Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 4:28am

While many educators and politicians say that colleges need to increase science and technology enrollments to meet workforce demands, a study being released today suggests that there is no shortage of STEM workers. The study -- by the Economic Policy Institute, a nonpartisan but liberal leaning think tank -- finds that:

  • Students have already responded to the interest in STEM by majoring in science and technology fields in sufficient numbers to meet workforce demands.
  • Only one of every two STEM graduates finds a job in a related field.
  • In computer and information science and in engineering, colleges in the United States are graduating 50 percent more students each year than there are jobs in those fields.
  • Of computer science graduates who do not enter the IT workforce, 32 percent say it is because they could not find an IT job, and 53 percent say they found better jobs outside of IT.


Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 3:00am

Montana State University will decertify its faculty union after the affiliate of the American Federation of Teachers and the National Education Association conceded defeat in a referendum brought by faculty members who wanted to end collective bargaining. The union had challenged four ballots after a preliminary results showed the faculty members favoring decertification held a five-vote lead. The Montana Board of Personnel Appeals has yet to release an official notice of decertification.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 4:31am

The University of Indianapolis is shutting down its campus in Greece. "[E]conomic conditions in Greece have made it very difficult to continue [operations] according to the high standards of the university and the expectations of our accrediting agency," said a statement from the university. The university will continue an M.B.A. program it operates in Greece for students from Saudi Arabia, and plans to "use that financially viable program as a model for developing new programs on a contract basis," the statement added.


Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 3:00am

WASHINGTON -- When choosing a college, most prospective students are more in need of help navigating already-available data than they are of more disclosures from colleges and universities, witnesses told the House Committee on Education and the Workforce's Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Training during a hearing Wednesday. The hearing, on college transparency, focused less on what colleges should be telling prospective students and more on what can be done to make that information accessible and understandable. Witnesses, including Donald Heller, dean of the College of Education at Michigan State University, said they doubted information on students' salaries after graduation was enlightening, although requiring colleges to provide those data has received bipartisan support in Congress in recent months. Students need "better information, not just data," Heller said.

Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 4:34am

Robert Shearer, formerly the director of environmental health and occupational safety at San Francisco State University, has been charged with 128 felonies related to allegedly taking bribes to award a waste-disposal contract that cost the institution millions of dollars, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. The bribes allegedly included $183,000, plane tickets for international travel and a Volvo. Shearer has appeared in court, but has not entered a plea in the case.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 3:00am

Lone Star College has seen two violent incidents this year: the stabbings of 14 (a student has been charged) and the shooting of three. On Tuesday, college officials pledged that if Houston voters approve a bond referendum next month, some of the funds will be used to improve security. Among the improvements planned: more video surveillance, enhanced lighting, improved public address systems and automated door locking systems.





Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 3:00am

The president of Kappa Delta sorority at Indiana University at Bloomington has issued an apology for a party at which attendees mocked the homeless with costumes and signs, and rubbed dirt on their faces to appear homeless. "I want to express my sincere apology to the campus community and public for the actions of our chapter at a social event this week that made light of those who are homeless. Our choice was a poor one. We know that it was not acceptable and does not align with our values," said a statement from Aubrey McMahon, the chapter president. The website Jezebel published photos of the party, drawing attention to its theme.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:25am

Four men have been charged with hazing in the drowning deaths in the Appomattox River of two freshmen at Virginia State University, The Richmond Times Dispatch reported. Two of the men charged are also Virginia State students. The students were apparently completing an initiation for "Men of Honor," an unrecognized student group. University officials said that they can't bar students -- who are legal adults -- from joining unrecognized groups.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Jason Martin of DePaul University explains the growth of Chinese social media sites and the government’s attempts to control them. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Wednesday, April 24, 2013 - 4:31am

Dartmouth College has called off classes for today to discuss the college's "commitment to fostering debate that promotes respect for individuals, civil and engaged discourse, and the value of diverse opinions." A series of programs, featuring faculty members and a diversity and social justice consultant, will be held. The college's decision follows a series of threats received by students online -- some citing the students' sexual orientation or race, college officials told the Associated Press. The threats followed a protest in which some students interrupted a program for high school students who have been admitted to Dartmouth. The protesters chanted "Dartmouth has a problem," and said that the college wasn't doing enough to prevent homophobia, racism and sexual assault on campus. The online threats were subsequently posted -- some against students who had participated in that protest, and some against other students.




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