Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

March 25, 2014

A federal jury in California on Monday convicted Susan Su, the founder and president of Tri-Valley University, of 35 counts related to visa fraud, The San Jose Mercury News reported. The counts relate to charges that the unaccredited university was a fraud, designed to get money from foreign applicants who wanted certification to obtain student visas. Su's lawyer could not be reached for comment, but he told the jury that she had acted "in good faith."

 

March 25, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Piers Howe, professor of psychology at the University of Melbourne, investigates the legitimacy of those who claim to have a sixth sense. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

March 25, 2014

Many faculty members at Rutgers University at New Brunswick are upset that the university's board approved a plan to invite Condoleezza Rice, secretary of state in the administration of President George W. Bush, to be commencement speaker. Now faculty leaders are upset for a related reason: They asked for time at the next meeting of the Board of Governors to explain their opposition to Rice, and they were turned down. University officials say that they could have expressed their views at the meeting where Rice's selection was approved, but that they can't speak now. A university spokesman confirmed the decision via email, explaining it this way: "The bylaws of the Rutgers University Board of Governors set forth a process for speaking at meetings. Speakers are welcome to address any action items that are listed on the BOG agenda. The selection of Condoleezza Rice was on a previous (Feb. 4, 2014) agenda and approved by the Board of Governors."

March 25, 2014

The U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights is investigating whether Florida's Bright Futures scholarship program illegally discriminates against black and Latino students, The Miami Herald reported. The state scholarship program is based in part on SAT or ACT scores, and state lawmakers recently raised those score requirements. While legislators say that the standards are based on quality, critics note that, on average, black and Latino students' scores lag those of white and Asian students. OCR officials declined to discuss specifics, but said that the agency is “investigating allegations that the state of Florida utilizes criteria for determining eligibility for college scholarships that have the effect of discriminating against Latino and African-American students on the basis of national origin and race.”

 

March 25, 2014

Members of the faculty union at Portland State University filed a complaint Monday over a plan by administrators to cut off email access for professors who participate in a threatened strike, The Oregonian reported. The Portland State union has voted to authorize a strike if their leaders call for one, and administrators said they would cut off access to university email accounts for those who join. In their complaint to the state Employment Relations Board, union members said such an action would amount to illegal retaliation, the newspaper said.

March 25, 2014

Inside Higher Ed is today releasing a free compilation of articles -- in print-on-demand format -- about the globalization of higher education. The articles reflect long-term trends in the recruitment of foreign students, study abroad, internationalization of the curriculum, online education and more. The articles aren't today's breaking news, but reflect long-term trends and some of the forward-looking strategies that colleges are adopting. Download the booklet here.

This booklet is part of a series of such compilations that Inside Higher Ed is publishing on a range of topics.

On Tuesday, April 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern, Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman conducted a free webinar to talk about the issues raised in the booklet's articles. To view the webinar, please click here.

 

 

March 25, 2014

The U.S. Education Department this morning formally published its proposed regulations requiring vocational programs at for-profit institutions and community colleges to show that they are preparing graduates for "gainful employment." The department previewed the rules this month, drawing criticism from those who thought they were unfairly tough and too weak alike.

March 25, 2014

A philosophy professor at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations was fired after writing an op-ed criticizing Russia’s annexation of Crimea as akin to Nazi Germany’s annexation of Austria, Reuters reported. The institute, which is affiliated with the foreign ministry, said it had dismissed Andrei Zubov for criticizing Russian foreign policy: "Let the inappropriate and offensive historical analogies and characterizations lay on Zubov's conscience, the leadership of MGIMO view it as impossible for A.B. Zubov to continue working at the institute,” it said in a statement.

March 24, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama, on a trip to China, spoke Saturday at Stanford University's center at Peking University about the value of study abroad. "Studying abroad isn’t just a fun way to spend a semester; it is quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy," Obama said. "Because getting ahead in today’s workplaces isn’t just about getting good grades or test scores in school, which are important. It’s also about having real experience with the world beyond your borders –- experience with languages, cultures and societies very different from your own.

"Or, as the Chinese saying goes: 'It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books.' But let’s be clear, studying abroad is about so much more than improving your own future. It’s also about shaping the future of your countries and of the world we all share. Because when it comes to the defining challenges of our time -– whether it’s climate change or economic opportunity or the spread of nuclear weapons -- these are shared challenges. And no one country can confront them alone."

March 24, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Peter Wilf, professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, traces the path of conifer fossils from New Zealand to Argentina. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

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