Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 15, 2015

University of Pennsylvania students are protesting the decision to close the Africa Center, saying that it is too vital to be shut down. Penn officials said that cuts in federal support for international research and education programs left the Africa Center without a source of funds. In addition, officials noted that Penn continues to support Africana studies, which includes all groups of African descent. Students said that they needed a center focused on Africa. They staged their protest to interrupt a brief outdoor talk by Jeffrey Kallberg, associate dean for arts and letters, at an event at which faculty members discussed the offerings of different departments.

 

 

April 15, 2015

The 35 postseason games of the Football Bowl Subdivision paid out more than $500 million to college football conferences this season, the Associated Press reported. The payout is an increase of $200 million from last season, the final year of the Bowl Championship Series. The increase is primarily the result of media deals to broadcast the seven games that make up the new college football playoff. ESPN pays the conferences about $470 million per year to broadcast the games.

April 15, 2015

Missouri State University on Tuesday announced that it was calling off a concert by the rapper Nelly, scheduled for next week. The university's announcement did not give a reason. But Nelly was arrested last week in Tennessee and charged with felony possession of methamphetamine, marijuana and drug paraphernalia. His lawyer has said that "we are extremely confident that when the facts come out, Nelly will not be associated with the contraband that was allegedly discovered."

April 15, 2015

In today's Academic Minute, Thomas Goetz, a professor for empirical educational research at the University of Konstanz, in Germany, discusses a new variety of boredom. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

April 14, 2015

Authorities are searching for an ex-student at Wayne Community College who they suspect shot and killed Ron Lane, a print shop director at the North Carolina college, WRAL News reported. The suspect had been a work-study student reporting to Lane. After the shooting, at 8:10 a.m. Monday, the college called off all classes for the day.

April 14, 2015

Knoxville College, a struggling historically black institution, will suspend classes in the fall, The Knoxville News Sentinel reported. As a result, a panel of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission has recommended that the commission suspend the college's authorization to operate. Knoxville has struggled to revive itself since losing most students after its accreditation was revoked in 1997. Currently, the college has 11 students.

 

April 14, 2015

Ohio University has abandoned plans to pay $1.2 million to buy a new presidential home, The Columbus Dispatch reported. The planned purchase has been highly controversial, with many faculty members and students saying that the sum is far too high. The current presidential home has had a problem with bat infestation, but many on campus say that should not be cause to purchase a new home. The university, in announcing that it was dropping the plan, said that the seller (a donor) had referenced making a donation as part of the deal. While the university said that would not violate rules, officials said that they wanted to avoid any appearance of conflict of interest.

 

April 14, 2015

Wesleyan University announced in a campus email Monday that the college has expelled two of the five students arrested in February after 12 students -- 10 from Wesleyan -- were hospitalized after the use of the club drug Molly. The email from Michael Whaley, vice president for student affairs, addressed press coverage that has suggested a widespread drug problem at Wesleyan. "Survey data consistently shows that rates of illegal use of drugs (other than marijuana) are just slightly higher here than the national average for colleges and universities, and the statistics bandied about in the media reflect the fact that Wesleyan has been actively addressing drug violations, the huge majority of which are for small amounts of marijuana. Still, much as we may deplore exaggerations in the media, it’s clear that the problem of illicit drug use, which exists on campuses across the country, exists here as well," Whaley wrote. "What the statistics show is that we don’t sweep the issue under the rug."

At the same time, he added that it was "the right time to ask what more we can do." As a result, the university is convening a committee that will develop recommendations on both policies and educational efforts.

April 14, 2015

The Minnesota Board of Teaching has suspended most education programs at the University of Minnesota at Duluth amid reports of turmoil in the university's education college, The Duluth News Tribune reported. Some of the programs have been suspended because the university submitted inaccurate information about them, state officials said. The university said it will work to regain full recognition, but some students are worried about the impact on their ability to find jobs.

 

April 14, 2015

The former head of Herguan University, in California, has pleaded guilty to visa fraud and agreed to pay $700,000 and serve up to two years in prison, the San Jose Mercury News reported. Jerry Wang was indicted in 2012 on fraud charges that related to the for-profit university’s enrollment of foreign students who come to the U.S. on visas. 

Herguan remains certified by the federal government to host international students, although officials at U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said Friday that they have moved to revoke the institution’s certification.

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