Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 4:08am

Cornell University opened classes this week at its new technology master's program in New York City, which the university is operating in partnership with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, The New York Times reported. Eight students are in the first class, but the program projects 2,000 students by 2037. Cornell and the Technion jointly won a contest sponsored by New York City to create the program, which has an emphasis on training students who will work with or start their own tech companies.

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Craig Stanford of the University of Southern California explores the variety of threats the world’s great apes face from modern humans. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 3:00am

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is reviewing the role played by Governor Rick Scott in the decision of the University of Florida board to convince Bernie Machen to put off retirement and stay on as president, The Miami Herald reported. When Machen and the board announced he was staying, it was immediately clear that the governor was involved in the discussions, but a SACS official said at the time that there was nothing wrong with that, since it appeared that the board had played the key role. But SACS is investigating because Governor Scott has confirmed that he met with a potential candidate to replace Machen before asking asking Machen to stay. SACS officials are investigating whether the governor in that meeting overstepped his role. SACS principles call for college and university boards to have protect the independence of institutions.

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 3:00am

Many colleges impose fees on students who park in campus lots. At Worcester State University, even those who don't drive must pay. That's because, as The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported, the university charges a mandatory "parking pedestrian access fee." Students don't like it, but university officials said that they need the money to keep sidewalks repaired.

 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013 - 3:00am

Ahmed Al-Khabaz was expelled by Dawson College in Montreal shortly after he found a network security flaw that may have endangered the privacy of more than 250,000 students in Quebec's general and vocational colleges, The National Post reported. Al-Khabaz said that he was initially thanked for identifying the problem but was expelled after he tested the system to see if the problem had been fixed. Dawson administrators declined to discuss the case.

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 3:00am

An online petition campaign organized by Avaaz.org draws attention to the plight of Syrian students who are unable to pay tuition fees, including government-sponsored students whose tuition payments have been stopped. A statement released Friday by the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, asked universities and funding agencies to exercise discretion over tuition and to use hardship funds to support students when possible. The statement notes that all institutions that enroll Syrian students through the Syrian Higher Education Capacity Building Project have agreed to waive or defer fees.

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 3:00am

Dixie State College's board has voted to request a name change to Dixie State University, but not to abandon the "Dixie" portion of its name. The institution is located in a part of Utah settled by immigrants from the South who embraced the Dixie name and Confederate imagery. As the college debating becoming a university, some affiliated with the university said that it would be a good time to change its name entirely, and to end associations that some saw as exclusionary.

Steven G. Caplin, the board chair, issued a statement: "As with stakeholders at large, the trustees saw the merits of several different naming options, and the majority preferred 'Dixie State University.' In the end the board chose to unite as one body. We unanimously stand behind the Dixie State University name and encourage all stakeholders to do the same. This is the time to combine our resources, make our best contributions, and rally around this great institution."

Roi Wilkins, a senior at the college who is African-American, told The Salt Lake Tribune that the college was ignoring the extent to which its name is associated with oppression. "I feel like they’re still trying to sweep it under the rug," he said.

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 3:00am

Classes resume at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities this week and officials have suspended a rule that normally requires a doctor's note to miss the first day of classes, the Associated Press reported. There are so many flu cases that officials want to encourage students to stay home if they are ill.

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 3:00am

Ghostwriting of term papers is so common in Russia that those who do the work openly advertise their services, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty reported. A woman based in Tatarstan told the news service: "Theses start from 5,000 rubles [$165]. But it depends on how much the person can pay; the price is agreed individually. I don't copy anything from the Internet and I do my research in libraries. I care about my professional reputation; I don't want to lose clients."

 

Monday, January 21, 2013 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Darla Zelenitsky of the University of Calgary reveals a find that is a first for North American paleontology. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

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