Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Sara Konrath of the University of Michigan explores the relationship between age and the ability to feel empathy for others. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 4:25am

The Connecticut General Assembly has given final approval to a plan to two major spending initiatives for the University of Connecticut. One part would provide $1.5 billion for construction of facilities, including laboratories, equipment and housing. A second part would provide $137 million to hire additional faculty members so that enrollment can be increased in science and technology fields.

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 4:29am

Queen's University in Canada is apologizing for having asked a student to remove his underwear art from an exhibit to be presented to donors, The Toronto Star reported. David Woodward, the student, was among those asked to participate, but organizers asked him to take down his art when they saw it. The work he was to have presented, "All I Am Is What I've Felt," consists of images and words written on white men's briefs. He said that he considers the work to be about gender, sexuality and intimacy. The underwear art (tame in comparison to student art that has caused controversy elsewhere) may be viewed here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 3:00am

Coalitions of librarians and colleges and universities filed friend of the court briefs Tuesday supporting the HathiTrust in a lawsuit in which authors' groups charge that the digital repository is violating their copyright in making some of their works freely available. The briefs were filed with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, which is considering an appeal of a federal judge's ruling last October that sided overwhelmingly with the trust and the universities (Michigan, California and Wisconsin, and Indiana) that created it. In their brief urging the Second Circuit to uphold the lower court, the American Library Association, the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Association of Research Libraries argue that a ruling for the Authors' Guild and the others challenging the HathiTrust would "prevent libraries from performing some of their most basic functions, from film preservation to Internet access." And the brief filed by the American Council on Education, several other major groups of college presidents, and Educause vigorously defends the doctrine of "fair use" that they say the plaintiffs challenging HathiTrust would undermine.

The Authors Guild is scheduled to reply to these briefs within a month.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 3:00am

An explosion took place just before noon Tuesday at a building at Nyack College's Rockland County campus. College officials said that five employees and two students were in the building at the time. While there were injuries, there were no fatalities. Authorities are trying to determine the cause of the explosion.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 3:00am

A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday says that Lone Star College's system for electing its Board of Trustees discriminates against minority citizens, The Houston Chronicle reported. Lone Star has at-large elections where the entire community college district's area is used to elect all board members for the community college system. The suit argues that no Hispanic trustees and very few black trustees have ever been elected, even though 30 percent of the district population is Latino and 16 percent is black. Subdividing the system district into areas would probably result in a more diverse board, the suit says. Lone Star officials said that they had not been formally served with papers, and could not comment on the suit.

 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 3:00am

The president of St. Mary's College of Maryland is leaving amid a major enrollment and budget shortfall after just three years in office, the institution announced Tuesday. Joseph F. Urgo said in the release that he had asked the public liberal arts college's board not to renew his contract, for "personal and professional reasons." The change comes in the wake of news that the college had fallen significantly short of its enrollment target for next fall, necessitating a budget cut of as much as $3.5 million.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Brian Houston of the University of Missouri reveals how modern communication technology is changing how military families deal with deployment. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013 - 4:23am

The National Endowment for the Humanities is investigating whether laws were broken when grant applications from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences incorrectly indicated that its leader, Leslie Berlowitz, has a doctorate, The Boston Globe reported. The Globe reported this week that two grant applications had the false claim of a doctorate, and the endowment found a third. A spokesman for the academy said that Berlowitz didn't review the portion of the grant applications that had the incorrect information about her education. But the Globe reported that the false claim also has appeared in a job ad for the academy and in a draft advance obituary prepared at the academy for Berlowitz.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013 - 4:25am

The State Board of Higher Education in North Dakota voted Monday to buy out the contract of Hamid Shirvani, the system chancellor, The Bismarck Tribune reported. Shirvani has faced a series of conflicts in the state in which various campus and political officials have questioned his managerial style. He has maintained that he was hired to push a reform agenda, knowing that some would disagree. He said that he respected the board's decision, and that he had asked board members to either issue a strong show of support or to “please just buy out my contract and thank you very much."

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