Higher Education Quick Takes
Students and administrators at the University of Utah are voicing concern over the racial nature of attacks in the student government elections that are wrapping up this week on the campus, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. One of the parties seeking election is close to the university's Greek system while the other party is racially diverse.
After a year in which many law students have been complaining about poor job prospects, applications to law school are down 11.5 percent from this point a year ago, according to data provided by the Law School Admission Council to The Wall Street Journal. "When the economy first went down, students saw law school as a way to dodge the work force," Ryan Heitkamp, a pre-law adviser at Ohio State University, told the newspaper. "The news has gotten out that law school is not necessarily a safe backup plan."
University of Iowa officials on Tuesday said that a medical official was wrong to secretly have installed a baby monitor to check on whether secretaries were talking too much, the Associated Press reported. University officials have said that they do not believe conversations were actually monitored, but officials at the AFSCME local that is the union of the workers who were monitored are dubious.
Advocates for community colleges are not always happy with the way they are portrayed in popular culture. Witness the debate over NBC's "Community." Critics from the community college world may want to start getting ready for Larry Crowne, a film due out this summer in which Julia Roberts plays a community college professor and Tom Hanks her student (who, like many community college students, enrolls when he loses his job). The last movie featuring Roberts as a professor was Mona Lisa Smile, in which she played an art historian trying to challenge her students and colleagues at Wellesley College in the 1950s. The image of Wellesley didn't go over well with the college.
Here is the trailer for the new film:
Preisdent Obama has picked the University of Kansas to win the National Collegiate Athletic Association men's basketball tournament. In preparing his bracket for ESPN, the president selected the top seed in each region to advance to the Final Four.
The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has opened an investigation into a professor's complaint that the University of California at Santa Cruz allowed a hostile environment for Jewish students on the campus. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin, a Santa Cruz lecturer, filed a 2009 complaint about the university's sponsorship of events that she believed had a pro-Palestinian and anti-Israel slant. In a March 7 letter to Rossman-Benjamin, Arthur Zeidman, who heads the civil rights office's San Francisco office, said it would investigate whether Santa Cruz failed to fulfill its requirements under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 -- a move applauded by the Institute for Jewish & Community Research, which is championing her cause. In a prepared statement, Santa Cruz's general counsel, Carole Rossi, said: "We will, of course, fully cooperate with such an investigation. And as OCR noted in its communication with the campus, that office's decision to review an individual's allegations in no way implies that the agency has determined that the allegations have merit."
The National Federation of the Blind, in a complaint with the U.S. Justice Department, on Tuesday asked Northwestern University and other colleges and universities to stop using Google Apps for the Blind, charging that the tools discriminate against blind students and faculty members by failing to allow easy use by those with visual impairments, the Chicago Tribune reported. The complaint follows others about various technology tools used in education. Some of the past complaints have led to significant changes in those services. Alan Eustace, Google's senior vice president of engineering and research, issued a statement Tuesday stating that Google had met on the issue with the association for the blind, and "left the meeting with a strong commitment to improving our products."
The March 2011 edition of The Pulse features an interview with Steve Anderson, director of the Media Arts + Practice Ph.D. Program and assistant professor of interactive media at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. He discusses the prospects of a more rational future for fair use in publishing and teaching.
The Indiana Department of Labor on Tuesday found that the University of Notre Dame knowingly assigned a student to life-threatening situations when he was told to climb a scissor lift during a wind storm last year that sent the lift toppling, killing the student, The Wall Street Journal reported. The university was fined $77,500 for six safety violations. Notre Dame is finishing its own investigation of the incident, and has pledged to release the results.