Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

September 15, 2016

Syracuse University on Wednesday removed Kenneth Kavajecz as dean of the institution's Whitman School of Management and also placed him on administrative leave from his faculty position, Syracuse.com reported. No reason was given for the sudden move, and university officials said that policy required them not to answer questions about the shift. Kavajecz did not respond to requests for comment.

September 15, 2016

The five world leaders in terms of absolute investment in research and development are the United States, China, Japan, Germany and South Korea, but the ranking changes in relation to investment in research and development as a percentage of gross domestic product. South Korea is the leader in that respect, dedicating 4.3 percent of its GDP to research and development, followed by Israel (4.1 percent), Japan (3.6 percent), Finland (3.2 percent) and Sweden (also 3.2 percent).

That’s all according to a new online data tool released by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Institute for Statistics. The United States, the overall leader in research and development spending, devotes 2.7 percent of its GDP to research and development.

September 15, 2016

Britain’s prime minister on Wednesday criticized “safe spaces” in universities, saying she finds the concept “quite extraordinary,” The Guardian reported.

“We want our universities not just to be places of learning but places where there is open debate which is challenged and people can get involved in that,” Theresa May said during a weekly session in which the prime minister answers questions from members of parliament. “I think everybody is finding this concept of safe spaces quite extraordinary, frankly. We want to see that innovation of thought taking place in our universities.”

“That’s how we develop as a country, as a society, and as an economy, and I absolutely agree with my honorable friend,” May said in response to a question posed by a conservative member of parliament, Victoria Atkins.

Atkins had asked the prime minister whether she agreed with her “that university is precisely the place for lively debate and the fear of being offended must not trump freedom of speech?”

September 15, 2016

The University of Southern California has announced a $60 million gift for its school of social work. The school will be renamed to honor the donor, Suzanne Dworak-Peck. The gift is believed to be one of the largest ever by an individual to a social work school.

September 15, 2016

Today on the Academic Minute, Jean Twenge, professor of psychology at San Diego State University, explores if social media and other factors have led to a rise in sexual exploration among youth. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

September 14, 2016

Public Agenda regularly asks in surveys of the American public whether people believe a college education is necessary in today's work world -- and new results show a decline in the percentage who say it is. Today, 42 percent of Americans say college is necessary for workforce success, a 13 percentage point drop from 2009. At the same time, when asked if college is a "good investment" or a "questionable investment," 52 percent pick the former and 46 percent the latter.

September 14, 2016

The mother of a former William Paterson University student who committed suicide last year is suing the university, alleging that the death was the result of the institution's failure to fully investigate her daughter's claims that she was raped at fraternity house.

In October 2015, Cherelle Locklear told the university's victims services coordinator that she was raped the previous month. The coordinator, according to the lawsuit, did not report the crime to police until November. The university and police "utterly failed to perform an appropriate and thorough investigation," the lawsuit states, and the suspect was neither "confronted or charged." Locklear hanged herself with a necktie Nov. 22, 2015.

The university did not respond to a request for comment.

September 14, 2016

Southern New Hampshire University and ITT Educational Services announced a teach-out agreement for Daniel Webster College students on Tuesday.

The online, nonprofit university worked with the U.S. Department of Education and the for-profit ITT to give Daniel Webster's 740 students, staff and faculty a way to continue their programs over the next year. Last week, ITT, which owns the New Hampshire college, announced it was closing all of its campuses.

New Hampshire is a pretty small higher education area where everyone knows everyone, said Paul LeBlanc, president of SNHU, adding that SNHU had looked into buying the college prior to ITT's purchase of it in 2009.

"Students and programs will remain intact and we'll move all employees over to us," he said.

SNHU will honor the current tuition and fees for Daniel Webster students. Following the end of this academic year, the nonprofit university will also accept all Daniel Webster students who meet the minimum admission requirements to continue their coursework through SNHU. Daniel Webster faculty will also continue to teach courses and will be hired by the university.

September 14, 2016

Inside Higher Ed is pleased to release today our latest print-on-demand compilation, "Seeking a Competitive Advantage." The articles explore the many ways colleges seek to position themselves in a competitive, changing environment. You may download the booklet, free, here. And you may sign up here for a free webinar on the themes of the booklet, on Thursday, Sept. 29, at 2 p.m. Eastern.


September 14, 2016

The Aspen Institute announced the top 10 finalists for the 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Tuesday. The award, which is given out every other year, recognizes two-year colleges that are high achieving and improving. Each college must demonstrate achievement in student learning, certificate and degree completion, employment and earnings for graduates, and access and success for minority and low-income students.

The winner of the prize will be announced in March and will receive $1 million. The prize is funded by the Joyce Foundation, the Siemens Foundation and the Kresge Foundation.

This year's finalists are:

  • Anoka-Ramsey Community College, in Coon Rapids, Minn.
  • Broward College, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
  • Chaffey College, in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif.
  • Indian River State College, in Fort Pierce, Fla.
  • Lake Area Technical Institute, in Watertown, S.D.
  • Northeast Community College, in Norfolk, Neb.
  • Odessa College, in Odessa, Tex.
  • Pasadena City College, in Pasadena, Calif.
  • San Jacinto College, in Pasadena, Tex.
  • West Kentucky Community and Technical College, in Paducah, Ky.


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