Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

August 10, 2017

Andalusia (at right), the home and farm where the writer Flannery O'Connor lived for 13 years before she died in 1964, will be maintained and managed by her alma mater, Georgia College. It was while living at Andalusia that O'Connor wrote the acclaimed novels Wise Blood and The Violent Bear It Away and the short story collection A Good Man Is Hard to Find. The home has been maintained of late by a small foundation.

August 10, 2017

A team of scientists from across the country has today launched a crowdfunding campaign to investigate how researchers can use social media platform Instagram to boost public perceptions of their profession.

Led by Paige Brown Jarreau, a science communication specialist at Louisiana State University, the project is driven by research that suggests people see scientists as intelligent, but not very warm -- a key component of trust.

The research will ask whether sharing “scientist selfies” -- pictures of scientists themselves, rather than just their research subjects -- can improve scientists’ perceived warmth. The project aims to show “empirically that it is worth scientists’ time to share their lives (and faces) on social media, not just their science.”

“Scientists are often reluctant to take pictures of themselves in the field, but perhaps this could be used to promote credibility,” said Jarreau. “With everything that is going on in the country, we need scientists to be able to speak out, and have the public trust the information they provide.”

August 10, 2017

Today on the Academic Minute, Bruce Y. Lee, associate professor of international health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, explores why physical inactivity is something everyone should be paying attention to. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

August 9, 2017

Northwestern University has fired Wyndham Lathem as an associate professor. Lathem, along with an employee of the University of Oxford, have been charged with the murder of a man who apparently lived at Lathem's Chicago apartment. After fleeing the scene, the two men surrendered Friday evening in California. As word spread last week that Lathem was missing and considered armed and dangerous, Northwestern suspended him and barred him from its campuses. Explaining the firing this week, a Northwestern statement said that "Lathem was terminated for the act of fleeing from police when there was an arrest warrant out for him."

August 9, 2017

Texas’s divisive campus carry law took effect last week on community college campuses, one year after it was adopted at public universities. Charles K. Smith, an instructor of geography at San Antonio College, marked the occasion by teaching in a flak jacket and helmet. "It definitely makes me feel uneasy that there are more firearms on campus than there really should be," Smith to SA.com. The military-style gear “was just a statement on how I felt,” he said.

San Antonio College instructor Charles K. Smith, in helmet and flak jacket.

Source: Facebook

Smith, whose photo was taken and posted online by a student, said he’s seen occasional fistfights during his 10 years on campus, but never a gun. The new law, which allows licensed gun owners age 21 and over to carry concealed weapons on campus -- including into classrooms -- “increases the chances of something happening,” Smith said. “Used to, when they got mad at me, they had to go home to get the gun and had time to cool off. Now they will have it with them.”

Students for Concealed Carry, a national advocacy group, said in a statement that there has been no report of injury, death or assault at any four-year Texas campus within the last year. The group also pushed for the removal of university regulations that continue to “circumvent” the law.

August 9, 2017

Inside Higher Ed is pleased to release today our latest print-on-demand compilation, "New Directions in Online Education." You may download the booklet here, free, and sign up here for a free webcast on the themes of the booklet on Thursday, Sept. 7, at 2 p.m. Eastern.

August 9, 2017

In today’s “Inside Digital Learning”:

August 9, 2017

The Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, also known as MCPHS University, is facing scrutiny from accreditors and regulators of four of its major academic programs, The Boston Globe reported. The university says that it is addressing the problems, but some students and others question whether enough resources are going to those efforts. They note that the university recently expanded the brownstone where President Charles F. Monahan Jr. lives, and that he earned $1.4 million in the 2014-15 academic year.

August 9, 2017

Today on the Academic Minute, Christian Kiewitz, professor in management at the University of Dayton, discusses how a vicious cycle can damage the workplace. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

August 8, 2017

Among community college graduates who hold no previous degrees or certificates, 41 percent earn a bachelor's degree during the next six years.

That's among the findings from a new report by the National Student Clearinghouse Research Center, which is able to track almost all students who enroll in U.S. colleges. The center's analysis looked at 575,067 community college students who graduated in 2011. Roughly 65 percent of these students enrolled at four-year institutions within six years (with 41 percent of the graduates eventually earning a four-year degree). The youngest group of community college graduates (20 and under) were the most likely to succeed at a four-year institution, with 62 percent earning a bachelor's within six years.

Figure 1: Bachelor’s Degree Outcomes for Students Who Earned an Associate Degree in 2010-11 as First Postsecondary Credential. Results broken down by age group and gender. Overall, 41.4 percent enrolled at four-year institutions earned bachelor’s degrees and 23.7 percent did not. For 20 years and under, 61.5 percent enrolled at four-year institutions earned bachelor’s degrees and 18.9 percent did not for 20 to 24 years of age, 43.9 percent enrolled at four-year institutions earned bachelor’s degrees and 23.3 percent did not. For students over 24 years of age, 32 percent enrolled at four-year institutions earned bachelor’s degrees and 25.7 percent did not. For women, 41.8 percent enrolled at four-year institutions earned bachelor’s degrees and 24.3 percent did not. For men, 41.7 percent enrolled at four-year institutions earned bachelor’s degrees and 23.6 percent did not. Note: based on students whose first postsecondary credential was an associate degree earned between July 1, 2010, and June 30, 2011. Student age refers to the age when first credential was awarded. Subsequent credentials are limited to credentials completed within six years of first credential award date.

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