Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

August 8, 2013

It's time for Inside Higher Ed's monthly Cartoon Caption Contest.

There are multiple ways to participate. Suggest a caption for a new cartoon; the three entries that our judges deem most clever or chuckle-inducing will be put to a vote by our readers next month, and the winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of the cartoon signed by Matthew Henry Hall, the artist.

You can also choose your favorite from among the three finalists nominated for best caption for last month's drawing.

And congratulations to the winner of the Cartoon Caption Contest for June, Donald Larsson, professor of English at Minnesota State University-Mankato. Find out more about him and his submission here.

 

August 8, 2013

A new poll by Citi and Seventeen looks at which expenses related to college students handle themselves and which ones their parents handle. For most items -- including tuition -- the results are mixed. There is one item on which parents are far more likely than students to pay the bill: monthly phone bills.

 

August 7, 2013

By September, Yale University will clarify what sort of scenarios it considers “nonconsensual sex” after a semi-annual incident report used the term in reference to "a range of behaviors that fall within the university's broad definition of sexual misconduct." The university will also post more information next week about sexual assault investigations and reporting procedures, the New Haven Register reported. Students found responsible for nonconsensual sex received punishments ranging from written reprimand (by far the most common) to mandatory counseling to a two-term suspension. A slew of criticism and accusations that Yale was watering down the issue and failing to properly punish students who committed sexual assault quickly followed the report’s release Friday. A federal investigation into Yale’s handling of sexual assault on campus ended a little over a year ago with a resolution agreement requiring the university to improve its policies, procedures and practices.

August 7, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Nick Royle of the University of Exeter asks if personality is genetically determined or learned. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

August 7, 2013

After an 18-month study on governance of college sports, the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics said in a report that “changes are needed to restore integrity” to college sports.

Among its recommendations, the commission shot down the idea that a new division separate from the National Collegiate Athletic Association might be the next logical step. Instead, the report says, the NCAA’s top committees should include more athletics officials, former athletes and other individuals with experience in college sports -- and governance should not just be left to university presidents, as it is currently. Among the other recommendations are to dedicate a portion of the revenue from the impending college football playoff to support athletes’ educational experience, and revise revenue distribution to strengthen incentives for exceptional academic performance by athletes.

The report also suggests a few ideas “that merit further study,” including a new NCAA subdivision, for football only, for the five major conferences and other high-income programs -- an idea that has gained significant traction in the past few weeks thanks to comments and speculation by major conference commissioners. The commission also proposes a new financial framework that might impose spending limits or encourage limited spending, to create greater financial balance among institutions, as well as greater differentiation of structures among sports for things like conference membership and championship formats.

August 7, 2013

The University of Oslo has rejected the application of Anders Behring Breivik, a mass killer, to study political science, AFP reported. Breivik, a right wing extremist, is in jail for his 2011 attacks that killed 77. Norway encourages prisoners to seek education (typically through distance programs) and Breivik's prison had no problem with his applying to enroll remotely. But word of the application set off a debate at the university, with some faculty members saying that they would refuse to teach him. The university said that it evaluated the application under normal procedures and rejected Breivik because he had not finished his high school degree.

 

August 7, 2013

A former women’s head rowing coach at the University of California at San Diego gave six athletes prescription drugs on at least 24 occasions, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said Tuesday, announcing penalties stemming from unethical conduct and the university’s failure to monitor the program. Athletes also competed while ineligible, in some cases, with the knowledge and at the direction of coaches, the NCAA’s public infractions report says.

The former head coach also lied to NCAA investigators about having told athletes to compete and sign for meals under the names of “eligible student-athletes or other individuals.” The rowing team will get one year of probation, a $2,500 fine and vacation of women’s rowing results from 2010-12. The former head coach faces a three-year show cause order, making it difficult for her to be hired at another institution, and a former assistant coach who allowed an ineligible athlete to compete and then lied to investigators faces a one-year show cause order.

August 6, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Ricardo Ainslie of the University of Texas at Austin explores the social and economic factors behind recent violence in a Mexican border town. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

August 6, 2013

A U.S. Senate panel last weekend passed a rider to the defense appropriations bill that would count federal spending on tuition assistance for members of the military and their spouses toward a threshold that requires for-profit colleges to receive less than 90 percent of their revenue from federal sources. Military tuition spending, as well as funds from the Post 9/11 GI Bill, currently do not count as federal money under the so-call "90/10" rule. Sen. Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat and critic of the for-profit sector, introduced the legislation, which also prohibits for-profits from spending money from military tuition assistance on marketing or advertising.

August 6, 2013

Howard University announced a severalfold expansion of its online offerings on Monday. It plans to offer about 25 online or hybrid programs over the next several years, an increase in online activity over the handful of online programs it offers now.

Howard Provost Wayne Frederick said the new online programs would be for undergraduate and graduate students. He said the arrangement was part of an effort to make Howard a more contemporary university and allow the university to expand its nontraditional enrollment and add to its revenue. Frederick said Howard was interested in reaching students in African and Caribbean countries with its fully online offerings, though the pricing structure of the courses has yet to be determined. The university wants to expand its on-campus capacity by using the online classes to help "flip" the classroom. 

The announcement may be particularly significant because historically black colleges and universities, such as Howard, have a reputation for moving their programs online at a slower pace than other universities, for a variety of reasons. “I think over all, it’s a space where students of color and providers of education to students of color are looking very closely because it does represent a contemporary movement in higher education,” Frederick said 

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