Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

When Burlington College's Board of Trustees meets next week, one item on its agenda will be the fate of President Jane O’Meara Sanders. Normally, at a private college like Burlington, which isn't subject to open-meetings laws, potential consideration of dumping a president would be kept top secret. But the Burlington Free Press reports that an agenda for the upcoming meeting contained a not-very-subtle item: "Removal of the President." Sanders, whose husband is U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders, confirmed to the newspaper that the "leadership of the board and I are engaged in ongoing discussions regarding the future of Burlington College and its leadership.” The board's chairman, Adam Dantzscher, also confirmed that the phrase had appeared on the written agenda, but declined to discuss the matter further.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Jobs for the Future has begun a program that provides community colleges with up-to-date information about the hiring and skill needs of local employers. Dubbed "Credentials That Work," the initiative uses new technology that can aggregate and analyze online job ads. Participating community colleges can use the labor market data to adjust their program offerings and course curriculums, according to the group. The Joyce and Lumina Foundations are funding the program, and this month 10 community colleges began using the technology. Jobs for the Future has also released a related report about alignment between community colleges and their local job markets.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

The California State University System board voted Wednesday to no longer require those vying to be presidents of its 23 campuses to make a public visit, which could open the door to keeping the identities of finalists secret, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. The 15-to-1 vote, over the objection of faculty members, came after Chancellor Charles Reed told the Board of Regents that some potential candidates for the system's four presidential openings this year would decline to be considered without a guarantee of privacy, the newspaper reported. The new policy gives a system committee for each search the latitude to decide case by case whether to require a campus visit. A resolution approved by the Cal State Academic Senate this week said that ending the visits "raises serious questions about transparency, questions that could undermine the efforts of the CSU to gain and maintain the public trust."

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

About 1 million additional 19- to 25-year-olds obtained health insurance in the first three months of 2011, at least in part thanks to a provision in President Obama’s health care overhaul legislation, which raised by six years the age at which young adults are no longer eligible for coverage under their parents’ plans. The total of young adults with health insurance rose from 66.1 percent of the relevant age group in 2010 to 69.6 percent in 2011, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Wednesday; however, it is unclear how many of these newly covered 19- to 26-year-olds are college students. The news was celebrated by Young Invincibles, the health care advocacy group that has backed Obama’s legislation, which would also subject student health plans provided through colleges and universities to additional provisions beginning in the 2012 academic year.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

St. Francis University, in Pennsylvania, has withdrawn an invitation to Ellen Goodman, the columnist, to give a talk about civility. The reason for the nixed invitation, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported, is that Goodman supports abortion rights, a view that did not go over well with leaders of the Roman Catholic institution. "After careful consideration, the university feels that the body of your work has reflected statements that are not in close enough alignment with some Catholic teachings and with the values and mission of the university as required for an event of this stature," Provost Wayne Powel wrote to Goodman. Her reply: "Imagine my disappointment at having my plea for civility returned with a pie in the face."

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, William Kinney of the State University of New York at Buffalo examines the evidences for and against the existence of a sibling universe. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 3:00am

State and federal governments could take a series of steps to increase the chances that single mothers progress to and through college, Women Employed, a nonprofit advocacy group, says in a new report. Many of the changes proposed in the report, "Single Mothers and College Success: Creating Paths Out of Poverty," revolve around changes in government welfare programs that would give recipients more credit for educational activities than they now receive.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 3:00am

Presidents and chancellors of the universities in the Pac-12 Conference announced late Tuesday that the league would remain at its current size, a move that could put the brakes on a conference-realignment process that in recent days has threatened to transform big-time college football and potentially destroy two of the six major leagues. "After careful review we have determined that it is in the best interests of our member institutions, student-athletes and fans to remain a 12-team conference," Commissioner Larry Scott said in a brief statement. "While we have great respect for all of the institutions that have contacted us, and certain expansion proposals were financially attractive, we have a strong conference structure and culture of equality that we are committed to preserve. With new landmark TV agreements and plans to launch our innovative television networks, we are going to focus solely on these great assets, our strong heritage and the bright future in front of us."

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 3:00am

  • Ashley Garr, chemistry instructor at Augsburg College, in Minnesota, has been appointed as instructor of chemistry at Central College, in Iowa.
  • Nancy Hensel, CEO of the Council on Undergraduate Research, in Washington, has been chosen as president of New American Colleges and Universities, in Massachusetts
  • Daniel Lawson, assistant to the coordinator of graduate teaching assistant education at Virginia Tech, has been named director of the writing center at Central College, in Iowa.
  • Patricia N. LeDonne, director of admissions and development and director of enrollment and marketing at Holy Cross Regional Catholic School, in Virginia, has been appointed as director of admissions at Roanoke College, also in Virginia.
  • The appointments above are drawn from The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also includes a comprehensive catalog of upcoming events in higher education. To submit job changes or calendar items, please click here.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 3:00am

    The long-debated merger of New Jersey's flagship public university and its health professions campus appears to be back on track. Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey on Tuesday expressed his support for the dismantling of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and the transfer of its medical school to Rutgers University, The Record reported. The newspaper said that a preliminary recommendation released by the governor's office would merge UMDNJ’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, School of Public Health and the Cancer Institute of New Jersey into Rutgers.

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