Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

March 25, 2014

Inside Higher Ed is today releasing a free compilation of articles -- in print-on-demand format -- about the globalization of higher education. The articles reflect long-term trends in the recruitment of foreign students, study abroad, internationalization of the curriculum, online education and more. The articles aren't today's breaking news, but reflect long-term trends and some of the forward-looking strategies that colleges are adopting. Download the booklet here.

This booklet is part of a series of such compilations that Inside Higher Ed is publishing on a range of topics.

On Tuesday, April 15 at 2 p.m. Eastern, Inside Higher Ed editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman conducted a free webinar to talk about the issues raised in the booklet's articles. To view the webinar, please click here.



March 25, 2014

The U.S. Education Department this morning formally published its proposed regulations requiring vocational programs at for-profit institutions and community colleges to show that they are preparing graduates for "gainful employment." The department previewed the rules this month, drawing criticism from those who thought they were unfairly tough and too weak alike.

March 24, 2014

Authorities who have been investigating the alleged racial harassment of a student at Grand Valley State University now believe that the alleged victim is the one who wrote slurs and racist images on a whiteboard, MLive.com reported. The student has been referred to campus officials for violating the code of conduct. A statement from the campus police chief says that the false report “had a disruptive impact on the community.”

March 24, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama, on a trip to China, spoke Saturday at Stanford University's center at Peking University about the value of study abroad. "Studying abroad isn’t just a fun way to spend a semester; it is quickly becoming the key to success in our global economy," Obama said. "Because getting ahead in today’s workplaces isn’t just about getting good grades or test scores in school, which are important. It’s also about having real experience with the world beyond your borders –- experience with languages, cultures and societies very different from your own.

"Or, as the Chinese saying goes: 'It is better to travel ten thousand miles than to read ten thousand books.' But let’s be clear, studying abroad is about so much more than improving your own future. It’s also about shaping the future of your countries and of the world we all share. Because when it comes to the defining challenges of our time -– whether it’s climate change or economic opportunity or the spread of nuclear weapons -- these are shared challenges. And no one country can confront them alone."

March 24, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Peter Wilf, professor of geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, traces the path of conifer fossils from New Zealand to Argentina. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


March 24, 2014

The board of the College of Charleston on Saturday named Glenn McConnell, a career politician currently serving as lieutenant governor, as the college's next president. The choice is a controversial one. Many faculty and students have questioned McConnell's lack of a background working in academe. In his legislative career, he was a strong supporter of flying the Confederate flag on state grounds, and photos of him posing as a Confederate general in war re-enactments (with one photo in particular showing him with people playing the part of black slaves) have offended many black people in the state. The NAACP in the state urged that the board pick someone other than McConnell. He has pledged to build legislative support for the college and, in particular, its economic development role. But many at the college fear that at a time that some legislators want to turn the college into a research university, McConnell will not defend its current mission. The college has a strong reputation as a liberal arts institution.


March 24, 2014

The University of Alabama at Tuscaloosa has for much of this academic year debated the segregation of much of its Greek system, although an all-white sorority system -- following nationwide attention -- pledged several black women. But controversy has returned with the decision of student government leaders not to vote on a resolution endorsing the idea that all Greek houses should be integrated. AL.com reported that student government leaders said that they were just following procedure in referring the resolution to a committee (in which it will die this academic year because the end of the term is approaching). But supporters of the resolution said that some student government leaders didn't want to endorse the resolution or be public in opposing it.


March 24, 2014

An associate professor of feminist studies at the University of California at Santa Barbara has been charged with theft, battery and vandalism stemming from an on-campus incident this month, the Santa Barbara Independent reported. Mireille Miller-Young allegedly took a sign belonging to a group of anti-abortion demonstrators, following a heated discussion about the graphic imagery on the protesters’ materials. Members of the group, which was not affiliated with the university, followed Miller-Young and several of her students to an elevator, where the professor allegedly scratched a 16-year-old demonstrator in the struggle for the sign that ensued. She allegedly later destroyed the sign. 

Miller-Young did not immediately respond to a request for comment. An arraignment is scheduled for April 4.

March 24, 2014

Luke Dzierzanowski lost an election to the student government at San Diego State University last week, but not before prompting a widespread debate over campaign tactics. Dzierzanowski posted a video to YouTube in which he appears in a suit, and four women in bikinis help him light a cigar, play around in a pool and bounce on a trampoline. He says nothing. The women close the video by saying that they are voting for him.

A column in The Daily Aztec, the student newspaper, said: "While I must commend Dzierzanowski for being the only memorable candidate, as I can’t even recall the other candidates’ names, the video makes him memorable for all the wrong reasons as a degrading, attention-grabbing gimmick. As it is now, San Diego State  already suffers from a negative party school image. Whether we like it or not, it’s an image that characterizes all Aztecs as binge-drinking sexual deviants. Despite our great academics and notable status as one of the top business schools, both the school and its students are haunted by this reputation."

In a comment on the column Dzierzanowski said that the point about the columnist not remembering the names of other candidates showed why the ad was appropriate. "Did you know that last year 18 percent of the student body voted for A.S. Elections? I think we can both agree that number is much lower than it should be," Dzierzanowski wrote. "The job of a representative is to represent the students and be their link to the faculty and administration. I believe in order to do that successfully, more than 18 percent of the school needs to know who you are. If you couldn't remember the other candidates names, who would you go to if you had a suggestion for the College of Professional Studies and Fine Arts? I understand that not everyone agrees with my commercial or likes it, but hopefully all PSFA Students remember it and remember my name."

For those seeking to judge for themselves, here is the ad.



March 24, 2014

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Sunday that college coaches and athletics directors should be paid based on how well their players are performing in the classroom.

In an interview on NBC's “Meet the Press,” Duncan said he was concerned that too many athletes make money for their university but don’t end up earning degrees.

"The incentive structures for coaches, the incentive structures for ADs, have to be changed so much more of their compensation is based not upon wins or losses but around academic performance and graduation,” Duncan said. "University presidents and boards have been very complacent and soft on this issue, and you have to really look at the leadership of universities here."

Penalties for athletes performing poorly should not only hit the universities, but should apply to and follow coaches as well, he added.


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