Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, April 6, 2015 - 3:00am

The University of South Carolina has suspended a student who is depicted in a photo circulating on social media showing her using a racist term for black people. The image circulating (at right) has the word obscured. It is the first word on a list of reasons "why USC Wi-Fi blows."

Harris Pastides, president of the university, issued this statement: "Today, the unfortunate and disappointing act of a student in a study room has challenged the Carolina community to reflect on our values and tell the world what we believe. Respect for all is at the heart of the Carolinian Creed, the code by which we agree to abide. Racist and uncivil rhetoric has no place at the University of South Carolina. We have taken appropriate actions to suspend a student and begin code of conduct investigations."

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 4:28am

A Massachusetts trial is providing details about allegations that Mark Zimny, a consultant, convinced a wealthy Hong Kong businessman to pay him more than $2 million to get the businessman's sons into Ivy League colleges, The Boston Globe reported. Zimny is facing wire fraud, bank fraud and other charges -- all of which he has denied. In the first stage of the trial, the Hong Kong businessman, Gerald Chow, has testified about how Zimny instructed him to send money that would be donated to prep schools that would then admit his sons, paving their way to the Ivy League. The relationship soured when Chow discovered the prep schools never received his donations. Zimny's lawyers said that the payments were to look after Chow's sons.



Monday, April 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Howard University last week eliminated 84 staff positions, The Washington Post reported. The university provided few details on the jobs eliminated, but said in a statement that "we do not expect this decision to have any adverse impact on student services or their academic studies.” In 2014, Howard cut about 200 positions, and in 2013, it cut 75 jobs.


Monday, April 6, 2015 - 4:33am

The Board of Regents of Northern New Mexico College voted in January to change the institution's name to Northern New Mexico University. The move didn't attract much attention at the time, but has become controversial, The New Mexican reported. Some say that only the Legislature has the authority to make such a name change. Others are questioning why a name change was needed, given that the institution does not offer graduate degrees.


Monday, April 6, 2015 - 4:32am

The Community College of Philadelphia is starting a free community college program, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Tuition will be waived for students who are graduates of the city's high schools and are eligible for Pell Grants. Students, once enrolled, will be required to earn degrees within three years and to maintain a 2.5 grade point average.


Monday, April 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Advocates for keeping Sweet Briar College open held protests Friday and shared photographs of their actions on social media (at right). At the same time, many Sweet Briar students -- however upset that their college's board plans to shut it down -- are applying to transfer elsewhere. More than 200 have applied to Hollins University, also a women's college in Virginia, The Roanoke Times reported.

Monday, April 6, 2015 - 3:00am

On the new edition of "This Week," Inside Higher Ed's free news podcast, Lone Star College President Shah Ardalan and Firmin DeBrabander of Maryland Institute College of Art join Inside Higher Ed editor Scott Jaschik and moderator Casey Green to discuss the spread of "campus carry" gun laws in numerous states. In our other segment, Rutgers University's Mark R. Killingsworth joins the program for a conversation about a new analysis of athletics spending at the New Jersey university, one of the country's most subsidized college sports programs. Sign up here to be notified of new editions of "This Week."


Monday, April 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Many educators have a tough time imagining a world where academic issues are more important than athletic ones at institutions with big-time programs. "Saturday Night Live" this weekend created such a world.



Monday, April 6, 2015 - 3:00am

Laura Sumner, a Ph.D. student at Britain's University of Nottingham, is being forced to end a research trip to Russia amid charges that she was spying on the country, The Independent reported. She was forced to appear in court in Russia and accused of traveling on the wrong visa, and was ordered to leave the country. She is doing research on social identity among urban workers in 1917. University officials said that they have been in touch with Sumner and expect her to return soon to Britain.


Monday, April 6, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Ellen Foxman, a postdoctoral fellow and instructor in laboratory medicine at Yale University, discusses her research on the way the rhinovirus travels. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.



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