Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 20, 2014

University of Wyoming officials are speaking out against legislation that would require deans to meet twice a year with state legislators to discuss various issues, The Star-Tribune reported. Legislators say they want to work more closely with the university, but many academics believe that it is the job of the president and the board to lead deans -- and to communicate with politicians.

February 20, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Daniel Scott of the University of Waterloo discusses the potential inability for previous winter Olympic host cities to host the games again due to changing weather patterns. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

February 20, 2014

Some state legislator are calling for the University of Oklahoma to return a painting that was looted by the Nazis to the Jewish family that once owned it, The Oklahoman reported. Family members have sued the university, but Oklahoma has said it will not return the painting unless ordered to do so by a court. There is no dispute that the Nazis looted the painting from the family, but the university cites a 1953 court ruling in Switzerland that the family waited too long to claim the painting. “The university does not want to keep any items which it does not legitimately own,” said David Boren, president of the university. “However, the challenge to the university, as the current custodian of the painting, is to avoid setting a bad precedent that the university will automatically give away other people’s gifts to us to anyone who claims them.”

But Edie Roodman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Oklahoma City, said, "I think it’s certainly of concern within the Jewish community that a painting that was plundered under the Nazis was not returned to its rightful owner."

The painting is "Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep," by Camille Pissarro, currently part of the collection of the university's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

 

February 20, 2014

Marquette University announced Wednesday that 25 non-faculty employees are being told that their jobs are being eliminated, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. With other open positions not being replaced, the total number of jobs at the university is expected to drop by 105. University officials said that they were trying to minimize spending, and to minimize tuition increases.

 

February 20, 2014

An article in The New York Times explores the charges in a lawsuit against Premier Education Group, which operates for-profit colleges in 10 states. Officials of the colleges maintain that they are being sued unfairly by "misguided" or disgruntled former employees. The suit charges that the colleges admit students in part by misleading them about their chances of getting jobs. An example: One of the ex-employees who sued said she became concerned when she noticed an electronic ankle monitor on a student in a pharmacy program for which certification would likely exclude those with felony convictions. The ex-employee said she was told to find an internship for the student, even if she had to deceive the employer.

 

February 20, 2014

Six female faculty members in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado at Boulder have issued a statement expressing concerns about the impact of a recent report detailing instances of sexism and unprofessionalism in the department. The statement, published on the Feminist Philosophers blog, doesn't take issue with the conclusions of the report. But the statement notes that the report (which was released by the university although the authors of the report didn't intend for it to become public) could unfairly damage the reputations of some in the department. To avoid that problem, the statement says the following: "Despite differing perceptions regarding both the report’s details and the overall impression it gives, all of us are united on a few things. First, we are all distressed that the report may damage the reputations of male colleagues who are completely innocent of sexual misconduct. It could also harm the prospects of our male graduate students currently on the market. We faculty women strongly believe that none of our currently untenured male colleagues or current male graduate students has engaged in sexual misconduct (nor, indeed, have most of our tenured colleagues). We believe that many have heard about the problems, if at all, only through the rumor mill. The second thing that unites us all is our determination to rebuild the department and its reputation."

 

February 20, 2014

Harvard University has received a $150 million gift from an alumnus, Kenneth Griffin. Most of the funds will support undergraduate financial aid.

 

February 20, 2014

The Corcoran College of Art + Design would become part of George Washington University under a plan announced Wednesday. The college and the Corcoran Gallery of Art have struggled financially for some time, and the plan would also involve the National Gallery of Art taking control of the art museum. The announcement of the plan noted that details remain to be worked out. The new plan replaces one announced in April under which the Corcoran would have created an affiliation with the University of Maryland at College Park.

 

February 20, 2014

Eight students at Fordham University have contracted mumps, CBS New York reported. All of the students had prior vaccinations, but those vaccinations do not provide full protection.

 

February 20, 2014

"Changing Student Pathways" is a collection of news articles and essays -- in print-on-demand format -- about the different paths students take (including some detours) on the way to a college degree or certificate.The articles aren't breaking news, rather analyses about long-term trends and some of the forward-looking thinking of experts about the changes in the routes students take through higher education. The goal is to provide these materials in one easy-to-read place. Download the booklet here.

This is the latest in a series of such compilations that Inside Higher Ed is publishing on a range of topics.
 
On Thursday, March 6, at 2 p.m. EST, Inside Higher Ed's editors will discuss these issues in a free webinar. Sign up to participate by clicking here.
 

 

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