Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 12, 2013

The women’s ice hockey teams from Bemidji State and Ohio State Universities broke a decade-old record Friday night, but it’s not one their institutions will be bragging about. In a brawl that broke out as the game ended, athletes racked up 287 penalty minutes and 19 game disqualifications, both National Collegiate Athletic Association records for any division or gender, Deadspin reported. The total number of penalty minutes incurred during the game – 303 – breaks the 2004 record of 268, set by the men’s hockey teams at Boston University and the University of Maine.

 

November 12, 2013

After identifying a seventh possible meningitis case at Princeton University since March, New Jersey health officials declared a meningococcal disease outbreak there Sunday. A Princeton spokesperson told CBS News that all students living on campus are required to be vaccinated for meningitis, but the vaccine does not fully protect the strain that infected six students (the seventh victim was a visitor). 

November 12, 2013

Sylvia Manning, president of the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, has announced that she plans to retire in July, she confirmed in an email to Inside Higher Ed. From her post as leader of the nation's largest regional accreditor, Manning has been a high-profile voice in the intensifying debate over accreditation. She is also widely credited with leading the commission's tougher approach on for-profit education. A search for her successor will be announced soon, Manning said.

November 12, 2013

The Chicago Tribune reported Monday on a rare circumstance poised to occur this week: the firing of a tenured faculty member by the University of Illinois Board of Trustees. The Tribune article states that the case appears to represent the first time the Illinois board has been asked to weigh in on a tenure review decision. The case involves Louis Wozniak, who was removed from teaching several years ago over an email he sent to students that was perceived to have sexual overtones, one of several points of conflict that have led university administrators to seek to revoke his tenure. A faculty committee cleared him of most of the charges filed against him, but Illinois officials have argued that his continued flouting of one demand justified his firing.

 

November 12, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Joel Beam of the University of North Florida examines what the body of research says about the best method for treating wounds. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

November 12, 2013

First Lady Michelle Obama -- who has focused many of her public efforts on fitness, nutrition and military families -- will today start a new effort related to higher education, The New York Times reported. Obama will be focused on encouraging more low-income students to pursue higher education, and will draw on her own background as a child from a working-class family who earned degrees from Princeton and Harvard Universities.

November 11, 2013

Turnover in the senior ranks at the University of Wyoming has increased substantially in the five months that Robert Sternberg has been president, The Casper Star-Tribune reported. Eleven deans or other administrators have resigned, a number at the request of Sternberg, and the departure of the law dean has been particular contentious. Higher education experts in the article noted that turnover in the administrative ranks is fairly common when a new president takes over -- and puts his or her own team in place. But others said that the pace of change has been unusual.

 

November 11, 2013

The tech company Intel announced Friday that it has purchased Kno, which produces interactive versions of textbooks. TechCrunch and other tech analysis blogs view the purchase as a significant push by Intel into the education space.

November 11, 2013

Harvard University recently announced an 11.3 percent return on its endowment, which was valued at $32.7 billion on June 30. That's the largest endowment in higher education. The university also recently announced a $6.5 billion fund-raising campaign -- the largest ever in higher education. But an interview released by the university Friday with its chief financial officer, Dan Shore, he focused on financial pressures on the university. He said that the university has a $34 million deficit. And while that's small in the context of the university's $4.2 billion budget, he said that "the path toward our ability to thrive in the future requires that we not wait until the deficit gets even bigger before we start to act, because then it will require us to be in a much more reactive position." He also noted uncertainty about federal support, on which Harvard relies for research.

In language that is similar to that used at many less wealthy colleges, Shore also said that Harvard can't simply add expenses. "The campaign helps, but, fundamentally, we can no longer live in a world where things continue simply to be additive," Shore said. "The next new and exciting thing that we think it’s important to do can’t simply be layered on top of all of the other things that we’ve been doing. It’s just not a sustainable model. And I think the entire higher education industry is feeling the need to move away from that way of doing business."

November 11, 2013

More than one million veterans, service members and their families have received tuition assistance and other benefits from the post-9/11 GI bill, Jill Biden announced Friday. The post-9/11 GI bill began in August 2009 and the Department of Veterans Affairs has since spent more than $30 billion in tuition and benefits for veterans, service members and their families. "The post-9/11 GI bill is one way to help make the transition into civilian life a successful one," said Biden, wife of the vice president, in a teleconference Friday.

The millionth beneficiary of the bill, Steven Ferraro, is studying communications at Middlesex County College in New Jersey. Ferraro served in the Army from 2003 to 2013 and was deployed to Iraq in 2008. “Going back to school after serving in the military is a very big challenge, especially trying to manage school with a family,” he said.
 

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