Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 3:00am

Fans of the University of Connecticut and others are debating a new practice there of asking those attending home football and basketball games to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag before the traditional playing of the national anthem, The New York Times reported. While some see the pledge as a welcome sign of patriotism and unity, others question a public university asking people to say anything with the words "under God" and note concerns for international athletes.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 3:00am

For-profit colleges have done a better job of being mindful about efficiency and effectiveness than their nonprofit peers, U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx, who heads the House subcommittee on higher education, said during a panel discussion on Monday. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools hosted the event, which was on workforce training. Representative Foxx, a North Carolina Republican, also said the federal government has not scrutinized nonprofit colleges with the same vigor as for-profits, noting that "accountability hits the new kid on the block hardest."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Monica Ciobanu of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh examines the options newly formed governments have as they seek justice against deposed rulers. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 4:17am

Authorities in Vancouver continue to investigate an incident in which a student meeting at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, in British Columbia, was interrupted by people who released substances believed to be pepper spray, and some students needed medical assistance, The Vancouver Sun reported. The meeting was being held to oust the student government, and the chemicals were released just before a quorum was reached.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 4:22am

Israel's Council for Higher Education has passed a series of reform proposals designed to assure higher levels of competence in English by university graduates, Ynet News reported. The changes raise the scores required in English on entrance requirements and also require more instruction in English while enrolled at universities.


Monday, December 5, 2011 - 3:00am

Duncan Eddy, a student at Rice University, has created a website called Save Duncan's Butt to try to raise enough money for him to pay for damage he caused while attempting to participate in a campus tradition. The tradition involves running through the library naked and leaving body marks by covering certain body parts in shaving cream and pressing those parts against glass surfaces. Eddy's attempts broke a window in the library and he now must raise $15,000 to replace it -- or leave the university, according to his website. So far, he has raised more than $9,000.

Monday, December 5, 2011 - 4:20am

The Iowa Board of Regents will consider proposed rules this week that would bar public universities going forward from naming centers or institutes after public officials who are still in office, The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported. The proposal is a response to criticism of the board's decision in April to name a center at Iowa State University the Harkin Institute for Public Policy, honoring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat. Many Republicans criticized the decision.


Monday, December 5, 2011 - 3:00am

Among the items that went viral on Facebook, Twitter and elsewhere this weekend was a professor's obituary, written with love by his son. Robert Spiegel taught Russian literature for decades at Central Connecticut State University. The mix of serious and humorous sentiments in his obituary prompted many to share it. Here's an excerpt: "Over the course of 43 years of teaching, he introduced countless neophytes to the wonders of the well-written word, passionately teaching the likes of Dostoyevsky, Vonnegut, Gogol, Gibson and virtually everyone in between. The final, and an immensely popular course he taught, was that of the literature of baseball. This was thinly veiled therapy to alleviate the trauma he sustained from coaching arguably the worst little league team in recorded (or unrecorded) history and from the sufferings he endured from 40 years as a devout Mets fan." The full obituary is here, and an Associated Press article about the obituary may be found here.

Monday, December 5, 2011 - 3:00am

In the Chicago area, relatively few reports of sexual assault on campuses are prosecuted, The Chicago Tribune reported. The newspaper examined records from 16 local colleges and found that police investigated 109 reported sex crimes since fall 2005. Those investigations led to only 12 arrests and 5 convictions. While prosecutors blame lack of evidence for hindering arrests in some cases, some victims and some campus officials believe that solid cases were not taken seriously enough.


Monday, December 5, 2011 - 3:00am

A judge in Washington State ruled Friday that Seattle Central Community College may evict Occupy movement protesters who have been camping at the college for more than a month, The Seattle Times reported. The college recently adopted a "no camping" rule that the judge upheld. The Occupy Seattle encampment is not primarily focused on the college, but on general issues of economic inequality. College officials adopted the rule after saying that they were facing clean-up charges and security issues -- in part because of non-students attracted to the encampment. The article reported that the college may not have to enforce its new rule because the protesters appear to be moving to an abandoned warehouse elsewhere.


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