Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

November 27, 2013

Aquinas College, in Michigan, has announced that it will provide a hotel room for a homeless student during the coming break in December when residence halls are closed, MLive reported. Aquinas, like many colleges, completely closes its dormitories during the long break between semesters. A student who is homeless when not at college organized a petition to keep the residence halls open, prompting the college to announce that it would find a hotel room for her. Further the college said it would try to seek better solutions for homeless students who face this issue nationally. “I think our awareness of the needs of homeless students has been increased,” said Chad Gunnoe, provost of the college.

 

 

November 27, 2013

A official at a college in China’s Xinjiang region – a site of separatist unrest – said that students will not graduate unless their political views are approved, Reuters reported. "Students whose political qualifications are not up to par must absolutely not graduate, even if their professional course work is excellent," the news service quotes Xu Yuanzhi, the party secretary at Kashgar Teachers College, as saying.

Reuters noted that it is unclear whether this policy has been officially implemented throughout the region. 

November 27, 2013

Ohio State University’s head cheerleading coach, Lenee Buchman, was fired Monday after failing to report sexual misconduct by coaching staff, the Columbus Dispatch reported. Two assistant coaches, Eddie Hollins and Dana Bumbrey, allegedly sent explicit text messages and made inappropriate comments and sexual jokes to athletes. One athlete who the head coach kicked off the team in August had complained that Hollins sent him a text suggesting they engage in a sex act together. The assistant coaches were fired following an investigation and Buchman was sent to a sexual harassment seminar. The student has retained a lawyer and is seeking reinstatement.

November 27, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Ethan Ham of the City University of New York examines what makes an interesting choice and entertaining game. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

November 26, 2013

Law students at the University of Sydney are complaining that their dean was insulting when they complained that a disputed final examination would not be given a second time, ABC (the Australian company) reported. A fire alarm went off during the exam and students were evacuated, but then the exam resumed. Some students want a completely new exam and the dean has rejected that option as unfair to those who came prepared for the day the exam was scheduled. But students are now upset that the dean wrote a letter to the editor of the student paper suggesting that they needed to drop the issue. "Law students can be an anxious and competitive lot," wrote the dean, Joellen Riley. "They do worry dreadfully about exam marks.  A couple of years post-graduation and they will learn that the marks in any one exam are soon forgotten, and many skills other than mark-harvesting are more important to success in the profession (and in life)."

 

November 26, 2013

A former administrative employee admitted in federal court Monday that she stole more than $5 million from the Association of American Medical Colleges, The Washington Post reported. The woman was fired when the graft was discovered. Authorities said that she created bank accounts with names similar to those of groups with which the AAMC does business. She then created fake invoices for those entities, paid the funds to the accounts and had access to the money.

 

November 26, 2013

Mohammed Qayoumi, president of San Jose State University, has issued several statements in the last week denouncing the alleged harassment by white students of a black freshman who shared a dormitory suite with them. But on Monday, Qayoumi issued a new statement in which he took personal responsibility in saying that he and the university had failed to stop the harassment that is alleged to have gone on for months. "By failing to recognize the meaning of a Confederate flag, intervene earlier to stop the abuse, or impose sanctions as soon as the gravity of the behavior became clear, we failed him. I failed him," said the statement. "How such abuse could have gone unchecked or undetected for weeks is being methodically untangled, as it must. An independent expert will soon be named to lead a task force that will examine the facts, our policies and practices, and propose reforms. Some anger is being directed toward residence hall advisers (RAs) for failing to recognize or act on warning signs of abuse. It is our job as professional educators to help them recognize these signs. Their failures are our failures. We must do a better job of training them, and we will."

November 26, 2013

A four-hour Yale University lockdown that included a room-to-room residence hall search by police and SWAT teams ended safely Monday. Yale officials first told students there may be a threat to safety via text message at 10:17 a.m. after an anonymous male caller said his roommate was heading to campus with a gun and intent to shoot, police said. About a half-hour later, after callers reported seeing a gunman on campus, the lockdown began and students were told to shelter in place. A few minutes before 5 p.m., Yale reported via text message and Twitter that the lockdown had been fully lifted. By the end of the day, New Haven police were beginning to doubt the accuracy of the initial report, according to the Hartford Courant, saying the caller sounded "confused" and they were reviewing security footage to determine whether witnesses who corroborated the report might have spotted armed police rather than a gunman.

November 26, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Ayalla Ruvio of Michigan State University explains the relationship between stress and compulsive shopping. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

November 26, 2013

The president of 2,700-student Sul Ross State University resigned, the Texas State University System announced Monday.

Ricardo Maestas had been president of Sul Ross since 2009 and has been reassigned as a special assistant to the system chancellor. No reason was given by the system for his resignation. Quint Thurman, the provost at Sul Ross, will be interim president while the system begins an immediate search for a new president.

The Texas Tribune reported that “parents and community members have continued to raise concerns about Maestas' leadership, particularly his lack of responsiveness to questions about the treatment of student athletes and financial management within the athletic department.” Last week, the news organization said, Maestas let go of the football coaching staff.

Sul Ross has a main campus in Alpine, a town in West Texas, and three satellite campuses collectively known as Rio Grande College.

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