A faculty strike has ended at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. While faculty union leaders did not release full details of the status of negotiations, they said that they had made significant progress that they said would protect faculty rights, including tenure.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Authorities have Leonard Tyrell Young, until recently a member of the basketball team at Fresno Pacific University, on a range of charges after he allegedly went on a rampage Monday night, in which he is said to have run through a convenience store parking lot, tried to steal a police car, and beat a police officer and a police dog -- all while naked, The Fresno Bee reported. Young was reportedly told that he was being dismissed from the basketball team shortly before the incidents started.
At East Carolina University meanwhile, students are debating the actions of the student newspaper, The East Carolinian, which published a full frontal photograph of a man who streaked during a football game between East Carolina and the University of Southern Mississippi. WITN News reported on the concerns of many students who didn't appreciate the image. Gawker, meanwhile, noted that when streaking across a football field, it is generally not wise to fall down.
Universities in Kenya have largely been shut down by faculty strikes, The Daily Nation reported. At some universities, the strikes are disrupting final exams and/or graduation ceremonies.
Adults aged 18 to 34 are overwhelmingly concerned about the cost of college and levels of student debt, regardless of whether they attended college, and oppose cuts to federal student aid programs, according to survey results announced Wednesday by the Institute for College Access and Success, Young Invincibles and Demos: Ideas and Action, three advocacy groups. The survey found that 73 percent of respondents believe college students graduate with too much debt, while only 21 percent described the average debt as "manageable."
Respondents also said they oppose cutting back on federal student aid programs, including Pell Grants and the in-school interest subsidy for low-income borrowers. Majorities of Republicans, Democrats and independent voters said they opposed cutting Pell Grants: 75 percent of Democrats, 77 percent of Independents and 76 percent of Republicans who were given a short description of the grants said they opposed cuts for deficit reduction. They disagreed at similar rates with a proposal to cut the in-school interest subsidy for some student loans.
The survey was conducted by Lake Research Partners (a primarily Democratic polling firm) and Bellwether Research and Consulting (which describes itself as "center-right").
The suicides of two undergraduates at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology this fall have shaken the university and prompted a review of all aspects of student life and student services, The Boston Globe reported. While MIT has had suicides before, these two have been particularly upsetting to many on the campus because of the youth of the students, both of whom were 18.
Mark David Milliron, who recently announced his resignation from a high-profile position with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been named chancellor of Western Governors University Texas. Milliron was deputy director for postsecondary improvement at Gates. He is among several foundation officials who worked on higher education to depart in recent months. WGU Texas is an online, nonprofit university that was created in August in partnership with the state's government. A former president and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community Colleges, Milliron was a member of WGU's Board of Trustees from 2004 to 2010.
The U.S. Education Department announced Wednesday that it will investigate whether Pennsylvania State University may have violated the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act in regard to allegations against a former coach who has been charged with sexually abusing several young boys over several years, including incidents on campus. Under the Clery Act, colleges must disclose the number of criminal offenses on campus that are reported each year. In addition, colleges must issue a timely warning if a reported crime represents a threat to those on campus. A statement from Education Secretary Arne Duncan said: "If these allegations of sexual abuse are true then this is a horrible tragedy for those young boys. If it turns out that some people at the school knew of the abuse and did nothing or covered it up, that makes it even worse. Schools and school officials have a legal and moral responsibility to protect children and young people from violence and abuse."
Brazilian police officers on Tuesday forced several hundred students to end their occupation of a building at the University of Sao Paulo, the Associated Press reported. About 70 students were arrested. Students took over the building a week ago to protest the police presence on their campus.
The Obama administration's emphasis on the importance of college to get trained for a job has left some advocates for general education disappointed. On Tuesday, First Lady Michelle Obama, however, offered a strong endorsement of the liberal arts. Speaking at a program to encourage students to go to college, Obama was asked for her thoughts on the best college majors. While she noted the growth of careers in the health professions, she first suggested that students worry less about major than what educators tend to talk about as critical thinking and communication skills. "I have to say I’m not as up on the exact right college majors, but I think -- here’s my answer: That’s the beauty of a liberal arts education, and I value liberal arts education because you’re really getting a broad skill set. And I think one of the things that’s important to be able to do in life is learn how to read and write -- write really well and articulate your views. So if you’re planning on going to graduate school, if you’re going to law school, for example, almost any liberal arts major that’s pushing you into writing where you have to write a thesis maybe, a large research paper at the end of the year, that kind of stuff is really good preparation for law school," she said.