling. Two of the victims were cousins.

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 3:00am

Colorado legislators are proposing that limits be set on payments that have allowed Native American students to attend Fort Lewis College tuition-free, the Associated Press reported. The tuition waiver arises out of a 1911 treaty in which tribes agreed to give up land in return for a series of pledges, including one that the state create a college that Native American students could attend without paying. Advocates for curbing the program note that no limits were placed on it, so that out-of-state students or those with no connections to the tribes that gave up the land can still benefit. Others, however, say that the state should not go back on a rare example of an entity in the United States actually keeping a treaty provision pledged to Native Americans.

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Hawaii and its faculty union have reached an agreement that will cut salaries now but eventually provide raises, The Honolulu Advertiser reported. The university and the union agreed to keep the terms confidential so there is no official word on the provisions, but the Advertiser reported that it includes a 6.7 percent pay cut, which would be restored over the term of the contract, followed by raises. The university unilaterally imposed the pay cut this month, drawing widespread faculty criticism.

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 3:00am

Editors of The Observer, the student newspaper at the University of Notre Dame, have issued an apology for publishing a cartoon that based its humor on gay bashing. The cartoon asked "What's the easiest way to turn a fruit into a vegetable?" and answered that question with "a baseball bat." The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation condemned the cartoon, saying, "This type of advocacy of anti-LGBT violence must stop. It isn’t funny. What’s more, it promotes hate crimes, which are all too prevalent in society today." The Observer editorial apologizing for the cartoon said: "Allowing this cruel and hateful comic a place on our pages disgraced those values and severely hurt members of our Notre Dame family -- our classmates, our friends. For this, we sincerely apologize."

Monday, January 18, 2010 - 3:00am

The Middle East Studies Association has become the latest scholarly organization to face criticism for plans to hold a meeting at the Manchester Grand Hyatt, in San Diego, which is the subject of a boycott by some gay rights and labor groups, angry over the owner's large contributions to the fight against gay marriage. The association issued a statement indicating that it was not moving its meeting. The board said that it surveyed members, received a large number of answers and found the following: "Of those who did respond, fully 71 percent indicated that they would attend the meeting at the hotel. Many respondents also expressed the opinion that MESA should adhere to its mission of fostering the study of the Middle East and that the Board of Directors should exercise due financial responsibility with regard to the association’s finances. Many respondents also suggested that, in any case, it would be impossible for the Association to reflect the diverse views of its entire membership with regard to a whole host of political and social issues." The American Historical Association met at the hotel this month, leading to a rally against using the facility.

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