Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

May 29, 2014

John Q. Easton, director of the U.S. Education Department's research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences, will leave the government to join the Spencer Foundation this fall. Easton, who formerly headed the University of Chicago's Consortium on Chicago School Research, was the second director of IES, which houses the National Center for Education Statistics and the National Center for Education Research, among other entities. Spencer focuses on research-based improvement in education.

May 29, 2014

A graduate, two professors and two students are suing Cooper Union to try to keep it tuition-free. The petitioners, members of the Committee to Save Cooper Union, accuse the New York City college’s administrators and trustees of squandering money and missing opportunities to avoid charging tuition. The lawsuit, filed in state court, asks the court to prevent the college from charging tuition and to appoint a special master to investigate the institution’s finances.

A college spokesman told the Wall Street Journal that Cooper Union administrators were disappointed the activists chose a costly lawsuit over "constructive conversation." 

May 29, 2014

The Western Interstate Commission of Higher Education (WICHE) today announced plans to spin off a learning-analytics project as a separate nonprofit group. The commission formed the Predictive Analytics Reporting Framework in 2011 as a collaboration between six online institutions, which shared data about student learning. Since then the work has broadened to include on-ground and competency-based institutions. WICHE said today that the data-services collaborative would become an independent organization by the end of the year.

May 29, 2014

Berry College has decided to build its new stadium elsewhere rather than risk disturbing the nest of two bald eagles whose webcam goings-on have earned them more than 17 million pageviews. The college had initially planned to move the stadium site only modestly, to keep the new facility close to its other sports facilities, but its officials had a change of heart amid the eagles' growing popularity and their continued use of the nest. 

May 29, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Nancy Low, assistant professor of psychiatry at McGill University, discusses the correlation between these two afflictions. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

May 28, 2014

Yeshiva University is looking to help rectify some of its financial difficulties by giving up day-to-day operations of its Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the university announced Tuesday.

Yeshiva wants to form a new entity with its longtime partner that runs the university hospital at the medical college, the Montefiore Health System. Shortfalls at the university as a whole have been driven by operations at the medical college.

Under the planned arrangement, Montefiore will take “greater responsibility for the day-to-day operations and financial management” of the medical college while Yeshiva will remain the degree-granting institution for it, the university and the health system said in a news release. The university’s trustees and the health system’s board leadership have endorsed the plan, but there is not yet a final agreement and that agreement would then be subject to regulatory approval. 

May 28, 2014

A senior administrator whose forced departure spurred faculty unrest at Our Lady of Holy Cross College in Louisiana is returning to her job as head of the nursing program, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported. Patricia Prechter had sought to relinquish the provost's job she had taken on in addition to her nursing department duties, but the college's president, Ronald Ambrosetti, told her via email that he interpreted her decision as a resignation, the newspaper reported. That prompted several faculty members to resign in protest and a vote of no confidence in the president. The college's regents got involved to strike an agreement that led to Prechter's return to the nursing position, The Times-Picayune said.

May 28, 2014

The federal tax code should do more to help middle-income Americans afford college -- but that goal can be accomplished without the sort of wholesale restructuring of higher education tax benefits that many are advocating, the Center for American Progress argues in a paper to be released today. In the paper, some of the center's experts urge changes that would cap certain benefits and expand others, with the overall goal of encouraging more savings by middle income Americans. Many of the tax code benefits for higher education now greatly favor wealthy Americans, the report says.

May 28, 2014

Massachusetts community college adjuncts overwhelmingly approved a three-year contract guaranteeing a 3.5 percent pay bump and increased job security, the Massachusetts Teachers Association announced Tuesday. The agreement covers some 5,000 adjuncts at the state's 15 community colleges, who are affiliated with the National Education Association. Under the contract, which promises a 3.5 percent pay raise for two years and 4 percent raise in the third year and establishes a systemwide salary scale, adjuncts will receive extra pay for attending campus meetings and lab instruction.

Veteran instructors also will have greater access to additional course assignments. Grievance policies for adjuncts have been enhanced, as have performance reviews procedure. The Massachusetts Community College Council did not immediately respond to request for comment.

May 28, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Robin Read, research fellow at Plymouth University, in Britain, discusses his research on the nature by which robots communicate. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

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