Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, February 17, 2012 - 4:32am

California regulators have shut down the Institute of Medical Education, a for-profit institution with 250 students, citing operational, accreditation and financial problems, the Associated Press reported. An official of the institute said that the closure was "ridiculous," and that it might sue the state. Many students who showed up for classes Thursday -- only to find the institute shut down -- told the Bay Area News Group that they were scared they would be unable to transfer any of their credit and get back any of the money they had paid for classes that could be worthless to them.

 

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 3:00am

St. John's University, in New York, fired its associate athletic director this week for ticket scalping, Bloomberg reported. The university said its investigation found that Brian Colleary did not involve other university officials in the scalping. Colleary did not respond to requests for comment.

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 4:34am

The University of California has paid $1.35 million to settle a lawsuit that said the institution discriminated against women by failing to provide enough athletic opportunities for female athletes, The Los Angeles Times reported. The settlement followed a federal judge's ruling that the university has failed to expand women's programs sufficiently. The university noted that it had added women's teams during the period in question.

 

Friday, February 17, 2012 - 3:00am

Susan Hockfield announced Thursday that she plans to step down as president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "The institute is now moving forward on a new set of ambitious goals, and I have concluded that the powerful momentum we have built makes this an opportune moment for a leadership transition," she wrote in an e-mail sent around the campus. Hockfield has been president since 2004.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Authorities have charged two African-American female students at Montclair State University with creating the racist threatening note they reported finding on their door, The Star-Ledger reported. Reports about the note left many black students feeling unsafe. The reported discovery of the threat against black students followed a campus rally against threats (real ones) that had been found against gay people.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Gavin Schmidt of Columbia University explains why we shouldn’t always expect scientists to agree. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 4:33am

The Los Angeles Community College District and the local district attorney are investigating spending by the director of a foundation that provides scholarships to needy students at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, The Los Angeles Times reported. Rhea Chung's expenses included more than $9,000 on golf outings, spending of $2,300 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a $1,500 monthly car allowance. Chung, who has been placed on leave, told the Times that the spending was an appropriate way to provide access to potential donors.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the University of Connecticut's donor records are not covered by the state's open records laws, The Hartford Courant reported. The court ruled that the exemptions in the law for trade secrets apply to these records.

 

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Heather Munroe-Blum, principal (president equivalent) of McGill University, will be leaving her position -- among the most prominent in Canadian academe -- next year, The Montreal Gazette reported. McGill's research programs and fund-raising capabilities have grown substantially during Munroe-Blum's tenure, which started in 2003. The university faced employee strikes and student protests in the last year, but Munroe-Blum said that those incidents had not led to her decision. She said she decided some time ago to serve two terms, which she is doing.

 

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Quentin Hanley of Nottingham Trent University has completed a study questioning whether several leading American for-profit universities should be called universities, Times Higher Education reported. Since 1993, he said, the University of Phoenix has produced fewer than 200 papers, which have been cited about 700 times. He found about 100 papers from Kaplan University, with a little more than 500 citations. "Their impact is on a par with a single medium academic at an approximately mid-ranked UK university," said Hanley, who was prompted to do his research by the growing interest of the British government in for-profit higher education. "Calling an organization with no meaningful scholarship a university is a bit like calling a muddy path through a forest a motorway." A spokesman for the Apollo Group said that Phoenix had pioneered strategies, such as the use of e-books, that are now used by many colleges and universities.

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