Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 24, 2014

Students at two dozen high schools that use the company K12 Inc. to provide their curriculum will no longer be allowed to count their coursework toward initial-eligibility certification, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said. The schools’ nontraditional courses did not comply with NCAA requirements for athletic eligibility, AthleticsScholarships.net reported. For students who complete coursework between spring 2013 and spring 2014, eligibility will be “subject to further review on a case-by-case basis, which will require additional academic documentation,” the NCAA said. Same goes for an additional number of K12-affiliated schools that are under “extended evaluation.”

K12’s senior vice president of corporate communications, Jeff Kwitowski, said that the NCAA has “vague standards and [an] unclear review process” that leaves schools to “guess” what counts toward eligibility.

April 24, 2014

A number of student newspapers that once produced daily print editions have dropped a day or two, but The Columbia Daily Spectator plans to switch to a weekly print format with daily news online only, Capital New York reported. Editors say that this will allow for better coverage.

 

 

April 24, 2014

Two dozen Democratic members of Congress on Wednesday called on the Education Department to enact tighter regulations on campus debit cards. In a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan, the lawmakers urged the department to create rules that would prohibit any college-affiliated debit cards that students use to access federal student aid from charging fees. They also urged the department to enact a ban on revenue-sharing arrangements between debit card providers and colleges.

A negotiated rule making panel is meeting in Washington this week for the second of four scheduled sessions aimed at hammering out rules on campus debit cards, among other issues.  If the panel does not come to unanimous agreement on the package of rules, the Education Department is free to proceed with new regulations on its own. 

April 24, 2014

Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has sued th former president of the National Graduate School of Quality Management over his pay and benefits, including a Caribbean timeshare, The Boston Globe reported. The lawsuit charges that Robert J. Gee, the former president, gave himself a $152,175 bonus in 2009, and created false documents to make it look like his board had approved the funds. The suit -- which seeks to force Gee to repay millions -- says that much of his compensation was inappropriate. A lawyer for Gee said that he would defend himself, and that all pay and benefits were approved by his board.

 

April 24, 2014

A head football coach at the University of Wisconsin at River Falls helped arrange more than $4,000 in scholarships over four years for five student assistant coaches based on their athletic ability, the National Collegiate Athletic Association announced Wednesday, citing the university for failure to monitor its scholarship program. The Division III institution faces one year of probation, a review by an NCAA financial aid committee, mandatory attendance at an NCAA rules seminar and an outside audit of the university's employment and scholarship policies.

April 24, 2014

Student leaders at the University of Utah have formally asked that the institution change parts of its fight song that are seen as racist and sexist, The Salt Lake Tribune. The song's name "Utah Man" is one point of contention. Others point to lines such as "Our coeds are the fairest." The university has yet to indicate whether it will make changes, but some alumni have demanded that the song -- beloved by many -- not change.

 

April 24, 2014

Police are exploring the possibility that a student angry about a grade could have ordered a "hit" on a Miami Dade College professor, The Miami Herald reported. Marc Magellan, a professor of music and humanities, was beaten in a parking lot on the college's Kendall campus last week by an unknown attacker. Mallegan says the assailant yelled "Professor Marc" before punching him in the face and smashing his head against the ground, leaving him with a broken nose and hand.

The professor says his assailant's words, along with the fact that none of his personal belongings were taken in the attack, means he was targeted, possibly by a student. "There is nobody I can think of who would have wanted to attack me so brutally unless there was some sort of grudge or chip on their shoulder," Magellan told the Herald. "In my business, yes, the only people who hold grudges are the ones who I've had to drop or fail. It comes with the territory I guess." A college spokesman said this kind of crime, especially in broad daylight, was unprecedented for the campus, and that on-campus security has been increased as a precaution.

April 24, 2014

New research from Johns Hopkins University offers another reason to go to college: Higher education is associated with better recovery from traumatic brain injuries.

 

April 24, 2014

Adjunct professors at Seattle University who hope to organize in affiliation with the Service Employees International Union got the green light from their local National Labor Relations Board. The announcement didn’t come as a surprise to adjuncts there, who said the decision was similar to the board’s regional office ruling last year in favor of adjuncts who wish to form an SEIU-affiliated union at Pacific Lutheran University. Ballots from that subsequent union election have been impounded, however, as the national labor board weighs the university’s challenge to the ruling – namely that its religious affiliation puts it outside board jurisdiction. Michael Ng, an adjunct professor of languages and literature at both institutions, said organizers expect Seattle University to pose a similar challenge to the local board’s decision that a union runs “no significant risk of constitutional infringement” on the institution, which “lacks substantial religious character.” A university spokeswoman referred questions about the decision to previous statements made by Isiaah Crawford, provost, expressing concern about NLRB infringement on its religious identity. The university has until May 1 to appeal the decision. The union would include about 356 non-tenure-track faculty. A union vote date has not yet been announced.

April 23, 2014

Public historically black colleges are playing a key role in educating black and non-black students, but are "under siege" by many state policies, according to a new report from the Center for Minority Serving Institutions at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. The report finds that many states are adopting funding mechanisms that disadvantage black colleges. The report focuses on Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina.

 

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