Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, July 14, 2016 - 3:00am

Today on the Academic Minute, Martha McClintock, professor in the departments of comparative human development and psychology at the University of Chicago, takes a look at all the facets of health and whether there are some surprising results. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

Case Western Reserve University will not hold classes, summer camps or other activities on its campus, which is located in Cleveland, during next week's Republican National Convention, reported Cleveland.com. The university made the decision to shut down most of its activities after hearing concerns from students and faculty members about its decision to house 1,700 police officers and 200 members of the Ohio National Guard during the convention. Some students had asked Case Western to require that the officers store their weapons off campus and to provide alternative housing for students who were uncomfortable with the police presence, according to the news outlet. (Note: This item has been updated from an earlier version to clarify that some university activities will continue.)

In an email to campus, Barbara Snyder, Case Western's president, said the university made the decision to host the police officers at the request of the city and that city police had helped the campus police department when needed.

Snyder wrote that "in answering the city's convention request, we failed to give adequate consideration to the impact the decision would have on members of our community -- in particular students staying in residence halls near the buildings housing the officers."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

Former Pennsylvania State University head football coach Joe Paterno was aware as early as 1976 that former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky had molested children, according to court documents unsealed Tuesday. Paterno, who died in 2012, had previously said he was not aware of the abuse until 2001.

According to the documents, a man identified as John Doe 150 testified in 2014 that when he was 14 he was molested by Sandusky, and that he reported the abuse to Paterno. "I don't want to hear about any of that kind of stuff," Paterno allegedly told the boy. "I have a football season to worry about." The documents include several allegations that other Penn State officials ignored claims of abuse against Sandusky for decades, as well.

In 2012, Sandusky was convicted of 45 counts of child abuse and sentenced to a minimum of 30 years in prison. The NCAA, stepping outside its usual enforcement process, imposed a series of historic sanctions against the university, though it has since reversed many of them. The university has so far settled with 32 of the victims for $93 million.

"Penn State’s overriding concern has been, and remains, for the victims of Jerry Sandusky," Eric Barron, Penn State's president, said in a statement. "While individuals hold different opinions, and may draw different inferences from the testimony about former Penn State employees, speculation by Penn State is not useful. Although settlements have been reached, it also is important to reiterate that the alleged knowledge of former Penn State employees is not proven, and should not be treated as such. Some individuals deny the claims, and others are unable to defend themselves. Speculation also serves to drive a wedge within the Penn State community."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

Yale University on Tuesday released additional information about a stained-glass depiction of two slaves that a former worker used a broomstick to break. Reports on the former employee's having lost his job (Yale says he resigned) led to many questions about why Yale maintained the stained-glass window, which was also criticized by many besides the man who broke it.

Yale's new statement says: "As part of President [Peter] Salovey’s initiative in April to review Yale’s history with regard to slavery, the Committee on Art in Public Spaces was charged to assess all of the art on campus, including the windows in Calhoun [College]. After the window was broken in June, the committee recommended that it and some other windows be removed from Calhoun, conserved for future study and a possible contextual exhibition, and replaced temporarily with tinted glass. An artist specializing in stained glass will be commissioned to design new windows, with input from the Yale community, including students, on what should replace them."

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

A survey by The Guardian found cases in which British academics are being asked to withdraw from international research teams or to step down from leadership roles due to doubts about their future eligibility for European Union funding. Securing continued access to E.U. research funding in the event of a British exit from the union is a key priority for U.K. higher education following the June 23 referendum in favor of a Brexit.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

The key to designing a competency-based education program for underprepared adult students is the need to balance remedial instruction with college work, within a system of effective student support services, says a new paper from Jobs for the Future, a nonprofit group. Competency-based education has great potential for students who have remedial needs, the paper said, because of the course delivery method's focus on flexibility, customization and learning for mastery.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

A British university plans to open two graduate programs in a temporary location in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville in 2018 prior to the development of a previously announced California campus, The Sacramento Bee reported. The University of Warwick plans to begin building a permanent, 6,000-student campus on farmland outside Sacramento as early as 2019.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

It's time again for Inside Higher Ed’s monthly Cartoon Caption Contest.

Click here to propose a caption for this month's cartoon.

If you’d rather make yourself part of the democratic process, visit this page to choose your favorite from among the three finalists chosen by our panel of judges from the submissions for June’s drawing.

And please congratulate Nancy Kelly, winner of our contest for May 2016. Her caption for the cartoon at right -- “The Justice for Diversity Committee has determined that the valediction ‘See ya later’ is not a microaggression; however, we have yet to make a determination about ‘crocodile tears.’” -- was selected as this month’s reader favorite. She is a retired higher education administrator.

Thanks to her and all of you for participating.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 3:00am

Today on the Academic Minute, Susan Loeb, associate professor of nursing at Pennsylvania State University, examines end-of-life care for those in prison. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 3:00am

Cleveland State University will not hold classes on campus during next week's Republican National Convention, reports Cleveland.com. The university made the decision because of expected traffic and parking conditions around its downtown campus. About 1,700 students will be affected. University officials told professors to deliver class content online, at alternate sites or through take-home projects, the news site reported.

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