Three researchers were awarded the 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine this morning for "their discoveries of machinery regulating vesicle traffic, a major transport system in our cells." The winners are: James E. Rothman, professor and chair of cell biology at Yale University; Randy W. Schekman, professor of molecular and cell biology at the the University of California at Berkeley and an investigator of Howard Hughes Medical Institute; and Thomas C. Südhof, professor of molecular and cellular physiology at Stanford University.
Higher Education Quick Takes
High school students typically complain about all the college marketing materials they receive from colleges they have never heard of, but many are flattered when a big-name institution shows interest. But social media are picking up on an unusual complaint about the University of Chicago: that it's bombarding some potential applicants (even those unlikely to be admitted) with mail. A series of posts on College Confidential talk about applicants getting two or three mailings a week from Chicago. Wrote one parent: "There is no way my daughter has the stats to be accepted there, but we have gotten a ridiculous amount of mail from them as well. I find it bordering on offensive; clearly they are just trying to increase the number of applicants." Said another: "My son gets several mailers a week from U Chicago. It's become a joke at our house!"
Via e-mail, James Nondorf, vice president and dean of admissions and financial aid at Chicago, said via e-mail that the university tries "very hard to make sure we are striking the right tone and timing with our messages, and that we are engaging the appropriate students." He said that the university reviews search parameters every year, and that there were no major changes this year, except for increased efforts to reach talented low-income and first generation students.-But he said that Chicago plans to post the following note on College Confidential: "In our materials, we aim to try and communicate a bit more of the UChicago experience to students (or parents) who may find themselves a good fit for our programs for a variety of reasons, but may not be able to visit campus or learn more about the college from friends or classmates. Students often find their way to our mailing list by indicating their interest in receiving materials from colleges either on our website or when they take a standardized test. While we'd be sad to see you go, anyone who is not interested in continuing to receive materials from UChicago is encouraged to unsubscribe from our mail by clicking here: [unsubscribe link]). We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience, and we wish you the best of luck in the college admissions process and hope you find a wonderful future college home."
A University of Alabama assistant strength and conditioning coach was placed on administrative leave for loaning an athlete money in violation of National Collegiate Athletic Association rules, The Tuscaloosa News reported. The football safety, Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, was suspended from the nation’s top football team Wednesday for an unspecified violation of team rules. Corey Harris apparently loaned Clinton-Dix “an amount less than $500” during the summer.
Under the new NCAA enforcement structure, head coach Nick Saban, whose $5.3 million annual salary makes him the highest-paid coach in college football, could be punished for the violation. The new model presumes the head coach responsible for violations committed by his or her staff, unless the coach can overcome that presumption by demonstrating active promotion of an environment of compliance.
Many students at Kaposvar University, in Hungary, wore only underwear to class Thursday to protest a new dress code at the institution, AFP reported. The rector recently announced that male students would be required to wear dark suits and shoes, while women would be required to wear a jacket, blouse and trousers or long skirts. Students are planning another protest at which they will wear only flip-flops and beach towels.
The Council of Independent Colleges has launched a new online campaign on the value of liberal arts colleges. The website features data, testimonials from educators and alumni, and information on the careers and lives of graduates of the colleges.
Officials of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation on Thursday announced plans to create a tribal college in California, opening near Sacramento next year, The Sacramento Bee reported. Supporters of the project noted that California has the largest population of Native Americans in the United States, but lacks a tribal college. D-Q University was a tribal college in the state, but was shut down in 2005.
Pasadena City College has asked Hugo Schwyzer, professor of women’s studies and so-called “Internet feminist,” to resign or face disciplinary action, the Pasadena Star News reported. The request comes on the heels of Schwyzer’s arrest last week for suspicion of driving under the influence following an accident that left a woman injured. The professor told the Star News he would not resign until January, when he is scheduled to begin receiving his disability retirement benefits.
Schwyzer has been on leave this semester for mental health issues, which he’s discussed openly on social media. He’s called himself a fraud for “conning” his way into teaching women’s studies, although he did not study it in graduate school, and for having multiple affairs with students. Last month, he said he had continued to sleep with students, even though he’d previously claimed that he stopped doing so in 1998. That admission launched a college investigation into his conduct. Gail Cooper, general counsel for the college, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
University of Mississippi officials are investigating an incident in which 20 or so football players and other athletes “from various sports” reportedly heckled theater students performing The Laramie Project, a play about the 1998 killing of the University of Wyoming student Matthew Shepard, with gay slurs. In a statement sent to Inside Higher Ed, Chancellor Dan Jones and Athletics Director Ross Bjork apologized on behalf of the university, and said that after meeting with athletes to talk about what happened, they would work with student affairs officials and the campus Bias Incident Response Team “to determine the facts and appropriate next steps.” Football coach Hugh Freeze also tweeted Thursday that “We certainly do not condone any actions that offend or hurt people in any way. We are working with all departments to find the facts.”
The faculty member who directed the play told The Daily Mississippian student newspaper, which first reported the incident, that audience members disrupted the play repeatedly with derogatory terms like “fag” and other “borderline hate speech.” Sources also told the paper that the football players attended the play as part of a requirement for a freshman-level theater course.
“I am the only gay person in the cast,” the paper quoted Garrison Gibbons, a student and theater major, as saying. “I played a gay character in the show, and to be ridiculed like that was something that really made me realize that some people at Ole Miss and in Mississippi still can’t accept me for who I am.”
The Department of Defense has suspended a program that provides members of the military with money to attend college because of the federal government shutdown. Branches of the armed forces will not authorize tuition assistance for new classes during a government shutdown, a Pentagon official wrote in a blog post this week.
In addition to rejecting new requests for the benefits, the Army said in a statement that it could not process some existing requests that were received before the shutdown began on October 1.
The Department of Veterans Affairs, meanwhile, said it is continuing to process veterans’ education benefits, but that could stop if the shutdown drags on longer than several weeks. The agency has already closed its education call center because of the shutdown.