Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, March 9, 2015 - 3:00am

The new edition of "This Week" focuses on Sweet Briar College's surprising announcement that it will shut its doors this summer. President James F. Jones joined Inside Higher Ed's Doug Lederman and moderator Casey Green to explain the college's decision and the factors behind it. Then two experts, Agnes Scott College's Elizabeth Kiss and Alice Brown, president emerita of the Appalachian College Association, discussed the implications of Sweet Briar's decision for other private colleges and higher education generally. Sign up here to be notified of new editions of "This Week."


Monday, March 9, 2015 - 3:00am

The American Association of University Professors chapter at the American University of Beirut has issued a statement condemning the Ministry of Labor’s “selective discrimination against some foreign nationals seeking employment or work permit renewals at AUB.”

“We are especially concerned by the Minister of Labor’s excessive delays in processing (and in some cases refusing to grant) work permits to Syrian, Palestinian and Ethiopian faculty and staff, except if they are employed in low-skilled and low-wage jobs. While these actions officially aim to ‘protect Lebanese workers from foreign competition,’ they are discriminatory in their focus on specific nationality and racial groups and not others (e.g., American or European nationals),” the statement says. 

The AUB administration released a statement in response to the AAUP chapter, stating “emphatically that this association does not represent the official position of the University, and its members do not speak on behalf of the administration.”

“The University continues to work closely with the Ministry of Labor on all labor matters and follows Lebanese laws in this regard. The University recruits its administrative and academic staff according to the highest competitive standards, basing its decisions on their qualifications, regardless of their nationality, race, religion or ethnic background.”

Monday, March 9, 2015 - 3:00am

Donna Shalala, who is stepping down as president of the University of Miami, is expected to be named C.E.O. of the Bill, Hillary and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, The Wall Street Journal reported. Shalala served in President Bill Clinton's cabinet as secretary of health and human services and is a longtime friend of Hillary Clinton, the former secretary of state and likely presidential candidate.


Monday, March 9, 2015 - 3:00am

More than 40 Russian universities -- including such leading institutions at Moscow State University -- have been missing deadlines on stipend payments to students since the start of the year, The Moscow Times reported. Some universities have blamed delays on "technical difficulties," while others have denied the delays. The Russian Education Ministry issued a statement that said that "the rectors of the universities that have violated students' rights and that are subordinate to the ministry will be held accountable."


Monday, March 9, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Paul Matthew Sutter, an astronomer and physicist at Ohio State University, profiles dark energy. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Drexel University has decided to stick to its Philadelphia home. The university announced major plans in 2008 to build up both undergraduate and graduate programs in Sacramento. Then in 2011 the university called off the plans to build an undergraduate campus and said it would stick with graduate programs. But on Thursday the university announced it would phase out the graduate programs as well, after giving students time to finish their degrees.

"As we aligned Drexel’s programs and operations in recent years to better focus on pressing priorities -- improving academic quality, growing financial aid and increasing student retention -- it became more and more apparent that our efforts in Sacramento no longer advance our mission as a research university. Moving forward, we believe Drexel can best serve students and society through degree programs in Philadelphia and online, an enhanced connection to greater Philadelphia and new global academic and research partnerships," said a statement from John Fry, president of the university.


Friday, March 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Wellesley College announced Thursday that it will admit transgender women. In addition to admitting those who were born as women and consider themselves women, the college will now "consider for admission any applicant who lives as a woman and consistently identifies as a woman."


Friday, March 6, 2015 - 4:38am

The Academic Senate of the Rancho Santiago Community College District has passed a resolution urging the district to end a $35 million consulting contract with the Saudi Arabian government, The Orange County Register reported. The resolution cites Saudi discrimination against women, Jews and others, and says that the college shouldn't be engaged in helping the Saudi government build education in a deeply discriminatory society. District leaders said they would be helping Saudi students and that the money they will be paid is similar to the funds going to other community colleges helping with such work.


Friday, March 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Researchers at the University of the West of England and the humanitarian organization Oxfam are testing on the streets of Bristol a new urinal intended for refugee camps. The urinal uses urine to power microbial fuel cell stacks, which in turn generate electricity. To ensure the prototype sees plenty of traffic, the urinal is "conveniently situated near the Student Union Bar," the university said in a press release.

Friday, March 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Cheerleaders from Albany State and Tuskegee Universities were sent home this week after they got into a fight at a basketball tournament. Officials from the two universities are investigating, and video of the fight has gone viral. The video is courtesy of HBCU Sports.




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