Higher Education Quick Takes
Nicholas B. Dirks, executive vice president and dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences at Columbia University, was on Thursday named as the next chancellor of the University of California at Berkeley. Dirks is the Franz Boas Professor of Anthropology and History at Columbia and the author of three books on India.
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.
Voters in the Austin, Texas, metropolitan area supported a tax increase proposal on ballots Tuesday that will provide revenue to support a new medical school at the University of Texas at Austin, a longtime ambition for the flagship university that it has struggled to support financially.
The new tax is the final piece of the funding puzzle administrators said they needed secured before they moved ahead on the school. University administrators said Tuesday that they would appoint a committee to choose a dean, select a location for the school, and finalize partnerships. They said they hope to have a medical school and teaching hospital in place for a first class of 50 students by 2015.
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.
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.
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.
Smith College will mark Election Day (and remind students to vote) by serving food items associated with presidents. On the menu today: New England clam chowder (a favorite of President Kennedy), mini ballpark franks (inspired by the time President Franklin D. Roosevelt served them to British royalty), and jelly beans (President Reagan's favorite snack). President Obama will be represented by his favorite chili recipe. And to assure a bipartisan spirit to the day, hummus favored by Governor Mitt Romney will also be served.