Higher Education Quick Takes
Officials from Kentucky and the University of Pikeville, a private institution, are discussing the possibility of the university becoming a public campus in the state system, The Herald-Leader reported. The move would require legislative approval at a time that dollars are scarce. Pikeville officials said that a switch to public status would result in students in the region getting a new higher education option at public rates that are almost $10,000 a year less than the tuition paid to Pikeville as a private institution.
Stephen Bloom, the University of Iowa journalism professor whose article about his state has created a furor there, is now in an "undisclosed location" that is not Iowa or Michigan (where he had been teaching this semester), he told the journalism blogger Jim Romenesko. He has been receiving threats about what many Iowans found to be offensive generalizations about the state. "Last night a man called my wife and suggested I be made into a lampshade. A blog refers to me as Jew Stephen Bloom. I have received scores of hate-filled e-mails that have threatened me or my family.”
Bloom said he plans to be back at Iowa to teach when the next semester begins January 2. "I’m not going to be bullied," he said. "I will be back in that classroom."
A former student who said that Brown University forced him out because the daughter of a donor accused him of rape has dropped a lawsuit against the university, and reached a settlement with the family of the woman who accused him, the Associated Press reported. Details of the agreement were not released, and a Brown spokeswoman said the university was not a party to the settlement. Both sides agreed not to talk to the news media. A former assistant wrestling coach who backed the former student who was accused of rape said that the settlement was a victory for him.
The average assistant football coach at the National Collegiate Athletic Association's top competitive level saw his pay rise by 11 percent this year, and the total salaries of the assistant coaches for at least five programs rose above $3 million, USA Today reported. The article, the newspaper's third such survey of assistant coaches' pay, found an 18 percent increase over all since 2009 among assistant coaches at 97 institutions that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (the division has a total of 120 members, but many private universities refused to provide their salary data to USA Today). The top-paid assistant (earning $1.3 million) was at Auburn University, while Louisiana State University and the Universities of Alabama, Texas at Austin, Tennessee at Knoxville and Florida all paid their football assistants at least $3 million cumulatively.
By comparison, the average salary for professors rose 1.4 percent in 2010-11, the latest year for which data are available, according to the American Association of University Professors.
New Hampshire officials have certified a union for adjuncts at Plymouth State University based on a vote by those off the tenure track to start collective bargaining, The Citizen reported. The vote was 60 to 43. The new union will be affiliated with the State Employees Association of New Hampshire. Adjuncts said that they believed they could get better wages and working conditions with a union.
Linda Darling-Hammond, a Stanford University education professor, was on Wednesday named winner of the 2012 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award in Education. She was honored for her 2010 book, The Flat World and Education: How America’s Commitment to Equity Will Determine Our Future.
Yoweri Museveni, Uganda's president, has been giving speeches around his country calling for students to stop taking courses in "non-marketable" subjects such as literature and conflict resolution, Voice of America reported. In one recent talk, he said: "The problem is not jobs, the jobs are there. What is crucial are the skills. There has been a course at Makarere [University] called Conflict Resolution. OK, but what will you do when the conflicts are finished? This unemployment you are talking about. Is it unemployment or is it employability? Is it that you are unemployed, or is it that you are not employable because you have got skills which are not needed on the market?" Faculty members and students are split on the president's campaign, with some praising it and others questioning whether he is defining the purpose of higher education in too narrow a way.
Tom Williams resigned Thursday as Yale University's football coach, and admitted that he had never been a finalist -- as he had claimed -- for a Rhodes Scholarship, The New York Times reported. Williams had listed the honor in various places, and drew attention to his background when Yale's star quarterback this year opted to play the game against Harvard University rather than go to an interview that might have landed him a Rhodes Scholarship. As Williams told the story, he opted out of a chance at a Rhodes while he was at Stanford University, preferring to play a game rather than go to the interview. In a statement Thursday, he admitted that he had never been a Rhodes finalist. He said that some faculty members had encouraged him to apply, but that he had never done so.
State community college leaders say they are struggling to meet workforce training needs because of high unemployment levels and budget woes, according to a new report from the University of Alabama's Education Policy Center. The report, which was based on a survey of two-year system leaders in 50 states, found strained job training capacities at community colleges in 35 states. And federal workforce training funds have been exhausted in 21 states, according to the report. "Right now, workforce training is an underfunded Band-Aid," said Stephen G. Katsinas, the center's director and a coauthor of the report.