Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 20, 2014

Monash University, in Australia, announced this morning that it has been awarded the right to use a .monash domain, becoming the first university awarded the right to use its own name in that way. The news was confirmed by the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which governs such matters. The decision is part of a new program in which globally recognized brands may seek their own domains, rather than remaining in such domains as .edu, .com, etc. While the university plans a transition, it will continue to use a .edu.au domain.

 

January 20, 2014

Faculty members are raising questions about the value of a consultant -- hired for $1.1 million, primarily with no-bid contracts -- at the University of Louisville, The Courier-Journal reported. University administrators say that they are finding ways to save money, and that only some preliminary recommendations have been released. But professors say that the analyses that have been released seem obvious and not worth the money. Some of their examples come in reports stating that  the university's “greatest strength is the quality of our people” and that the university “must be globally engaged to be a leading institution of the 21st century.”

January 20, 2014

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Friday that the State Department in conjunction with the private sector had raised an initial $3.65 million in support of the 100,000 Strong in the Americas initiative, which aims to dramatically increase two-way student exchange between the U.S. and Latin America and the Caribbean by 2020. ExxonMobil, Santander Bank, and the Coca-Cola, Ford, and Freeport-McMoRan Cooper & Gold Foundations are the initial donors to the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund, which aims, in Kerry’s rewards, to  “help universities develop greater capacity to support study abroad” and to “challenge and reward institutions to find innovative ways to spur greater exchanges.”

The first four institutions to receive grants through the fund, also announced on Friday, are:

  • The University of Arizona, which aims to create an umbrella organization for science, technology, engineering and mathematics-focused exchanges with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Perú, in Lima, and the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, in Santiago;
  • The University of North Texas, which plans to use the funding to enable 30 undergraduate and 20 graduate students to travel to Chile to participate in field courses, research experiences and internships;
  • The University of Rhode Island, which plans to expand upon its long-standing International Engineering program in partnership with the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Valparaiso, in Chile; and
  • Northampton Community College, which intends to develop a six-week, study abroad service learning course in collaboration with Universidad Nacional de Trujillo, in Peru, and the nonprofit organization WindAid
January 20, 2014

Nearly 59 percent of campuses have policies that "clearly and substantially" restrict students' protected speech, according to an annual report from the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, and another 36 percent have policies that "overregulate" speech on campus. Private colleges, which are not legally bound by the First Amendment, fare slightly worse in the report; about 62 percent of those campuses substantially restrict student speech, compared to 58 percent of public campuses. However, the percentage of campuses seriously restricting speech is down 17 percent from six years ago, the report says.

January 20, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Harold Gouzoules of Emory University explains the psychology of screaming in humans and other primates. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 20, 2014

East Tennessee State University and Loyola University Maryland are both monitoring a possible case (one at each campus) of meningitis. The Loyola case involves a student who has been hospitalized, The Baltimore Sun reported. At East Tennessee State, the university announced that the case involves a dining employee, but not one involved in food preparation or service.

 

January 17, 2014

Tucked away on page 1,020 of the 1,582-page spending bill winding its way through Congress, Section 527 of the ‘‘Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2014’’ would make taxpayer funded research publicly available within 12 months of publication.

According to the bill, federal agencies must develop public access policies that provide a "machine-readable version of the author’s final peer-reviewed manuscripts that have been accepted for publication in peer-reviewed journal." The policy applies to all federal agencies with research and development expenditures exceeding $100 million a year. The proposal resembles that introduced last year by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, although it is not clear how Congress's involvement would affect the rollout of those policies.

The $1.1 trillion bill, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday and the Senate on Thursday, is expected to be signed into law.

January 17, 2014

The number of international students from outside the European Union at U.K. universities fell by 1 percent in 2012-13, the first decline since record-keeping began in the mid-'90s, Times Higher Education reported. The number of new Indian students has dropped particularly precipitously, falling by half in just two years. Times Higher Education notes that the new data, released Thursday by the Higher Education Statistics Agency, can be expected to heighten concerns among university leaders about the effects of the government’s push to curb immigration

January 17, 2014

The University of Wyoming's Board of Trustees on Thursday gave Interim President Richard McGinity the job on a permanent basis, seemingly bypassing a university bylaw requiring consultation with a faculty committee, the Casper Star-Tribune reported. McGinity has served as interim president -- effectively, by all accounts -- since the sudden resignation of Robert Sternberg after a truncated and controversial presidency. Some of the trustees -- who approved McGinity's appointment by a 9-to-3 vote -- said they believed the need for institutional stability outweighed the requirement for consultation.

 

January 17, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Melissa Sloan of the University of South Florida Sarasota-Manatee explores the role of race in determining workplace satisfaction. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

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