Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, April 12, 2013 - 4:27am

Authorities have charged that about 20 people become fake students at Contra Costa College, applied for and received Pell Grants, and never attended classes, The Contra Costa Times reported. The ringleaders are alleged to have recruited people to participate, and to have taken a cut of the funds from each participant. The scheme (a problem faced by other colleges) is known as a "Pell runner" scam.

 

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Evie Malaia of the University of Texas at Arlington reveals what features of American Sign Language have to say about how the brain processes language. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


 

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 4:32am

The European University Association has released a new analysis of the state of global university rankings. Various evaluation systems continue to proliferate and existing ones refine their methodologies, the report says. But some things do not change. The study notes "biases and flaws" that favor elite universities. Further, the report says that most rankings -- which tend to focus on research - "still not able to do justice to research carried out in the area of arts, humanities and social sciences."

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:00am

RMIT University, in Melbourne, is attracting criticism for its decision to reject all applications from Iranian and Syrian students because of government sanctions, The Courier-Mail reported. However, a spokesperson from Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said there are no blanket bans that would prevent the admission of students from these countries.

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:00am

Benjamin Carson. a neurosurgeon at Johns Hopkins University, has withdrawn as the graduation speaker for the ceremonies this year at the Hopkins School of Medicine and the School of Education. Some students have been pushing for him to be replaced as a speaker because of statements he made about gay people. Asked by Fox News about gay marriage, he said, "Marriage is between a man and a woman. No group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality, it doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition."

A statement from the university said that "Dr. Carson's decision to withdraw was his and his alone. He was not asked by either school to do so. He told the deans of the two schools that he was withdrawing to avoid distracting attention from the graduates."

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:00am

Hundreds of employees at Bergen Community College apparently overpaid their New Jersey and federal taxes for years, The Bergen Record reported. The overpayments were the result of incorrect calculations about life insurance policies that are covered by the W-2 forms employees receive to do their taxes. The college has issued new W-2 forms and is advising employees that they may want to file amended returns for prior years.

Friday, April 12, 2013 - 4:24am

The University of North Carolina board is expected today to name Carol Folt as the next chancellor of the flagship campus at Chapel Hill, The News & Observer of Raleigh reported. Folt is currently interim president of Dartmouth College, where she has served as provost. She will succeed Holden Thorp, who is becoming provost at Washington University in St. Louis. Thorp has been well respected as an academic leader at UNC, but is leaving the chancellorship after a series of scandals in athletics.

 

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Kevin Rockmann of George Mason University explores how the practice of telecommuting alters the relationship between a company and its employees. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
 

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 4:29am

Rutgers University President Robert Barchi -- already under fire over the scandal over an abusive basketball coach who many think should have been fired before he was -- is facing "a growing revolt" at the university's Newark campus, The Star-Ledger reported. Students and faculty members say that Barchi has favored the New Brunswick campus, denying Newark the resources that it needs. At an open forum at Newark on Monday, Barchi planned to talk about the development of a new strategic plan for the university. But he was interrupted by attendees who said they were unimpressed by his presentation and tired of their concerns not being addressed. Some at the meeting carried signs calling for Barchi's ouster. He said that he fully supports the Newark campus, although he didn't seem to convince the audience.

 

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

Russia’s education and science minister is facing calls to resign, The Moscow Times reported. Among other things, Dmitry Livanov has attracted controversy for seeking to shut down “ineffective universities” and decrease the number of state-funded placements, and for calling Russia’s Academy of Sciences futureless and unsustainable. One critic quoted by the paper said of Livanov that "he is not an education minister; he is a minister of the liquidation of education."

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