Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 18, 2013

The cumulative amount of federal student loan debt held by borrowers has crossed $1 trillion for the first time, the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau reported Wednesday. The statements, part of prepared remarks that the agency's student loan ombudsman, Rohit Chopra, was to deliver at the Center for American Progress, put the total amount of all student loan debt (including private loans) at $1.2 trillion, with the amount that the federal government either holds or guarantees topping $1 trillion. Student loan debt is also growing at a much faster rate than other forms of consumer credit -- up 20 percent between the end of 2011 and May 2013, Chopra said.

July 18, 2013

The National Collegiate Athletic Association said Wednesday that it would end a deal with the video game company EA Sports that has put its name and logo on games that have helped put the association in legal trouble. The association, which faces a major antitrust lawsuit in which current and former athletes seek a share of the revenue that they say flows to colleges and the NCAA from use of their likenesses in video games and other venues, cited "the current business climate and costs of litigation" in ending its affiliation with EA when the current deal expires next year. The NCAA receives $545,000 from the company annually. The company said the "NCAA Football" game would live on with a different name, and would continue to work with individual colleges that license their names and logos.

The NCAA's statement warned that that individual colleges may wish to reconsider their own legal position. "The NCAA has never licensed the use of current student-athlete names, images or likenesses to EA. The NCAA has no involvement in licenses between EA and former student-athletes. Member colleges and universities license their own trademarks and other intellectual property for the video game. They will have to independently decide whether to continue those business arrangements in the future."

July 18, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Anne Gerritsen of the University of Warwick traces globalization to its 16th-century roots. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

July 17, 2013

Kent State University's former men's basketball coach breached his contract when he left the institution for a job at Bradley University in 2011, an Ohio judge ruled Tuesday in awarding Kent State $1.2 million, The Akron Beacon-Journal reported. The $1.2 million award would cover the four years (at a salary of $300,000) that were remaining on Geno Ford's contract when he left a year after his deal had been renegotiated. Ohio's attorney general, Mike DeWine, said in a news release that “Ohio’s public colleges and universities have a duty to students and taxpayers to be wise stewards of tuition and taxpayer moneys.”

Kent State is also suing Bradley for its role in Ford's hiring.

July 17, 2013

The State University of New York Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to spin off the nanotechnology college at the system's Albany to create a freestanding institution, despite some members' concerns about the move, the Albany Times-Union reported. Supporters of the move, including SUNY Chancellor Nancy Zimpher and a panel she had appointed, said that allowing Albany's College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering to become an independent, degree-granting institution would better allow the nanotechnology program to achieve its goals. Three trustees opposed the move for a range of reasons, which comes as SUNY has sought (with mixed success) to streamline administrative costs by combining leadership of some campuses.

July 17, 2013

Five expatriate directors of branch campuses of the Higher Colleges of Technologies in the United Arab Emirates have been replaced by UAE nationals as part of the country’s ongoing process of “Emiratisation," The National reported.

The Economist recently reported that while employment policies favoring Emirati nationals have been in place for three decades, the drive for "Emiratisation" may be accelerating. 

July 17, 2013

For the first time ever, NASPAA: The Network of Schools of Public Policy, Affairs and Administration has accredited an institution outside the United States. The institution is Tsinghua University’s School of Public Policy and Management in Beijing, China.

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July 17, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Ernest Williams of Hamilton College reveals the importance weeds play in the lifecycle of the monarch butterfly. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

July 17, 2013

Tom Joyner, the radio host and advocate for historically black colleges, has offered a full scholarship to the black college of her choice for Rachel Jeantel, the friend of Trayvon Martin who testified in the trial over his killing, CNN reported. Joyner made the offer after hearing Jeantel interviewed. "I will help you get tutors to get you out of high school, tutors to help you pass the SAT, and I will give you a full-ride scholarship to any HBCU you'd like," he said.

 

July 17, 2013

American research universities are coming under increasing cyberattacks, most likely from China, forcing them to step up security, The New York Times reported. The article cites institutions facing as many as 100,000 hacking attempts a day, and quotes an Educause official saying that the attacks have "outpaced our ability to respond."

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