Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 29, 2013

Dartmouth College, long known as a place where heavy drinking was central to social life, appears to be making significant progress in reducing dangerous levels of drinking, The Boston Globe reported. A series of reforms -- many of them involving undergraduates -- have been put in place. For example, undergraduates who have not been drinking play a key role in monitoring parties. A sign of progress is that this year only 31 undergraduates were hospitalized for having blood alcohol levels at the dangerous level of 0.25 percent. Two years, ago, 80 students were hospitalized for such blood alcohol levels.

 

July 29, 2013

A new law in New York State requires colleges to give students information about fire safety in their dormitories or in off-campus housing run by universities, and the information must address specifics about students' housing, such as sprinkler systems, the Associated Press reported. The law goes beyond previous legislation, which required colleges to publish information about fire safety. The new law applies to public and private institutions.

 

July 29, 2013

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is about to end his tenure as Iran's president, will be starting a university, Bloomberg reported. The university, which will focus on graduate education, will be located in Teheran.

 

July 29, 2013

Willamette University has evicted Sigma Chi from its fraternity house in the wake of an investigation of Facebook posts by members, The Statesman Journal reported. In May, an anonymous blog posted the fraternity house's private Facebook page, with notes making sexually derogatory comments about female students and faculty members. The comments outraged many on the campus.

 

July 26, 2013

The National Association for College Admission Counseling's Board of Directors has accepted the recommendations of a panel charged with evaluating the use of commissioned agents in international student recruiting. This is just one in a series of steps toward any possible changes in NACAC's standards: the board has asked the association's Admission Practices Committee to draft an amendment reflecting the commission's recommendations for consideration by the NACAC Assembly at the annual meeting in September. 

In its report, NACAC's Commission on International Student Recruitment recommended that the association lift its existing ban on the use of commissioned agents in international recruiting while at the same time discouraging the practice. Specifically, the commission recommended that NACAC's "Standards of Principles of Good Practice" be revised to stipulate that members "should not" (but not "may not") engage in incentive-based recruiting overseas and calls upon NACAC to consider adopting mandatory practices in regards to issues of institutional accountability, integrity and transparency for those colleges that choose to work with commissioned agents regardless.

July 26, 2013

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, one of the major providers of massive open online courses, appeared on "The Colbert Report" this week, where he faced some questions on MOOCs that journalists had previously failed to ask him, at least not the Stephen Colbert way. After Agarwal explained the basic concept of MOOCs, Colbert asked if he was talking about the University of Phoenix. After Agarwal explained that MOOCs are free, Colbert said that if he owned a shoe store, and Agarwal was an employee and suggested giving away shoes for free, "I would fire you and throw shoes at your head."

 

 

 

 

July 26, 2013

Not many universities see their names in Google's bright lights. But on Thursday, the search giant celebrated (through its most visible icon, the daily-changing Doodle on its home page) Rosalind Franklin, after whom suburban Chicago's Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science is named. Franklin played a significant (but underappreciated) role in the discovery and description of the double helix structure of DNA, through the use of x-ray diffraction. The university, formerly known as Chicago Hospital-College of Medicine, took Franklin's name in 2004, and its marketing department suggested that Google honor her with a Google Doodle on what would have been her 93rd birthday. She died in 1958.

July 26, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Richard Borowsky of New York University explains the connection between sleep and the loss of vision in cave-dwelling fish species. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

July 26, 2013

Authorities have charged Robert Ferrante, a neuroscientist at the University of Pittsburgh, with killing his wife, Autumn Klein, a neurologist at the university, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported. The charges state that Ferrante killed his wife with cyanide that he had shipped to his lab. Ferrante's lawyer said that the charges were false.

July 26, 2013

The U.S. Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights is investigating a sexual assault complaint at Cedarville University, campus officials said in an unusually proactive acknowledgement. “As a Christ-centered university, Cedarville is committed to honoring the principles of the Bible that shape how we care for others,” President Thomas White said in a statement. The complaint -- one of many recently filed under Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, which prohibits sex discrimination -- alleges that the university lacked a Title IX coordinator and "prompt and equitable" procedures for resolving Title IX complaints on campus.

The statement said that Cedarville has been reviewing its sexual harassment policies since OCR’s 2011 “Dear Colleague” letter, which stated colleges must have the provisions the university is alleged to have lacked.

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