Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 17, 2014

A New York court has found that Donald Trump is liable for operating a for-profit institution without proper licensing, Reuters reported. A New York State Supreme Court justice ruled that the real estate entrepreneur had ignored notifications from state officials in 2005 that he needed to register his investment "school" -- known until 2010 as Trump University -- with state officials. A lawyer for Trump said the ruling was mistaken but predicted Trump would ultimately be required to pay little in the way of damages.

 

October 17, 2014

Blackboard will stop supporting the learning management system Angel, which the company acquired in 2009, on Oct. 15, 2016, according to Pennsylvania State University. Blackboard had plans to drop support for Angel in October 2014, but chose in early 2012 to extend support indefinitely. The move means many of the colleges and universities that put plans to upgrade their learning management systems on ice will likely be looking for a new provider. George Kroner, who tracks LMS usage on the Edutechnica blog, estimated about 180 institutions still use Angel.

October 17, 2014

Two American journalism professors were briefly detained in Russia on Thursday for allegedly lacking the proper visas to conduct educational workshops, according to reports on the Boston University and New England Center for Investigative Reporting websites.

Joe Bergantino, a clinical professor of journalism at BU and director of the BU-based investigative reporting center, and Randy Covington, a journalism professor at the University of South Carolina, were conducting a training with 14 Russian journalists in St. Petersburg before being detained and taken to district court, where a judge found them guilty of visa violations. The professors were in Russia through a U.S. Department of State media training grant and reportedly were using the type of visa recommended by the State Department for this type of work. They are not allowed to continue teaching but can return to the United States as scheduled.

October 17, 2014

A new study in Anatomical Sciences Education finds that cadavers are more effective than computer simulations in teaching anatomy. The study divided the 233 students in an undergraduate anatomy course into groups in which some learned on a cadaver and others through computer simulation. Those using the cadaver scored higher on tests both of identification of body parts and explaining how those parts work. The latter finding is particularly significant as simulation advocates have suggested that approach may be superior for using how parts work.

 

October 17, 2014

The North Dakota University System has placed Williston State College President Raymond Nadolny on administrative leave while state officials investigate allegations of misconduct involving alcohol, InForum reported. In a letter Wednesday, the news service reported, System Chancellor Larry Skogen said he had hired an independent investigator to explore charges of misconduct, and warned that the inquiry could lead to Nadolny's dismissal.

 

 

October 17, 2014

Negotiators for California State University and its faculty union said Thursday night that they had reached tentative agreement on a three-year contract extension. Under the terms of the deal between Cal State and the California Faculty Association, the compensation pool for union members -- who include librarians, coaches, and counselors as well as professors -- would rise by 3 percent this year, resulting in a 1.6 across-the-board increase and pay raises of up to 4.6 percent for certain groups of instructors.

October 17, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Neal Hall, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, discusses research on the way flies perceive sound, which is helping engineers improve microphone technology. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

October 16, 2014

The relationship between federal policy and the skills gap is misunderstood, according to a new report from the New America Foundation. The paper looks at five "policy gaps" in the Higher Education Act, the law governing federal student aid programs, that could be closed to build stronger connections between learning and work. Those gaps include an excessive focus on institutional and internal indicators of quality; a lack of attention to student employment outcomes; and aid eligibility requirements that fall short of the needs of adult learners, according to the report, which was authored by Mary Alice McCarthy, a senior policy analyst at the foundation who previously worked for the U.S. Department of Labor and the Education Department.

October 16, 2014

Would-be graduate students in philosophy may again apply to the University of Colorado at Boulder, to begin their studies in fall 2015. Graduate admissions to the department were suspended last year after an external study of its climate described systemic sexual harassment and bullying. Andy Cowell, who was appointed interim chair of philosophy following the American Philosophical Association subcommittee's unflattering report, said in a statement that department faculty members “had willingly participated in numerous facilitated department workshops, as well as activities and exercises to build the culture" spanning the last nine months. Current graduate students were involved in the reform process. Provost Russell L. Moore called the department's efforts "laudable," saying they could serve as a model for other departments struggling with climate issues.

 

October 16, 2014

Pasadena City College paid in many ways for flip-flopping on its spring commencement speaker. The college received considerable publicity for revoking the invitation to Dustin Lance Black, the Oscar-winning screenwriter, when some officials feared the impact of a past scandal over a sex tape. Eventually, the college reconsidered and invited him back and he did speak. But The Los Angeles Times reported that the college paid Black $26,000 not to sue over the rescinded invite.

 

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