Career Point College, a for-profit institution in San Antonio, notified students and faculty members that it is shutting down, The San Antonio Express-News reported. A letter from the college said that three long-term employees had "collaborated to violate the rules related to student aid funds." After the college reported these violations to the U.S. Education Department, the department rejected a plan by the college to repay funds it received "inappropriately" and restricted the use of federal funds at the college, forcing the shutdown.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Adjuncts at Saint Xavier University voted 29 to 25 to form a union affiliated with the National Education Association, they recently announced. Their ballots had been impounded since 2011, when the Roman Catholic university challenged the right of adjuncts to form a union, saying its religious identity put it outside the jurisdiction of the National Labor Relations Board. In an August decision, the NLRB agreed with a regional board office director’s decision that the petitioned-for unit of part-time faculty generally do not play a “role in creating or maintaining the university’s religious educational environment.” Notably, the national board did make a distinction between religious studies faculty members and most other faculty members and excluded the former from the bargaining unit. The college did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
A car crash Thursday night killed four students enrolled at Claflin University. A fifth student was injured and remains hospitalized.
“We are hurting and are saddened to hear about the untimely death of four of our students. I call upon the Claflin family to draw closer together and remain strong as we try to comprehend the loss of these members of our Claflin family,” said a statement from President Henry N. Tisdale.
Mike VI (at right), the live tiger mascot used at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge football games, died last week, and some students and alumni -- and many outside the university -- are urging LSU to end the longstanding tradition of having a live tiger mascot.
A petition signed by more than 125,000 states: "While the university has done a wonderful job improving the quality of the tiger's enclosure, increasing its size and improving the variety of outdoor activities for the tiger, it is cruel to sentence another tiger to a life confined in a limited space only to be allowed outside for display at football games for entertainment. Beyond the confinement of one animal, buying tigers encourages the breeding of tiger cubs outside species survival management plans and feeds into the black market for tiger meat, furs, and tiger bone wine."
LSU released a statement indicating that it shares some of the concerns cited in the petition, but is still planning to replace Mike. "LSU is searching for a young tiger, currently living in a rescue facility, that could be donated to LSU. LSU will not engage in breeding tigers to obtain a mascot, nor will LSU purchase a tiger. Instead, LSU is seeking to adopt a tiger that is already living in captivity in the U.S. and give it a better home. LSU’s tiger habitat is 15,000 square feet, includes grass, trees and a pool, and is on par with tiger habitats at the nation’s top zoos. LSU’s mascot receives top-notch care through LSU’s School of Veterinary Medicine, and the mascot only attends football games when he chooses to enter his mobile trailer. Mike VI received an estimated 100,000 visitors each year at his habitat, and through those visits, LSU aims to inspire respect for tigers and awareness of their plight in the wild."
The Lumina Foundation on Monday released a revised strategic plan for achieving its goal of 60 percent of Americans holding a college degree, certificate or other high-quality credential by 2025. The foundation has released a new plan every four years since first proposing the goal in 2008.
The latest iteration provides a more detailed breakdown of the 16.4 million Americans who will need to earn a credential to meet the goal. About 4.8 million are traditional-age students who now are not likely to earn a college degree or certificate. Another 6.1 million are potential returning adult students, who attended college but did not earn a credential. The final group is 5.5 million with no college credits -- 64 million Americans fit this description, Lumina said.
"Through the work we’ve done under our first two strategic plans, we have learned what it will take to reach the goal. But we also have learned that the changes that must be made are not mere tweaks. Modest, incremental improvement will not suffice. Indeed, fundamental redesign is required," the report said. "We must move from a system that is centered on institutions and organized around time to one that is centered on students, organized around high-quality learning and focused on closing attainment gaps. In short, we must build a true system of postsecondary learning from the disconnected and fragmented pieces we have now."
Many Inside Higher Ed readers have read articles about the surprising gift or bequest from someone assumed to have no wealth. But here's a great example of such a story from the Los Angeles Times. The beneficiary in this case is Grays Harbor College, a community college in Washington State.
The University of Houston's head football coach, Tom Herman, welcomes his players to each game by kissing each of them. The New York Times examined how this challenge to traditional macho culture associated with football is attracting attention -- and praise. Such expressions have until this year been unheard-of in football. “A kiss on the cheek is when he shows his love for us,” said Garrett Davis, a safety on the team.
Douglas Muir, a lecturer at the University of Virginia's engineering and business schools, has apologized for a statement he made about the Black Lives Matter movement. Muir has been on leave since the comment attracted attention last week, but is expected to return to teaching soon. In a Facebook post, he said (all spellings sic): “Black lives matter is the biggest rasist organisation since the clan. Are you kidding me. Disgusting!!!”
In a new statement he said, in part: "I was wrong in my comparison and want to offer my profound apologies for my words. To my students, the University of Virginia, the citizens of Charlottesville and the thousands of responders, I am truly sorry. I have been saddened by the pain it has caused this wonderful community. This careless post was called out by many for ridicule. I accept those criticisms and promise to take these hard lessons learned to heart as I go forward. Whatever my initial intention was from the post has been overshadowed by those who are rightly offended by it and others who want to use my words to further divide this community. It was never my intent for my words to cause so much turmoil."
One of Canada's major initiatives in higher education in recent years has been the Canada Excellence Research Chairs, in which universities compete for 10 million Canadian dollars (about $7.6 million U.S.) in funding over seven years for leading researchers to build up various programs. The program has been criticized because, since its founding in 2008, only one of the 27 chairs has gone to a woman.
This week, Canada announced a new round of funding for 11 new chairs. And the announcement stipulated a new requirement: "The new competition will require institutions to include detailed equity plans and recruitment strategies that promote the participation of women and other underrepresented groups in the CERC program."
The press release announcing the program said that "the government also believes that equity and excellence in the sciences are not mutually exclusive. When all people, regardless of gender, race, age and ability, are welcomed into the lab, they can work together to create breakthroughs that will help Canada seize new opportunities and respond to grand, global challenges."