Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, February 17, 2012 - 3:00am

American University adjuncts have voted to unionize and to be represented by the Service Employees International Union. A memo from the university's provost, Scott A. Bass, said that the vote to unionize was 379 to 284. The memo said that the university would respect the vote, and would not file any appeals of the election. The SEIU Local 500 website includes statements from numerous adjuncts about why they wanted a union.


Friday, February 17, 2012 - 3:00am

The Education Department's advisory committee on accreditation is seeking comment on a draft of its final recommendations for Education Secretary Arne Duncan on how the system of higher education quality assurance might be revamped. The draft final report, which was published in Friday's Federal Register, was previewed in an article on Inside Higher Ed this month. The National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity will solicit comment on the draft report and then hold an April 13 teleconference to discuss and possibly act on the report.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Quentin Hanley of Nottingham Trent University has completed a study questioning whether several leading American for-profit universities should be called universities, Times Higher Education reported. Since 1993, he said, the University of Phoenix has produced fewer than 200 papers, which have been cited about 700 times. He found about 100 papers from Kaplan University, with a little more than 500 citations. "Their impact is on a par with a single medium academic at an approximately mid-ranked UK university," said Hanley, who was prompted to do his research by the growing interest of the British government in for-profit higher education. "Calling an organization with no meaningful scholarship a university is a bit like calling a muddy path through a forest a motorway." A spokesman for the Apollo Group said that Phoenix had pioneered strategies, such as the use of e-books, that are now used by many colleges and universities.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

The preceding calls for papers and proposals are drawn from Inside Higher Ed's Calls for Papers calendar, a feature produced by The CFPlist, an academic call for papers database.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 4:27am

About 85 students at George Washington University are suffering from norovirus, which typically leads to several uncomfortable days, but is not life-threatening, The Washington Post reported. Students with norovirus tend to experience diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps. Close quarters in which college students tend to live make it easy for the norovirus to spread. In New Jersey, officials at Princeton and Rider Universities report that outbreaks on their campuses last week appear to be subsiding. At Huntington University, in Indiana, officials are dealing with an outbreak of head lice affecting students in four dormitories, The Journal Gazette reported. Officials believe that the source of the list is a group of students who were on a trip to India in January.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

A six-month investigation by local police into drug dealing at Texas Christian University resulted Wednesday in the arrest of 17 students, officials at the university announced Wednesday. Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. called the arrests "shocking and disappointing," and said that those convicted of selling drugs would be expelled (they were immediately "separated from TCU and criminally trespassed from campus," he said). Those arrested included four members of the university's football team, news reports indicated.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 4:31am

Johnson & Wales University has agreed to triple its annual payment to Providence (from $309,000 to at least $958,000), the Associated Press reported. Providence officials have been pushing local colleges -- especially Brown University -- to up their payments in lieu of taxes, setting off a debate over what the appropriate level of such payments should be.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Authorities have charged two African-American female students at Montclair State University with creating the racist threatening note they reported finding on their door, The Star-Ledger reported. Reports about the note left many black students feeling unsafe. The reported discovery of the threat against black students followed a campus rally against threats (real ones) that had been found against gay people.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Gavin Schmidt of Columbia University explains why we shouldn’t always expect scientists to agree. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 4:33am

The Los Angeles Community College District and the local district attorney are investigating spending by the director of a foundation that provides scholarships to needy students at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, The Los Angeles Times reported. Rhea Chung's expenses included more than $9,000 on golf outings, spending of $2,300 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a $1,500 monthly car allowance. Chung, who has been placed on leave, told the Times that the spending was an appropriate way to provide access to potential donors.


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