Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 20, 2014

Some state legislator are calling for the University of Oklahoma to return a painting that was looted by the Nazis to the Jewish family that once owned it, The Oklahoman reported. Family members have sued the university, but Oklahoma has said it will not return the painting unless ordered to do so by a court. There is no dispute that the Nazis looted the painting from the family, but the university cites a 1953 court ruling in Switzerland that the family waited too long to claim the painting. “The university does not want to keep any items which it does not legitimately own,” said David Boren, president of the university. “However, the challenge to the university, as the current custodian of the painting, is to avoid setting a bad precedent that the university will automatically give away other people’s gifts to us to anyone who claims them.”

But Edie Roodman, executive director of the Jewish Federation of Oklahoma City, said, "I think it’s certainly of concern within the Jewish community that a painting that was plundered under the Nazis was not returned to its rightful owner."

The painting is "Shepherdess Bringing in Sheep," by Camille Pissarro, currently part of the collection of the university's Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art.

 

February 20, 2014

Marquette University announced Wednesday that 25 non-faculty employees are being told that their jobs are being eliminated, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. With other open positions not being replaced, the total number of jobs at the university is expected to drop by 105. University officials said that they were trying to minimize spending, and to minimize tuition increases.

 

February 20, 2014

An article in The New York Times explores the charges in a lawsuit against Premier Education Group, which operates for-profit colleges in 10 states. Officials of the colleges maintain that they are being sued unfairly by "misguided" or disgruntled former employees. The suit charges that the colleges admit students in part by misleading them about their chances of getting jobs. An example: One of the ex-employees who sued said she became concerned when she noticed an electronic ankle monitor on a student in a pharmacy program for which certification would likely exclude those with felony convictions. The ex-employee said she was told to find an internship for the student, even if she had to deceive the employer.

 

February 20, 2014

Six female faculty members in the philosophy department at the University of Colorado at Boulder have issued a statement expressing concerns about the impact of a recent report detailing instances of sexism and unprofessionalism in the department. The statement, published on the Feminist Philosophers blog, doesn't take issue with the conclusions of the report. But the statement notes that the report (which was released by the university although the authors of the report didn't intend for it to become public) could unfairly damage the reputations of some in the department. To avoid that problem, the statement says the following: "Despite differing perceptions regarding both the report’s details and the overall impression it gives, all of us are united on a few things. First, we are all distressed that the report may damage the reputations of male colleagues who are completely innocent of sexual misconduct. It could also harm the prospects of our male graduate students currently on the market. We faculty women strongly believe that none of our currently untenured male colleagues or current male graduate students has engaged in sexual misconduct (nor, indeed, have most of our tenured colleagues). We believe that many have heard about the problems, if at all, only through the rumor mill. The second thing that unites us all is our determination to rebuild the department and its reputation."

 

February 20, 2014

Harvard University has received a $150 million gift from an alumnus, Kenneth Griffin. Most of the funds will support undergraduate financial aid.

 

February 19, 2014

U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, a former Princeton University physicist who has been an eloquent advocate for scientific research in Congress for 15 years, will not seek re-election when his term expires later this year, the Democrat announced Tuesday. Holt was assistant director of Princeton's Plasma Physics Laboratory before being elected to represent a central New Jersey district in 1999. He has delved into higher education issues as a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee and argued -- with more personal and professional credibility than most -- for the importance of science research and education. (It is not uncommon to see bumper stickers around Princeton that read "My Congressman IS a rocket scientist.")

February 19, 2014

Bowling Green State University and its faculty union have reached an agreement regarding 40 planned job cuts for non-tenure-track faculty on one-year contracts. Under the agreement, those faculty members who have worked at Bowling Green full-time for four or more years will be offered severance packages based on salary and years of service. Some 18 faculty members are eligible. David Jackson, president of the Bowling Green State University Faculty Association, an American Association of University Professors-affiliated union representing both tenure-line faculty and adjuncts, said the association had hope to preserve all jobs but legal analysis suggested that was unlikely. He described the severance deal as making the "best out of a bad situation." In a statement, the university said: "We are pleased that we were able to reach an agreement with the Faculty Association. The decision to not renew the contracts of any of our colleagues is always difficult, and was done with the best interests of the university in mind."

February 19, 2014

Clark University, in Massachusetts, has dropped need-blind admissions, in which applicants are admitted regardless of their ability to pay, MassLive.com reported. Going ahead, the university will become "need-aware" at the end of its admissions process, meaning that once the financial aid budget has been spent, applicants who can afford to pay will be admitted. Officials said that they remained committed to admitting low-income students, but that the need-blind policy had forced Clark to make cuts in other parts of its budget, and was no longer sustainable.

February 19, 2014

America's community colleges and their students generated $809 billion of income in 2012, which was 5.4 percent of the nation's gross domestic product, according to a report by the American Association of Community Colleges released this week. That figure includes the higher wages students earned that year, the increased output of business that employed the students and related multiplier effects. The report also found that students earn $4.80 in higher future wages for every $1 they invest in their community college education.

February 19, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Charles Venuto of American Public University discusses the connection between the space program and preservation of bird habitat in Florida. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

Pages

Back to Top