Higher Education Quick Takes
Faculty members at Lebanese University are questioning the creation of new departments to study Persian and Turkish languages, The Daily Star reported. The administration created the programs, citing the values of language study. But faculty members say that the administration ignored the faculty role in creating new academic programs. Further, some professors are concerned about the political implications. Some faculty members say that they were alarmed to see the new Persian language program included in an education agreement between Iran and Lebanon. And some faculty members question the teaching of Turkish, which is not widely taught in Lebanon, in part because of lingering anger over Ottoman rule in the region.
Simon Fraser University in British Columbia is one step away from becoming the first non-American college or university to belong to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Canadian institution awaits a ruling by the association's executive committee, expected next month, that would modify a rule that requires all NCAA members to be accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies. Simon Fraser, which was one of several Canadian institutions that explored joining the NCAA (the others opted not to), has applied for membership to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and would qualify under a rule change that would permit NCAA membership for foreign colleges that are candidates for regional accreditation.
An architectural contract for the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is on hold amid questions about conflict of interest, The Chicago Tribune reported. The $4.6 million contract was awarded to a firm owned in part by the husband of the university official who oversees the planning of construction projects. The State of Illinois has a system for review of contracts with potential conflicts, but the university awarded the funds -- since placed on hold -- without going through that system's reviews.
Presidents of Council of Independent Colleges institutions (small and medium-sized private colleges) are satisfied or very satisfied with their jobs, the organization announced Thursday. The CIC used data collected from a survey of presidents by the American Council on Education, and found that CIC presidents were more satisfied than are the presidents of public institutions. The CIC presidents are also younger than presidents in other sectors.
The Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics released preliminary data Thursday about types of degrees offered and conferred, tuition and fees rates, and enrollment head counts. Provisional data will be released in about three months, and final data will be available in 2012-13.
Some findings from the report -- “Postsecondary Institutions and Price of Attendance in 2011-12, Degrees and Other Awards Conferred: 2010-11, and 12-Month Enrollment: 2010-11” -- are:
- Between 2009-10 and 2011-12, the average tuition and fees at four-year public colleges, after adjusting for inflation, increased more for in-state students -- 9 percent, to about $7,200 -- than for out-of-state students -- 5.6 percent, to about $16,500. Nonprofit institutions reported a 4.3 percent increase in tuition and fees, to about $23,300, and for-profit institutions reported no increase from the 2009-10 inflation-adjusted figure of about $15,200.
- Of the 7,398 Title IV institutions in the United States in 2011-12, 41.3 percent, or 3,053, were classified as four-year institutions. About 31.5 percent, or 2,332, were two-year institutions, and 27.2 percent, or 2,013 were less-than-two-year institutions. About 27.6 percent, or 2,039, of all the institutions were public. About 25.5 percent, or 1,890, were nonprofit, and the largest proportion -- 46.9 percent, or 3,469 -- were for-profit institutions.
- For 2010-11, institutions reported an unduplicated headcount enrollment of about 29.5 million students, comprising about 25.6 million undergraduates and about 3.9 million graduate students. About 12.6 million students were male, and 16.9 million were female.
- For the same year, institutions reported conferring about 3.6 million degrees. Four-year institutions handed out about 2.9 million of them and two-year institutions awarded about 650,000. Of these, 942,336 were associate degrees. The most popular type of degree was a bachelor’s degree -- 1,715,913. A total of 730,635 master’s degrees were awarded, and 163,765 of all types of doctoral degrees were handed out.
A study of the football teams of the three U.S. service academies has found that the number of concussions reported increased from 23 to 42 from 2009-10 to 2010-11. The results were presented Thursday at the annual meeting of the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine. The period studied marked the start of new reporting requirements by the National Collegiate Athletic Association on concussions. As a result, researchers cautioned that increases might be because of more concussions or because of more concussions being identified and reported.
The Montana University System this week announced that it will rename all five of the state's public colleges of technology as well as the two-year college programs at its public universities. The new names drop the word "technology" and reflect an effort to broaden the two-year colleges' mission by offering more services and programming for both traditional-age students and adult learners, according to a news release. An enhanced systemwide identity is part of a push by system leaders to increase the number of degree-holders in the state.
Ever since Brandeis University, under a former president three years ago, announced plans to sell its distinguished collection of modern art, the institution has been viewed with some distrust by the art world, even after the plan was abandoned. Many have questioned why there was no permanent director for the Rose Art Museum, which houses the collection. Today Brandeis will announce that Christopher Bedford, chief curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts, a well regarded arts institution affiliated with Ohio State University, will become the new director of the Rose, The Boston Globe reported. Early word in the arts world is that the appointment will be well received and seen as the long awaited signal that the Rose and its modern art collection are secure.