Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 8, 2015

Texas State University is the latest institution to accidentally mail acceptance materials to those whom the institution was not actually accepting. The Austin American-Statesman reported that 450 people whose applications were not completed received welcoming materials about orientation and housing.

 

April 8, 2015

Brown University on Tuesday released the final report of its sexual assault task force, which recommends that the university adopt a new "unified policy" that defines gender-based harassment, sexual violence, relationship and interpersonal violence, and stalking as "prohibited conduct." Among the dozen other recommendations, the task force also urged the university to centralize all university processes dealing with sexual assault in a recently created Title IX office. The university hired its first Title IX officer last week. The task force's report comes after a much-criticized sexual assault investigation that involved a botched drug test and prompted more than 400 students to protest on campus.

April 8, 2015

Previous gifts from the Rady Family Foundation helped to create the Rady School of Management at the University of California at San Diego. On Tuesday, the university announced a $100 million pledge from the foundation to, among other things, recruit and retain faculty members.

 

April 8, 2015

In today's Academic Minute, Jessica Nolan, a psychologist at the University of Scranton, explores the psychology of recycling. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

April 7, 2015

Female students -- especially in their first year -- are more likely to actively participate and less likely to feel anxious if they have the chance to work in small groups that are majority female, according to a new study that will appear in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The study was led by Nilanjana Dasgupta at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, and its emphasis was on women in male-dominated fields such as engineering. Tracking 120 undergraduates, the researchers found an impact on whether the women were in female-majority small groups, and that this had a positive impact, even if the class was mostly male. The researchers suggest more attention be paid to the composition of small groups that are common for team projects and group learning in engineering and other science and technology fields.

 

April 7, 2015

In 2001, Texas became the first state to pass a law granting in-state tuition rates to undocumented students. This week, lawmakers are considering a bill to repeal the law, The Houston Chronicle reported. While the fate of the effort is unclear, it has strong backing from the state's Tea Party movement. According to Michael Olivas, a University of Houston law professor who tracks state policy about undocumented students, there are currently 20 states that either by statute or board policy allow these students to pay in-state rates. To date, only Wisconsin has both adopted and repealed such a policy.

 

April 7, 2015

Boundless, the "textbook replacement" start-up that has looked to rebound from a lawsuit it settled with it the publishing industry, has been acquired by the education company Valore, the Boston Business Journal reported. Valore also owns a used textbook market and SimpleTuition, a student loan comparison tool. Boundless's roughly 50 employees will join Valore, where founder Ariel Diaz will serve as the digital officer, according to the report.

April 7, 2015

The student services company Chegg on Monday announced its users will soon be able to subscribe to career counseling from InsideTrack. The counseling service, currently in beta, will launch next month. 

Chegg, which made a name for itself as a used textbook provider, has moved quickly to invest in student services. Among its recent moves, the company has launched a college counseling platform, acquired Internships.com and embedded its services in Blackboard's learning management system.

InsideTrack has provided career counseling to students (in addition to its much larger service providing academic and life coaching) through their colleges for about three years. But the partnership with Chegg represents its first major effort to provide services directly to students, using a multimedia platform it has built in the wake of its purchase last year of Logrado.

April 7, 2015

A student at Salisbury University, in Maryland, has just become the third this academic year to be diagnosed with tuberculosis, The Washington Post reported. The university is asking 385 students who came into contact with at least one of the students to be tested for the disease. Authorities are not sure how the students were exposed.

April 7, 2015

Kyushu University, in Japan, has ended a long taboo on discussing vivisections performed on American prisoners of war during World War II, The Japan Times reported. The experiments -- viewed by experts as extreme torture -- led to the convictions of 14 university employees in the war crimes trial that followed the war. But after that, the incidents were never discussed in public. Now, a new museum about medicine at the university includes information about the vivisections, as well as some patient records and medical devices.

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