Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

December 8, 2014

A visiting fellow at the University of Iowa placed a sculpture that he views as a critique of racism on the campus last week, but removed it when the university noted that he didn't have permission and many students said that they found the work offensive, The Des Moines Register reported. The sculpture is of a Ku Klux Klan member, but rather than wearing white robes, the clothing is made of newspaper articles about racist atrocities committed by the Klan. The artist said he wanted to show solidarity with those protesting the killings of unarmed black men by police officers, but the Klan image was seen by many on campus as offensive.

December 8, 2014

A judge last week blocked the University of Kansas from releasing documents on the financial relationship between an economic center on campus and billionaires David and Charles Koch. The judge’s decision delays efforts by a group, Students for a Sustainable Future, to look for information regarding the Koch brothers' influence on campus. According to the Lawrence Journal-World, Art Hall, director of the center, filed a lawsuit Thursday seeking an injunction against the university. He argued the Center for Applied Economics is self-funded and so the documents don’t qualify as public records since they're not related to programs or activities funded by public money. The university told the newspaper that since Hall is an employee of the university, it believed that the documents qualified under the open records law. The university had planned to release the documents Friday.

The student group raised $1,800, including a $1,000 donation from the local chapter of the American Association of University Professors, to pay for the documents. Part of the request for correspondence regarding contracts and hiring processes was released last week

December 8, 2014

In the latest "This Week," Inside Higher Ed's free weekly news podcast, LaGuardia Community College's Gail Mellow discusses the second White House summit on higher education, and the University of Northern Colorado's Nicholas Syrett joins a conversation about the history of fraternities in American higher education. Sign up here for notification of new podcasts.

December 8, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Steven Soifer, professor of social work at t he University of Memphis, discusses shy-bladder syndrome. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


 

December 5, 2014

The University of Florida will pay Colorado State University $7 million to hire away its head football coach, Jim McElwain, Colorado State announced Thursday. It is the largest such buyout in college football history. The previous record was the $4.3 million buyout the University of Texas paid to the University of Louisville for its head coach earlier this year. Colorado State will receive $3 million in cash from Florida and $2 million from McElwain. As part of the agreement, the university will be paid another $2 million to play a football game at Florida. Colorado State's offensive coordinator will serve as an interim coach as the university searches for a full-time replacement. 

December 5, 2014

Phi Beta Kappa is today unveiling an online toolkit for its members and others who support the arts and sciences -- and who want to know how to reach lawmakers and other with influence. The website included statistics about arts and sciences education, information on how to reach lawmakers and possible message topics. The theme of the information: "You can make the case."

 

 

December 5, 2014

Students on many campuses on Thursday walked out of classes or held protests over the decision in New York City not to indict a police officer in the death of an unarmed black man -- an outcome that rekindled anger over a similar decision last month in Ferguson, Missouri. Here are some local press reports about protests involving students of Clemson University, Hamilton College, Hampton University, Princeton University and Temple University.

December 5, 2014

A football player at Faulkner University was shot and killed Wednesday night by the owner of a home that the student and three others from the university were trying to break into, AL.com reported. The home owner shot in self-defense and the three other students have been charged with murder.

 

December 5, 2014

University of New Orleans officials on Thursday announced a series of cuts designed to save money in the wake of enrollment declines. The Times-Picayune reported that the plan includes:

  • Closing seven degree programs.
  • Eliminating the geography department.
  • Requiring department chairs to teach a minimum of two courses in the fall and spring semesters, with the goal of reducing reliance on adjuncts.
  • Reducing the budget for adjuncts by $1 million.
  • Eliminating 10 instructor positions and 4 library positions.

 

 

December 5, 2014

The exam proctoring service ProctorU in October processed its 1 millionth exam, the company said on Wednesday. Zymezia Rivers, an employee at ProctorU's facility in Hoover, Ala., reached the milestone on Oct. 13 as she monitored a student at Troy University taking an exam. The company, which was founded in 2008, proctors about 50,000 exams a month, according to a recent estimate.

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