Higher Education Quick Takes
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.
The universities attended by James Holmes, who faces charges in the killings in Aurora, Colo., offered some information about Holmes on Friday, but little that would explain what happened.
- Timothy P. White, chancellor of the University of California at Riverside, held a news conference Friday in which he said that Holmes enrolled as an undergraduate in 2006 and graduated in 2010 as an honors student in neuroscience, earning merit scholarships along the way. White said that there was no evidence of any contact between Holmes and law enforcement while he was enrolled at Riverside.
- The University of Colorado at Denver issued a brief statement that Holmes was in the process of withdrawing from a graduate program in neurosciences.
- On Sunday, the University of Colorado said it was investigating whether Holmes used his graduate student position to have materials shipped to the university for his use setting up booby traps in his apartment, the Associated Press reported.
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.
Faculty members and students this week held a protest at Coppin State University, objecting to what they say are 25 layoffs or non-renewals of staff members this year, The Baltimore Sun reported. Leaders of the protest said that they never were told why layoffs were needed, and are concerned about the elimination of positions at a time that President Reginald Avery has been adding slots to his cabinet. Avery and other university officials declined to comment on the protests.
Steve Garban, former chair of the Pennsylvania State University Board of Trustees, has resigned from his trustee position, the Associated Press reported. Garban has been criticized for twice failing to share with the full board information about the investigations into Jerry Sandusky, and many have called for him to resign.