Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:00am

Colleges should not retaliate against students who raise a civil rights complaint – either with an individual institution or with the federal government – The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights said in a “Dear Colleague” letter sent out last week. “Discriminatory practices are often only raised and remedied when students, parents, teachers, coaches, and others can report such practices to school administrators without the fear of retaliation,” the letter reads. “Individuals should be commended when they raise concerns about compliance with the Federal civil rights laws, not punished for doing so.”

In February, a University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill student said the campus judicial filed charges against her after she spoke out about her rape and what she said was a flawed Honor Court hearing. Administrators initially said they couldn’t intervene because the court is student-run, but UNC Chancellor Holden Thorp suspended the proceedings the following month when the student filed a federal complaint alleging retaliation.

It’s been a little over two years since OCR began cracking down on sexual assault with a dear colleague letter reminding colleges of their responsibilities to address the issue under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. In recent months, students have filed Title IX complaints regarding sexual discrimination and subsequent mistreatment by their universities at a handful of institutions, including the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Occidental College and Swarthmore University.

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:00am

French studies is fading at many Canadian universities outside of Quebec, The Globe and Mail reported. Relatively few students are signing up for the programs, the article said, and budget cuts have led universities to close or shrink programs with low enrollments.


Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:00am

After three judicial losses, Quinnipiac University has agreed to retain all of its women’s sports, settling a lawsuit that began in 2011 alleging that the institution violated Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 when it attempted to cut volleyball and replaced it with competitive cheerleading. The settlement mandates that the university keep volleyball for at least three more years, and add more women’s scholarships and other benefits, including facilities improvements and full-time coaches. A federal judge first ruled that replacing volleyball with competitive cheerleading violated Title IX in July 2010 because the latter did not qualify as a varsity sport and thus, the university was not providing equal athletic opportunities for women. A U.S. Court of Appeals reaffirmed that ruling in August, and just last month, a federal judge ruled that Quinnipiac had made some progress toward coming into compliance with Title IX but not enough to lift the injunction that prevented Quinnipiac from eliminating volleyball.

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:00am

A California judge ruled Friday that Patrick Harran, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, must stand trial on charges in a lab fire the caused the death of his assistant in 2008, The Los Angeles Times reported. He had sought to have the judge dismiss felony charges of violating state health and safety rules. Harran, backed by the university, has maintained that the death was the result of a tragic accident, not any violations of law.


Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:00am

The University of New South Wales has announced that it will accept scores from the gaokao, China’s national college entry examination, for direct admission to many of its undergraduate programs, The Australian reported. While the gaokao is commonly criticized for emphasizing rote learning, a 2009 Australian Education International report found that the use of gaokao cut-off scores in admissions could “produce students with outstanding ability.” Several other Australian universities, including La Trobe and Monash Universities and the Universities of Adelaide and Sydney, also accept gaokao scores for direct admission.

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:00am

WASHINGTON -- While the Pell Grant is exempt from the mandatory, across-the-board budget cuts that went into effect in March, other federal higher education grants are not. Iraq-Afghanistan Service Grants, for the children of members of the military killed in action, have been cut back by 10 percent for new recipients beginning March 1, the Education Department announced in guidance issued Friday. TEACH Grants, for students planning to become teachers in high-need areas, have been reduced by 7.1 percent.

Monday, April 29, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Steve Yetiv of Old Dominion University explains why U.S. foreign policy is closely tied to foreign and domestic oil production. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 4:36am

A fraternity video in which a student appeared in blackface has sparked outrage at the University of California at Irvine, CBS Los Angeles reported. The student in blackface is portraying the rapper Jay-Z, and the video was made to welcome new members of the Lambda Theta Delta fraternity. “We sincerely apologize if we offended anyone whatsoever," said the fraternity's president. "On behalf of my brothers who were involved in the video, know that it was unintentional. But unintentional or not we do know that it was wrong."

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 3:00am
  • Tracy Bicknell-Holmes, head of the Engineering Library and Patent & Trademark Resource Center at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln, has been appointed as dean of Albertsons Library at Boise State University, in Idaho.
  • Terri M. Carbaugh, interim director of state and federal relations at Sacramento State University, in California, has been selected as associate vice president for legislative and external relations at California State University at Long Beach.
  • Timothy Hoff, associate professor of health policy and management at the State University of New York at Albany, has been named associate professor of management, healthcare systems and health policy at Northeastern University, in Massachusetts.
  • Matteel Jones, vice president for student affairs at Technical College of the Lowcountry, in South Carolina, has been selected as vice president for student services at Greenville Technical College, also in South Carolina.
  • John Keith, associate research scholar at Princeton University, in New Jersey, has been appointed as assistant professor and R.K. Mellon Faculty Fellow in the Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh.
  • James A. Larimore, deputy director for student success at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, has been chosen as dean of students at Amherst College.

The appointments above are drawn from Inside Higher Ed's job changes database. To submit news about job changes and promotions, please click here.

Friday, April 26, 2013 - 3:00am

Three Pennsylvania institutions -- Marywood University, Keystone College and Lackawanna College -- have removed Robert J. Mellow's name from their buildings, The Times Leader reported. Mellow was previously a powerful state legislator. But he is now in jail, after he pleaded guilty last year to under-reporting his income for his 2008 tax return, and committing mail fraud by using his Senate staff members to perform political duties for himself and others.



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