The Education Department is taking its leaders on the road for a back-to-school bus tour focusing on education and the economy. Martha Kanter, the under secretary of education, will spend today at Monroe Community College, in Rochester, N.Y., discussing public-private partnerships and "cradle-to-career" education reform. Other department officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, are touring Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois as part of the bus tour, the department's second such effort. Last year's trip focused on the South and the Northeast.
Higher Education Quick Takes
National Louis University is offering a tuition discount on a course through the popular website Groupon, The Chicago Tribune reported. The three-credit graduate course in education normally would have a tuition rate of $2,232. Groupon will offer it for $950. A spokeswoman for Groupon said this was the first time a college had used Groupon to attract students with a discount.
With economic issues playing a more important role than ever in medicine, more physicians are seeking M.B.A.s or taking courses in business, The New York Times reported. There are now 65 joint M.D./M.B.A. programs, up from 5 or 6 in the late 1990s.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in Thursday's Federal Register that it would extend by a month the period in which researchers and others can comment on the federal government's plan for new regulations governing protections for human subjects in research studies. In an article last month, Inside Higher Ed analyzed the early work done as part of the government's first major review of its so-called Common Rule.
The decision by the Association of American Universities to expel the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from its membership last spring showed the "growing disconnect between the elites of American higher education and contemporary reality," the university's chancellor said in his first comments on the decision since the controversy first flared in May. In his State of the University speech Thursday, Harvey S. Perlman, Lincoln's chancellor, focused most of his attention on what the university needs to do to raise its ambitions as it joins the Big Ten Conference, where its peers will include many of the country's strongest public research universities. (Among his goals: by 2017, increasing enrollment to 30,000 from 25,000, tenure-track faculty to 1,300 from 1,140, and the six-year graduation rate to 70 percent from the current 64.)
But he also acknowledged lingering disappointment about the AAU snub, though he asserted that it said more about the group of research universities than it did about Nebraska itself. "Our path is the right one for a socially relevant and forward-looking public research university," he said. "That path simply diverged from the new course that some AAU members have set. We'll let history judge which path will pay greater dividends."
AlcoholEDU, the widely used survey and educational tool that colleges distribute to incoming freshmen, can reduce harmful drinking during students’ first semester – but come spring you wouldn’t know it, according to the results of a new National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism study. Students who took the online course at 30 colleges nationwide reported “significantly reduced” alcohol consumption and binge drinking during fall semester as compared to spring, the NIAAA said Thursday. But the researchers, at the University of California’s Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, also reinforced the strong belief among many prevention educators that the tool is best used in combination with other environmental prevention strategies.
Allen C. Meadors, president of the University of Central Arkansas, on Thursday apologized to trustees who were upset to realize that a $700,000 "gift" from Aramark to renovate the president's home was linked to a contract for the company to provide food services at the university, the Associated Press reported. Meadors asked the trustees to consider rejecting the gift and seeking a new set of bids on the contract to avoid an appearance of conflict of interest. Meadors said that he thought it was common practice for such grants to be linked to contracts.
Stephen Kinzey, an associate professor of kinesiology at California State University at San Bernardino, is a fugitive as authorities seek to press charges related to allegations that he led a group called the Devils Diciples (sic), a motorcycle gang that sold methamphetamine, The Los Angeles Times reported. Sheriff Rod Hoops announced the search for Kinzey at a press conference, saying: “It’s alarming to me -- I have kids in college." Albert Karnig, president of the university, issued a statement in which he said that Cal State was unaware of the allegations until they were announced. "If the allegations are indeed true, this is beyond disappointing," he said.
Kinzey's Twitter feed indicated that on Wednesday and Thursday, he may have been late for class.
Harvard University has upped to $65,000 the family income level at which students will not need to pay anything to attend the institution. In 2004, Harvard revamped its aid program, and said that students with family income below $40,000 would not need to pay anything. That figure was increased two years later to $60,000.