The online education company 2U's stock prices rose 7.54 percent after its first day of trading on Friday. The company had priced its initial public offering at $13 a share, and ended the day at $13.98. CEO Chip Paucek rang the opening bell to signal the start of trading Friday morning.
Higher Education Quick Takes
A Michigan Senate subcommittee has proposed taking $500,000 away from Michigan State University's budget if it continues to run a training program for unions, The Lansing State Journal reported. Language in the budget bill would punish universities that if they “participate in any instructional activity that encourages or discourages union organizing of employees.” A number of public universities have such programs, and supporters note that most universities offer extensive programming for business leaders on a range of topics, including labor relations. The blog of the American Association of University Professors calls the budget provision a "major attack on academic freedom in Michigan."
Pearson Embanet could earn up to $186 million over 11 years from its deal to manage the new University of Florida online college, The Gainesville Sun reported. The article details efforts by the university to keep many details (including how Pearson Embanet's performance will be judged) private, saying that they are trade secrets.
A faculty member at Lone Star College taught the wrong chemistry course for a semester, KHOU News reported. The television station told the story of an A student surprised to find she was failing introductory chemistry. But the professor eventually said that she had been teaching a more advanced course. The student said that the professor made up for the situation by raising everyone's grade. The college and professor aren't commenting, but KHOU confirmed the story with another student in the class and through an email in which a department chair said that teaching the more advanced course was not intentional.
The University of Konstanz, in Germany, has halted negotiations with Elsevier over a new deal on journals, Science Insider reported. Officials said that the prices being offered were simply too high to justify continued negotiations. Elsevier declined to comment.
Williams College has agreed to pay $86,000 to settle a lawsuit over tips it withheld, The Berkshire Eagle reported. Payments of $40 to $6,000 will go to 58 current and former waiters and bartenders who worked for the college's dining service. The suit claimed that the college was imposing a mandatory service charge, suggesting that the funds were used in place of tips, but that the funds were never given to the staff members. The settlement stipulates that the college denies wrongdoing.
The president of Al-Quds University, an Arab university in the West Bank, announced his retirement on Wednesday, three days after hundreds of Hamas supporters held a protest on campus, Haaretz reported. In a statement, Sari Nusseibeh, Al-Quds’ president for 20 years and a leading Palestinian political moderate, cited his age and long tenure in office as his reasons for retiring and said he would stay on as a philosophy professor.
An earlier Islamist rally on the Al-Quds campus cost the university its partnerships with Brandeis and Syracuse Universities. Brandeis suspended its partnership following a November demonstration in which protestors reportedly used the traditional Nazi salute and honored “martyred” suicide bombers. A report authored by faculty affiliated with Brandeis's International Center for Ethics, Justice and Public Life has called for the resumption of the partnership.
The University of Iowa has turned down a request from HBO to film "Girls" on campus, The Iowa City Press-Citizen reported. Hannah Horvath, the lead fictional character in the show, has recently been accepted to Iowa's very real Writers Workshop. But details of the plot lines that would be pursued at Iowa were not available, and university officials declined to elaborate on why they turned down the request.