Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 3:00am

It's that time: a new month, a new Cartoon Caption Contest.

Click here to suggest a caption for March's cartoon, the latest drawing by Matthew Henry Hall. The three entries deemed most clever and creative by our experts' panel will be put to a vote by our readers, and the winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate and a signed copy of the cartoon.

Click here to vote on the three captions nominated by our judges as finalists for our February cartoon. 

And congratulations to the winner of our January contest: Aaron J. Moore, director of alumni relations for the California State University System's chancellor's office and executive director of the CSU Alumni Council. Find out more about him and his submission by visiting this link.

Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 4:36am

The University of Michigan will today announce a $50 million gift for its graduate program in writing, AnnArbor.com reported. The gift is believed to be the largest ever for a writing program, and comes at a time that mega-gifts have become much more common for science and business programs than for those in the humanities. The gift is from Helen Zell, a Michigan graduate and longtime supporter of the program.


Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 3:00am

Both houses of the Texas Legislature approved a measure Wednesday that would merge two existing institutions to create one university in South Texas, and give the region its first medical school, The Monitor reported. The legislation would formalize a plan hatched late last year by the University of Texas System to merge its Pan American and Brownsville campuses, which are about 60 miles apart, to strengthen the delivery of education in the Rio Grande Valley. The legislation would also create a new medical school to try to address a physician shortage in the region.


Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 3:00am

State regulators in California have ordered Aristotle University -- an unaccredited institution investigated for preying on foreign students -- to close, NBC San Diego reported. The television station, whose original reporting earlier this year prompted an investigation by the Department of Homeland Security, published a letter in which the state Bureau for Private Postsecondary Education said that Aristotle's founder, Xanthi Gionis, would face $50,000 in fines if he didn't shut the school in two weeks.


Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 3:00am

A study published Wednesday in PLOS ONE found evidence of brain injuries that could lead to cognitive issues in college football player -- even in cases where the football players did not suffer concussions. The study was based on analysis of players on three college football teams. The injuries -- which did not involve concussions -- were identified with blood tests to show the potential for blood-brain barrier disruption. The danger took place in cases of "repeated sub-concussive events."


Thursday, March 7, 2013 - 3:00am

An article in New York Magazine explores business relationships between Rob Wile, chief of staff to Rev. Donald Harrington, president of St. John's University (New York), Father Harrington, and the former chair of the university's board. Wile received a loan from the former board chair for a real estate venture he was pursuing with Father Harrington. The magazine said that the loan was not reported to the board, even as the board was approving a bonus recommended by Father Harrington for Wile. A university spokesman told the magazine that the real estate venture "has nothing to do with St. John’s." The article quoted Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a dean at the Yale University School of Management, as calling the loan arrangement "unprecedented" and "unethical."

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 3:00am

The University of the Rockies has transferred a "substantial presence" of its personnel and operations to the domain of its regional accreditor, the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Schools and Colleges, according to a corporate filing from Bridgepoint Education Inc., which owns the university. The university is based in Colorado Springs, which is in the commission's territory, but Bridgepoint's corporate headquarters is in San Diego, which is not. The for-profit institution made the move to meet the commission's presence requirements, which have also been an issue for Bridgepoint's Ashford University.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 3:00am

The British Council released new research today regarding factors that deter students in the United States and United Kingdom from studying abroad. Of the 10,800 people surveyed, 20 percent of U.K. respondents said they are considering study abroad, while 56 percent of U.S. students said the same. U.S. students cited barriers including concerns about cost, language ability and the difficulty of leaving family and friends.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 3:00am

One of the country's top digital humanists has been tapped to lead one of an ambitious effort to create a national home for the country's digital riches. The Digital Public Library of America, an effort to "make the cultural and scientific record available to all," announced the hiring Tuesday of Dan Cohen, director of the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media and an associate professor in the Department of History and Art History at George Mason University, as its founding director. The digital public library, which in its nascent form has been housed in Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet & Society, will formally launch as a freestanding nonprofit entity on April 18.


Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 3:00am

WASHINGTON — Carmel Martin, the assistant secretary for planning, evaluation and policy development at the Education Department for the past four years, is leaving that post for the Center for American Progress, the center announced Tuesday. Martin will become executive vice president for policy at the liberal think tank, overseeing its policy development.

Martin, whose departure was bemoaned by former department higher education staff on Tuesday, had been considered likely to play a larger role in shaping the department's higher education policy in Obama's second term. She focused heavily on K-12 education in the first term but had played key roles in efforts to bolster state data systems, among other things. And she had reportedly been a more visible presence in postsecondary-related meetings in recent months.

Instead, she joins what has become something of a departmental exodus in recent months. Since before the election, observers have warned that departures of key political appointees and career staff members have left a policy making void on higher education. David Bergeron, the acting assistant secretary for postsecondary education, said in February that he would leave his job at the department. 


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