Higher Education Quick Takes
In April, Andrew Leuchter, the chair of the Academic Senate at the University of California at Los Angeles, found that David Shorter, associate professor in the department of World Arts and Culture/Dance, had inappropriately linked from the website for his course, "Tribal Worldviews," to a website promoting a boycott of Israel. Now, the committee of the Academic Senate that deals with academic freedom issues has found that Shorter did nothing wrong, The Los Angeles Times reported. A letter from the committee said that he was within his rights to have the link. Further, the committee questioned why Leuchter looked into the matter at the request of a pro-Israel group unaffiliated with the university. "We think that faculty members should be free of such scrutiny and should not have to answer to interest groups outside the university,” the committee said in a letter to Shorter.
As colleges have cut their budgets and eliminated positions, the impact has been felt in many college towns, The Wall Street Journal reported. College towns are losing tax revenue and seeing housing prices drop -- while those who have lost jobs move away.
The Memphis College of Art, a private, nonprofit institution, is experiencing severe financial problems, The Commercial Appeal reported. The college's board has declared financial exigency, laid off four faculty members and announced plans to sell much of its art collection. Officials believe that the cuts have turned things around, and say that the budget is now balanced. But the budget for 2012-13 is down 28 percent from the budget for 2011-12.
The Vatican has ordered the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru to stop using either "Pontifical" or "Catholic" in its name, saying that the institution has moved too far from Roman Catholic teachings, BBC reported. The university and the Vatican have argued for years about the degree to which the university must adhere to Vatican ideas about what a Catholic university must do. A recent dispute has involved the university's resistance to placing the archbishop of Lima on the university's board.
A new report put out by the Association of American Medical Colleges and the Association of Schools of Public Health identifies three categories of competencies -- knowledge, skills and attitudes -- that graduates of medical schools and public health programs should have in order to appropriately provide health care, services and policies to an increasingly diverse population.
According to the report -- “Cultural Competence Education for Students in Medicine and Public Health” -- programs should tailor their curricula to specific competencies instead of adopting the entire list. The proposed competencies include:
- Identifying cultural factors that contribute to health and wellness.
- Identifying health disparities that exist at the local, state, regional, national, and global levels.
- Describing and implement the elements of effective communication with patients, families, communities, peers, and colleagues.
- Describing the role of community engagement in health care and wellness.
- Integrating cultural perspectives of patient, family and community in developing treatment/interventions.
- Demonstrating shared decision making.
As a "roadmap for the future," the report also recommends five methods to instill these cultural competencies as well as reduce health disparities and promote enhanced health and wellness:
- Promoting faculty skill in competency-based education.
- Integrating application of the competencies.
- Cultivating an agenda for research and scholarship.
- Employing case studies.
- Identifying strategies for translating curriculum to practice settings.
Brother James Liguori resigned Thursday as head of Fordham University's Westchester County campus after he was accused of sexually abusing a teenage boy in 1969, The Poughkeepsie Journal reported. A statement from the university said that "Brother Liguori passed a criminal background check in fall 2011, when he was hired by Fordham. University officials began investigating immediately [after reports surfaced of the accusation], and on Friday, July 20, Brother Liguori submitted his resignation, effective immediately." Brother Liguori was formerly president of Iona College. Brother Liguori could not be reached for comment.
Nearly one quarter of first-year female college students try smoking tobacco with a hookah for the first time during their freshman year, according to new research in the journal Psychology of Addictive Behaviors. The researchers who did the study said that they worried that many of those attracted to the hookah (or water pipe) may be unaware that many of the dangers associated with cigarette smoking are also associated with smoking tobacco with a hookah.
Students from underserved populations can benefit from dual enrollment, in which high school students take college courses for credit, according to new research from the Community College Research Center. While early college programs are common among more privileged students, the study looked at its impact on student success and retention among lower-income students in California. Dual enrollment students were more likely to graduate from high school, enroll in four-year colleges and stay enrolled, the study found.