Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 31, 2014

Custodians at Howard University are objecting to their work being outsourced in a system in which they will become employees of a private company, independent of Howard, The Washington Post reported. Outsourcing of custodial services is increasingly common in higher education, and Howard officials say it will help them become more efficient. But workers note that Howard, while grandfathering in current employees, won't commit to continuing key benefits -- such as a free Howard education -- for new workers. To many workers, this represents a shift away from a view that the historically black university was treating them as members of a community, and helping their families reach the middle class.

 

October 31, 2014

California University of Pennsylvania has taken the unusual step of calling off a home football game scheduled for Saturday after five members of its football team were arrested in what officials called a "violent" incident, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The university has suspended the players. The university did not provide details, but public records indicated that five people who were on the team were arrested for aggravated assault, recklessly endangering another person, harassment and conspiracy.

 

October 31, 2014

Of the top 125 colleges and universities according to U.S. News & World Report, 12 percent have tanning beds on campus, and 48 percent have tanning bed facilities either on or near campus, according to a new study in the journal JAMA Dermatology. The findings alarmed the authors. “We encourage universities to adopt a ‘tan free campus’ policy by prohibiting tanning beds and booths from campuses and discouraging housing facilities from having beds,” said the lead author,  Sherry Pagoto, associate professor of medicine at the University of Massachusetts. “Universities should instead court new students with enticing health facilities such as gyms, swimming pools and healthy dining options.”

October 31, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Richard Veit, professor of anthropology at Monmouth University, discusses the rich cultural, historical and artistic presence in cemeteries. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

October 30, 2014

Alcorn State University has enrolled Jamil Cooks, who has become a star player on the institution's football team. ABC News reported that Cooks moved to Alcorn State University after he was convicted in a court martial of sexual assault while a student at the Air Force Academy, which expelled him. Last year, Alcorn State was criticized for having a transfer on its football team after being arrested on rape charges while he was on the team at Vanderbilt University. Cooks is a registered sex offender. He was recently named Alcorn State's male athlete of the week.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association told ABC News that there are no rules that ban those with criminal convictions from playing intercollegiate athletics.

While the university says it has no problem enrolling him, others disagree.  “If you’ve been convicted of sexual assault or rape you shouldn't be allowed to play on the team,” said Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a New York Democrat who said that the NCAA should change its rules. The current system "hows that there is not a value put on the person who the crime was committed against," she told ABC News.

October 30, 2014

Alumni and other supporters of Cheyney University, a historically black college in Pennsylvania, filed a federal suit charging decades of discrimination in funding, programs and facilities, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Decades of litigation over state treatment of historically black colleges largely ended in the 1990s, but Cheyney's suit is similar to one brought by supporters of historically black colleges in Maryland, a suit in which they won on some issues, setting up negotiations over a settlement. A statement released by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, of which Cheyney is a part, said that it was system policy not to comment on litigation, but that the system has been focused on helping Cheyney improve.

 

October 30, 2014

The College Board is holding back SAT scores from October tests given in China and Korea, amid investigation into allegations of cheating on the SAT in those countries, The Washington Post reported. Testing companies have struggled with test security in Asia.

 

October 30, 2014

A total of 20,343 students enrolled in medical colleges this fall, an increase of 1.4 percent and a record number, the Association of American Medical Colleges announced. Number of under-represented minorities were also up, with the Latino increase (1.8 percent) exceeding the rate of increase over all, while the black increase (1.1 percent) lagged.

Enrollments in osteophathic medical schools increased at a slightly higher rate. The American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine reported that new enrollments in its 30 member schools grew by 5.2 percent this fall, to 6,786.

October 30, 2014

Akron beat out 56 other cities in a contest to increase college-degree production during a four-year period that concluded in 2013. The city on Wednesday received the $1 million Talent Dividend Prize, which was sponsored by the nonprofit groups CEOs for Cities and Living Cities. The contest was based on proportional increases in degrees issued, with extra weight given to four-year and graduate degrees. Overall, the group had a 7.6 percent increase. Akron topped the list with a 20.2 percent increase. An additional 69,000 associate degrees and 55,000 bachelor's or graduate degrees were awarded by colleges in the 57 urban areas.

October 30, 2014

A $10 million gift to Yale University will go toward scholarships for low-income Chinese students. The gift is part of a $100 million endowment fund created by the co-founders of the Chinese real estate company, SOHO China, to fund scholarships for Chinese students who are admitted to elite universities. The co-founders, Zhang Xin and Pan Shiyi, recently gave $15 million to Harvard University. 

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