Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 29, 2013

Willamette University has evicted Sigma Chi from its fraternity house in the wake of an investigation of Facebook posts by members, The Statesman Journal reported. In May, an anonymous blog posted the fraternity house's private Facebook page, with notes making sexually derogatory comments about female students and faculty members. The comments outraged many on the campus.

 

July 29, 2013

A University of Montana booster paid for bail and legal representation for two football players arrested for obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest, while many other athletes received clothing, loans, lodging and other impermissible benefits from boosters and athletic staff, according to a National Collegiate Athletic Association public infractions report released Friday. For these and other violations, the NCAA cited Montana with a failure to monitor, and issued penalties including scholarship reductions, vacation of wins, three years' probation and a coaching suspension. The head coach and senior athletics administrators learned about the bail payments after the fact and failed to notify compliance officers, the report says.

In May, Montana reached a settlement with the U.S. Education Department's Office for Civil Rights, which requires the university to improve its response to sexual assault. The most high-profile allegations, and the ones that prompted OCR to investigate, were made against football players.

July 29, 2013

In an effort to reduce instances of head trauma among athletes, the Pacific-12 Conference became the second to reduce the limit in full-contact football practices, it announced Friday. Teams will be limited to two full-contact practices per week during the regular season and in the spring, and will reduce contact during preseason two-a-day practices. The limits resemble those imposed two years ago by the Ivy League; the NCAA permits five full-contact practices a week.

As awareness and concern about the dangers of head trauma has grown, some conference commissioners and critics including the National College Players' Association have implored the National Collegiate Athletic Association to do more to prevent concussions. The NCAA, however, points out that it is a membership association and has mostly left it to individual conferences and institutions to take the lead. The Ivy League, Big Ten, Southeastern Conference and Pac-12 have also set up long-term research projects to address the issue.

July 29, 2013

Legislation signed into law Friday would end the practice in North Carolina of awarding raises to public school teachers who earn master's degrees, The Wall Street Journal reported. The article said that North Carolina is believed to be the first state to end the practice of automatic raises. The prospect of such raises has traditionally been a key factor in encouraging many teachers to enroll for master's degrees in schools of education.

July 29, 2013

Alumni and students of the Charleston School of Law are angry over rumors that the for-profit law school will be sold to the InfiLaw System, which operates three other for-profit law schools, The Post and Courier reported. The Charleston School of Law has not confirmed that a sale is imminent, but did announce last week that it had signed a "management services agreement" with InfiLaw that the law school said would improve the quality of programs at Charleston. But Kathleen Chewning, president of the Charleston School of Law Alumni Association, said that her members and students were concerned because they believe their law school is perceived as having more quality than those owned by InfiLaw. InfiLaw declined to comment, and its webpage says only that an "important announcement" is coming soon.

July 29, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Angie Willey of the University of Massachusetts at Amherst discusses the assumptions behind current interpretations of how biology influences monogamy and pair bonding. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

July 29, 2013

Palmetto Family, a conservative religious group, is questioning the choice of the College of Charleston to have this fall's freshmen read the memoir Fun Home, The Post and Courier reported. Oran Smith, president and chief operating officer of Palmetto Family, said he found the book "very close to pornography" and "way over the top." The college has said it will not change its choice. While the book does deal with issues of sexual orientation (the author is a lesbian who describes growing up with a gay father), it has received numerous strong reviews. The author is the creator of the comic strip "Dykes to Watch Out For."

July 29, 2013

A federal judge on Friday approved a $5 million settlement between Chester Career College (over charges related to when it was called Richmond School of Health and Technology) and the for-profit's former students, the Associated Press reported The suit alleged that the school specifically recruited low-income students, who then borrowed money and didn't get much of an education at all. The fund will help the former students repay loans or obtain an education. A lawyer for the college said that the agreement did not constitute an admission of any of the charges.

 

July 26, 2013

The Organization of American Historians has become the latest group to issue a statement about the controversy over Mitch Daniels's efforts, while governor of Indiana, to prevent the teaching of the works of the late Howard Zinn.

"The OAH regards the current episode as a 'teachable moment' when instructors in American history at every level have the opportunity to convey to our students how historians debate ideas and assess the merit of each others’ written work. We invite members to contact us with their account of classroom exercises and discussion questions that they have used, or intend to use in class, to promote discussion of such issues. We promise to post as many of them as we can on our website to encourage open discussion," says the statement.

The OAH regards the current episode as a “teachable moment” when instructors in American history at every level have the opportunity to convey to our students how historians debate ideas and assess the merit of each others’ written work. We invite members to contact us with their account of classroom exercises and discussion questions that they have used, or intend to use in class, to promote discussion of such issues. We promise to post as many of them as we can on our website to encourage open discussion. - See more at: http://www.oah.org/news/20130725_daniels.html#sthash.ZycPebZN.dpuf
The OAH regards the current episode as a “teachable moment” when instructors in American history at every level have the opportunity to convey to our students how historians debate ideas and assess the merit of each others’ written work. We invite members to contact us with their account of classroom exercises and discussion questions that they have used, or intend to use in class, to promote discussion of such issues. We promise to post as many of them as we can on our website to encourage open discussion. - See more at: http://www.oah.org/news/20130725_daniels.html#sthash.ZycPebZN.dpuf
The OAH regards the current episode as a “teachable moment” when instructors in American history at every level have the opportunity to convey to our students how historians debate ideas and assess the merit of each others’ written work. We invite members to contact us with their account of classroom exercises and discussion questions that they have used, or intend to use in class, to promote discussion of such issues. We promise to post as many of them as we can on our website to encourage open discussion. - See more at: http://www.oah.org/news/20130725_daniels.html#sthash.ZycPebZN.dpuf
July 26, 2013

Barbara Vacarr, president of Goddard College, has announced that she will leave at the end of the year so she can focus on family issues, the Associated Press reported. The announcement follows reports that the college is facing serious financial difficulties, forcing pay cuts and the suspension of retirement contributions, among other measures.

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