Higher Education Quick Takes
The most famous line in the movie "Dirty Dancing" is "Nobody puts Baby in a corner." Karlstad University, in Sweden, is debating whether neon artwork with that line belongs on its new library, The Local reported. Åsa Bergenheim, the rector, has defended the artwork. "It means that we straighten our backs and give our best because we are capable," she said. Bergenheim said she wasn't concerned about skeptics of placing the quote on the library building. "There are always critical voices when it the university is concerned. Words are obviously very controversial as art," she said. But some at the university have taken to denouncing the placement of the quote, with one person calling the decision to decorate the library in this way "the most stupid thing I have seen in ages."
Greg Williams resigned, effective immediately, as president of the University of Cincinnati on Tuesday, stunning the campus, The Cincinnati Enquirer reported. Williams, in office just under three years, cited personal reasons, but did not elaborate.
In today’s Academic Minute, Larry Widrow of Queen's University, in Ontario, reveals evidence for a galactic shakeup, right in our cosmic backyard. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.
Although the student loan interest rate crisis of the summer has been resolved, college affordability has continued to play a role in President Obama's campaign. In an event Tuesday at Capital University, in Ohio, Obama focused on his administration's support for the Pell Grant and criticized his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney, for telling college students concerned about tuition prices to "shop around," according to The Plain Dealer. The Obama campaign has sought to emphasize its student loan and Pell Grant policies in recent days, as the entrance of Representative Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate has renewed debates about federal education funding: also on Tuesday, the campaign introduced a website about income-based student loan repayment.
Jane Davis, chair of the Faculty Senate at Tennessee State University, was arrested for disorderly conduct at a Senate meeting Monday, The Tennessean reported. Davis has clashed on a number of issues with the administration, and the university -- at a faculty member's suggestion -- recently surveyed professors on whether Davis should be ousted as chair. University officials said that, during a Senate meeting, Davis was disruptive by refusing to stop speaking in defense of her leadership, and in questioning the survey. Following her arrest, she was led from the meeting in handcuffs, and the Senate voted to remove her as chair -- a vote Davis said was not valid.
There's a new kind of massive open online course (MOOC), and it lacks an instructor, The New York Times reported. The course will combine existing materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCoureware project, quizzes from Codeacademy and study groups from Open Study, and will be coordinated by Peer 2 Peer University. With those services, organizers said, an instructor (while central to other MOOC offerings) won't be necessary. The first offering will be on a computer programming language and is called "A Gentle Introduction to Python."
The University of Oregon has called off plans to pay political consultants $25,000 to influence a student vote on new fees to support a major renovation of the student union, The Register-Guard reported. Many students were angry that administrators -- who want students to approve the fee -- would bring in professionals to try to alter student sentiment. (Students have twice previously rejected the fees.) The vote will take place in October.
Woman have been banned from 77 fields of study at 36 Iranian universities, The New York Times reported. At many universities, accounting, engineering and chemistry have been restricted to men. At the University of Tehran, only men will be permitted to study natural resources, forestry and mathematics. "Some fields are not very suitable for women’s nature," said Abolfazl Hasani, a senior Iranian education official.
It's a ranking that makes many administrators cringe: top party school. On Monday, Princeton Review gave the "honor" to West Virginia University. (The ranking methodology is based on a survey of students related to the use of alcohol and drugs, hours of study and the popularity of Greek life.) The next four universities on the list are the University of Iowa, Ohio University (last year's winner), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and the University of Georgia. A spokeswoman for West Virginia University told the Associated Press: “If you look at the schools on this list, they are mostly large, public universities with strong academic and research profiles, as well as highly successful athletic programs. But in the big picture, clearly this list has no real credibility."