Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 3:00am

Ohio Representatives Robert F. Hagan and Mike Foley announced Tuesday that they would propose legislation, similar to a plan recently adopted in Oregon, that could eventually result in students paying no tuition while in college but agreeing to pay a percentage of their wages once employed after graduation. Like the Oregon law, the Ohio legislation does not create any immediate policy changes but would task the state's executive agency with developing a pilot program that would go before lawmakers for approval in two years.

Proponents of such legislation say it will help remove the cost barrier that might keep students from pursuing a college education and might make it easier for students to repay, since payments will be linked to income. “This is a unique opportunity for the state to actively address a real problem that has haunted so many young people for far too long,” Foley said in a news release. “The inaction on student loan debt is very real, and I think too many young people are wondering why their government has failed them in this regard.” Opponents have challenged the feasibility of such plans, as well as whether they put too much of the burden for paying for college on students, rather than governments and parents.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 3:00am

Disregarding outside pressure from Jewish groups, the University of California System board confirmed its new student regent Wednesday. Sadia Saifuddin, who attends UC Berkeley, is the first Muslim student to sit on the board. A Pakistani-American, Saifuddin was publicly opposed by people on and off-campus, including the conservative activist David Horowitz, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, a Jewish human rights organization, and the UC Irvine adjunct professor who runs Stand With Us, the Israeli education organization. Saifuddin co-sponsored a campus bill asking the university to divest funds from companies with economic ties to the Israeli military or Israeli settlements on the West Bank, and accused a UC Santa Cruz lecturer of “inciting racist and Islamophobic rhetoric” for linking the Muslim Students Association with terrorism. The controversy over her nomination to the board made national news.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 3:00am

The cumulative amount of federal student loan debt held by borrowers has crossed $1 trillion for the first time, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau reported Wednesday. The statements, part of prepared remarks that the agency's student loan ombudsman, Rohit Chopra, was to deliver at the Center for American Progress, put the total amount of all student loan debt (including private loans) at $1.2 trillion, with the amount that the federal government either holds or guarantees topping $1 trillion. Student loan debt is also growing at a much faster rate than other forms of consumer credit -- up 20 percent between the end of 2011 and May 2013, Chopra said.

Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 4:15am

The National Collegiate Athletic Association said Wednesday that it would end a deal with the video game company EA Sports that has put its name and logo on games that have helped put the association in legal trouble. The association, which faces a major antitrust lawsuit in which current and former athletes seek a share of the revenue that they say flows to colleges and the NCAA from use of their likenesses in video games and other venues, cited "the current business climate and costs of litigation" in ending its affiliation with EA when the current deal expires next year. The NCAA receives $545,000 from the company annually. The company said the "NCAA Football" game would live on with a different name, and would continue to work with individual colleges that license their names and logos.

The NCAA's statement warned that that individual colleges may wish to reconsider their own legal position. "The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future."

Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Anne Gerritsen of the University of Warwick traces globalization to its 16th-century roots. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Thursday, July 18, 2013 - 4:26am

Snap out of the heat-induced summer doldrums by participating in this month's Inside Higher Ed cartoon caption contest. Suggest a caption for this month's cartoon and win an Amazon gift certificate and a signed edition of the cartoon. Vote on your favorite from among our judges' three choices from the scores of suggestions we received for last month's cartoon.

And we're pleased to announce the winner of May's contest: Arlene Neal, who heads the department of developmental English and reading at Catawba Valley Community College, in North Carolina. Find out more about her and her caption here.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 4:18am

Kent State University's former men's basketball coach breached his contract when he left the institution for a job at Bradley University in 2011, an Ohio judge ruled Tuesday in awarding Kent State $1.2 million, The Akron Beacon-Journal reported. The $1.2 million award would cover the four years (at a salary of $300,000) that were remaining on Geno Ford's contract when he left a year after his deal had been renegotiated. Ohio's attorney general, Mike DeWine, said in a news release that “Ohio’s public colleges and universities have a duty to students and taxpayers to be wise stewards of tuition and taxpayer moneys.”

Kent State is also suing Bradley for its role in Ford's hiring.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 4:27am

The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to spin off the nanotechnology college at the system's Albany to create a freestanding institution, despite some members' concerns about the move, the Albany Times-Union reported. Supporters of the move, including SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and a panel she had appointed, said that allowing Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to become an independent, degree-granting institution would better allow the nanotechnology program to achieve its goals. Three trustees opposed the move for a range of reasons, which comes as SUNY has sought (with mixed success) to streamline administrative costs by combining leadership of some campuses.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 3:00am

Five expatriate directors of branch campuses of the Higher Colleges of Technologies in the United Arab Emirates have been replaced by UAE nationals as part of the country’s ongoing process of “Emiratisation," The National reported.

The Economist recently reported that while employment policies favoring Emirati nationals have been in place for three decades, the drive for "Emiratisation" may be accelerating. 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013 - 3:00am

For the first time ever, NASPAA: The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration has accredited an institution outside the United States. The institution is Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management in Beijing, China.



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