Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

Rudolf Alexandrov, an adjunct mathematics professor at Chestnut Hill College, went to the second floor of a rotunda as his class was scheduled to begin on Wednesday, jumped off and killed himself in the fall, The Philadelphia Inquirer reported. His students and staff members witnessed the death. Alexandrov was 71. The Philadelphia Daily News quoted a police official as saying that Alexandrov had a history of depression.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The senior college commission of the Western Association of Schools and Colleges has warned La Sierra University that it could face accreditation sanctions because of concerns that the Seventh-day Adventist Church has too much control over the institution, The Press-Enterprise reported. University officials say that they have discussed the warning, and are taking it seriously. La Sierra has faced scrutiny from the accreditor and some of its own students and faculty members over debates over the teaching of evolution (questioned by the church), and an incident in which a trustee, a vice president, a dean, and an adjunct professor were asked to resign over a recording made, purportedly by accident, of the four men talking informally about the church and university leadership.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The boards of three Assemblies of God institutions in Springfield, Missouri have voted to merge. If the merger receives final approval from church and state officials as expected, officials hope for economies of scale. The colleges are Assemblies of God Theological Seminary, Central Bible College and Evangel University.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

More than half of English universities are projecting enrollment declines in light of the significant increases in tuition this year, according to data from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, Times Higher Education reported. Total enrollment is expected to decline by 2 percent.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The chancellor of the North Dakota University system has asked the president of Dickinson State University, Richard McCallum, to resign after an inquiry found about 180 people listed as enrolled at the institution even though they were not enrolled, The Dickinson Press reported. The investigation started after people complained about receiving surveys for Dickinson State students when they were not enrolled. McCallum did not respond to requests for comment.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

Corn grown on the farm of California State University at Fresno has become incredibly popular, with people lining up for hours to make purchases, The Los Angeles Times reported. The university expects to sell 1 million ears.

Friday, August 5, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management on Thursday proposed regulations for the Pathways Program, which is designed to create simpler paths for students and recent college graduates to seek internships and positions with federal agencies. Politicians and educators have been pushing for the new program, saying that standard federal hiring process is so daunting that it can discourage many students.

The National Association of Schools of Public Affairs and Administration issued a statement Thursday praising OPM for moving ahead with the program. The statement stressed the importance of "the full inclusion of highly skilled graduate students in the Internship and Recent Graduates programs, letting market demand set the programs’ size." The statement added that "what will truly make or break the success of Pathways is its implementation. NASPAA urges federal agencies to begin planning substantive programs that will attract, recruit, develop, and retain students and recent graduates to become future agency leaders. We urge OPM to use its resources to support agencies throughout this process, but to exert its oversight where necessary."

Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Phyllis M. Wise was on Wednesday named as the next chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Wise is currently provost at the University of Washington, where she also served as interim president. She is among a very small number of Asian-American academics named to the top position on an American campus.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 3:00am

China and its universities are making great strides in science, but are being held back by widespread plagiarism that detracts from the quality of research produced, NPR reported. In one example cited, when the Journal of Zhejiang University-Science became the first in China to use software to check for plagiarism, it found that 31 percent of paper had excessive copying. The figure rose to 40 percent for papers in computer science and life science.

Thursday, August 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Representatives of more than 200 colleges gathered in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday to discuss the President's Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge, an effort launched by the White House in March to encourage colleges to bring different religious groups on campus together to work on specific issues. The colleges are tackling various problems, including hunger, human trafficking and environmental issues, during the yearlong project, said Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. "They don’t have to agree about theology, they don’t have to agree about their different beliefs, but we feel they can agree on issues of service," DuBois said on a conference call with reporters Tuesday.

Colleges participating include both secular institutions, including Cornell University and American University, state universities, Jewish and Christian colleges and some theological seminaries, as well as community colleges. The White House will recognize some of the best examples after the effort is complete.

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