Cairo University is banning faculty from wearing the niqab, a veil worn by some Muslim women that covers the face, in classrooms, Ahram Online reported. The university’s president said the decision was made to "ease communication with students," but others have criticized the ban as discriminatory.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The Lumina Foundation and the American Council on Education are examining statewide developmental, or remedial, education reforms in Connecticut and Tennessee.
In a series of reports released this week, the researchers examined how state policy in Connecticut could lead to change and offered recommendations on improving communication between the state's legislators and its higher education community. In Tennessee they looked at the evolving demands of college systems and how to implement curriculum changes.
Both states have been working for years to improve remediation.
Temple University adjuncts, full-time faculty, librarians and academic professionals have enough in common that they can hold an election to form a joint union, the Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board said this week. No election date has been set, but the Temple Association of University Professionals said the decision was another step toward forming a bigger, more inclusive union affiliated with the American Federation of Teachers. If successful, the union drive would effectively merge 1,300 adjunct faculty into a union currently representing some 1,300 tenured and non-tenure-track full-time faculty. Current union members will not be able to vote.
“Adjuncts deserve a voice and a seat at the table,” Art Hochner, an associate professor of human resource management at Temple and union president, said in an announcement. “Not only do we have a legal community of interest, but we also have many common interests: our students’ education, the advancement of knowledge, Temple’s historic mission and our material well-being.”
Temple said in a statement that it is “unwise for [the union] to be in a position to favor the interests of one group over another. Adjunct and full-time faculty are similar in some ways, but there are also important differences in responsibility and priority over tenure, workload, pay and contracts. For these reasons, merging adjunct faculty into [the union] does not make sense for full-time or adjunct faculty.”
The Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance, which since 1986 has advised the Education Department and Congress on student aid matters, has apparently provided its last advice.
Congress failed to pass legislation by Wednesday's end of the 2015 fiscal year that would have extended the life of the panel. (The legislation would also have sustained the Perkins Loan program, which supports low-income students.) Congress specifically slipped the renewal of another federal higher ed panel, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, into a continuing resolution earlier this week, but did not do so for the financial aid committee.
Education Secretary Arne Duncan will step down as the nation's top education official in December, an Education Department source confirmed Friday morning.
Duncan has overseen a department that has taken an activist role in higher education policy making, from revamping the student loan programs to aggressively cracking down on for-profit colleges and sexual assault to turning up the accountability pressures on colleges.
As has been true with many U.S. education secretaries, whose backgrounds have universally been in K-12 education, Duncan has sometimes not appeared to be the primary driver of the policy changes themselves.
Other news organizations report that President Obama plans to appoint John B. King Jr., the deputy secretary focused on elementary and secondary education, to replace Duncan. A news conference is scheduled for this afternoon to discuss the changes.
A more expansive article on Duncan's resignation will appear later on this site.
A coalition of publishers and library associations on Thursday launched Think. Check. Submit. -- an awareness campaign meant to prevent researchers from publishing their work in "predatory" journals. The launch coincides with a report that suggests the number of articles published in those journals increased almost tenfold between 2010 and 2014. The campaign, which is supported by organizations such as the Association of Learned & Professional Society Publishers and publishers such as BioMed Central, directs researchers to resources that help them ensure they are submitting their work to journals recognized by the publishing community.
Relationships between municipalities and “anchor institutions” such as universities and medical centers are more important than ever, according to a new study from the National Resource Center, but they lack structure and direction.
Interviews with experts and city officials revealed “anchors to be among the top three, if not the top employer, in 11 of the 12 cities we assessed,” according to the report, “Striking a (Local) Grand Bargain.”
“Universities and hospitals truly are the new city builders. In many cases, these institutions are the largest real estate developer in the city -- and often, the region. In many cases, they are at the center of new and existing economic clusters." The study notes that relations between communities and these institutions have improved notably over the past 10 years, but they still lack structure and are often dogged by mistrust and inconsistent outcomes.
“Most of the progress -- even in cities with good relationships with local institutions -- is often episodic and project based,” the study says. “Our era of shrinking local revenue and mobile capital demands a different relationship.” The authors outline a more robust, long term alternative, a “grand bargain,” built on common priorities.
Multiple people were killed or injured this afternoon by a shooter at Umpqua Community College, which is located in Roseburg, Ore.
NBC News reported at least 13 people may have been killed and at least 20 others injured. Local authorities are busing students and faculty members to the county fairgrounds.
Oregon is one of seven states where people can legally bring guns on campus as long as they have a concealed weapons permit. The college, which is one of 17 two-year institutions in the state, has about 3,000 full-time students.
According to a college policy, “possession, use or threatened use of firearms (including but not limited to BB guns, air guns, water pistols and paint guns) ammunition, explosives, dangerous chemicals, or any other objects as weapons on campus property, except as expressly authorized by law or college regulations, is prohibited.”