Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 4:23am

Officials of the Los Angeles Community College District are calling it a "rebalancing" plan, but student leaders and others aren't going along. The Los Angeles Times reported that the plan involves cutting the $1,500 monthly car allowance top administrators receive to $500, and then using the extra $1,000 a month to give raises to those administrators. The plan is based on the idea that the administrators are underpaid, compared to others in California. But student leaders and their backers say that the district shouldn't be paying top officials to drive to and from work, and that any savings should go to restoring some of the class sections that have been cut in recent years.

 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 3:00am

Students in Australia are protesting more than $2 billion in proposed cuts to higher education, which, according to Universities Australia, represents the largest funding reduction since the 1990shope to flesh this out slightly and add link if/when Universities Australia website comes back online

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 3:00am

The Washington Post's Fact Checker column gave Secretary of State John Kerry’s statement that prospective foreign students are being deterred by fears of gun violence a three-Pinocchio rating (out of four). The Post noted that although students from Japan (the specific country in question) are on the decline, the Institute of International Education’s analysis of the phenomenon does not cite concerns about student safety but rather “the effects of a rapidly aging Japanese population and other factors including the global economy and the recruiting cycle of Japanese companies.” Over all, the number of international students in the U.S. is on the rise.

The Post faulted Kerry for relying on mere anecdotal information and relaying it to a reporter.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013 - 3:00am

Officials of the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina are talking about a merger, The Post and Courier reported. Charleston Mayor Joe Riley organized the discussions, and said that he believed the city needed a comprehensive research university.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Leonard Mermel of Brown University discusses how small germs can cause big problems for astronauts on long-term missions. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 4:17am

When Governor Pat McCrory, a Republican, spoke to the University of North Carolina Board of Governors last week, much of his talk focused on issues of efficiency. But he also asked the leaders of the UNC system to focus more on issues of drug and alcohol abuse, The Herald-Sun reported. "There’s a serious drug and abuse of alcohol problems on your college campuses right now," he said. "There’s binge drinking. There’s a serious cocaine problem. There’s a serious heroin problem on every one of your campuses. You go ask the any student and you go ask sheriffs in any county.”

The governor said, "I’m just telling you as the Board of Governors and chancellors that we’re not going to hide it anymore. We’ve got to let it be known that there is a serious addiction issue that’s kind of being swept under the rug."

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 3:00am

The University of Missouri Board of Curators is preparing to change a rule that has, until now, stated that donors to the system's campuses could have only one building named after them, The Kansas City Star reported. Officials believe that lifting the rule may encourage some major donors to give even more, enticed by the possibility of having their names on multiple buildings.

 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 4:29am

Colleges need to start tracking retention rates not only by various factors widely considered today (race, gender, socioeconomic background) but by sexual orientation, according to a paper released by ACPA: College Student Educators International and by Campus Pride. The paper notes that, to do so, colleges need to start finding out how many students of different orientations they have -- and many colleges don't ask that question. But the report says that, given various pressures on gay students, it is wrong not to consider whether they are graduating at different rates from straight students.

"Colleges and universities are responsible for the education and safety of all students, including their LGBT students," the paper says. "Colleges and universities need to know and count their out LGBT students to provide necessary services and/or maintain proper safety and campus climate. Demographic questions asking students about their sexual orientation and gender identity give administrators the data they need to properly implement LGBT-inclusive policies and practices. Doing so will not be easy as different from other identity groups, LGBT student identity is fluid and often evolves during the college years. But, if our institutions of higher learning can achieve complex tasks like landing a spacecraft on Mars, we can certainly figure out this challenge."

 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 3:00am

Fredrik Logevall, a Cornell University historian, and Sharon Olds, a professor of poetry at New York University, were among the recipients Monday of Pulitzer Prizes for their written works.

Logevall, John S. Knight Professor of International Studies and Professor of History at Cornell and director of the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, won one of the coveted awards for Embers of War: The Fall of an Empire and the Making of America's Vietnam (Random House), his study of how U.S. leaders enmeshed the country in a fateful war. Olds, who teaches in the graduate creative writing program at New York University, received her Pulitzer for Stag's Leap, (Alfred A. Knopf), which her citation describes as a "book of unflinching poems on the author’s divorce that examine love, sorrow and the limits of self-knowledge."

The two authors each receive $10,000.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013 - 3:00am

At least three students are among those injured Monday in the bombings at the Boston Marathon. A Boston University student was critically injured, said a statement from Robert A. Brown, president of the university. He said he couldn't yet identify the student, and that BU police were staying on duty Monday night to provide extra security on the campus. Brown asked all students to remain in their residence halls or homes Monday night. Tufts University announced that two students who had been watching the marathon "sustained non-life-threatening injuries and are being treated at area hospitals." And the University of Massachusetts at Boston closed Monday night as a "precautionary measure" because of investigations of a possible incendiary device at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, which is at one end of the university's campus.

Many colleges have groups of runners in the marathon and were issuing press releases Monday night reassuring friends and family members that their students were safe.

 

 

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