Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, March 11, 2013 - 3:00am

When the board of Chicago State University announced last month that President Wayne Watson would be leaving his position, the board said that he had achieved key advances but that it was time for new leadership. On Friday, the board announced that Watson has violated a university policy and that the board is considering an appropriate punishment, The Chicago Tribune reported. The board did not specify the violation. Watson is saying that he is being forced out of office for not hiring friends of board leaders. Faculty leaders had opposed his hiring in the first place, and have been frustrated by his presidency.

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 3:00am

An avalanche is coming to higher education, according to a new report by Sir Michael Barber, the chief education adviser at Pearson. The report, titled "An Avalanche Is Coming: Higher education and the revolution ahead,” is being released today by the Institute for Public Policy Research, a British think tank.

Barber and his two co-authors (who also work for Pearson) argue that governments across the world need to rethink how they regulate and fund higher education institutions amid a wave of new education providers, including massive open online classes. In a telephone interview from Ghana, Barber said university leaders need to think about what makes their institutions special and who they serve. “I think that kind of middle universities that have nothing special about them and don’t exhibit bold imaginative leadership will suffer,” Barber said.

Other economic thinkers, including analysts at Moody’s, are also warning colleges about changes. Pearson, though, calls global education "a once-in-a-generation opportunity.”

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 3:00am

State universities in the United Arab Emirates should be barred from teaching most subjects in English and should be encouraged to add more Arabic language and literature courses, said members of the Federal National Council, The National reported. Hamad Al Rahoomi, a council member, said: "We want teaching to be in Arabic. We have doctors graduating from our universities who cannot fill out an application form in Arabic. The situation in government universities is going from bad to worse. We also need to enhance Arabic in private universities."

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 3:00am

Grand Valley State University has agreed to pay $40,000 to a student who sued for the right to have a guinea pig with her on campus, The Grand Rapids Press reported. The student said she needed the animal for support to deal with depression and other health issues. The university said that it agreed to let her keep an animal in her room, but wanted her to agree not to take it to class or to food service areas. The university specified that the settlement did not indicate any admission of wrongdoing. But the university also agreed to work to develop a policy for students who may need animals to live with them in campus housing.

 

 

Monday, March 11, 2013 - 3:00am

Female students in Liberia face widespread harassment, including the expectation that they will have sex with instructors or risk being failed, The Guardian reported. Women report that the power of male instructors is so strong that they can force women to retake courses if they refuse to have sex with their professors.

 

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 3:00am

After growing opposition from coaches and athletics directors to measures adopted in January by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Board of Directors, the NCAA has suspended two of the proposals and will reconsider modified versions before the board's next meeting in May.

The rules, part of NCAA President Mark Emmert’s broad reform effort, deregulated recruiting through two dozen proposals. The two that have been put on hold are Prop. No. RWG-11-2, which vastly expanded the number and type of athletic staff who could recruit, and Prop. No. RWG-13-5-A, which allowed for unlimited printed recruiting materials to be sent to prospects. Colleges are concerned that the new rules will accelerate the athletics arms race, even though the idea behind the deregulation was to recognize that some programs have more resources available to them and the NCAA should not attempt to ensure that no one program has an advantage over another.

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 3:00am

Rollins College has decided to strip the InterVarsity Christian Fellowship of official recognition as a student group because it requires leaders to be Christian and support certain views, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Representatives of the fellowship, which has faced similar policies at other colleges, complained that the Florida independent college is intolerant of students with evangelical and other strong religious views. But the Rollins Board of Trustees rejected the group's request for an exemption from the college's anti-discrimination policy, which bars student groups from discriminating based on factors such as religion, race and sexual orientation.

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 3:00am

A transgender student at Emerson College, first turned down by his student health insurance for the breast removal survey he sought, will be covered by the college's insurer after all, The Boston Globe reported. Donnie Collins's story went viral after his fraternity raised nearly $20,000 to pay for his surgery after he found out it would not be covered by insurance. But Emerson officials confirmed with its insurer, Aetna, that its policy did cover such an operation.
 

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 3:00am

The U.S. Department of State is investigating claims of exploitative living and working conditions faced by guest student workers at three McDonald’s franchises in central Pennsylvania, The Patriot-News reported. The students, who came to the U.S. on J-1 visas, staged a protest on Wednesday, and have petitioned McDonald’s for restitution and improved conditions for guest workers.  McDonald’s said it is investigating the situation.

Friday, March 8, 2013 - 3:00am

Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, has doubled its enrollment in the last six years -- twice -- to become the largest private university in the country, The Washington Post reported. Much of the growth has been online. Total enrollment at Liberty is now 74,000, with 62,000 enrolled online. (The 74,000 figure is more than 30,000 more than the enrollments at other large private nonprofit institutions, such as New York University, the University of Southern California and Brigham Young University.) A 2010 article in Inside Higher Ed explored Liberty's online strategy.

 

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