Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 3:00am

Shaw University has received a $31 million loan to help stabilize its finances, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. While the loan is welcome news for supporters of the historically black college, the institution is facing questions from alumni about whether board members are giving enough money or are making good on past pledges.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 3:00am

Some faculty members at Canada's University of Regina are objecting to a scholarship program -- being embraced by most colleges in the country -- for the children of dead soldiers, CBC News reported. Faculty critics say that they don't object to helping these students, but singling them out -- when there are others whose parents have died or who face hardships -- glorifies war.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 3:00am

Ursinus College has become the latest to make the SAT optional for applicants. Officials cited evidence that the grades in and rigor of high school courses are the best predictors of college success, and concerns about the correlation between SAT scores and family income.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 3:00am

Mark G. Yudof, president of the University of California, said Wednesday that he would like to see all of the University of California campuses adopt "holistic" review of applicants, the Los Angeles Times reported. Under holistic review, personal characteristics -- such as overcoming poverty -- are considered, in addition to more traditional measures such as grades and test scores. Currently the broader review is used at the system's Berkeley and Los Angeles campuses, but Yudof said he hoped all of the campuses would adopt it. His comments came as system leaders apologized for a series of racial incidents at the San Diego and other campuses. At San Diego, only 1.6 percent of students are black.

Thursday, March 25, 2010 - 3:00am

The University of Cincinnati largely shut down in the wake of the Kent State University killings in 1970, and when many students left the area, they missed out on their graduation ceremony. Now, the Associated Press reported, the university is welcoming back to campus those who missed the graduation and offering a special ceremony for them prior to this year's graduation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 3:00am

Organizers of a talk by Ann Coulter at the University of Ottawa said that a "threatening" crowd of 2,000 student protesters forced her to call off a talk Tuesday night, the Associated Press reported. Those who organized the protest said she engaged in hate speech and questioned why she was invited to the university. The conservatives who brought her to campus said that the protest was squelching free speech. On Monday, Coulter spoke at the University of Western Ontario, and she told a Muslim student that rather than traveling via a flying carpet, he should "take a camel."

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 3:00am

The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday sided with a borrower whose student loans were discharged in bankruptcy without his having proven that the payments were an "undue hardship" on him, as bankruptcy law typically requires. In its unanimous, narrow ruling in the unusual case, United Student Aid Funds v. Espinosa, the court found that a bankruptcy judge was wrong to have released Francisco Espinosa from his debt without ensuring that he met the undue hardship requirement -- but that the guarantee agency seeking to collect the loans was given a chance to object, and did not in due time.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 3:00am

A National Collegiate Athletic Association appeals committee upheld a sweeping records vacation penalty against the University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa on Tuesday. The university was found last summer to have committed major rules violations in 16 sports, including football. More than 200 athletes abused a university textbook distribution program, getting free books for non-athletes and non-academic swag for themselves from the student bookstore. Alabama officials unsuccessfully argued that the penalty being levied against them was too harsh. The NCAA decision comes a day after a records vacation penalty was upheld for violations committed by the men’s basketball program at the University of Memphis.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 3:00am

A commission formed with the sweeping charge of transforming the University of California to face harsh budget realities laid out a series of areas for consideration Tuesday, suggesting the university should contemplate a tiered fee structure across its various campuses and the creation of three-year degrees. The draft documents released Tuesday by the UC Commission on the Future do not contain concrete recommendations, but rather potential areas worthy of exploration. The commission has five working groups, which will examine the size of the university; its curriculum; issues of access and affordability; and strategies for funding and research.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010 - 3:00am

With demand for higher education far outpacing capacity in India, the role of standardized tests has increased as has obsession over doing well, The New York Times reported. The article looks at the range of tests students take and the evidence -- include a recent suicide -- of the pressure they create.

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