Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 3:00am

Trustees of public and private colleges are generally well engaged with the institutions on whose boards they serve, but could also benefit from more education, according to a study released Tuesday by the Association of Governing Boards of Universities and Colleges.

While the findings were generally positive, one concern identified was in risk assessment. The AGB study found that only about one-third of all boards have a formal process for comprehensive risk assessment. The top areas for risk assessment include finances, compliance, facilities, and campus security.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 3:00am

Women perform as well as men in engineering courses, but are less likely to stay in the field because of a confidence gap, according to research published in the new issue of American Sociological Review. Women are less likely to feel "professional role confidence," the study found, which has to do both with their view of their own talent and also of their sense that they are in the correct field. "Often, competence in engineering is associated in people’s minds with men and masculinity more than it is with women and femininity. So, there are these micro-biases that happen, and when they add up, they result in women being less confident in their expertise and their career fit," said the lead author of the study, Erin Cech, a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford University’s Clayman Institute for Gender Research.

 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 4:33am

Lap-Chee Tsui, president of the University of Hong Kong, on Tuesday announced his plans to retire in August. The Wall Street Journal reported that while he gave no reason for his decision, critics believe it relates to a lingering controversy over the way police treated (many say mistreated) protesters during a visit to the campus in August by Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang. Pro-democracy students were "roughed up," the Journal said, with one locked in a staircase by police officers for an hour. Many at the university questioned why Tsui allowed unprecedented police activity on the university's grounds.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 3:00am

The addition of 22,700 undergraduates at Canadian universities has pushed total undergraduate enrollments in the country over 1 million, according to data released Tuesday by the Association of Universities and Colleges of Canada. Graduate enrollment is also up modestly -- 3.2 percent for full time, and 2.3 percent for part time -- to a total of 195,400.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 6:20am

WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Education Department announced in today's Federal Register that it would hold a series of negotiations aimed at developing new regulations to govern teacher education programs and to define how states should assess the performance of such programs. The agency had announced in May that it would conduct a new round of negotiated rule making, but it did not identify the topics at that time. This month, the Obama administration said it would pursue a new approach to overseeing teacher education programs, with the primary aim of directing aid to those that graduate the teachers who produce the most successful outcomes in the students they teach. The new round of negotiated rule making -- which in recent years have been increasingly fractious over topics such as accreditation and the integrity of financial aid programs -- is set to begin in January.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Michael Seiler of Old Dominion University explains how the human tendency to copy the behavior of those around us contributed to the ongoing mortgage crisis. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 3:00am

Adjuncts at Northern Michigan University have voted to join a union of tenured and tenure-track faculty members. The expanded unit is affiliated with the American Association of University Professors. The vote of adjuncts to join the union was 54-5. That means that about 100 adjuncts will join the roughly 300 faculty members already in the union.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Christopher Coggins of Simon's Rock of Bard College explains how the Chinese practice of feng shui is rooted in principles used to effectively manage natural resources. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 3:00am

Ron Paul, a candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, has called for ending the federal student loan program, saying that it has "failed," the Associated Press reported. Paul said that government programs have forced up tuition rates. "Just think of all this willingness to want to help every student get a college education," said Paul, who graduated from Gettysburg College and then earned a medical degree at the Duke University. "I went to school when we had none of those. I could work my way through college and medical school because it wasn't so expensive."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011 - 4:40am

The University of New Mexico has announced that it will not renew a permit that has enabled the local "Occupy" movement to gather on the campus, KOB News 4 reported. The university says that it is not comfortable keeping the protest going on campus because homeless people and others are being attracted to the event, making it dangerous. One participant in the protest said it was unfair for the university to blame the protest movement for the homeless. "We didn't bring them. It's the capitalist system in this country that has brought that," said Amalia Montoya.

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