Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 24, 2013

Sustained childhood exposure to and participation in the arts appears linked to college students majoring in science and technology fields, and to later going on to patent inventions, Michigan State University researchers have found. In a study published in the journal Economic Development Quarterly and based on STEM graduates of Michigan State's honors college, the researchers found that  93 percent of the STEM graduates reported musical training at some point, compared to 34 percent of adults on average. Further, those who owned businesses or patents received up to eight times more childhood exposure to the arts than did adults on average.

93 percent of the STEM graduates reported musical training at some point in their lives, as compared to only 34 percent of average adults - See more at: http://msutoday.msu.edu/news/2013/a-young-picasso-or-beethoven-could-be-...
October 24, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Jennifer Crosby of Williams College examines how we react to perceived prejudice in a social setting. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

October 24, 2013

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and advocates for the continued use of the "Chief Illinwek" mascot have worked out a deal, The Chicago Tribune reported. The university stopped using the chief officially in 2007, with the National Collegiate Athletic Association and Native American groups objecting to Indian symbols used for athletics events in ways that promote stereotypes. But some alumni have refused to give up the use. In the deal, the university will not object to the group's use of Chief Illiniwek. But the group will not suggest that the chief is coming back, and will make clear that its activities are not endorsed or approved by the university.

October 24, 2013

A teaching assistant at the University of Iowa accidentally instead of "accidently," which isn't really a word. dl *ok MR e-mailed naked photographs of herself and a man to students. She had intended to send an attachment with answers to some questions on a problem set. As news of the e-mail embarrassment spread on social media, the university asked those who received the e-mail to delete the message and to not share the files with anyone else. The incident was “inappropriate” and the university will look into it and take appropriate actions under its policies and procedures, a spokesman said. He said that the teaching assistant regrets what happened.


 

October 24, 2013

Student enrollment in osteopathic medical colleges grew by 11.1 percent in 2013, and the total number of enrolled students has nearly doubled in the last decade, according to the American Association of Colleges of Osteopathic Medicine.

One in five medical students is training to become an osteopathic physician, according to a preliminary enrollment report. More than 22,000 students are currently enrolled in osteopathic medical colleges, compared with about 11,000 students in 2001, according to AACOM. Its CEO, Stephen C. Shannon, said in a news release that the growing number of osteopathic medical school graduates will help reduce projected physician shortages. Osteopathic physicians take a holistic approach to patient care and are licensed to prescribe medicine and practice in all specialty areas. There are now 30 colleges of osteopathic medicine in the U.S., with three opening this year and several more in the planning stages. 

The Association of American Medical Colleges will release data on application and enrollment rates at allopathic medical schools today.

October 24, 2013

With a new round of universities added to its consortium, the massive open online course provider Coursera on Thursday announced it has passed 100 partner institutions across the world. The official count now sits at 107 universities in 20 different countries. The new partners include Bocconi University, the Copenhagen Business School, the Eindhoven Institute of Technology, Koç University, the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology, the National Geographic Society, the National Research University Higher School of Economics, Saint Petersburg State University, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, the University of Lausanne, the University of Manchester and the University of Navarra's IESE Business School.

October 23, 2013

Ted Mitchell, former president of Occidental College and president of a "venture philanthropy" fund focused on elementary and secondary education reform, is reportedly in line for a top position at the U.S. Education Department, according to Politico and other sources. Politico reported late Tuesday that Mitchell would be nominated as U.S. under secretary of education, replacing Martha J. Kanter, who announced this summer that she would return to California this fall. But other sources said that Mitchell might be named to a position that did not require Senate confirmation, given the difficulty of getting anyone through that gauntlet these days. A spokesman for the Education Department referred inquiries to a White House spokesman, who said he had no news to share about appointments.

Mitchell rose through the academic ranks as an education professor and administrator, and mostly at highly selective institutions such as Dartmouth College, Stanford University, and the University of California at Los Angeles (dean of the Graduate School of Education). As president of Occidental (which President Obama attended as an undergraduate), he was known for helping to diversify the student body of the selective private institution. "My area of scholarly interest, my area of teaching and policy work has been in educational access and opportunity," Mitchell told the Los Angeles Times upon his departure from Occidental in 2005. (Note: This article has been updated to correct President Obama's relationship to Occidental.)

He left there to take the reins of the New Schools Venture Fund, which has close ties to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and other philanthropies interested in using technology and other tools of change to reform education. The fund's "core values" page uses phrases like "entrepreneurship" and "results-oriented" that are likely to align closely with Education Secretary Arne Duncan's modus operandi.

October 23, 2013

The Council for Christian Colleges and Universities announced Tuesday that its board -- "after careful investigation and prayerful consideration" -- had decided to remove Edward O. Blews Jr. from the position of president, effective immediately. Blews had been in office since January. The statement did not say why the board decided to (in the words of the CCCU) "transition" Blews out of the presidency.  Prior to joining CCCU, Blews was for 28 years president of the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities of Michigan. CCCU officials and Blews did not respond to requests for more information about his departure.

 

October 23, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Atalia Omer of the University of Notre Dame discusses the role of cultural and religious identity in the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

October 23, 2013

The BBC decided to investigate the M.B.A. program offered by American University of London, and so enrolled a dog named Pete, giving him the fake name Peter Smith and a fake biography with various job titles. The university requires that students submit photographs, but the BBC opted not to send one, since the picture would have shown a dog. No problem. The university offered Pete an M.B.A., with no academic work, for $7,300. In a statement to the BBC, the institution defended itself. "We are not a bogus university … and have always been upfront about our status," said the statement. "We have not applied for accreditation with any American, British or other official agency. Many graduates go on to higher education or hold important positions on the strength of our degrees."

 

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