Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 14, 2014

The University of Missouri erred in its own policies and mishandled the case of Sasha Menu Courey, a Division I swimmer who said she’d been raped by one or more Missouri football players in 2010, and who later committed suicide, according to an investigative report by a group of independent lawyers. Missouri officials did not have the appropriate Title IX policies and procedures in place (in violation of federal law), and did not report relevant information to the Title IX coordinator who could have investigated the allegation, the report says. There is also no evidence that any officials other than medical personnel, who are bound by confidentiality laws, knew about the allegation while Menu Courey was alive.

April 14, 2014

Cardiff University abruptly called off plans on Thursday to announce its next chancellor, Wales Online reported. In Wales, as in England, university chancellors' role is largely ceremonial and it is the vice chancellor who is the equivalent of the American university president, but many academics care about who is named chancellor. At Cardiff, the university was expected to announce Thursday that Griff Rhys Jones, a comedian and television star, was to become chancellor. But news that an entertainer was up for the job led some faculty members to push for another term for Martin Evans, a biologist and Nobel laureate.

April 14, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Jeffrey Froh, associate professor of psychology at Hofstra University, shows the far reaching effects that gratitude has on children. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

April 14, 2014

Al-Quds University is disavowing the efforts of one of its professors, Mohammed S. Dajani, who took 27 students at the Palestinian university where he teaches to Auschwitz, to try to teach empathy with Jews, The Washington Post reported. In another part of the effort, Israeli students were visiting the West Bank to learn from Palestinians about their lives and the hardships they face. A German foundation paid for the program, contrary to rumors that Jewish groups had paid. Dajani has been called a traitor by many Palestinians, although he is standing behind the idea.

April 14, 2014

Students at Rowan University are divided about having New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as graduation speaker this year, The South Jersey Times reported. Some are excited about having a famous political figure who still could be a candidate for president in 2016. Others think that his recent traffic scandal makes him an odd choice, and they don't want a divisive figure. On Twitter, one person had fun with Christie's woes, referring to Rowan's location and the date of commencement: "Time for some traffic problems in Glassboro May 16th."

April 14, 2014

The University of South Carolina Upstate has been under attack by legislators lately over a book on gay themes that was assigned to freshmen and a scheduled appearance (since called off) of the comedy show “How to Be a Lesbian in 10 Days or Less.” On Sunday, Chancellor Tom Moore published a short essay called "On Being a University," trying to put the events in context. He noted that the university offers a range of programs for all kinds of students -- for students with different academic majors, of different religious groups, for veterans and so forth. Moore wrote that, if one looks at the totality of the programs at the university, issues related to gay students and gay issues "definitely" do not dominate, and are only a small fraction of what is offered.

But he also defended the idea that these programs need to be part of the mix. "If public universities do not offer programs and conferences that deal with cultural dynamics related to LGBTQ and other societal issues, where will such programs occur? Wherever we stand on issues of gay rights and same-sex marriage, denying the presence and importance of these issues in contemporary American culture is tantamount to burying our heads in the sand," Moore wrote. "As a public university, we must engage important issues in our culture, even when doing so makes some uncomfortable."

 

April 11, 2014

The American Studies Association announced Thursday that its membership has grown by 700 since the group took the controversial measure of adopting a boycott of Israeli universities. The association says that it has gained more membership revenue in the last three months than in any three-month period over the last 25 years.

 

April 11, 2014

Indiana University announced Thursday that it will increase the minimum wage paid to university employees to $8.25 an hour, up from the current minimum of $7.25, the federal minimum wage. About 8,750 employees at Indiana campuses -- many of them students -- currently are paid minimum wage. "Indiana University depends on the hard work of many part-time and temporary employees on all our campuses, and this much-deserved pay increase is one way we can recognize their important contributions to the success of IU," said President Michael A. McRobbie. "Many of these employees also are students at IU, and increasing their pay is consistent with our commitment to student affordability and accessibility."

April 11, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Scott Kirkton of Union College explains his work on the biochemistry that triggers a grasshopper's molting process. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

April 11, 2014

President Obama on Thursday nominated William (Bro) Adams, president of Maine's Colby College, to be chair of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Early in his career, Adams taught political philosophy. He rose through a series of administrative jobs and was president of Bucknell University for five years before moving to the Colby presidency in 2000. Adams announced in January that he would be stepping down from the Colby presidency -- and the college prepared this webpage with information on his accomplishments.

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