Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, March 9, 2012 - 4:30am

Before he retired last summer as president of the University of Minnesota, Robert Bruininks steered extra money to the institute at the university where he would be spending his post-presidential years, The Star Tribune reported. He moved a total of $355,000 in university funds to the Center for Integrative Leadership. Bruininks told the newspaper that he moved the funds to the center to bolster it as he was seeking major outside grants for the program. "You put it all together in a weird way and it may look like I'm feathering a nest, and that's simply not the case," Bruininks.

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 3:00am

Saudi authorities are investigating how about 50 women were injured in a student protest at King Khalid University on Wednesday, BBC reported. The women were reportedly protesting poor management at the university and a lack of appropriate facilities for women.

 

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 3:00am

University of Illinois President Michael Hogan, who faced criticism from faculty in recent weeks about his handling of several initiatives, said in a statement Thursday that he accepted responsibility for a breakdown in communication and was committed to repairing his relationship with the faculty. On Monday, after a board meeting called to address the faculty criticism, the board chairman said he had confidence in Hogan but that the president needed to change how he was running the university or face the loss of his job.

In an interview with Inside Higher Ed on Thursday, Hogan said that coming into office on the heels of the university's admissions scandal, which resulted in significant administrative turnover, meant many changes had to happen quickly. In the rush to address those issues, he said, communication broke down. "We were getting things done so fast that I just gave people the perception that I was more interested in getting things done than I was in hearing opinions,” Hogan said. He said that is not the case, and that he plans to meet with faculty members on the university's three campuses more regularly in the future.

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 3:00am

The U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday held a hearing to discuss several proposed bills relating to educational benefits for veterans and military service members. One piece of legislation would expand tuition reimbursement for students who attend out-of-state public institutions under the Post-9/11 G.I. Bill. Another would require colleges to provide more information and counseling to veterans who are prospective students, while also bulking up reporting requirements for student complaints.

Also Thursday, a bipartisan group of U.S. senators proposed new legislation that would prohibit some for-profit colleges from being eligible for military tuition aid. The bill, introduced by Sen. Jim Webb, a Virginia Democrat, would require that institutions be eligible to receive federal financial aid under Department of Education requirements in order to collect student aid from the G.I. Bill and the military tuition assistance program.

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 3:00am

A panel of state legislators in California on Thursday rejected a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to reduce spending on CalGrants, the state's generous financial aid program, the Los Angeles Times reported. Brown's plan would have reduced the amount of state aid that could be used at private and for-profit colleges, and also raised the minimum grade-point average for incoming students to qualify for grants.

Friday, March 9, 2012 - 3:00am

Morlan Isom, a star goalkeeper for the women's soccer team at Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge, was the first female athlete ever named Homecoming Queen when she won that title last fall. Now, she is trying for a different distinction: becoming a kicker on the football team. The Shreveport Times reported that if she makes the team, she would be the first female in big-time college football since 2003.

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 4:35am

An anonymous website over the weekend posted confidential information about McGill University donors, including the size of past gifts, how much the university hoped to obtain from future gifts, personal phone numbers and more, The Montreal Gazette reported. Authorities are investigating how the information was obtained, and the university was able to get the hosts for the site to take it down. The university sent an e-mail message to all donors, pledging to find out what happened and to prevent future such leaks.

 

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 4:37am

Utah State University Press -- for several years a target of budget cut plans at its home institution -- is merging into the University Press of Colorado. The Utah State press will continue to publish books as an imprint of the Colorado publisher. The Colorado press has been supported by eight colleges and universities in Colorado and will now receive some support from Utah State as well. But Utah State officials said that their overall spending would decrease once the merger is complete.

 

 

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 3:00am

The DePauw University visiting journalism professor who used a student's arrest records to teach a lesson about public documents won't be sanctioned, the professor, Mark Tatge, said in a statement Wednesday. Students had complained after Tatge gave his class information on an athlete's arrest on suspicion of resisting arrest, public drunkenness and being a minor in possession of alcohol. The information was all publicly available. In a statement released to Inside Higher Ed on Wednesday, Tatge said he had "learned some things" from the process but maintained that his lesson was legitimate and not mean-spirited.

"I in no way meant to call attention to or to embarrass anyone," he wrote. "My goal here was merely to teach students about public records and make them better critical thinkers by using actual records filed in a public, open Indiana court."

He was also critical of the university's handling of the situation. "I feel the university did a poor job of communicating the intentions and procedures behind its review process to the media," he wrote. "I am committed to working with officials here in hope this kind of situation can be avoided in the future so another DePauw professor does not witness this same kind of communication breakdown."

Thursday, March 8, 2012 - 3:00am

Five private colleges in West Virginia and Virginia are sharing some faculty slots, courtesy of a grant from the Teagle Foundation, The Charleston Gazette reported. Bethany, Davis & Elkins, Emory & Henry and West Virginia Wesleyan Colleges and the University of Charleston will share a single position for a professor to use distance education to teach remedial mathematics at all the campuses, with in-person assistance available at each college. Further, West Virginia Wesleyan and the University of Charleston will share an American history professor. Officials described the arrangements as a way to offer good instruction, while recognizing the financial pressures on small private colleges.

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