SLM (better known as Sallie Mae) is facing increasingly broad investigations from state and federal agencies, The Wall Street Journal reported. Illinois, under Attorney General Lisa Madigan, is leading several states in examining Sallie Mae's debt collection and loan servicing.
Higher Education Quick Takes
Some state legislator are calling for the University of Oklahoma to return a painting that was looted by the Nazis to the Jewish family that once owned it, The Oklahoman reported. Family members have sued the university, but Oklahoma has said it will not return the painting unless ordered to do so by a court. There is no dispute that the Nazis looted the painting from the family, but the university cites a 1953 court ruling in Switzerland that the family waited too long to claim the painting. “The university does not want to keep any items which it does not legitimately own,” said David Boren, president of the university. “However, the challenge to the university, as the current custodian of the painting, is to avoid setting a bad precedent that the university will automatically give away other people’s gifts to us to anyone who claims them.”
But Edie Roodman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Oklahoma City, said, "I think it’s certainly of concern within the Jewish community that a painting that was plundered under the Nazis was not returned to its rightful owner."
The painting is "Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep," by Camille Pissarro, currently part of the collection of the university's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.
Marquette University announced Wednesday that 25 non-faculty employees are being told that their jobs are being eliminated, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. With other open positions not being replaced, the total number of jobs at the university is expected to drop by 105. University officials said that they were trying to minimize spending, and to minimize tuition increases.
An article in The New York Times explores the charges in a lawsuit against Premier Education Group, which operates for-profit colleges in 10 states. Officials of the colleges maintain that they are being sued unfairly by "misguided" or disgruntled former employees. The suit charges that the colleges admit students in part by misleading them about their chances of getting jobs. An example: One of the ex-employees who sued said she became concerned when she noticed an electronic ankle monitor on a student in a pharmacy program for which certification would likely exclude those with felony convictions. The ex-employee said she was told to find an internship for the student, even if she had to deceive the employer.
Six female faculty members in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado at Boulder have issued a statement expressing concerns about the impact of a recent report detailing instances of sexism and unprofessionalism in the department. The statement, published on the Feminist Philosophers blog, doesn't take issue with the conclusions of the report. But the statement notes that the report (which was released by the university although the authors of the report didn't intend for it to become public) could unfairly damage the reputations of some in the department. To avoid that problem, the statement says the following: "Despite differing perceptions regarding both the report’s details and the overall impression it gives, all of us are united on a few things. First, we are all distressed that the report may damage the reputations of male colleagues who are completely innocent of sexual misconduct. It could also harm the prospects of our male graduate students currently on the market. We faculty women strongly believe that none of our currently untenured male colleagues or current male graduate students has engaged in sexual misconduct (nor, indeed, have most of our tenured colleagues). We believe that many have heard about the problems, if at all, only through the rumor mill. The second thing that unites us all is our determination to rebuild the department and its reputation."
Harvard University has received a $150 million gift from an alumnus, Kenneth Griffin. Most of the funds will support undergraduate financial aid.
The Corcoran College of Art + Design would become part of George Washington University under a plan announced Wednesday. The college and the Corcoran Gallery of Art have struggled financially for some time, and the plan would also involve the National Gallery of Art taking control of the art museum. The announcement of the plan noted that details remain to be worked out. The new plan replaces one announced in April under which the Corcoran would have created an affiliation with the University of Maryland at College Park.
Eight students at Fordham University have contracted mumps, CBS New York reported. All of the students had prior vaccinations, but those vaccinations do not provide full protection.
"Changing Student Pathways" is a collection of news articles and essays -- in print-on-demand format -- about the different paths students take (including some detours) on the way to a college degree or certificate.The articles aren't breaking news, rather analyses about long-term trends and some of the forward-looking thinking of experts about the changes in the routes students take through higher education. The goal is to provide these materials in one easy-to-read place. Download the booklet here.
The personal information of 309,079 students, faculty members and staffers at the University of Maryland's campuses at College Park and Shady Grove has been compromised, university officials announced on Wednesday. The cybersecurity breach was first reported by The Diamondback. In a letter to the community, President Wallace Loh said anyone at the two campuses who has received a university ID number since 1998 is affected. The compromised database included names, Social Security numbers and dates of birth, but no financial or academic information, Loh wrote.
"I am truly sorry," Loh wrote. "Computer and data security are a very high priority of our University."
The breach is still under investigation, but Loh said the university will offer a free year of credit monitoring to those affected.