Higher Education Quick Takes
Alabama State University's board has placed its president, in office only since September, on leave, Alabama.com reported. Citing various press reports in the state, the article said that the president, Joseph Silver, said he was being forced out because he had tried to fire two officials for insubordination. One of those officials has now been named interim president.
Two Kentucky newspapers -- The Herald-Leader and The Courier-Journal -- recently obtained open records showing that the reported attendance at University of Kentucky football games far exceeded what some people would consider actual attendance (the number of actual tickets scanned at each game). When the journalists attempted to find the data for the last home game, they found that they couldn't get it. As The Courier-Journal reported, the university announced that it was no longer keeping attendance -- so it had no information to give out.
The 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order is going to the authors of a book on non-violence. Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor at the University of Denver, and Maria Stephan, a foreign affairs officer with the U.S. State Department, were honored for Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict, published by Columbia University Press published the book in 2011. The award is worth $100,000.
The McGraw-Hill Companies has sold its education division to Apollo Global Management for $2.5 billion, the companies announced Monday. Lloyd G. (Buzz) Waterhouse, president and CEO of McGraw-Hill Education, said in an interview Monday that customers who use McGraw-Hill products and services should expect "very little" change in the short term, "and definitely not a change in service levels." Waterhouse said that the company would continue to expand in digital education, and that -- as a private company -- "we won't need to worry about short-term focus and pressures."
The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday ordered the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit to hear Liberty University's challenge to provisions of President Obama's health care overhaul. The Fourth Circuit had dismissed Liberty's lawsuit contesting the health care law's provisions on the employer mandate to provide insurance and contraception coverage, citing the fact that the provisions had not yet taken effect. But the Supreme Court said that its ruling this summer upholding the overall health care law did not preclude Liberty's suit.
Florida Governor Rick Scott, a Republican, on Monday called for community colleges -- many of which in his state already offer bachelor's degrees -- to do so for total student costs of $10,000, The Orlando Sentinel reported. Those community colleges with bachelor's programs generally cost more than that. Texas Governor Rick Perry, a Republican, has championed the idea of the $10,000 degree and several such programs have launched in Texas. But close analysis of the programs suggests that students in other programs are subsidizing the $10,000 program students, and that the reforms have been more about pricing (for a small number) rather than college costs generally.
Four music students at the conservatory of Baldwin Wallace University face charges that they were stealing equipment and chemicals from the university to set up a lab to produce the drug ecstasy, The Plain Dealer reported. The article details the investigation into the students, and the role of their text messages in implicating themselves. Dennis Bort, the lead investigator for the local police, said some of the texts were funny. One student messaged that "he had a really sweet hat" for a break-in and was told by one of his alleged drug partners that "a fedora is not B-and-E [breaking and entering] wear."
Florida officials have agreed to declare Florida Christian College's students eligible for a state student aid program, settling a lawsuit by the college, The News Service of Florida reported. The college "requires a Bible emphasis of all who earn a degree," and Florida officials had declared it too sectarian for its students to qualify for state aid. But the college argued that its programs have secular educational purposes, and that the state was discriminating against the college on the basis of its religious beliefs.
The Kansas City Art Institute is suing Larry and Kristina Dodge, for whom the art college named a building, because they haven't made good on a $5 million pledge to pay for the project, The Kansas City Star reported. The institute says that it has a valid legal agreement with the Dodges, and that it made the decision to go ahead with the building based on that pact. The Dodges say that they are struggling financially in the wake of the economic downturn and can't afford to give the money. Kristina Dodge told the Star that the art institute is "completely ruthless and heartless."