Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 3:00am

Do prestigious law degrees really matter? Yes, according to a new study from Chris Rider, assistant professor of business strategy at Georgetown University, and Giacomo Negro, associate professor of organization and management at Emory University. The authors studied the career paths of 224 law firm partners after their prominent firm failed and found that while as a group the partners were likely to accept new positions of lower status elsewhere, their individual success largely depended on where they'd earned their law degrees.

According to the study, published in Organizational Science, law partners who graduated from the most prestigious law schools were least likely to lose professional status as a result of the collapse of their firm -- likely because they were able to draw on a strong professional network and appeal more to clients to find new work. Quality and productivity, at least as measured by the graduates' precollapse compensation, wasn't a factor, the authors say. That's because the graduates of the most prestigious schools were not necessarily the highest paid. An abstract is available here.

Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 3:00am

One of the major higher education search firms, AGB Search, on Wednesday announced a change in leadership. Thomas B. Courtice will be the next managing principal. Courtice, former president of Ohio Wesleyan University, has served as associate managing principal. He succeeds James P. Ferrare, the founding managing principal, who has led AGB Search since it was founded in 2010.


Thursday, April 30, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Martin Krieger, a professor of planning at the University of Southern California, discusses his urban tomography project. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 3:00am

The U.S. Census Bureau announced Tuesday that it will keep a question in one of its major surveys, the American Community Survey, about the field of study of those who have an undergraduate education. The bureau had proposed removing the question, but in an announcement in The Federal Register, the agency said that it had heard from many researchers concerned about eliminating the question. Those who are trying to track certain questions that relate to public policy -- such as the effectiveness of programs to encourage more students to earn degrees in the sciences -- also said that they needed the information. The Census Bureau was swayed.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 3:00am

Parents who are saving money for their children to attend college said they are earmarking 10 percent of their total savings for that purpose, according to a new report from Sallie Mae, the student lender. But the average amount parents said they have set aside for college has declined by 25 percent since last year, to $10,040 from $13,408.

"Parents are allocating approximately 10 percent of their total savings for their children’s college, a rate that has remained stable over the past three years," said the report. "However, since savings overall are down, the dollar amounts being saved for college are also lower."

This is the fifth installment of Sallie Mae's college saving study, which it first released in 2008. The report found that 4 in 10 of the surveyed parents said they were confident they could pay for the future price of college.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 3:00am

Arizona State University’s contract with edX shows that the university and the massive open online course provider have yet to settle on the finer details concerning the Global Freshman Academy, an initiative announced last week that will let students earn a year’s worth of credit through MOOCs.

Read the full contract by clicking on the thumbnail. Language relevant to the Global Freshman Academy begins on page 28.

Only a page and a half of the 42-page contract, obtained by Inside Higher Ed through a public records request, is dedicated to the Global Freshman Academy (the rest is the standard agreement universities enter into when becoming an edX partner institution). The contract also leaves room for further negotiation. Philip Regier, university dean for education initiatives, last week said ASU and edX had yet to determine how the two will split tuition revenue. The contract reflects that fact, stating they “will agree upon a revenue share” without going into detail.

The contract also creates an opportunity for ASU to award more credit than initially reported. The university will consider -- “subject to appropriate review and approval” -- awarding credit for MOOCs offered by other institutions, the contract states.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 4:20am

Robert Breuder, president of the College of DuPage, started a medical leave today, days before the college's board was expected to put him on administrative leave, The Chicago Tribune reported. Breuder has been the subject of intense scrutiny by many over accusations of inappropriate spending, and faculty leaders have been calling for his ouster.


Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 3:00am

The president of Stockton University abruptly resigned Tuesday, citing medical reasons for his early departure. 

Herman Saatkamp's departure comes four months earlier than he originally told the university he would be leaving. “It saddens me to have to leave this abruptly,” Saatkamp said in a university news release. 

The resignation also comes a week after a faculty vote in which one-third wanted to call for his resignation and 80 percent supported "some level of condemnation" against the leader, according to a PressofAtlanticCity.com article. University stakeholders and New Jersey legislators are upset by Saatkamp's decision to purchase a hotel and casino for $18 million to use as a new Atlantic City campus and lodging for the school, despite restrictions that the building must be run as a casino hotel. The casino's parent corporation filed for bankruptcy shortly after the purchase.

Stockton's provost, Harvey Kesselman, will serve as acting president.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 4:17am

About 200 Emerson College students marched into a faculty meeting Tuesday to demand cultural sensitivity training for professors and more diversity-related courses for students, The Boston Globe reported. The students ended up outnumbering faculty members at the meeting. Other students walked through campus buildings, chanting “education, not discrimination.” Lee Pelton, president of the college, praised the discussion that took place after students entered the faculty meeting. “It was an amazing moment, and it was a wonderful opportunity for growth,” he said.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015 - 3:00am

The University of Florida closed its chapter of the Zeta Beta Tau fraternity Tuesday over allegations that members insulted and spat on disabled veterans during a spring formal earlier this month at Panama City Beach. The veterans were at the same resort for an annual event called the Warrior Beach Retreat when the fraternity members allegedly began accosting them. Members of Emory University's Zeta Beta Tau chapter were also accused of the behavior, but Emory has not yet punished the fraternity, due to a lack of evidence, the university said. Emory is still investigating the allegations.

"I continue to be saddened and disappointed by the reported mistreatment and disrespect of our military veterans," Kent Fuchs, Florida's president, said in a statement. "Our university has always honored, and will always honor, the service of veterans. The reported conduct of this fraternity contradicts the values of service and respect that are at the center of this university."


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