Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, March 26, 2012 - 3:00am

A psychologist warned Pennsylvania State University police in 1998 that Jerry Sandusky was a "likely pedophile" after she treated a young boy who described being hugged by the man now facing this charge in court, MSNBC reported. The psychologist came forward now, with the approval of the boy's family, amid the debate over Sandusky and whether Penn State did enough to protect children from him. In 1998, the police consulted with another psychologist, who said that there was no evidence of abuse. The new report is significant because it was a detailed complaint, four years before a graduate assistant says he saw Sandusky molesting a boy -- an incident that the graduate assistant reported. The psychologist told NBC that she was horrified to find so many other boys had experienced what her patient experienced. "There was very little doubt in my mind (Sandusky) … was a male predator, someone that was in the process of grooming a young man for abuse ," said the psychologist. "I thought … my report was strong enough to suggest that this was somebody who should be watched."

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 3:00am

Michael Hogan, who is leaving the University of Illinois System presidency after two controversial years in which he angered many faculty leaders and some campus administrators, isn't departing the executive suite without a nice compensation package. The Chicago Tribune reported that he will get a one-year sabbatical before becoming a history professor at a system campus of his choice. In that role, he is assured a starting salary of $285,100 -- the average of the 10 faculty members with the highest salaries in the university system (excluding medicine and dentistry). Hogan's salary is $651,000 this year. He will receive $67,500 in deferred compensation in 2015. He would have received an additional $157,500 had he stayed for an additional three years.

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 3:00am

More than 1,000 Israeli academics -- including many prominent figures in Israel's universities -- have signed a petition calling on the government to stop the process of awarding university status to the Ariel University Center, which offers college courses on a West Bank campus, Haaretz reported. The academics object to the impact such a move would have on Israeli-Palestinian negotiations, and some question whether the country needs another university. The Ariel campus has been embraced by many in Israel who seek to keep the West Bank (or significant parts of it). Nir Gov, a professor at the Weizmann Institute of Science and an organizer of the petition, said: "When did the Council for Higher Education decide that another university was needed in Israel? Who said that Ariel is the college that can most efficiently become an official research university in Israel?"

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 3:00am

Civil liberties groups and some students are raising questions about proposed protest rules under consideration by the Seattle Community College District, The Seattle Times reported. An extended Occupy protest at Seattle Central Community College last fall was seen by participants as a great example of public protest, but was an expensive public health challenge for the college. Most of the participants in the Occupy protest were not affiliated with the college. The rules under consideration would, among other things, require outside groups to tell the college 24 hours before a protest and limit the size of protest signs.

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Peter Laipson of Bard College at Simon's Rock discusses the history of bachelorhood. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, March 26, 2012 - 3:00am

Non-English speaking European countries are seeing a major growth in master's level programs in English, according to a new report by the Institute of International Education. The number of such programs in Europe (excluding Britain and Ireland) was 4,644 in 2011, up from 1,028 in 1977. The Netherlands has the greatest number of such programs (812), followed by Germany (632) and Sweden (401). But some countries further down on the list showed the greatest percentage increases in the last year. Italy and Denmark have only 191 and 188 such programs, respectively, but both of those figures are up 33 percent in the last year.

Friday, March 23, 2012 - 3:00am

Josef Dobes, the controversial education minister in the Czech Republic, is stepping down, Radio Prague reported. Dobes said he was leaving to protest budget cuts to his agency. Many students and academics in the country criticized his tenure in office, and particularly his plan to impose tuition at universities.

 

Friday, March 23, 2012 - 3:00am

A student at Florida Atlantic University was physically removed from a class and then tased when she refused to get into a police car, following an in-class outburst that included expletives and statements about hurting people. The incident in class was filmed and posted to YouTube. (Warning: the video contains graphic language.)

 

 

A police report on the incident said that the student, a black female, started yelling at the instructor in class, saying things such as "white people suck, Jewish people who think this world is theirs which is not, I will fucking kill you at the Holocaust events all over the world." Many of her remarks involved racial slurs, and she called various people "sand niggers" and "white niggers." The police report said that a Taser was used on her when she refused to get into a police car.

The university released a statement from Charles Brown, vice president of student affairs. "In order to provide for the safety of all concerned, the student had to be physically removed from the classroom by two FAU employees. The FAU Police Department escorted the student off of campus property and transported her to a local hospital.... In light of today’s information, the dean of students is taking immediate action regarding this student." A university spokeswoman, citing confidentiality requirements, declined to say what action was taken.

 

 

Friday, March 23, 2012 - 4:24am

Postdoctoral researchers at the University of Massachusetts have overwhelmingly ratified their first contract, with raises and new benefits. The postdocs will gain a 2 percent increase in wages immediately, another 2 percent in September, with 3 percent increases the following two years. Benefits in the new contract include partial reimbursement for child care expenses, paid holidays and sick time equivalent to those offered other employees. In addition, all of those in the bargaining unit will now have health coverage. Prior to the agreement, only about half of the postdocs were covered by the university, according to the union, which is affiliated with the United Auto Workers.

 

Friday, March 23, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Wanhsiu (Sunny) Tsai of the University of Miami explains how advertisers shaped and supported the image of the gay community in the United States. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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