Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, November 7, 2011 - 3:00am

The vice chancellor (the equivalent of president) of the University of Queensland and his top deputy have announced plans to resign their positions amid a scandal over an admissions irregularity at the Australian institution. The official statement from the university praised both officials but said that they offered their resignations after an inquiry "confirmed an irregularity had occurred in the admission process for a student." While the statement said that no specific act of wrongdoing was attributed to the student or the senior officials, they still said that they would quit. The Australian reported that the student was a relative of Paul Greenfield, the vice chancellor who is resigning, and that this relative was admitted to a medical program. The newspaper also reported that a second investigation has started -- this one focusing on the admission to the dental school of the husband of an academic at the university.

 

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 3:00am

An Abilene Christian University bus crashed Friday, killing a student and injuring 15 other students and faculty members, the Associated Press reported. The group was traveling to do service work at a children's home. The driver was a faculty member who apparently lost control of the bus as it was entering a bend.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee generated lots of headlines in September with a report finding that $1 billion in Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits were used last year by students who were attending eight for-profit institutions. Critics of for-profits seized on the report's findings, arguing that those colleges have been overly aggressive in recruiting members of the military. The $1 billion figure, however, was incorrect, the committee said today, and actually referred to two years' worth of G.I. Bill benefits.

The committee ran the data again, and distributed corrected numbers Thursday to the news media. The panel's statement said that its basic findings were unchanged: For-profit colleges still accounted for eight of the top 10 recipients of G.I. Bill benefits last year. But the updated findings concluded that the institutions received $626 million, a less attention-grabbing figure. In a written statement, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities called the original report a "reckless rush to judgment" that "unleashed an unwarranted tidal wave of negative publicity for our schools." The group mentioned corrections to a previous Government Accountability Office report that identified improper student recruiting practices at for-profits, and called for "fewer press conferences and more collaboration on higher education reform."

 

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Administrators and faculty members at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College agreed to a new contract Thursday that was preceded by months of negotiations and a weeklong strike in September, the Middletown Journal reported. The trustees unanimously approved the new three-year collective bargaining agreement that will require faculty members to teach 36 workload units over two semesters, 20 percent more than the 30 hours they had originally asked for. The newspaper reported that faculty members will not receive a raise this year but will receive a 2.75 percent annual raise for the next three years. The new contract applies to 200 full-time faculty members.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Vanderbilt University's Rangaraj Ramanujam uses fourth down plays to explain why and when businesses choose to go for it. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Tullisse (Toni) Murdock announced Thursday that she will retire as chancellor of Antioch University at the end of the academic year. Murdock was praised by board leaders for her leadership in a time of many changes for the university, but her positions have frequently been controversial. Murdock was widely criticized by supporters of Antioch College after the university's decision to shut the college down (the college has since been revived but is no longer part of the university that grew around it). More recently, she has clashed with board members of the Los Angeles campus. In many of the controversies she has faced, Murdock has argued that she was making tough, necessary decisions -- while critics have said she was not sufficiently open to autonomy for various parts of the university system.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 4:31am

Stanford University's Graduate School of Business is today announcing the creation of the Stanford Institute for Innovation in Developing Economies with a $150 million gift from Dorothy and Robert King. The institute will seek to stimulate, develop, and disseminate research and innovations that enable entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders to alleviate poverty in developing economies. The Kings have made a $100 million gift to fund the institute, and they will provide an additional $50 million in matching funds, with the goal of creating a $200 million fund for the new program.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

A new report is urging sted wordier "putting out a call to action to" dl higher education leaders not only to engage in preventing climate change but to prepare for and respond to its impact. The report, "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate," compiled by the Higher Education Climate Adaptation Committee, states that many colleges and universities have taken some steps to mitigate this sentence is hard to scan ... can we say "have taken some steps to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions." dl climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But these institutions "have a critical role to play in preparing society to adapt to the impacts of climate disruption," the report states. The discussion must shift to include prevention and adaptation, the report states, and colleges and universities have a unique opportunity to push that change. The report recommends climate change-focused curriculum, research, risk management and community engagement. It points out that colleges have the opportunity to serve as "hubs" in their local communities for climate change adaptation strategies.

 

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:00am

The Wisconsin Assembly voted Wednesday to end consideration of race in a state grant program for disadvantaged students attending colleges in the state, The Capital Times reported. The program is for nontraditional students, with eligibility determined by such factors as having a disability, being a first-generation college student, or being black, Native American, Latino or Hmong. The program's authorization was amended in the Assembly to remove minority group membership as part of the criteria. While it is not clear that there is a speedy path for the bill to be enacted, the vote stunned and angered supporters of efforts to recruit more minority students.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:00am

University of Charleston President Ed Welch announced Wednesday that the university would be cutting tuition for next year's incoming freshman and transfer students by 22 percent, from $25,000 to $19,500. On top of that, the university is guaranteeing at least $5,500 in aid for all returning students, so that no student pays more than $19,500. In a video about the announcement, Welch said the change was made to get away from the high-tuition, high-aid model of financing education there. Several presidents in recent years have started questioning whether such a model is sustainable. The announcement comes on the heels of a similar move by the University of the South, which announced in February that it was cutting its $49,000 tuition about 10 percent for this fall.

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