Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

August 28, 2014

The University of Central Florida will this fall use the career website Glassdoor to teach its business students how to land a job after graduation. The website, which aggregates reviews and salary information about companies from current and former employees, will be used in a news series on classes on career professionalism. In a press release, Glassdoor noted that this is the first time it has been embedded in a university's curriculum.

August 28, 2014

Fund-raising is up at the nation’s medical schools and teaching hospitals, according to a new survey by the Association of American Medical Colleges.

The association found the average school or hospital saw its fund-raising haul increase by 16.2 percent in the 2013 fiscal year over 2012. The survey looked at 137 institutions and found an average hospital or medical school received about $55.4 million in donor support in 2013. That means the survey looked at about $7.5 billion in philanthropic giving.

By comparison, donors gave about $34 billion to North American colleges and universities in 2013, an increase of about 9 percent over all, according to survey released in February of broader higher ed giving trends by the Council for Aid to Education.

August 28, 2014

Canadian universities have an estimated $8.4 billion in deferred facilities maintenance, more than double the amount they had in 2000, according to a survey conducted for the Canadian Association of University Business Officers. The survey, by the firm Sightlines, found that without substantial investment in renovations or construction, a full quarter of the universities' facilities space will have gone 50 years without renewal, and more than 60 percent of it will have forgone significant renovation in 25 years.

August 28, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Andrew Mendelson, chair of Temple University’s journalism department, examines the role of cell phone cameras as part of the journalistic landscape. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

August 27, 2014

An article called "So you want to date a teaching assistant" has set off a furor at Western University, in Ontario. The article appeared in the special issue of The Gazette, the student newspaper, for new students. The piece described strategies such as Facebook stalking, dressing to attract T.A. attention, office hours visits, and so forth. Reaction has been intense -- most of it negative. The union that represents T.A.s at Western posted a response saying that the piece had essentially been "a guide on how to sexually harass another human being." The provost wrote a letter to the editor in which she said: "Not only does the spirit of the article run contrary to Western’s efforts to have a workplace and learning environment that is free from sexual harassment, it is disrespectful of the essential contribution graduate teaching assistants make to Western’s academic mission."

The new students' issue was also criticized for articles on alcohol and drug use, but most of the criticism has been about the article on teaching assistants. In a response published Tuesday in the newspaper, the editors noted that they have published serious articles on these topics in the past. "The Frosh Issue, as with all of our special issues, gives us a unique opportunity to address some of these same social issues in a more light-hearted, informal way," the response said. But the editors noted that they have listened to the criticism and realize that not everyone interpreted the articles in the way the authors intended. "Regardless of the specific controversies surrounding certain pieces, it should be clear that The Gazette does not encourage or condone sexual harassment, assault, other forms of violence, excessive alcohol consumption or unsafe drug use," said the response.

 

August 27, 2014

The American Sociological Association has approved a new set of gender categories by which members can classify themselves for organizational purposes. After some debate, the association decided on the following:

  • Male
  • Female
  • Transgender Male/Transgender Man
  • Transgender Female/Transgender Woman
  • Genderqueer/Gender Non-conforming
  • Preferred Identity (in addition to or not listed above) _____________
  • Prefer not to state

Members will select “all that apply.” John Curtis, director of research for the association, said the categories were recommended by a committee tasked with coming up with terminology that satisfied its members, and that the ACA Council recently approved those recommendations. Last year, some sociologists said that the association’s existing group of terms -- female, male and prefer not to answer -- weren’t inclusive enough. But there was disagreement as to which new terms were best, particularly over one proposal to adopt the term “other,” as some sociologists thought that was marginalizing. The categories will be in effect by the 2016 membership year.

August 27, 2014

Four students at Case Western Reserve University were killed Monday night when the small plane one of them was flying crashed, Cleveland.com reported. A statement from the university said that three of the four students were members of the wrestling team.

 

August 27, 2014

South Korea is tightening the admissions requirements for Korean students who live outside the country, The Korea Herald reported. The country allows Koreans from abroad to apply without taking the entrance exam that is crucial to admission of most students. Now the country will specify the time one must live abroad to qualify. The change follows reports of students in Korea going abroad for brief periods to qualify for the text exemption.

 

August 27, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Dana Burde, an assistant professor of international education at New York University, discusses her work to improve the way Afghan children are educated. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

August 26, 2014

Students inspired by (or tired of) the "ice bucket challenge" for ALS research have taken to Twitter with the #PayMyTuition challenge, in which they are challenging various celebrities to help finance their higher education. There are lots of requests to the usual suspects -- President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Gates, etc. Also there have been some notable responses. At Austin Peay State University, the Reserve Officers' Training Corps, responded by noting that ROTC does in fact pay tuition. (Of course ROTC requires a much more serious commitment than dumping a bucket of ice on one's head or tweeting.) Blackboard responded with a contest inviting students to explain how they will use their education to make the world a better place. First place is a $15,000 scholarship.

 

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