Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 4:17am

St. Paul's College, a historically black college in Virginia, is suspending most operations for the fall semester, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. In the last month, the college has helped many of its students transfer to other institutions. The moves follow the decision in June of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to revoke St. Paul's accreditation. The college is appealing, and is also exploring possible mergers, but decided that suspending operations for the fall was the best course of action for now, officials said.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 4:21am

Pennsylvania State University's accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, has told the university that its accreditation status is "in jeopardy" because of the issues raised in recent investigations of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the way officials responded to reports of child sexual abuse, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Penn State officials expressed confidence Monday that they would be able to demonstrate to Middle States that they have responded in appropriate ways to the failings identified in recent inquiries, and that accreditation should remain in place.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012 - 4:23am

A student activities committee at Davidson College has banned serving Chick-fil-A at student events, pending a review of student opinion on the controversial restaurant chain, The Charlotte Observer reported. Students and others nationwide have been encouraging boycotts of Chick-fil-A because of statements by its president criticizing gay marriage. While many campuses have seen demands that Chick-fil-A campuses be kicked off campuses, that hasn't happened. In the case of Davidson, what is being suspended is bringing the food on campus for official student events organized by the committee, not removing a campus vendor.


Monday, August 13, 2012 - 3:00am

Stephen Bloom, the University of Iowa journalism professor who created a storm late last year by writing an article in The Atlantic that called rural Iowans “an assortment of wasteoids and meth-addicts,” will be teaching at the university again this fall. Bloom, whose essay was criticized by his colleagues and Sally Mason, the university's president, has been teaching in the University of Michigan communication studies department for the last year as a visiting professor. “Yes, he is scheduled to teach,” David Perlmutter, director of the school of journalism and mass communication at the University of Iowa, said in an e-mail.

Monday, August 13, 2012 - 3:00am

Faculty leaders and many professors at Australian National University are objecting to the way student evaluations of their teaching are being used, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The university has used student evaluations for years, but this is the first year that the results are being used as part of the institution's evaluation of faculty members. Almost 1,000 professors are being asked to explain why they received low grades from students, and faculty leaders say that this sends a message not to be rigorous, for fear of offending someone in class.

Monday, August 13, 2012 - 3:00am

Authors have been telling the University of Missouri Press in the last week that they want the rights to their books returned, and that they don't believe new plans for the press live up to its obligations, The Kansas City Star reported. The university announced plans to phase out existing operations, but then said that the press would be kept alive as a way to teach students, in an all-digital format. For the last week, the Star reported, Missouri officials have been calling authors asking them not to demand their rights back, or not to turn over their rights to other presses.


Monday, August 13, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Catherine Sabiston of McGill University examines how readjusting goals about physical fitness can increase health in cancer survivors. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, August 13, 2012 - 3:00am

The Indian government appears to be delaying legislation that would allow foreign colleges and universities to open campuses in India, The Economic Times reported. The higher education focus for the government in the next parliamentary session will be on other bills, such as one requiring accreditation for all institutions.


Friday, August 10, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Sandra Russ of Case Western Reserve University examines how the level of imagination in children’s play has responded to recent technology and time restrictions. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Friday, August 10, 2012 - 3:00am

Spain's government has set up a special committee to consider reforms for Spanish universities, Times Higher Education reported. In part, the move was prompted by Spain's economic woes, which have already led to deep budget cuts, and are likely to lead to more. But the committee is also conducting its review at a time of increasing criticism about non-economic problems facing the universities. "[M]any critics claim that the real drag on Spanish university quality is the culture of politicization and cronyism," the article says. "Critics claim that the power structures in many universities are dominated by nepotistic networks that tolerate and even promote all manner of non-meritocratic and unethical practices among members, while coming down hard on those who dare speak out against them."



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