Higher Education Quick Takes

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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St. Francis University, in Pennsylvania, has withdrawn an invitation to Ellen Goodman, the columnist, to give a talk about civility.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.

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

The Modern Language Association has released some moderately good news about the job market. In January, the MLA projected (in an improvement from recent years) that job listings would be relatively level for 2010-11. Now the association has released a detailed analysis of the year's findings. According to a new report, the number of jobs listed with the MLA in 2010-11 rose by 8.2 percent in English and by 7.1 percent in foreign languages. Still, however, the number of jobs listed in 2010-11 remains below the peak in 2007-8.

Via e-mail, Rosemary G. Feal, executive director of the MLA, said: "While the increase is modest, it is nevertheless good news to see that there were more opportunities for employment in the fields of English and other modern languages than in the previous year. We've noticed in recent hiring cycles that departments announce positions later in the academic calendar, so the early fall listings are not necessarily a good indication of the year-end total."

Thursday, September 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Anna Maria College has announced that it will no longer require applicants to submit SAT or ACT scores. “After reviewing students’ academic preparation and how it effects their ability to succeed at AMC for the past several years, we found that merit and achievement in high school were becoming the major determining factors in academic success, as well as in the admissions decision making process,” said a statement from Mary Lou Retelle, executive vice president of the Massachusetts college. It will keep the test requirement for those seeking admission to its paramedic science program.

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 would refuse 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 search committee for each campus's 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 would "raises serious questions about transparency, questions that could undermine the efforts of the CSU to gain and maintain the public trust."

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.

    Wednesday, September 21, 2011 - 3:00am

    The faculty at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York has passed a resolution condemning the New York Police Department for infiltrating Muslim student groups, the Associated Press reported. The AP earlier revealed the strategy, which professors said threatened the civil rights of their students. "The use of undercover police agents and the cultivation of police informers on campus has a chilling effect on the intellectual freedom necessary for a vibrant academic community," the resolution said. A spokesman for the college said that Karen Gould, the president, shared the professors' concerns.

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