Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 7, 2014

In yet another illustration of the outrage stirred by the American Studies Association’s largely symbolic boycott of Israeli universities, U.S. Reps. Peter Roskam (R-Ill.) and Dan Lipinski (D-Ill.) on Thursday announced the introduction of a bill that would amend the Higher Education Act to block federal funding for universities that boycott Israeli institutions or scholars. Student financial aid funds would be unaffected.

“This bipartisan legislation seeks to preserve academic freedom and combat bigotry by shielding Israel from unjust boycotts. It is ludicrous for critics to go after our democratic friend and ally Israel when they should be focusing on the evils perpetrated by repressive, authoritarian regimes like Iran and North Korea,” Rep. Roskam, the Chief Deputy Whip and co-chair of the House Republican Israel Caucus, said in a statement

Anti-boycott legislation has also been introduced in the Maryland and New York State legislatures, in the latter case passing the New York Senate before stalling in the Assembly. The American Association of University Professors has argued that legislative attempts to squash boycotts pose a greater danger to academic freedom than boycotts themselves (which the AAUP also opposes).

February 7, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Kevin Walsh of the University of York traces the history of the human occupation of Europe’s alpine region. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

February 7, 2014

Corinthian Colleges, Inc., a chain of for-profit colleges, said in a federal filing Wednesday that the U.S. Education Department had rejected "many" of the company's requests for new programs because of concerns about its reporting of job placement and other information. Company officials disputed an assertion made in a January letter from the Education Department that Corinthian had "admitted falsifying" placement or grade information, saying instead that the company had detected and reported to federal authorities "isolated instances" of misreporting.

February 7, 2014

If they want to be paid, college athletes might be better off declaring themselves interns and seeking compensation under the Fair Labor Standards Act than they will be in seeking unionization, a Bloomberg Businessweek article suggests. Unpaid interns who work in similar conditions have been successful in lawsuits when they’ve shown that their employer derived “immediate advantage” from the intern’s work, that they didn’t benefit from the experience, and that they displaced regular employees.

The Northwestern football players who petitioned to form the College Athletes Players Association last month say they are not immediately seeking compensation, just full coverage for sports-related medical expenses and more rights regarding safety and other issues. But a push for more money could come in the future.

February 6, 2014

The percentage of employed teenagers has declined over the last decade, but what working high school seniors spend their earnings on has not changed much, researchers have found. Most of the money earned goes toward temporary wants or needs, meaning shopping trips, lunch and dinner dates, movies, music and more -- not saving for college. The information was gathered through surveys given to high school seniors by the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research.

Authors Jerald Bachman, Jeremy Staff, Patrick O'Malley and Peter Freedman-Doan wanted to learn what teenagers did with their earnings and to see if any patterns affect academic achievement. What they discovered is 17 percent took half or more of their income and put it toward their educations. Those who saved for college were less likely to work more than 15 to 20 hours a week because they wanted to focus on school. They weren’t at high risk of smoking cigarettes. The high school students who juggle school and work to help fund their higher education deserve to be recognized, the researchers say.

February 6, 2014

"Key Issues for Business Schools" is a collection of news articles and essays -- in print-on-demand format -- about the opportunities and challenges facing schools of business. The articles aren't breaking news, rather analyses about long-term trends and some of the forward-looking thinking of experts about this important sector of institutions. The goal is to provide these materials (both news articles and opinion essays) in one easy-to-read place. Download the booklet here.

This is the latest in a series of such compilations that Inside Higher Ed is publishing on a range of topics.
On Thursday, February 27, at 2 p.m. EST, Inside Higher Ed's editors will discuss these issues in a free webinar. Sign up to participate by clicking here.
February 6, 2014

University of Akron officials are denying allegations of plagiarism from a graduate who filed a federal Clery Act complaint against the institution Tuesday. Julia Dixon told Newsweek that in researching her complaint, she discovered significant portions of Akron's sexual misconduct policies appeared to be lifted, sometimes verbatim, from Miami University of Ohio.

Officials at both campuses said Wednesday that Akron's policy did not copy Miami's, but bore resemblance because it's common for professionals to share models or best practices for writing such documents. The particularly odd overlaps -- for example, both policies reference an Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity and an "Appendix B" of the policy, but only Miami actually has those things -- were just outdated "errors" that have since been fixed, Akron Dean of Students Denine Rocco said.

Dixon alleges in her complaint, filed Tuesday, that administrators mishandled sexual assault cases and did not accurately report assaults or accommodate victims with required services. Dixon said she was also given information from campus officials that conflicted with information in the policy.

February 6, 2014

Some Wellesley College students are concerned about a lifelike statue of a man sleepwalking in his underwear, The Boston Globe reported. The statue is part of an exhibit at the college museum, but the outdoor placement of the statue has attracted considerable attention and criticism.


February 6, 2014

The American Council on Education, the umbrella group of higher education associations in Washington, announced Wednesday that it will add a longtime Education Department official to its lobbying team.

Daniel T. Madzelan, who for several decades was a senior career staffer at the department and served a short stint as acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the beginning of the Obama administration, will become the group’s new associate vice president for government relations. He left the department in March 2012, having served for 33 years under six presidents and nine education secretaries. 

Madzelan will take the position at the American Council of Education that was held by Becky Timmons, who retired last week after 40 years at the organization.

February 6, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Benjamin Black of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discusses the connection between volcanism and one of the largest extinctions in Earth’s history. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.



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