Higher Education Quick Takes
A student activities committee at Davidson College has banned serving Chick-fil-A at student events, pending a review of student opinion on the controversial restaurant chain, The Charlotte Observer reported. Students and others nationwide have been encouraging boycotts of Chick-fil-A because of statements by its president criticizing gay marriage. While many campuses have seen demands that Chick-fil-A campuses be kicked off campuses, that hasn't happened. In the case of Davidson, what is being suspended is bringing the food on campus for official student events organized by the committee, not removing a campus vendor.
- NACAC 68th National Conference, National Association of College Admission Counseling, October 4-6, Denver, Colo.
- 18th Annual Sloan Consortium International Conference on Online Learning, Sloan Consortium, October 10-12, Orlando, Fla.
- Fall Southeastern Sectional Meeting, American Mathematical Society, October 13-14, New Orleans, La.
- New Frameworks for Diversity and Learning, Association of American Colleges and Universities, October 18-20, Baltimore, Md.
- POD Network Annual Conference, Professional and Organizational Development (POD) Network in Higher Education, October 24-28, Seattle, Wash.
These meetings, conferences, seminars and other events will be held in the coming weeks in and around higher education. They are among the many such that appear in our calendar, to which campus and other officials can submit their own events. Our site also includes a comprehensive catalog of job changes in higher education; please submit your news to both listings.
St. Paul's College, a historically black college in Virginia, is suspending most operations for the fall semester, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. In the last month, the college has helped many of its students transfer to other institutions. The moves follow the decision in June of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to revoke St. Paul's accreditation. The college is appealing, and is also exploring possible mergers, but decided that suspending operations for the fall was the best course of action for now, officials said.
Pennsylvania State University's accreditor, the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, has told the university that its accreditation status is "in jeopardy" because of the issues raised in recent investigations of the Jerry Sandusky scandal and the way officials responded to reports of child sexual abuse, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. Penn State officials expressed confidence Monday that they would be able to demonstrate to Middle States that they have responded in appropriate ways to the failings identified in recent inquiries, and that accreditation should remain in place.
Faculty leaders and many professors at Australian National University are objecting to the way student evaluations of their teaching are being used, The Sydney Morning Herald reported. The university has used student evaluations for years, but this is the first year that the results are being used as part of the institution's evaluation of faculty members. Almost 1,000 professors are being asked to explain why they received low grades from students, and faculty leaders say that this sends a message not to be rigorous, for fear of offending someone in class.
Authors have been telling the University of Missouri Press in the last week that they want the rights to their books returned, and that they don't believe new plans for the press live up to its obligations, The Kansas City Star reported. The university announced plans to phase out existing operations, but then said that the press would be kept alive as a way to teach students, in an all-digital format. For the last week, the Star reported, Missouri officials have been calling authors asking them not to demand their rights back, or not to turn over their rights to other presses.
The Indian government appears to be delaying legislation that would allow foreign colleges and universities to open campuses in India, The Economic Times reported. The higher education focus for the government in the next parliamentary session will be on other bills, such as one requiring accreditation for all institutions.