Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

September 27, 2016

Eric Schwitzgebel, a professor of philosophy at the University of California, Riverside, has written several articles on the concept of jerks. On his blog, he has posted a "jerk quiz" to help you find out if you are a jerk.

Here's one question:

At the staff meeting, Peter says that your proposal probably won't work. You think:
(a) Hmm, good point, but I bet I could fix that.
(b) Oh, Loretta is smiling at Peter again. I guess she agrees with him and not me, darn it. But I still think my proposal is probably better than his.
(c) Shoot, Peter's right. I should have thought of that!
(d) Peter the big flaming ass. He's playing for the raise. And all the other idiots here are just eating it up!

For all the questions and a scoring guide, check out the blog.

September 26, 2016

Ken Starr (right), who resigned as president of Baylor University amid a scandal over its handling of sex assault allegations against athletes, on Saturday defended the university and its ousted football coach. Starr gave his first extensive interview to The Texas Tribune. In the interview, Starr characterized Baylor as facing similar problems to those confronted by other colleges and universities. And he said Art Briles, who was ousted as football coach, was a victim of inaccurate press reports.

An outside review commissioned by the university -- delivered to Baylor's board shortly before Starr and Briles left -- found numerous problems at Baylor. Among them were university administrators discouraging people from reporting allegations of sex assaults. Specifically, the report said that "football coaches or staff met directly with a complainant and/or parent of a complainant and did not report the misconduct" and that the football program operated its own "internal system of discipline" that "resulted in conduct being ignored or players being dismissed from the team based on an informal and subjective process."

September 26, 2016

Military and veteran students who attend colleges that are accredited by the Accrediting Council of Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) should be able to continue receiving Post-9/11 GI Bill benefits to attend those institutions, at least for another 18 months. 

The U.S. Department of Education last week said it would back a federal panel's decision to eliminate ACICS, a national accreditor that oversees 245 colleges that collectively enroll roughly 600,000 students. The accreditor also is the gatekeeper for federal aid at 700 GI Bill-approved programs, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs said last week in an email to students who are enrolled in those programs. However, the U.S. Congress has passed legislation to allow GI Bill recipients to continue attending ACICS-accredited colleges. President Obama is expected to sign the legislation.

"At this point nothing changes for you for at least the next 18 months," said Curtis Coy, deputy under secretary for economic opportunity at the VA, in the email to students. "We would, however, suggest you may want to re-evaluate your educational goals and decide that your current school and program will either meet your need for the next 18 months or that you may want to consider other options, courses and/or schools."

September 26, 2016

Students at Washington State University are objecting to an administration plan to have each of them pay an additional $50 per semester as part of a plan to deal with an athletics department deficit, The Spokesman-Review reported. The athletics department has a $13 million deficit and the student fees would generate at least $1.7 million annually. The student government would have to authorize a referendum and many student leaders are balking, saying that they shouldn't be forced to pay for financial mistakes of the athletics department.

An editorial in The Daily Evergreen, the student newspaper, said that imposing the fee is "unfair to students and rewards financial irresponsibility."


September 26, 2016

Rowan College at Burlington County, a New Jersey community college that is affiliated with Rowan University, has angered many other four-year colleges by saying that they may no longer hold transfer fairs or recruitment events at the college, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Rowan College officials said that they are now promoting a 3+1 program in which their students can complete three of the four years of a bachelor's degree on their campus, and then finish a bachelor's degree in one year at Rowan University. Rowan officials said that they are now competing with other institutions for the third year and so don't want them recruiting on campus. Officials of a number of four-year universities in the area are criticizing the new policy, saying that Rowan College at Burlington County students should be able to easily learn about a range of options open to them.


September 26, 2016

Hundreds of University of Minnesota students walked out of classes and rallied at the Twin Cities campus Friday in support of non-tenure-track instructors trying to unionize. “This is so important because when faculty that are teaching me are exhausted, overworked, underpaid and they’re having to worry about maybe even taking up other jobs outside of that, that puts a strain, and they’re unable to really focus on the curriculum and us as students,” Irina Barrera, a student protester, told ABC News. State labor officials said last week that adjunct and tenure-line instructors can hold an election over whether to form a joint union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, despite university arguments that the two groups did not share significant interests. A student group called Differences Organized planned the walkout. 

September 26, 2016

A San Jose, Calif. college’s ability to continue to enroll international students is reportedly at risk. The local CBS affiliate KPIX 5 reported that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security issued a notice of intent to withdraw International Technological University from the Student and Exchange Visitor Program. Only SEVP-approved institutions can enroll international students. The broadcaster’s sources said the government’s investigation focuses on ITU’s internship program.

September 26, 2016

Daniel O. Bernstine (right), president of the Law School Admission Council, died suddenly last week at the age of 69. He had been head of the council, which runs the Law School Admission Test, since 2007. Previously, he was president of Portland State University and dean of the University of Wisconsin Law School.



September 26, 2016

More than 1,000 people have signed a petition calling for the removal of a statue of Mahatma Gandhi from the University of Ghana campus, The Guardian reported. The petitioners quote some of Gandhi’s writings to argue that the Indian independence leader and civil rights leader was racist and considered himself “infinitely superior” to black Africans.

September 26, 2016

The president of the American University of Afghanistan stepped down Saturday, one month after an attack on the campus in Kabul that killed more than a dozen people. Two of the university's faculty members were kidnapped in a separate incident in early August. 

The university said in a statement that Mark English resigned as president "for personal reasons." David Sedney, a member of the Board of Trustees dispatched to AUAF to oversee rebuilding efforts after the attack, has been named acting president of the institution. Sedney, an analyst and commentator on national security and foreign policy issues, has served in a variety of U.S. government positions including as deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia from 2009 to 2013.


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