Higher Education Quick Takes
President Obama and many educators are encouraging more American students to earn advanced degrees in science, but the jobs may not be there for those who do so, The Washington Post reported. There are fewer jobs in academe, but also in many of the business fields that have in the past hired science Ph.D.s. Many companies have slashed research jobs, the Post noted.
Vienna Medical University is taking some criticism (particularly from men) for a policy that favors female applicants. The Associated Press reported that the university adjusts admissions test scores -- which determine admission -- based on the average scores for men and women. Since women score lower, on average, than do men, a score by a female applicant counts for more than the exact same score by a man. For instance, in the case of a man and woman both scoring 130, the woman's test grade would be 117.7 and the man's would be 114.8 because the average score for women on the exam is 97 and the average score for males is 102. Some women have joined men in questioning the policy, saying that they fear they will be seen as "quota women."
- Jane E. Clark, professor of kinesiology at the University of Maryland at College Park, has been named dean of the School of Public Health there.
- Tom Gattis, associate vice president for academics at the Hong Kong campus of Savannah College of Art & Design, has been named chair of industrial design at Columbus College of Art & Design.
- Kenneth C. Gotsch, CFO/vice chancellor of finance at City Colleges of Chicago, has been chosen as CFO at Columbia College Chicago.
Sheila Dove Jones, interim director of the Office of Planning and Assessment at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, has been promoted to the job on a permanent basis.
- Lori A. Lewis, vice president for advancement at Marietta College, in Ohio, has been selected as vice president for institutional advancement at McDaniel College, in Maryland.
- Sylvia Spears, assistant vice president for academic initiatives at New England College, in New Hampshire, has been appointed as vice president for diversity and inclusion at at Emerson College, in Massachusetts.
In the United States, many lament that it takes students too long to graduate. In Germany, the School of Economics and Management in Essen is suing Marcel Pohl, for $3,772 that the institution lost in tuition revenue when he finished a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in 3 semesters, not the 11 that would have been expected, UPI reported. The university declined to comment. Pohl said, "When I got the lawsuit, I thought it couldn't be true. Performance is supposed to be worth something."
Syracuse University on Thursday released the results of an independent investigation into how the institution responded to 2005 allegations that Bernie Fine, then an assistant basketball coach, had sexually abused a boy from around the time the child was 12 -- and the new report faulted some aspects of the university's 2005 response. That year as well, the university sought outside legal help, and that inquiry found that the allegations could not be substantiated.
The report released Thursday did not dispute that finding. But it raised questions about Syracuse's handling of the incident. The university's summary of the new report says that it "concludes that when viewed in hindsight, the process was imperfect, and some of the judgments made could have been better. Among other things, the report notes that the university should have made direct contact with law enforcement; that the university’s counsel should have alerted the chancellor to allegations that student athletes may have had sexual encounters with Laurie Fine, Bernie Fine’s wife; and that the Board of Trustees (or some components thereof) should have been informed of the allegations."
The Middle States Commission on Higher Education has placed Kean University on probation, citing questions about whether the university is adequately measuring student learning, and whether there is an atmosphere that promotes respect among students, faculty members and administrators, The Star-Ledger reported. Dawood Farahi, the president, and Ada Morell, the board president, issued a statement blasting the accreditor, accusing it of carrying out a "staff-driven agenda" designed to hurt the university's reputation.
Public universities' law school clinics are not covered by the state's open records law, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Thursday, The Star-Ledger reported. The decision came in a suit by the developer of a mall who wanted access to records of groups working with a Rutgers University law clinic to block the mall's construction. Law clinic experts said that it would have been impossible for clinics to operate at public universities if all records could be obtained by groups in litigation with the clients represented by the clinics.
The University of Maine System announced Thursday that Selma Botman is leaving the presidency of the University of Southern Maine to work on international issues for the system. A majority of faculty members at Southern Maine voted no confidence in Botman in May, although university rules require a two-thirds majority of all faculty members (that was not met) for such a vote to count. Theodora Kalikow, who recently ended a widely praised tenure as president of the University of Maine at Farmington, will take over at Southern Maine on Tuesday.
WASHINGTION -- The housecleaning continues at the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities -- but the newest addition to the senior management team of the for-profit-college group is a familiar name in higher ed policy circles. Sally Stroup, whose résumé includes a stint at the U.S. Education Department as well as a long career as a senior Congressional aide (plus time as a lobbyist for the Apollo Group), was named Thursday as executive vice president for government relations and legal counsel at the trade association. (She has since been senior vice president and deputy general counsel at Scantron Corp., a technology company.)
Stroup's political experience has all been with Republican politicians, and her appointment means that APSCU, within a year, will have undergone a partisan transformation in its top two spots. Stroup replaces Brian Moran, a former Democratic state delegate from Virginia and chair of the state Democratic Party, and the association's president and CEO, Steve Gunderson, a former Republican Congressman, replaced Harris Miller, a former U.S. Senate candidate in Virginia.