Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Amid all the discussion of students with too much student loan debt, the Associated Press has run a story on the opposite problem: students who don't borrow enough. The article talks about students determined not to take out loans -- and the sorts of compromises they make (not buying textbooks, taking more credits that may be wise in a given semester) and the concerns of many educators that such students may be at risk of not finishing their degrees.

 

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Justice Department has sued the University of Nebraska at Kearney, charging that it illegally denied a student with a psychological disability the right to have an "emotional assistance dog" live in a residence hall room. The suit, which follows allegations brought last month by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, charges that the university asks too much information of students with emotional or psychological or emotional disabilities and -- in the case of the request for the dog -- was too stringent in barring the animal from a dormitory. A university spokesman said he couldn't comment on the case except to say that the university will contest the suit. The Associated Press quoted an e-mail message from the university's compliance director for the Americans With Disabilities Act (cited in the suit), that says that if the student's request had been granted, "in essence, anyone can have their doctor say they are anxious and need to have their cat, dog, snake or monkey."

 

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 4:27am

The father of Bradley Ginsburg, who as a freshman at Cornell University killed himself by jumping off a gorge bridge in the fall of 2010, is suing the university for $180 million, The Sun Sentinel reported. The suit says that Cornell should have informed parents about the start of what would be a string of student suicides so they could be more active in dealing with any mental health issues their students were experiencing. The suit also charges that the university -- which now has barriers on the gorge bridges -- should have had them there previously. The Ithaca Journal quoted a Cornell spokeswoman as declining to comment on the suit except to predict its dismissal.

 

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Jeffrey Green of the University of Pennsylvania explains the specific actions that define political charisma. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.


 
Monday, November 28, 2011 - 4:30am

Last week, when a City University of New York board hearing was held at Baruch College, student protests of a possible tuition hike led to 15 arrests. With the board planning to meet later today, Baruch announced on Saturday that classes that were to meet in the same facility will be postponed until December 2, and that only access to the building will be granted only to those with "an urgent and legitimate need to be in the building." A message from Mitchel Wallerstein, president of the college said that "we are determined to avoid any repetition of the regrettable events that occurred" at last week's board hearing.

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Rochester Institute of Technology announced Wednesday that the president of RIT Dubai, Mustafa Abushagur, is taking an eight-month leave to serve as deputy prime minister in his native Libya. Abushagur has been in exile for decades because of his opposition to the deposed government there, and was on the "most wanted" list there until the recent revolution. After helping out Libya, he plans to return to his position at RIT Dubai.

 

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 4:33am

"Violin Concertom," a piece by Finnish composer and conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen was Sunday named the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Music Composition. Salonen is principal conductor and artistic advisor for the Philharmonia Orchestra of London.

 

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:00am

The three American students who were arrested last week during protests in Egypt are now back in the United States, the Associated Press reported. Egyptian authorities accused the students of throwing firebombs from the roofs of buildings. But the students said that they never were on any rooftops, never threw anything and never harmed anyone. The three Americans were in study abroad programs at American University in Cairo. "I was not sure I was going to live," said Derrik Sweeney, a Georgetown University student, after arriving back in the United States.

Monday, November 28, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Georgia has found that Paul Roman, a sociologist at the university, violated anti-harassment policies, and ordered him to abide by specific rules, The Athens Banner-Herald reported. The university found that Roman made many comments of a sexual nature that made women uncomfortable in his presence, and that he retaliated against a female employee who filed a complaint against him. Roman has been ordered to hold meetings with staff members only when scheduled and with an agenda distributed in advance, barred from sending employees e-mail messages that are not strictly professional in nature, and barred from making personnel decisions on his own about employees he supervises. Roman has denied the charges, and appealed the findings, but his appeal was denied by the university's president.

Roman's title is Distinguished Research Professor of Sociology, and this year he was also named a Regents Professor, which is one of the University System of Georgia’s highest honors, and which came with a $10,000 raise.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Daniel Benjamin of Cornell University questions the role happiness plays in the decision making process. Find out more about the Academic Minute here. (For those of you addicted to the Academic Minute, we'll be publishing podcasts in the series Thursday and Friday, too, despite the holiday.)

 

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