Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 27, 2014

The massive no-show courses scandal at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is attracting considerable attention from humorists. On "Saturday Night Live," the Weekend Update sketch quoted athletes at UNC as saying that the reports were "ungood" and "distrue." The New Yorker's Borowitz Report ran an article with the headline "UNC Boosters Outraged That Some Athletes Took Real Classes," and The Onion ran an infographic on "What Privileges Do Student Athletes Receive?" Among the benefits: "Early registration times allow scholar-athletes to enroll in the most in-demand fluff courses" and "At Ohio State, athletes receive complimentary transportation to and from crime scenes."

 

October 27, 2014

The presidents of more than 50 Roman Catholic colleges and universities have issued a joint statement urging compassion and help for the refugee children on the U.S.-Mexico border. "We, the undersigned presidents of Catholic colleges and universities, are committed to this welcoming ethos, and to fostering a humanizing and ethical stance on America’s refugee emergency," the statement says. "We pledge to support activities designed to raise awareness and understanding of refugee issues among our students and the broader communities that we serve. These may include a National Day of Reflection/Action, campus prayer services, and social media campaigns. We also pledge to help advance the wide-ranging and specific recommendations of the bishops’ Committee on Migration, and to promote dialogue and actions consistent with Pope Francis’s call to welcome and protect these boys and girls."

 

October 27, 2014

Here's the latest attempt to encourage students to enroll in full schedules each semester so that they can graduate on time. It's sketch comedy from the University of Akron.

October 27, 2014

The Texas Christian University Horned Frogs are having a productive year on the football field, and the success is taking a toll on the institution's pyrotechnics budget. Drew Martin, TCU's assistant athletics director for marketing and licensing, reported on Twitter that, during Saturday's 82-27 thrashing of Texas Tech University, TCU burned through its entire stock of fireworks for the 2014 season. The Horned Frogs have scored 239 points during their five-game unbeaten streak at home this year and still have another two home games left.

 

October 27, 2014

The University of Zimbabwe has banned students from kissing on campus, BBC reported. While the university has not detailed its rationale for the ban, students are objecting. "In this age to say I'm no longer allowed to kiss or hug someone ... is unreasonable," said Tsitsi Mazikana, a student.

 

October 27, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Alex Müller, a fellow at the University of Cape Town, in South Africa, chronicles the plight of LGBT patients in the health care arena. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

October 24, 2014

College athletes meet the definition of part-time worker under federal law just as federal work study participants do and should be paid at least minimum wage, a lawsuit filed in federal court this week alleges.

USA Today reports on the lawsuit's filing in federal court in Indianapolis, where the NCAA has its headquarters, and notes that the lawsuit -- by naming every Division I college and university as a defendant, as well as the association -- expands the scope of institutions that are directly targets of the large and growing collection of lawsuits seeking to change how college athletes are compensated.

October 24, 2014

The University of California at Santa Barbara is expected today to announce a $65 million gift to its Kavli Institute for Theoretical Physics, The New York Times reported. The gift, from Charles T. Munger, an investor best known as Warren Buffett's business partner, will support a residence for the institute, which brings groups of physicists together for long periods of times to brainstorm.

October 24, 2014

At Ohio State University and the University of Oklahoma, controversies involving marching bands have become significant issues on the campus and statewide.

Ohio State has now, in response to a lawsuit by the band director it fired, Jonathan Waters, released more details about the inappropriate behavior that the university says led to the dismissal. The Columbus Dispatch reported that the university's latest legal filings say that officials found "a third sexual assault in the band while he was in charge, and they found several raunchy student-produced videos that sometimes included students who were partially nude. Waters sometimes appeared in cameos, according to OSU." Waters has denied wrongdoing and many band alumni are backing him.

In Oklahoma, Justin Stolarik resigned as director of the Pride of Oklahoma band, amid widespread criticism of the band's performance and of rules -- recently lifted -- that barred band members from speaking out about their concerns, The Norman Transcript reported.

 

 

October 24, 2014

State officials in Montana and administrators at Stanford University are looking into whether a project by researchers at Stanford and Dartmouth College may have inappropriately deceived voters, the Associated Press reported. Some voters in Montana received a flyer in the mail this week -- which looked to many like official election material because it contained the state seal -- that rated judicial candidates on a scale of "more liberal" to "more conservative."

The mailer was sent by researchers at Stanford and Dartmouth as part of an experiment of whether residents are more likely to vote if they have more information about candidates. The AP article quotes Montana's secretary of state, Linda McCullough, as saying she believes the researchers "actually crossed the line from research into influencing voters." A spokeswoman for Stanford, Lisa Lapin, told the news service: "We are taking this very seriously.... We sincerely apologize to those voters and we apologize to the secretary of state for the confusion."

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