Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 3:00am

The number of Latinos earning college degrees in California has risen sharply in recent years, but they still lag behind white students in graduation rates, according to a report from the advocacy group Excelencia in Education. Between 2005 and 2008, the number of Latinos with undergraduate degrees rose by 13 percent, compared to 8 percent for all other ethnic groups, according to the report. But a closer look at the numbers shows that Latinos still trail white students in graduation rates, completion rates per 100 full-time-equivalent students, and the number of degrees awarded per 1,000 adults between the ages of 18 and 44. The report highlights two programs -- the University of California's Puente Project and Evergreen Valley College's Enlace Program -- as effective in helping increase the number of enrolled and graduating Latino students.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 3:00am

Widener University has suspended a law professor, Larry Connell, even though he was cleared of charges of racial and sexual harassment, the Associated Press reported. The latest suspension -- which follows numerous battles between Connell and his dean -- is for his telling students about an earlier punishment he received. The Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, which backs Connell, issued a statement with links to many of the documents and blog posts related to the dispute.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 3:00am

A package bomb on Monday injured two professors at a campus of the Monterrey Technological Institute, the Associated Press reported. The professors are in the hospital, listed in stable condition. Authorities, who are investigating, have not identified a motive.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Justice Department and four states on Monday joined a whistle-blower lawsuit against Education Management Corp., a major player in for-profit higher education, charging that the company violated federal law by paying some admissions officers with incentives based on the number of students recruited. Congress barred such compensation out of the belief that it created incentives for recruiters to enroll students who might not benefit from programs, but who would use federal grants and loans. An EDMC statement to the Associated Press denied wrongdoing, saying that at the time of the alleged violations, federal regulations allowed some forms of incentive compensation, as long as other factors also went into the pay decision.

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Richard Young of the State University of New York at Geneseo explains
how modern technology has provided a more accurate history of the Grand Canyon. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

A recent high school graduate in a college preparatory program at the University of Cincinnati died Saturday of cardiac arrest shortly after a police officer used a Taser on him, Cincinnati.com reported. The student had been planning to enroll at the University of the Cumberlands. Police officers reported that they were called to a dormitory at 3 a.m. about a reported assault, and then the student approached them more than once, appearing angry and with balled fists, ignoring requests that he stop doing so. He was then fired on with the Taser, and police examined him and found him breathing, but they were concerned for his health, and called paramedics. He subsequently died. The university is investigating the incident and has suspended the use of Tasers. Previous uses of Tasers on other campuses have set off controversies.

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Richard McCallum, president of Dickinson State University, is resisting requests from the North Dakota University System that he resign, The Dickinson Press reported. McCallum is under fire because of an investigation indicating that some of those listed as enrolled at the university are not actually students. In a statement issued Saturday, he said he would not resign and has retained a lawyer.

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

McGill University has formally reprimanded Barbara Sherwin, a professor of psychology, obstetrics and gynecology, for not revealing that a ghostwriter contributed to an article she published in 2000, The Montreal Gazette reported. The ghostwriter was hired by Wyeth Pharmaceuticals. Sherwin was listed as the paper's only author. Sherwin is continuing her work at McGill. After the use of the ghostwriter was revealed, she issued a statement in which she said it was "an error" to fail to make clear there was a second author on the paper, but she added that she believed the peer-reviewed article "represented sound and thorough scholarship, and in no way could be construed as promotion for any particular product or company."

Monday, August 8, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Memphis formally took over Lambuth University's campus on Friday, with plans to begin classes this month, The Jackson Sun reported. Lambuth, a private institution, closed in June. Memphis will be the first public four-year institution in the area.

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."

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