Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 3:00am

Wesleyan University announced in a campus email Monday that the college has expelled two of the five students arrested in February after 12 students -- 10 from Wesleyan -- were hospitalized after the use of the club drug Molly. The email from Michael Whaley, vice president for student affairs, addressed press coverage that has suggested a widespread drug problem at Wesleyan. "Survey data consistently shows that rates of illegal use of drugs (other than marijuana) are just slightly higher here than the national average for colleges and universities, and the statistics bandied about in the media reflect the fact that Wesleyan has been actively addressing drug violations, the huge majority of which are for small amounts of marijuana. Still, much as we may deplore exaggerations in the media, it’s clear that the problem of illicit drug use, which exists on campuses across the country, exists here as well," Whaley wrote. "What the statistics show is that we don’t sweep the issue under the rug."

At the same time, he added that it was "the right time to ask what more we can do." As a result, the university is convening a committee that will develop recommendations on both policies and educational efforts.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 4:29am

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has suspended most education programs at the University of Minnesota at Duluth amid reports of turmoil in the university's education college, The Duluth News Tribune reported. Some of the programs have been suspended because the university submitted inaccurate information about them, state officials said. The university said it will work to regain full recognition, but some students are worried about the impact on their ability to find jobs.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 3:00am

The former head of Herguan University, in California, has pleaded guilty to visa fraud and agreed to pay $700,000 and serve up to two years in prison, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Jerry Wang was indicted in 2012 on fraud charges that related to the for-profit university’s enrollment of foreign students who come to the U.S. on visas. 

Herguan remains certified by the federal government to host international students, although officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that they have moved to revoke the institution’s certification.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 3:00am

Emory & Henry College let a booster and a trustee help package financial aid for two football players and considered athletic talent in awarding $80,000 in scholarships to 27 athletes in 9 sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association's Division III Committee on Infractions ruled in punishing the Virginia college last week. NCAA investigators and college officials agreed on the findings, as part of the association's summary disposition process. Division III members of the NCAA are not supposed to take athletics criteria into account in awarding financial aid. And the review found that the institution had increased the aid awards to two prospective football players because of outside pressure from the trustee and donor, respectively.

The penalties imposed on the college include the football team's vacation of wins in which the two ineligible players participated, and postseason bans for "any of the school’s teams that include student-athletes who received scholarship funds that included athletics involvement as a criterion." (Note: This item has been updated from an earlier version to correct the penalties imposed.)

Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 3:00am

The University of Miami announced Monday that its next president will be Julio Frenk, the dean of Harvard University's public health school and the former minister of health in Mexico. He will succeed Donna Shalala, who has been president since 2001. In an interview Sunday, Frenk said he plans to push for increased ties between the university and its counterparts in the Caribbean and Latin America. "Latin America and the Caribbean have been relatively neglected in the global dialogue" in higher education, he said. Miami, already with strong ties in the region, is in a position to do much more, he said.

Miami has had both considerable success and scandal in big-time athletics over the years. Asked about his approach to athletics, Frenk said he was "committed to the idea that athletics is an integral part of the higher education experience," but he declined to elaborate, saying that he first needed to "immerse" himself in the issues.


Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 3:00am

Taylor Swift's "Style" is the inspiration for "Science Style," the latest video by AsapSCIENCE, a Canadian group committed to encouraging more people to understand and study science.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, John Lurz, an English professor at Tufts University, discusses physical media through a close reading of Marcel Proust. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Monday, April 13, 2015 - 3:00am

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who is seeking the Republican presidential nomination, on Friday called for all college expenses to be tax deductible, The Los Angeles Times reported. He did so while criticizing President Obama's proposal to make community college free. "The president says, 'I want to give you free college.' It sounds good at first, but think about it? How could it be free?"

Paul added, "I have a better idea. Let’s let college students deduct the entire cost of their educations over their working careers. Let’s make college tuition entirely deductible." He did not provide details in the speech, given to students at the University of Iowa. There currently are federal tax deductions for some college expenses, but in many cases they would not cover the entire cost of college, as Paul suggested they should.

Monday, April 13, 2015 - 3:00am

Florida authorities have charged two Troy University students with participating in a gang rape of a woman, an attack that was videotaped, AL.com reported. Bay County (Fla.) Sheriff Frank McKeithen said that the two students were part of a group that assaulted a woman while others did nothing. "Within 10 feet from where this is happening there are hundreds, hundreds of people standing there watching, looking, seeing, hearing what is going on, and yet our culture and our society and our young people have got to the point where obviously this is acceptable somewhere, but I will tell you it is not acceptable in Bay County," McKeithen said.


Monday, April 13, 2015 - 4:19am

The University of Michigan last week called off a screening of the film American Sniper after the Muslim Student Association objected to the movie, but the university reversed itself and the film was shown without incident. At Eastern Michigan University, however, four protesters were detained briefly after they disrupted a Friday night screening of the film, MLive reported. About 40 students in total participated in the protest, holding signs. After a delay, the film was shown, but a second showing that night was called off because of the delays in the first screening.


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