Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 1, 2013

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit filed by the University of Alabama against an artist, AL.com reported. The judge ruled that the university could not bar the artist, Daniel Moore, from creating art based on real images of Alabama athletes. The case -- which has moved from court to court -- has been going on for eight years.

 

October 1, 2013

Bruce N. Chaloux, executive director and chief executive officer of the Sloan Consortium and a longtime leader in the online learning world, died suddenly over the weekend. Chaloux took the reins at Sloan, an association of professionals and institutions involved in digital education, in March 2012. Before that, he directed the Southern Regional Education Board's Electronic Campus, a market place of more than 10,000 digital courses, and previously worked at Virginia Tech and Castleton State College in Vermont.

"It is impossible to adequately put into words what Bruce Chaloux meant personally and professionally to each of us," said Meg Benke, Sloan's president and a faculty member in the Empire State College School for Graduate Studies. "He was more than the energetic CEO of our Consortium. He was our good-humored, kind and generous friend. He was an optimistic and dedicated leader who spent his last days doing what he loved: working diligently for online and adult learning opportunities here and around the world. His accomplishments are many, his networks extensive, and his unfinished business is still at hand."

October 1, 2013

Inside Higher Ed's Cartoon Caption Contest celebrates its first birthday today, with the publication of a new cartoon, a chance to vote on your favorite nominated captions from last month, and news about the winner of our August contest.

We invite you to submit your ideas for the cleverest caption for the new cartoon, which you can find here. Vote on your favorite from among our judges' three choices from among the suggestions we received for last month's cartoon.

And kudos to Vicki Dominick, assistant director for learning services at George Mason University, whose caption scored the most reader votes among the three finalists chosen by our panel for August's cartoon. View her winning entry here.

October 1, 2013

Yale University could admit about 15 percent more undergraduates because of a $250 million donation to construct two residential colleges. The $250 million gift from an alumnus, Charles B. Johnson, former chairman of the board of Franklin Resources, is the university’s largest ever.

The donation will be used to build two new residential colleges, allowing the university to admit about 15 percent more students each year and bringing the total undergraduate enrollment to over 6,000. The university is within $80 million of the funds necessary to break ground on the project.

“This is an extraordinary commitment from one of Yale’s most loyal alumni,” Yale President Peter Salovey said in a press release.

October 1, 2013

We will update this throughout the day.

Update (1:30 p.m. EDT):

The Department of Defense has suspended all intercollegiate competitions at the service academies because of the government shutdown, the Naval Academy said in a statement posted on its athletics site Tuesday.

The suspension leaves the status of Saturday’s Air Force-Navy football game unclear. A decision on that game will be made by noon on Thursday, the statement said. 

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Update (12:15 p.m. EDT):

The closure of Smithsonian museums and research centers is impacting scholars’ access to data and records at those institutions.

Lisa D. Cook, an associate professor of economic and international relations at Michigan State University, is in Washington, D.C. this fall where she is a visiting fellow at the Smithsonian Lemelson Center for Invention and Innovation.

She said the shutdown was forcing her to reorganize her research that had been planned for six to seven months and lamented the lack of access to Smithsonian facilities.

“This is a real loss, since the reason for being in residence is because of the access to experts in this area and to people who have created or maintained these records,” Cook said in an e-mail. “These will be hours, days, and missed encounters I will never be able to reclaim.  It also seems to be demoralizing for the researchers on staff whose deadlines and workload will not change, but their ability to meet them will.”

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Update (11:30 a.m. EDT): 

The Education Department has shuttered the website of its research arm, the Institute of Education Sciences. Visitors to the site are unable to access to the department's trove of data on colleges and universities available in the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System known as IPEDS. Would-be college students or parents hoping to use the department's CollegeNavigator website -- which allows consumers and others to compare information about individual colleges -- will also be frustrated. The Education Department's main Web site will not be updated, but sites relating to federal student aid programs, including the popular site for the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, will mostly continue operating as normal. 

On Capitol Hill, the House subcommittee on higher education has postponed a hearing scheduled for Tuesday about simplifying student financial aid.

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WASHINGTON -- The federal government grinds to a halt today, given Congress's inability to reach a deal on the federal budget before today's October 1 start of the 2014 fiscal year. The implications for higher education are likely to be mild at the start, but could ratchet up quickly if the disagreement drags on.

Below are the contingency plans for various agencies important to colleges, their students, and their employees:

October 1, 2013

Economic shifts over the past 30 years have delayed career launches for young adults, according to a report released Monday by the Center on Education and the Workforce at Georgetown University.

Young workers now reach financial independence at age 30 on average, an increase from age 26, and young African Americans gain traction in their careers at age 33, according to the report, Failure to Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation.

The declining access to full-time jobs has created a “lost decade” for young people, the report said. Finding employment has been especially different for young men, young adults without higher education and young African Americans. “As a result of increasing human capital requirements for both young and old, the education and labor market institutions that were the foundation of the 20th century industrial system are out of sync with the 21st century economy,” the report said.

Older workers who are college-educated are staying in the labor market longer. In 1987, 42 percent of women 55 and older were employed, compared with 62 percent in 2010. But the growing number of employed older adults has not caused the declining employment of young adults, the report said.

September 30, 2013

North Carolina State University on Friday announced a $50 million gift from the Park Foundation. The funds will support a scholarship program through which students receive a four-year scholarship, a computer stipend, specialized faculty mentoring and various special learning opportunities.

 

September 30, 2013

Unexplained pay disparity exists between male and female early-career physician-researchers, according to an article published in the Academic Medicine journal.

Researchers accounted for specialty, academic rank, work hours and spousal employment and found a 10 percent pay disparity. The disparity, they found, was greater within higher-paying specialties. Women in emergency medicine earned an average of $165,114 compared with men in the specialty who earned $195,771.

About one-third of the initial 17 percent pay disparity could be attributed to the influence of gender-linked beliefs that men need more money to support families. The other two-thirds of the disparity were unexplained.

One potential reason is that women often negotiate salary less aggressively than men and often are judged more harshly for initiating negotiations, researchers said. The authors suggested female residents and fellows take part in salary negotiation training prior to faculty appointments.

“Scholars have noted that gender differences in salary that exist early in a career are likely to widen over time, and that initial salary negotiation may merit particular attention,” researchers wrote in the study. 

September 30, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Nicolas Cowan of Northwestern University explains how cloud cover moderates the temperature of tidally-locked exoplanets orbiting red dwarf starts. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

September 30, 2013

Glasgow Caledonian University, founded in Scotland and with a campus in London as well, has opened a campus in New York City, becoming the first British university to do so, Times Higher Education reported. The university plans to offer graduate programs in fashion and the business of fashion.

 

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