Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, October 5, 2011 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Stephen Magee of the University of Texas at Austin discusses his efforts
to calculate the optimum number of lawyers required for economic efficiency. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Leaders of the Madison Area Technical College Part-Time Teachers' Union are floating an unusual idea to transform the union in the wake of Wisconsin's law largely barring or limiting the rights of most public sector unions, Madison.com reported. Under the idea being discussed (and not picking up widespread support to date), the union would be replaced by a private corporation that would sign a contract with the college to provide instructors and fill various other roles.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Michelle Bower of Landmark College explains how a teacher’s perception of a student's math ability can negatively influence actual ability. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:00am

The practice at elite M.B.A. programs of not reporting student grades is popular but may not be achieving its stated goals, according to a new study by the National Bureau of Economic Research. The theory, believed by many students, is that the policy of keeping grades secret encourages students to take risks in their educations, and to take challenging courses. But at several of the business schools with the policy, reports suggest high levels of apathy and little evidence of the intellectual risk-taking proponents cite, the study found.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:00am

The winner or winners of the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics will be announced this morning. This item will be updated as soon as information is available.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Three researchers will share the 2011 Nobel Prize in Physics for "the discovery of the accelerating expansion of the Universe through observations of distant supernovae." The three are:

  • Saul Perlmutter, head of the Supernova Cosmology Project and professor of astrophysics at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California at Berkeley.
  • Brian P. Schmidt, head of the High-z Supernova Search Team and distinguished professor at the Australian National University.
  • Adam G. Riess, professor of astronomy and physics at Johns Hopkins University.
Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Suffolk University is going through an extensive transition following the resignation last year of President David Sargent, who was criticized for being one of the country's most highly paid college presidents. The Boston Globe reported that the university is expected to appoint 12 new members to its board of trustees today, with more trustee changes possible ahead. In addition, the jobs of several top administrators have been eliminated. Some trustees who were close to Sargent are among those leaving the board.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011 - 3:00am

McGill University cancer researchers have come up with an unusual way to raise money -- by dancing on YouTube. The video is attracting considerable attention in Canada and elsewhere, and university officials hope that gifts will follow.

Monday, October 3, 2011 - 3:00am

The Association of American Colleges and Universities is today announcing a new project to work with state systems and individual colleges and universities so that faculty members and state system leaders and assessment experts can test ways to assure that students demonstrate achievement of key competencies. Funds for the program come from the Lumina Foundation for Education, and the project represents a beta test of Lumina's Degree Qualifications Profile.

The state systems in the new effort are in California, Indiana, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Oregon, Utah, Wisconsin and Virginia.

Monday, October 3, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of British Columbia has started a campaign to raise $1.5 billion -- more than has been raised in any Canadian university campaign -- by 2015. The university has already raised just over half of that amount in the quiet phase of the campaign. Other Canadian universities are also the midst of major campaigns. McGill University is nearing its goal of $750 million.

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