Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

September 6, 2013

Texas A&M University-Commerce and South Texas College will next spring launch a competency-based degree program in organization leadership, the institutions announced on Thursday. The programs will be created in cooperation with Pearson, which will create online courses totaling 90 credit hours. Pearson estimates the program will enroll 250 students in its inaugural semester -- a number that will grow to more than 6,000 students by 2019.

September 6, 2013

The University of London has abandoned a plan to auction off an early set of Shakespeare, The Guardian reported. The university has been defending the plan, noting that it needs more money to preserve and grow its collection of historic documents, and that it has other early editions of Shakespeare. But criticism from academics has been intense, and was cited by university leaders in calling off the plan. "The university has decided to focus its attention on examining alternative ways of investing in the collection. The money raised from any sale would have been used to invest in the future of the library by acquiring major works and archives of English literature," said Adrian Smith, the vice chancellor.

 

September 6, 2013

States generally meet their obligations to match certain federal funds that go to predominantly white land-grant universities, but this isn't the case for historically black land-grant colleges, according to a new report by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities. Between 2010-12, the report says, the black land-grant colleges should have received an additional $56 million in state funds.

September 6, 2013

Officials at Saint Mary's University, in Canada, are promising disciplinary action and more education programming in the wake over a video showing student orientation organizers leading as student chant promoting underage sex, CBC News reported. The change goes like this: "Y is for your sister [...] U is for underage, N is for no consent [...] Saint Mary’s boys we like them young." The chant is reportedly not new, but has not been widely known to administrators until the video surfaced.

 

September 5, 2013

Another set of former college athletes are suing the National Collegiate Athletic Association for allegedly failing to educate football players about the long-term effects of head injuries, The Birmingham News reported. The class action, filed by two former football players at the University of Tennessee and one from North Carolina State University, is the latest lawsuit to try to hold the NCAA accountable for concussions and other head injuries suffered in intercollegiate competition. The lawsuit seeks to require the NCAA to provide a medical monitoring program to former athletes.

September 5, 2013

Introductory college biology textbooks prepare students – even those who don’t plan to become doctors – to take medical school examination tests, while devoting little attention to such topics as evolution, a new study shows.

Steven Rissing, professor of evolution, ecology and organismal biology at Ohio State University, analyzed eight commonly used introductory biology textbooks and found that all closely followed the curriculum suggested for pre-med students by the Medical College Admission Test (MCAT). All texts included at least 50 percent of the primary MCAT biology content specifications within the first 30 percent of text.

Over all, they put a heavy emphasis on molecular and cellular biology while underemphasizing “big issues,” such as personalized medicine, evolution and climate change, that have more relevance to students who don’t plan on being medical doctors, Rissing said in a news release. “We need to have biology education for citizens and voters, not just for future doctors.”

The study was published this week in CBE-Life Sciences Education.

September 5, 2013

The U.S. Justice Department has awarded a $2.3 million grant to a Vermont consulting firm to create a new federal center to promote campus public safety, Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) announced Wednesday. The center, to be jointly created by Margolis Healy & Associates and the University of Vermont, was chartered by Congress last spring in response to violent incidents on multiple campuses. Its work will focus on training campus officials and providing resources designed to help colleges protect the safety and security of their students and employees. Margolis Healy was created by former campus safety chiefs at Vermont and Princeton University.

 

 

September 5, 2013

William J. Pepicello will retire as president of the University of Phoenix after seven years in the job, the institution announced Wednesday. Pepicello, who has worked at the for-profit university since 1995, has navigated Phoenix through both strong growth and the contraction that much of his sector has encountered post-recession, and has been a visible presence at meetings of higher education leaders.

September 5, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Einat Lev of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University describes her research into the properties of flowing lava. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

September 5, 2013

Cambridge University Press will power its learning management system with technology from Knewton to teach English to students around the globe, the two companies announced on Thursday. Knewton will work with the publisher to build a series of English Language Training (ELT) products for the Cambridge LMS platform, which serves about 250,000 students. As part of its expansion plans, Knewton will also open an office in London that will coordinate the company's work in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

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