Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 3:00am

Kuyper College, a small Christian institution in Michigan, is eliminating its intercollegiate athletics program, MLive reported. The college is a member of the National Christian College Athletic Association, and will by June eliminate its six teams: men's and women's basketball, men's and women's cross-country, men's soccer, and women's volleyball. Officials said that they were focused on "alignment" of programs with the mission at a time of declining enrollment. The college has 245 students this year, down from 261 a year ago.


Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 3:00am

The national office of Sigma Alpha Mu permanently disbanded its University of Michigan chapter Tuesday after its members destroyed more than 40 rooms at a ski resort in January and nobody stepped forward to accept the blame. "The fraternity's board regrets having to take this action," Sigma Alpha Mu said in a statement. "The action was necessary as a result of: a) the lack of cooperation by those responsible for the damage in not coming forward, b) the chapter officers' refusal to identify the members who damaged the hotel property, c) the lack of action to stop the vandalism by bystanders." The damages could cost the ski resort $430,000 to repair, Detroit Free Press reported.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Ky Kugler, a professor of athletic training at Chapman University, profiles the severity and frequency of the common head injury. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 3:00am

A New York University professor who has been critical of the treatment of migrant construction workers in the United Arab Emirates has been barred from the country, The New York Times reported. Andrew Ross, professor of social and cultural analysis, was at New York’s Kennedy International Airport when he was prohibited by U.A.E. authorities from boarding a plane bound for Abu Dhabi, where N.Y.U. has a campus and where Ross had planned to spend his spring break continuing his research on labor conditions. The reason given was unspecified security concerns. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 4:17am

Four students at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have committed suicide in the last year -- two of them in the last month -- prompting a renewed focus on stress issues, The Boston Globe reported. Many M.I.T. students were academic superstars growing up and face their first academic difficulty once enrolled. M.I.T. officials are encouraging students to talk about "imposter syndrome," where people feel they don't belong. The hashtag #peoplebeforePsets (for problem sets) is encouraging discussions of these issues.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 4:29am

Two white journalism students at Ryerson University, in Toronto, were barred by a student group from attending a campus event because of their race, The National Post reported. The students had been assigned by a professor to attend an event of the Racialised Students’ Collective, and were asked upon showing up whether they had been "marginalized or racialized." When they said no, they were asked to leave. The professor said that the event was advertised as open to the public. News of the students' exclusion has prompted widespread debate in Canada, and that discussion is spreading elsewhere. Members of the collective said that they needed a "safe space" to discuss their concerns.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 3:00am

The board of South Carolina State University on Monday fired Thomas Elzey as president, The State reported. The board had previously suspended Elzey, less than two years into a four-year contract. Legislators have been demanding his ouster as well as the ouster of the board. Elzey has sued for breach of contract.


Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 3:00am

The American Honors Network, a transfer consortium that links community colleges with four-year institutions, has expanded to include more than 50 partner colleges. The for-profit company creates a pathway for students to enroll in a rigorous honors program at host community colleges in five states, where they receive additional academic support, such as advising. The network's four-year colleges have agreed to recruit and enroll those students after they complete the first two years in the program. The group's four-year members include public and private institutions, many of which are selective. New additions include Duke University, Smith College and Purdue University.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Wayne Potts, a biologist at the University of Utah, discusses his work on improving the accuracy of sugar toxicity tests. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Monday, March 16, 2015 - 3:00am

Many scientists were alarmed when Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican who does not believe in the scientific consensus on climate change, this year became chair of the Senate Space, Science and Competitiveness Subcommittee. Those concerns grew on Thursday when, during a budget hearing, Cruz said that the National Aeronautics and Space Administration was spending too much on earth science (which is where the agency studies climate change, among many other topics) and not enough on space exploration. NASA officials questioned the way Cruz analyzed their budget, and also defended the centrality of earth science to NASA's mission, National Journal reported.

On Friday, the American Geophysical Union sent Cruz a letter defending the type of earth science that only NASA can do. "Earth science division missions aid in flood prediction, earthquake response and severe storm tracking across the Great Plains," the letter said. "Greater knowledge and prediction skill are urgent when we consider the effort, time and costs of protecting infrastructure along coasts, rebuilding fish populations, developing new water resources for manufacturing and agriculture, and restoring communities in the wake of hazards. These observations, and many others like them, are integral and require the vantage point of outer space."


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