Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

March 10, 2014

Boston University is investigating allegations that Kelly Greenberg, the women's basketball coach, has engaged in bullying and emotional abuse of players, The Boston Globe reported. The investigation follows the decision of four women to leave the team this year, with all four saying that they had been emotionally abused. One said she was so damaged that she thought about suicide. Similar complaints were filed against Greenberg by her team seven years ago. Greenberg declined to comment.

March 7, 2014

Some Pennsylvania legislators are working on a plan that would allow the larger institutions in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education to break away and become independent "state related" universities, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. The move comes at a time that some system campuses are experiencing enrollment declines and that they all face state budget cuts. System leaders oppose the plan, saying that it would lead to higher tuition rates for those campuses that break away, and would undercut those institutions that remained in the system.

 

March 7, 2014

Victory University, a for-profit institution in Memphis, is shutting down, Memphis News Channel 3 reported. Rumors have circulated about financial problems at the institution, which has 1,600 students.

 

March 7, 2014

The majority of the dozen or so athletes who've sued the National Collegiate Athletic Association over concussions have been football players, and in the top division, they've all been former athletes. But the first current Division I athlete to sue over the issue is a female cross country runner from Stanford University. Jessica Tonn alleges in a lawsuit filed Wednesday that the NCAA failed to adequately educate coaches and athletes about concussions and did not implement proper guidelines and procedures to detect head injuries, the Los Angeles Times reported. Tonn says in the lawsuit, filed in a U.S. district court, that she "suffered a head injury as a member of the track team" and "needs medical monitoring." The NCAA did not respond in time for publication.

March 7, 2014

Students at Alamo Colleges in San Antonio will have to take an academic success course based in part on the popular self-help book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, MySanAntonio.com reported. The course, backed by Chancellor Bruce Leslie, had been controversial among faculty because it will replace one of just two humanities courses in the core curriculum. Faculty at Northwest Vista College were particularly vocal in their opposition, writing a letter to the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board asking it not to approve the course as part of the core. But the board approved the course this week. Viviane Marioneaux, president of the Faculty Senate at Northwest Vista, said the course had not gone through the typical faculty vetting process and compared what she said was a "course-centered," versus student-centered approach to the core, to "riding a horse backward." Leslie has said that students come to college underprepared and need explicit instruction on how to "do" college and prepare for the working world.

March 7, 2014

At least nine students at Ohio State University have mumps, WBNS News reported. Officials are trying to determine the cause of the outbreak. In February, Fordham University saw an outbreak.

 

March 7, 2014

A former West Virginia University football player is suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association and the five major conferences, alleging that an agreement to cap athletic scholarship  at levels too low violates antitrust laws. The Atlantic Coast, Big 12, Big Ten, Pac-12 and Southeastern Conferences limit scholarships to amounts lower than the actual cost of attending college and "far below" what the free market would produce, says the lawsuit, first reported by AL.com. (One study found that full scholarships fall an average $3,500 short of the full cost of attendance.)

Shawne Alston, the plaintiff, is seeking an injunction to prohibit the NCAA and conferences from maintaining the current NCAA bylaw that limits financial aid to its currently defined grant-in-aid value (including tuition, books, fees, room and board, but not out-of-pocket expenses). The lawsuit, which seeks to represent former Football Bowl Subdivision football players who have played in the major conferences since February 2010, also seeks damages for the differences between scholarships awarded and the full cost of attendance.

A separate, high-profile lawsuit alleges that the NCAA violates antitrust law by benefiting financially off athletes' image, who are forbidden from profiting from their own likeness. NCAA chief legal officer Donald Remy said officials "just received a copy of the complaint and are evaluating it as it relates to similar cases filed by the very same plaintiffs' council."

March 7, 2014

A former assistant professor of Spanish at Missouri State University has been charged with taking semi-nude photos of men in locker rooms on campus, the Springfield News-Leader reported. Eduardo Acuna-Zumbado was reportedly seen taking photos in January and additional photos were later found on his cell phone. Acuna-Zumbado was a member of the faculty from 2008 through Monday. A university lawyer declined to comment on the circumstances of his departure. Acuna-Zumbado could not immediately be reached for comment.

March 7, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Robert Goldstone, professor of psychological and brain sciences at Indiana University, explains that those who copy others' ideas play a crucial role in the overall creative process. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

March 7, 2014

Shorelight Education, a new player in the growing business of developing pathway programs for international students, sought and won an injunction to prevent the release of its contract with the University of Kansas to the Lawrence Journal-World, the newspaper reported. Shorelight, which has teamed with Kansas to recruit international students and operate a first-year experience program combining academic and English as a second language coursework, argued that release of the contract -- requested by the newspaper under open records law -- would compromise proprietary information that could help other corporations replicate its business model. The newspaper reported that while administrators hope that the program will boost international student enrollment, some faculty are concerned about issues of academic oversight.
 

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