Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, July 13, 2015 - 3:00am

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, a Democrat, announced Saturday that he will veto legislation that would bar students whose parents brought them to the U.S. without legal authority to do so from participating in a state student aid program, The Kansas City Star reported. The legislation “flies in the face of what we believe as Americans and everything we know about the transformative power of education,” Nixon said.

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 3:00am

Warren Wilson College announced Friday that it is dropping a requirement that applicants submit SAT or ACT scores. A statement from Janelle Holmboe, vice president for enrollment, said: “This policy change makes sense. We value the whole student, the ways in which they innovate and apply knowledge, how they seek to serve others, and how they hope to make an impact in the world through hard work. Those qualities aren’t just reflected in test scores.”

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 3:00am

The University of Michigan today announced a $60 million gift to support entrepreneurial education efforts at its business school. The gift, from the Zell Family Foundation, will support the Samuel Zell and Robert H. Lurie Institute for Entrepreneurial Studies and also create a $10 million fund to invest in student businesses.

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 3:00am

Lahcen Daoudi, Morocco's minister of higher education, gave a speech last week in which he said that arts and humanities graduates create a "burden on society" because they go home after graduation with "no practical knowledge" to find a job, Morocco World News reported. He called for reducing the percentage of university students (currently 9 percent) who study arts and humanities fields.

Monday, July 13, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Scott McGraw, an anthropologist at Ohio State University, discusses his research on the dark side of cocoa farming. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 3:00am

On-campus crime has fallen by 25 percent over the last decade, from more than 40,000 reported incidents in 2001 to fewer than 30,000 incidents in 2012, according to the U.S. Department of Education's annual report of crime statistics.

The number of reported on-campus crimes was lower in 2012 than 2001 in every category except for "forcible sex offenses," the report stated. The number of reported forcible sex offenses increased by 77 percent, from 2,200 in 2001 to 3,900 in 2012. That's a 15 percent increase from 2011, when 3,400 forcible sex offenses were reported. Arrests for drug law violations have increased by 76 percent since 2001, and arrests for liquor law violations have increased by 8 percent.

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 4:19am

The University of Wisconsin Board of Regents on Thursday approved a budget based on a $125 million cut in state funds to the system over the next year, The Wisconsin State Journal reported. Legislators and Governor Scott Walker, a Republican, have already approved a budget plan that cuts $250 million over two years and also freezes in-state tuition rates. The largest cuts are planned for the flagship campus at Madison. Most board members said that they had no choice but to approve the cuts. But one, Charles Pruitt, voted against the budget, saying that he wanted to express “profound disagreement” with state legislators who voted for the cuts in the state budget.

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 3:00am

When the accusations that Bill Cosby drugged and raped women started to receive considerable attention last year, some colleges moved to distance themselves from Cosby, while others did not do so. Now, with details about Cosby admitting in a legal proceeding to drugging women in order to have sex with them, at least one such college is reconsidering.

Central State University, in Ohio, released this statement: "Recent revelations regarding Mr. Bill Cosby’s activities in past decades have postured [sic] Central State University to re-examine its decision to maintain the Cosby name on one of its buildings. Although the Cosby name on the campus radio station is representative of the Cosby family, we are extremely sensitive of the effect that it may have on students, alums and the community. The maintenance or removal of the Cosby name will be discussed appropriately and actions relative to the final decision will occur immediately. Central State University is committed to protecting and preserving the rights and dignity of all people. The very unfortunate circumstances of the Cosby situation are troublesome and disappointing to all."

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 4:25am

University College London is standing by its decision to accept the resignation of Tim Hunt, a British biochemist who shared the 2001 Nobel Prize in Medicine, and who in June quit a largely honorary position at the university amid criticism over his comments on women. He resigned amid widespread anger that he said, at a conference, “Let me tell you about my trouble with girls. Three things happen when they are in the lab -- you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry …. I’m in favor of single-sex labs.” While he apologized after that, he also said he was telling the truth. “I mean, it is true that I have fallen in love with people in the lab and that people in the lab have fallen in love with me. It's very disruptive to science.”

After University College London accepted Hunt's resignation, some scientists criticized the institution, saying that it was punishing Hunt for being politically incorrect, and that it inappropriately pushed for the resignation. On Thursday, the university's Council issued a statement saying that it had reviewed all the documents about the case, and that the Council
"unanimously supports the decision taken by UCL’s executive to accept the resignation." However, the statement added that "there are lessons to be learned around the communication process."

Friday, July 10, 2015 - 3:00am

The Obama administration has expressed a slew of concerns about the Senate's version of the 2016 spending bill for the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Labor, including that it would redirect funds away from the Pell Grant program and block enforcement of the administration's gainful employment rules. The Statement of Administration Policy stops short of threatening a veto at this stage of the process, but it warns that the legislation -- which the chamber's Appropriations Committee passed last month -- contains "ideological provisions" that threaten to undermine the appropriations process.

The bill would increase spending for the National Institutes of Health, but slash spending on workforce training and AmeriCorps and block the Obama administration from implementing regulations relating to gainful employment for vocational programs and its college rating system.


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