Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 4:36am

Niagara Falls, N.Y. has more than high-wire acts to attract attention. The city is offering to repay $3,500 a year in student loan debt, for two years, for people who move to certain neighborhoods in the city, The Buffalo News reported. Mayor Paul A. Dyster said the plan was key to finding young people to live in the community. "Trying to revitalize a downtown without young people is like trying to get bread to rise without yeast," he said.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 3:00am

Terrence A. Gomes resigned on Monday as president of Roxbury Community College, according to the college's board chair. Roxbury, which is located in Massachusetts, has been dogged by several controversies, The Boston Globe reported, including an ongoing audit by the U.S. Department of Education and a state probe that found questionable allocations of financial aid. The college has also been under fire for allegedly underreporting crime on campus.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 3:00am

South Korea's Sungkyunkwan University has announced that it will reject any applicant with a history of bullying, unless the applicant has shown remorse and a change of behavior, The Korea Times reported. The South Korean Education Ministry has adopted new requirements that schools maintain records of those who engage in bullying, paving the way for the university's new policy. Other universities are expected to adopt similar policies.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 3:00am

Canadian-Iranian academics who fled Iran are protesting the decision by Carleton University in Ottawa to host a conference called "The Contemporary Awakening and Imam Khomeini’s Thoughts.," Maclean's reported. The university says that it simply let a student group (along with the Iranian embassy) organize an event, consistent with the principles of free expression. But a group of academics with personal experience in Iran have issued a letter asking how a university could host an event to honor Ayatollah Khomeini. "Through his 'cultural revolution' following the 1979 revolution, all Iranian universities were closed down for two years and thousands of faculty and students expelled, and many of them jailed, executed or forced into exile," the letter said. "We support, and many of us are engaged in, international academic collaborations. However, we think reputable academic institutions have a moral obligation not to turn a blind eye on atrocities committed against their colleagues in other countries. Providing a forum to individuals, who under the pretext of academic freedom, propagate the ideas and values of a regime that is known for its violation of all standards of academic freedom and rights, is far from promoting academic debates."


Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 3:00am

A survey being released today suggests that arts graduates -- counter to the stereotype -- are not all facing unemployment. The survey, the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, includes graduates of arts colleges and of arts programs within broader universities. Among the findings:

  • 87 percent of arts graduates who are currently employed are satisfied with the job in which they spend the majority of their work time.
  • Of those employed alumni, 82 percent are satisfied with their ability to be creative in their current work, whether working in the arts or in other fields.
  • Only 4 percent of respondents report being unemployed and looking for work – less than half the national rate of 8.9 percent.
  • 84 percent of employed alumni agree that their current primary job reflects their personalities, interests and values, whether their work is in the arts or other fields.
  • Those with degrees in the performing arts and design are the most likely ever to be employed as professional artists, with 82 percent of dance, theater and music performance majors, and 81 percent of design majors working as professional artists at some point.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012 - 4:32am

Charitable giving to education at all levels hit $38.87 billion 2011, a 4 percent increase, according to the annual "Giving USA" study, released today. Adjusted for inflation, the increase is just under 1 percent, reflecting the slow recovery in giving following the economic downturn of 2008.


Monday, June 18, 2012 - 4:25am

"Irregularities" have been found in an executive master's degree in business program of Baruch College of the City University of New York, The New York Times reported. While all details have not been released, the problems involve a program head accused by college officials of faking signatures of professors to improve the grades of some students who might otherwise have dropped out of the program. Students whose records were affected are being given the chance to make up work so that their degrees will not be affected.


Monday, June 18, 2012 - 3:00am

Foreign language instructors at Italian universities, typically born outside Italy, have some of the worst working conditions in Italian academe, The New York Times reported. Under various provisions of Italian law, they work at lower salaries than other university instructors, and tend to lack basic sick and family leave, among other benefits. Despite a series of legal challenges to this system as inconsistent with European regulations that are supposed to promote equity across national borders, and a series of court wins on the issue, most of the language instructors have seen little progress.


Monday, June 18, 2012 - 3:00am

Yale University has been falling short in dealing with and preventing sexual harassment on campus, the U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights has found, after an investigation prompted by a 26-page complaint ended Friday with the announcement of a resolution agreement. The university under-reported cases of sexual harassment and assault by “dozens” of cases (OCR could not be more precise), had in place confusing and unclear procedures for reporting cases, and failed to inform students about the resources the university did have. But in a call with reporters Friday, assistant secretary for civil rights Russlyn Ali said the university already put in place corrective measures that will “ensure proper compliance” with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. “They showed a lot of courage really early on and made some proactive steps,” Ali said. The initial complaint, which alleged that Yale failed to eliminate a hostile campus environment of sexual discrimination, was filed by 16 students in March 2011, just before OCR issued a “dear colleague” letter to colleges across the country reminding them of their obligations to address sexual harassment under Title IX.

Yale came under intense scrutiny after a group of students from the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon, which has since been all but booted from campus, chanted “no means yes, yes means anal” outside the women's center during a pledge initiation in fall 2010.

Yale said in a statement that it was pleased with the terms of the agreement, which, among other things, requires the university to improve and publicize its resources, periodically assess the campus climate to evaluate its efforts, and coordinate compliance efforts. “The university is pleased that the Office of Civil Rights has closed its Title IX investigation without any finding of non-compliance by Yale. We are gratified that OCR has recognized Yale's extensive efforts and ongoing commitment to prevent and address sexual misconduct,” the statement said. “Over the past two years, the university has committed extensive resources toward improving its policies, procedures, practices and services to provide an environment in which all students feel safe and well supported, and protected from sexual misconduct.”

Monday, June 18, 2012 - 3:00am

Daniel Strickland, an assistant professor of engineering at Santa Clara University, was tragically killed last fall. A feature in The San Francisco Chronicle details how several recently graduated students are staying on at Santa Clara to try to finish a project Strickland launched with the goal of improving the way power is provided in the developing world.



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