Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Hocking College, which ousted Ron Erickson as president in June after a fight with him over governance roles, reversed course and reinstated him, The Athens Messenger reported. While some board members and Erickson criticized each other prior to his ouster, they reached a settlement under which the board and Erickson agreed not to end the criticism.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 3:00am

The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a 20-year-old state regulation barring the possession of firearms on public colleges' campuses, ruling that Oregon's Board of Higher Education was not authorized by the state legislature to enact such a rule. The court's ruling, which came in a case brought by a citizens' group, said that the board's policy was preempted by a 1995 state law that restricts cities from creating their own gun laws. The court did not address the question of whether the higher education board's policy violated the Second Amendment. The chancellor of the Oregon University System, George Pernsteiner, said in a news release that system officials were disappointed by the decision and would consider their legal options.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Illinois, which has already admitted that it had errors in the data on students in the Class of 2014 of its law school at the Urbana-Champaign campus, now says that there were also errors in the data reported on the three prior classes. The errors in the three additional years of data are relatively small -- a 0.2 difference in the grade point average for one year, a 1 point difference in the median reported Law School Admissions Test score in another year, and one point difference on the LSAT and a 0.1 difference in the G.P.A. for another year. All the errors inflated performance. The errors in the most recent year were discovered before the law school reported those figures to the American Bar Association (which accredits law schools) and to U.S. News & World Report, which ranks them. The earlier errors, however, were included in information provided to those and other organizations. The law school said that it has informed those organizations of the errors.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Seton Hall University is offering a $21,000 discount off of tuition rates to students who are in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, have standardized test scores that exceed 27 on the ACT or 1200 on the critical reading and mathematics portions of the SAT, and apply by December 15. With the discount, Seton Hall officials say that the full cost will be comparable to that of Rutgers University, the flagship public in New Jersey.

Thursday, September 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Forty chaplains at British universities have issued a joint letter saying that they "deeply regret" the government's focus on higher education as an economic tool to advance individual interests, Times Higher Education reported. "University education is said to bring economic benefits, equip individuals for work and raise their expected income. Whilst these aims are good in themselves, in our understanding higher education includes much more,” the letter says. "Universities also serve the common good - they help to build societies where there is greater mutual respect, understanding and tolerance, they deepen understanding and question commonly held assumptions. The university experience is about self discovery and personal formation as much as it is about improving employment prospects."

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 3:00am

The compensation for top administrators at the wealthiest private colleges and universities in Massachusetts continues to rise, according to a report by the Center for Social Philanthropy at the Tellus Institute, located in Boston.

More than $157 million was paid to 339 top university officials in 2009, the latest data available, the report states. Twenty employees received more than $1 million, with the highest package exceeding $6 million at Harvard University. According to a press release from the center: "The financial crisis of 2008-09 appears to have done little to dampen the size of compensation packages received by the most highly paid college officials, even as colleges themselves have imposed cuts to programs and lower-level staff, often in response to sharp declines in the value of their endowments."

Officials at the Association of Independent Colleges and Universities in Massachusetts declined to comment.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Missouri at Columbia's medical school is reporting success with a program designed to send more medical students on to careers in rural health care. An article in the new issue of Academic Medicine describes a special track at the medical school in which students are exposed to rural health needs and issues throughout their time in medical school. Participants in the program were more than twice as likely as others to obtain residencies in family medicine, and 57 percent of participants started their medical practices in rural areas (compared to 9 percent of all M.D.s who work in rural areas).

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley, a Democrat, has replaced a majority of members of the board of Baltimore City Community College, seeking to push harder for improvements in academic performance at the college, The Baltimore Sun reported. The college has faced scrutiny from its accreditor, legislators and others in the last year.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Six former or current students at Great Neck North High School, in New York, were arrested Tuesday based on allegations that they paid between $1,500 and $2,500 for another student to take the SAT for them, the Associated Press reported. The student charged with taking the SAT for others faces charges of scheming to defraud and criminal impersonation.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011 - 3:00am

Five major technology companies have agreed to a series of investments in facilities and research in New York State, in a deal that will bring billions of dollars and hundreds of jobs to the state -- with big gains for the State University of New York. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the deal Tuesday and said that the state will spend $400 million over the next five years in the SUNY College for Nanoscale and Science Engineering, in Albany. That college is expected to see significant job growth, as is the SUNY Institute of Technology, in Utica.

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