Higher Education Quick Takes
Students at the new university being created in Singapore by Yale University and the National University of Singapore will not be permitted to hold protests or to form political groups, the new president of the institution told The Wall Street Journal. Pericles Lewis, the new president, said that despite these limits, students "are going to be totally free to express their views." The new university has been controversial, in part because of Yale faculty concerns over Singapore's less than full commitment to democratic values of the sort that are expected at American universities.
Swiss universities are reporting declines in applications from students in other European countries, The Local reported. The Swiss franc is performing well against the Euro, and tuition is up at many Swiss universities, while some European countries do not charge tuition.
The U.S. Education Department today proposed new rules governing federal student loans, which would, among other things, ease the process by which disabled borrowers could have their loans discharged, establish a new income-contingent repayment plan for direct student loans, and expand the government's income-based repayment program. The changes regarding borrowers with disabilities were prompted by concerns (many contained in a 2011 series by ProPublica) that they were being required to jump through far too many hoops to have their loans forgiven. The rules emerged from a round of negotiations that the agency held last winter, and public comments on the proposed changes are due by Aug. 16.
Several days after James H. Ammons announced that he would resign as president in the wake of a hazing scandal at Florida A&M University, the university's board approved an agreement Monday under which Ammons will leave the job immediately, the Tampa Bay Times reported. Ammons has come in for intense criticism for his administration's actions (and perceived inaction) regarding the death of a member of the university's renowned marching band. Under the agreement between the board and Ammons, he will take a sabbatical and then return to the faculty.
Trustees of Pennsylvania State University have reportedly decided to keep the campus statue of Joe Paterno, at least for now and potentially for good, ESPN reported. Last week's independent report that listed the late football coach as among those senior leaders at Penn State who collectively opted not to report Jerry Sandusky to authorities has tarnished the reputation of the coach who was beloved by generations of Penn State fans. ESPN reported that trustees do not want to offend fans who remain loyal to Paterno, and also do not want to be rushed into a decision.
"You can't let people stampede you into making a rash decision," a trustee said. "The statue represents the good that Joe did. It doesn't represent the bad that he did."
Meanwhile, the artist who painted a mural in State College, Pa. that includes Paterno has removed a halo that he added after the coach died, The Centre Daily Times reported.
Faculty members at Lebanese University are questioning the creation of new departments to study Persian and Turkish languages, The Daily Star reported. The administration created the programs, citing the values of language study. But faculty members say that the administration ignored the faculty role in creating new academic programs. Further, some professors are concerned about the political implications. Some faculty members say that they were alarmed to see the new Persian language program included in an education agreement between Iran and Lebanon. And some faculty members question the teaching of Turkish, which is not widely taught in Lebanon, in part because of lingering anger over Ottoman rule in the region.
Simon Fraser University in British Columbia is one step away from becoming the first non-American college or university to belong to the National Collegiate Athletic Association. The Canadian institution awaits a ruling by the association's executive committee, expected next month, that would modify a rule that requires all NCAA members to be accredited by one of the six regional accrediting agencies. Simon Fraser, which was one of several Canadian institutions that explored joining the NCAA (the others opted not to), has applied for membership to the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities, and would qualify under a rule change that would permit NCAA membership for foreign colleges that are candidates for regional accreditation.
Students are shouldering an increased share of their own college tuition payments (with their parents picking up less of the tab), and more families are considering price when deciding where to send their children to college, according to an annual study by the lender Sallie Mae to be released today. The study, "How America Pays for College," found that the proportion of families that said they had stopped considering certain colleges had risen to 70 percent, up from 56 just three years ago. And the proportion of college expenses that students themselves paid for rose to 30 percent, the highest level in four years, with the proportion covered by parents' out-of-pocket expenditures falling to 28 percent, down by 9 points from a high two years ago.
After setbacks last year stopped its plan to open a new medical school in its tracks, the University of California at Riverside is trying again, fresh with non-state funds that it hopes will overcome an accreditor's concerns, the Los Angeles Times reported.