Cliopatria -- a group blog about history (broadly defined) -- is shutting down after more than 8 years of almost daily publication. Led by Ralph Luker, the blog attracted many historian/writers over the years who are web personalities, people like KC Johnson, Hugo Schwyzer, Claire Potter, Sean Wilentz and many others (including Inside Higher Ed columnist Scott McLemee). The blog was hosted by the History News Network.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Florida State University has agreed to pay $75,000 each to two blind students who sued the institution, charging that it was using instructional materials that had not been made available in forms they could use. The university denied wrongdoing but agreed to examine various technology tools to make sure they are made accessible to all.
The University of California at Davis had been expected today to release the results of an independent inquiry into the use of pepper spray on nonviolent protesters there last year. But on Monday, the university announced that a threat by the police union to seek a temporary restraining order had led the the postponement of the release. University officials said they hoped to release the study soon.
After a four-hour closed-door meeting Monday, the University of Illinois Board of Trustees put President Michael Hogan on notice, saying he needed to repair the relationship between the administration and the faculty. "We let him know that we thought we needed our people to change, or we needed change in our people," said the board's chairman, Christopher Kennedy, in a press conference after the meeting.
The board called Monday's meeting after an outbreak of criticism of Hogan, including a letter to the board from 130 endowed professors and department chairs at the university's flagship campus in Urbana-Champaign. Kennedy said the board asked Hogan to lay out certain steps he will take to mend his relationship with the faculty and expand shared governance at the university. "We want to be part of a university where shared governance is fully embraced, where there is respectful dialogue between our senior leadership team, and where the faculty feels welcome and important," he said.
Urban Meyer, head football coach at Ohio State University, has apologized to the university's gay alumni association for the practice -- which he said will be stopped -- of punishing athletes who have not been performing well by making them wear lavender jerseys, The Other Paper reported. Tim Valentine, president of the Ohio State University Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Alumni Society, praised the coach's decision. "Hidden under the guise of being a competitive motivator or 'the only color left,' the choice of lavender reinforces homophobia and promotes bullying amongst students. The color lavender is associated with the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer community,” Valentine said. Meyer said that the use of lavender "was never intended to be used to offend anybody.” He offered "sincere apologies" to the alumni group.
Corinthian Colleges Inc. announced in a corporate filing Monday that it would sell four Everest College campuses in California and also close three campuses in other states when currently enrolled students complete their studies. The four California campuses have struggled financially, according to the filing. Those campuses were among those that recently failed to meet a state threshold on student default rates. No buyer has yet emerged. The three campuses that have been targeted for closure, which are located in Florida, Georgia and Virginia, have not met the bar on student performance or financial health, the company said. Corinthian owns about 95 Everest campuses in the U.S. and Canada.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who has remained largely silent on higher education in the race so far, spoke briefly about his views on college tuition at a town hall in Ohio on Monday, The New York Times reported. He told a questioner who asked about high tuition that h doesn't intend to forgive student debt or direct government money toward students seeking a college education. “Don’t just go to one that has the highest price. Go to one that has a little lower price where you can get a good education," Romney told the student, according to the newspaper's report. "And hopefully you’ll find that. And don’t expect the government to forgive the debt that you take on.
“It would be popular for me to stand up and say I’m going to give you government money to pay for your college, but I’m not going to promise that,” the former Massachusetts governor said.
A group of 81 scholarly journal publishers on Monday came out against the latest iteration of the Federal Research Public Access Act (FRPAA) -- a bill that would require federal research grantees to make their resulting academic papers freely available to the public no more than six months after publication in a scholarly journal. The bill, introduced last month in both the House and the Senate, is the third iteration of FRPAA to be introduced since 2006; two previous versions failed to make it to a vote.
The Association of American Publishers (AAP) sent letters to prominent legislators in both chambers criticizing the bill for seeking to apply a “one-size-fits-all” deadline of six months before publishers, many of which charge for access to articles, must compete with a free version in a government database. In many disciplines, publishers retain the exclusive right to sell access to the peer-reviewed article for “several years before costs are recovered,” according to the AAP. Among the 81 signatories to the letters was Elsevier, a major journal publisher that last month withdrew its support for (and effectively nixed) the Research Works Act -- a bill that would have preemptively killed FRPAA -- after facing a boycott from frustrated scholars.
The American Anthropological Association, which caught flak last month from some of its members after its executive director wrote a note to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy criticizing public access mandates, did not sign on to either letter.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began accepting complaints is there a link to add in case people want to check out the process? dl about private student loans Monday, a first step the agency is taking in regulating the private student lending market. The bureau is the sole agency regulating complaints about these loans, and is also preparing a report on the private lending market"agency"? or should this be "market" or something? dl based on interviews with students, parents, college administrators and others, to be presented to Congress this summer. Before the agency, borrowers with complaints about their loans had to find a bank's regulator in order to lodge a complaint, which was effectively impossible, Rohit Chopra, the bureau's student loan ombudsman, said at a National Association of missing "Student" in name here ... dl Student Financial Aid Administrators forum on Monday.
The bureau is also investigating why students borrow the way they do -- including why they don't max out federal loan limits before turning to credit cards, second mortgages and other financial instruments, Chopra said.