Higher Education Quick Takes
Bard College announced Wednesday that it has assumed ownership of the European College of Liberal Arts, in Berlin, Germany. ECLA will be a new satellite institution of Bard, with the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation providing financial support for the transition. ECLA was founded in 1999, one of a several small liberal arts colleges operating in Europe -- a region where large universities are the norm. Bard plans to expand the college's programs, and to offer dual degrees recognized in the United States and in Germany. The college also plans a study abroad program for American students who want to spend a semester or year studying in Berlin.
The American Association of University Professors on Wednesday released a letter it sent to Middle Tennessee State University, objecting to its recent move to stop giving the titles of various ranks of professor to some full-time non-tenure-track faculty members. The university recently sent new contracts to these faculty members, saying that to keep their jobs they would have to accept new titles -- lecturer and senior lecturer. The AAUP letter says that changing terms of employment in this way, and threatening to punish those who don't accept the changes, is a "reprehensible" act.
A spokesman for the university said via e-mail that the title changes were being made at the request of the Tennessee Board of Regents, which in April informed the university that it was using job titles for non-tenure-track faculty members that were "counter" to the board's policy. "We have been working for months on this issue with several of our key faculty groups, including the Faculty Senate, the Council of Chairs and the Dean's Council," the spokesman said.
Leslie Ungerleider and Mortimer Mishkin, two researchers at the National Institute of Mental Health, are today being named winners of the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology. The two scientists were the first to show that the brain uses separate visual processing systems to recognize objects and fix their location.
The District of Columbia's human rights agency has ruled that Catholic University has the right to single-sex dormitories, the Associated Press reported. A law professor at George Washington University filed a complaint about the new policy. But the agency found that men and women were treated equally under the rule. Further, the agency said that barring the single-sex facilities would set a principle that would require the banning of single-sex bathrooms and athletic teams.
A Tennessee appeals court has ruled that Fisk University may sell a share in its modern art collection without being required to set aside much of the money gained to maintain the collection, The Tennessean reported. The financially struggling university has argued that it needs to sell some or all of the art to support other functions of the institution. But the Tennessee attorney general has challenged the sale as inconsistent with the public interest and the bequest that created the collection. It is unclear if the attorney general will appeal.
A forthcoming study in the Journal of Sex Research documents that while college-age men think about sex a lot, they actually think about other things, too. The study -- led by Terri Fisher, a professor of psychology at Ohio State University at Mansfield -- found that the median number of times a day college-age male thinks about sex is 19. (The students were given counters to record the number of times they thought about certain things.) Sex only narrowly beat out food (the subject of thought 18 times a day). Further behind was sleep, at 11 times a day. Female college students think about all of those things too, but their daily medians were lower: 10 for sex, 15 for food and 8.5 for sleep.
The board of Edison State College on Tuesday placed Kenneth Walker on leave as president, and appears to be headed toward dismissing him, The Naples Daily News reported. Walker has been president for 20 years and has already taken a pay cut (he had been earning more than $800,000) and offered to retire early, but those moves have not halted demands for his ouster. The college has in recent months faced a scandal over course-swapping, complaints over an unaccredited nursing programs, and a loss of support from students and faculty members.
The Institute of International Education has created an emergency fund for Thai students at American colleges who may be unable to obtain financial support from home due to the massive flooding that is devastating the country. With support from the Freeman Foundation, the IIE will provide grants of up to $5,000 to students in need of assistance to continue their studies.