Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:00am

Hundreds of employees at Bergen Community College apparently overpaid their New Jersey and federal taxes for years, The Bergen Record reported. The overpayments were the result of incorrect calculations about life insurance policies that are covered by the W-2 forms employees receive to do their taxes. The college has issued new W-2 forms and is advising employees that they may want to file amended returns for prior years.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 4:29am

Rutgers University President Robert Barchi -- already under fire over the scandal over an abusive basketball coach who many think should have been fired before he was -- is facing "a growing revolt" at the university's Newark campus, The Star-Ledger reported. Students and faculty members say that Barchi has favored the New Brunswick campus, denying Newark the resources that it needs. At an open forum at Newark on Monday, Barchi planned to talk about the development of a new strategic plan for the university. But he was interrupted by attendees who said they were unimpressed by his presentation and tired of their concerns not being addressed. Some at the meeting carried signs calling for Barchi's ouster. He said that he fully supports the Newark campus, although he didn't seem to convince the audience.


Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Kevin Rockmann of George Mason University explores how the practice of telecommuting alters the relationship between a company and its employees. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

Russia’s education and science minister is facing calls to resign, The Moscow Times reported. Among other things, Dmitry Livanov has attracted controversy for seeking to shut down “ineffective universities” and decrease the number of state-funded placements, and for calling Russia’s Academy of Sciences futureless and unsustainable. One critic quoted by the paper said of Livanov that "he is not an education minister; he is a minister of the liquidation of education."

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 4:32am

Federal programs to promote science and technology education need better coordination and better analysis of their effectiveness, says a new report by the U.S. Government Accountability Office. There are 209 programs in all, the GAO found, and the number of programs within an individual federal agency range from 3 to 46.

"Agencies' limited use of performance measures and evaluations may hamper their ability to assess the effectiveness of their individual programs as well as the overall STEM education effort," the report said. "Specifically, program officials varied in their ability to provide reliable output measures--for example, the number of students, teachers, or institutions directly served by their program. Further, most agencies did not use outcomes measures in a way that is clearly reflected in their performance planning documents."


Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

Federal spending on the Pell Grant Program declined slightly during the first half of the 2012-13 award year compared to the same period during the previous two years, according to new data released by the American Association of Community Colleges. Almost all of the spending decrease is for Pell recipients who attended community colleges and for-profit institutions. The number of recipients at public two-year institutions declined by 193,339, according to the association, with Pell spending on that sector dipping by $358 million. Recipients at for-profits were down 115,322 with a corresponding decrease of $131 million in spending. The program's cost also declined in the previous fiscal year.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 4:35am

Two students were arrested Wednesday on charges related to the beating of a professor at Washington State University last month, The Spokesman-Review reported. The attack on the professor -- which took place when he intervened in an argument -- has stunned the Washington State campus. The professor remains in critical condition. One of the students arrested was charged with rendering criminal assistance and making false statements. The other was charged with first-degree assault.


Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

The University of Arizona Faculty Senate has approved a broadening of the definition of research to explicitly state that faculty members being considered for tenure may receive credit for technology transfer, not just traditional forms of scholarship. The change comes at a time the university leaders have vowed to increase the institution's efforts to promote economic growth and to find new sources of funds. The new definition of research states: "The university values an inclusive view of scholarship in the recognition that knowledge is acquired and advanced through discovery, integration, application and teaching. Given this perspective, promotion and tenure reviews, as detailed in the criteria of individual departments and colleges, will recognize original research contributions in peer-reviewed publications as well as integrative and applied forms of scholarship that involve cross-cutting collaborations with business and community partners, including translational research, commercialization activities and patents."


Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

Voice for Life, an anti-abortion student organization, has won official recognition from the Student Government Association at Johns Hopkins University, reversing an earlier decision that was criticized as punishing the group for its views, The Baltimore Sun reported. The group's planned activities are designed to discourage Hopkins women from having abortions, and to convince those training to become doctors not to perform abortions.

Thursday, April 11, 2013 - 3:00am

North Korea has been warning foreigners to leave South Korea. But early indications are that American students and those leading American programs in South Korea are monitoring developments, but not changing their plans. WKYT News covered a group of students from Eastern Kentucky University who are in South Korea and who reported nervous families at home, but no problems more serious than that. And The Times Beacon Record reported on how officials at the State University of New York at Buffalo, which recently opened a campus in South Korea, say that everything is continuing there, despite the threats from the north. By not leaving the country, the American students and academics are following the advice of the U.S. Embassy in Seoul, which is not recommending changes in travel plans to South Korea.



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