Higher Education Quick Takes
Israel's government is planning a number of new programs to promote greater enrollment and success of Arab students, The Jerusalem Post reported. Arab enrollment levels lag in Israel, in part because only 22 percent of Arab high school graduate meet the entrance requirements for universities, compared to 44 percent of Jewish students. Universities will be required to come up with plans for recruiting Arab students. Further, funds will be made available for universities to create programs to help Arab students improve their Hebrew, and information centers will be set up in Arab towns to provide academic guidance on preparing for higher education.
City College of San Francisco's governing board early Friday approved changes to its leadership structure, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The college, which is facing dire accreditation and budget woes, will require that dozens of academic department chairs go back to the classroom and relinquish their administrative duties. The move, which will save an estimated $2 million, was part of the first stage of a broad downsizing. Trustees also approved cuts to college-operated child-care centers.
Australia's government issued a report Saturday about the need for the country to engage more with Asia -- and education at all levels is involved with this goal. Among the recommendations: sending more Australian students to study abroad in Asia, adding to the study of Asian countries and languages at Australian universities, building research programs that link Australian and Asian faculty members, and making Asian language study (in Chinese, Hindi, Indonesian and Japanese) available and encouraged in Australia's elementary and secondary schools.
Bradley John Witham and Mark Anthony Bustos, two IT officials at San Mateo County Community College District, are facing multiple charges related to allegations that they used district money to buy computer equipment and software, and then sold the items privately for their own profit, The Palo Alto Daily News reported. The two officials have entered pleas of not guilty.
In today’s Academic Minute, Kathrin Stanger-Hall of the University of Georgia reveals the connection between abstinence-only sex education and teen pregnancy rates. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
About two-thirds of the 510 students at Wilberforce University have requested withdrawal forms to formally threaten to leave by next fall if they don't see dramatic improvements, The Dayton Daily News reported. Students at the private, historically black university have raised complaints over the quality of facilities, safety, library hours, food service and more. Organizers of a protest last week said that they have tried to explain the problems to the administration, but that officials have not been responsive. President Patricia Hardaway said that she has an "open door" policy for students, and is working on many of the issues they have raised.
With their original name -- Georgia Regents University -- for the entity that emerged from the combination of Georgia Health Sciences University and Augusta State University having angered just about everyone, the state's Board of Regents took another shot at it Thursday, voting to call the institution Georgia Regents University Augusta. Regent University, in Virginia, sued over what it said would be confusion caused by the name. Closer to home, though, advocates for Augusta State complained that the new name ignored their historic affiliation with the institution, and urged reconsideration. On Thursday, the regents did just that, adding the city's name to the new institution's.
The University of Tokyo is planning to shift the start of its academic year to the fall, and the move has been greeted with approval by many higher education leaders in Japan, who expect the move to prompt similar shifts elsewhere. The idea is that Japanese universities will benefit by being on a similar academic calendar to that used in much of the Western world, and that high school graduates can enjoy a summer vacation rather than starting their programs in the spring. But The Japan Daily Press reports that many parents are objecting to the plan. Their concern: They aren't sure what they will do with their children between when they graduate high school and when they enroll at a university.
Political bloggers and columnists were having fun Thursday with an ad by the South Dakota Republican Party that seems to treat foreign graduate degrees as a something a bit suspect in a Congressional hopeful (although perhaps not as bad as having taught at the Biosphere). Check out this ad about candidates for a U.S. House seat:
A U.S. Senate report Thursday accused the pharmaceutical company Medtronic of heavily editing and even writing sections of journal articles published by academic researchers on its consulting payroll, without those ties or the company's involvement being reported. The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Montana's Max Baucus and Charles Grassley of Iowa, said their 16-month investigation had found significant evidence of undisclosed ghostwriting of positive articles about the company's product known as InFuse. Medtronic disputed some of the report's findings in a statement, and an article in The Wall Street Journal included rebuttals from some of the academic researchers.