Higher Education Quick Takes
The University of Waterloo will close its campus in Dubai because of inadequate enrollment and an inability to form partnerships for research, The Record of Waterloo reported. Waterloo opened its campus in the United Arab Emirates three years ago, with ambitions to enroll 500 students by this fall. But a statement from the university Tuesday said that the 80 students enrolled on the Dubai campus could finish their educations on the university's home campus in Ontario.
Several hundred students at the University of Mississippi who were frustrated by President Obama's re-election held a protest early Wednesday morning. The Clarion-Ledger reported that while the event was incorrectly described as a "riot," it did involve burning of an Obama campaign poster and the shouting of racial epithets. Chancellor Dan Jones issued a statement expressing disappointment in the “immature and uncivil approach” of some students.
A former dean at St. John’s University accused of stealing more than $1 million from the institution and forcing international students to perform personal chores as a condition of their scholarships was found dead on Tuesday; police are investigating her death as a suicide, The New York Times reported. Cecilia Chang was midway through her trial at the federal court in Brooklyn, where she took the stand on Monday. As St. John’s vice president for international relations and dean of the Institute of Asian Studies, Chang allegedly charged hundreds of thousands of dollars of personal expenses to a university credit card, and forced international students to clean her house and hand-wash her underwear, among other chores. Chang faced up to 20 years in prison.
The University of California at Berkeley announced Tuesday that it has created 100 endowed chairs by matching a $113 million grant from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation. The grant was made amid concern that Berkeley risked losing star faculty members to private institutions in an era when the state could not be counted on to support faculty salaries. By endowing the chairs, the university hopes to hold on to and attract top faculty talent, which in turn is expected to attract top graduate students.
About 350 students at Fairfield University were displaced by Hurricane Sandy, and the university is relocating them with friends, with local volunteers and others. Four students have an unusual new home, The Connecticut Post reported. President Jeffrey von Arx opened his home, and they have moved in.
The House Education and the Workforce committee has asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate servicing issues in the Direct Loan program, including the performance of loans under both direct lending and federally guaranteed lending and servicing problems that some borrowers are reportedly experiencing. The Education Department's system has had gaps and errors since it began issuing all student loans in 2010, including servicing problems that left some students unable to rehabilitate defaulted loans. House Republicans, who opposed the switch to direct lending, said the recent complaints were "troubling."
Tiffany Edwards, a spokeswoman for the committee's Democrats, said the program "should be held to a high standard and be working in the best interest of students," comparing direct lending favorably to the former bank-based lending program.
The executive director of the foundation for Los Angeles Trade-Technical College has resigned, 10 months after being placed on leave in the wake of an audit that raised questions about payments made to her and other possible financial improprieties, the Los Angeles Times reported. Rhea Chung was placed on administrative leave in January, and she defended her record at the foundation in a letter to the chancellor of the Los Angeles Community College District. The county's district attorney is still investigating the possible wrongdoing at the foundation.
The U.S. Department of Education is questioning the "financial responsibility" of Corinthian Colleges based on the department's interpretation of the for-profit's estimated intangible assets, according to a corporate filing. If not resolved, the matter could lead to Corinthian losing its eligibility to participate in federal financial aid programs. The company said in a statement that it disagrees with the department's revised take on its assets. Representatives from Corinthian and the department will meet soon to discuss the issue.