Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 3, 2014

The Obama Administration on Friday announced a new, $150 million grant competition for job-training partnerships that will feature employers, community colleges, unions and work force boards. The money will be aimed at "helping to prepare and place the long-term unemployed into good jobs," according to the administration. The rollout included a White House event Friday that community college leaders and students attended, including Cheryl Hyman, chancellor of the City Colleges of Chicago.

The National Skills Coalition, a nonprofit group, participated in the event. The coalition said the sector partnership approach helps job seekers ensure  that "every dollar spent on their education goes toward training with a job waiting on the other end." Congressional Republicans, however, criticized Obama's creation of the program through "executive fiat," and noted that more than 50 federal job training and employment programs already exist.

February 3, 2014

The president of Elizabeth City State University is planning an additional 65 layoffs, up to 30 of which would come from faculty positions, to deal with financial shortfalls, the Associated Press reported. The positions of four deans would also be eliminated. The actions would follow 46 layoffs last fall.

February 3, 2014

Virginia Intermont College and Webber International University on Friday announced plans to merge. Virginia Intermont, a liberal arts college, has been struggling with enrollment. Webber, located in Florida, has focused on business education and online programs.

February 3, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Molly Bray of the University of Texas at Austin explains the connection between genetics and the ability to stick to an exercise routine. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

February 3, 2014

Many colleges admit some of their freshmen for the spring semester rather than the fall semester. An article in The Washington Post looks at the way this system works at the University of Maryland at College Park, which admits -- for a state flagship university -- an unusually large share of its first-year class this way. Between 1994 and now, spring freshmen have gone from making up 8 percent of the first-year class to 21 percent.

 

February 3, 2014

Evanston, Ill., home of Northwestern University, regularly sees town-gown skirmishes over new construction. Now an off-campus, non-university project that might serve those visiting Northwestern has some local residents concerned. Evanston Now reported that the Southeast Evanston Association has sent an email alert to members urging them to scrutinize plans for an extended stay hotel to be sure that it affiliated with "a hotel brand that will maintain a high quality of business, and not devolve into cheap housing for transient academics."

Inside Higher Ed emailed the association to seek more information on the dangers of transient academics, but has not heard back.

 

January 31, 2014

Columbia University announced Thursday that its fund-raising campaign -- which started in 2006 and ended at the close of 2013 -- had brought in $6.1 billion. That total is second only to Stanford's $6.2 billion completed campaign. However, Harvard University last year started a $6.5 billion campaign.

 

January 31, 2014

Black student and faculty groups at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities have asked the institution to stop using racial descriptions in crime alerts, CBS Minnesota reported. "[We] unanimously agree that campus safety should be of the [police department's] utmost importance; however, efforts to reduce crime should never be at the expense of our black men, or any specific group of people likely to be targeted. In addition to causing black men to feel unsafe and distrusted, racial profiling is proven to inflict negative psychological effects on its victims," said a joint letter from the groups. The letter responded to the the incorrect identification of a student as a suspect in an attempted robbery at the university.

Pamela Wheelock, vice president of university services. responded at a forum this week by saying that while racial profiling is inappropriate, full descriptions of crime suspects -- including race -- are appropriate. “I firmly believe that a well-informed community is an asset to public safety," she said. "I believe that sharing more information in our crime alerts, not less, is most beneficial in terms of public safety, especially when that information is available."

January 31, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Sallie Han of the State University of New York at Oneonta discusses what the items we accumulate during pregnancy say about our culture. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


 

January 31, 2014

A federal judge has rejected a massive lawsuit against Yeshiva University by victims of sexual abuse at a high school run by the institution, The New York Times reported. The judge did not rule on the claims of the students, who said that university officials ignored complaints of abuse. Rather the judge said that the abuse took place decades ago -- from the 1960s through 1980s -- and that the statute of limitations has passed. The plaintiffs, who have vowed to appeal, argue that the statute of limitations shouldn't have applied because the university covered up the abuse. A statement from the university said that it was “gratified that the federal court recognized the validity of our arguments.” The statement added that "our thoughts and remorse remain with those affected and harmed.”

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