Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 4, 2014

Suzanne Ortega was named Thursday as the next president of the Council of Graduate Schools. She will succeed Debra W. Stewart, who in October announced plans to step down. Ortega is currently senior vice president for academic affairs of the University of North Carolina System.

 

April 4, 2014

Massachusetts sued Corinthian Colleges Thursday, charging that it engaged in illegally deceptive marketing, including the use of inflated job placement statistics and high pressure tactics on prospective students. The suit by the state attorney general charges that the for profit system's campuses in the state told prospective students that various programs had placement rates ranging from 70 to 99 percent, when the rates in these programs were actually between 20 and 30 percent.

Kent Jenkins, a Corinthian spokesman, told The Boston Globe that Corinthian has "a strong record of offering students a quality education and treating them honestly and fairly." Jenkins said that the attorney general didn't even one complaint from a student at a Massachusetts campus.

The announcement of the suit, however, does quote such a student. The student says that a Corinthian recruiter "called me every day at any time during the day or night to tell me that car[eer] will change my life. Guess what? It didn’t! I’m working at my city grocery store.”

 

April 4, 2014

Linda Le Mura, provost of Le Moyne College, will be named today as the institution's next president. She will become the first female lay president of any of the 28 Jesuit colleges and universities in the United States.

April 4, 2014

The Education Department's Office for Civil Rights has started an investigation into how Florida State University responded to allegations of a sexual assault by Jameis Winston, a star football player, USA Today reported. Florida officials announced last year that no charges would be filed against Winston, but victim's rights advocates have questioned the way authorities and the university responded to the case.

April 4, 2014

North Carolina State University called off a rap concert scheduled for tonight, and student organizers are criticizing the decision, ABC 11 reported. University officials cited student safety as the reason, saying that they had seen reports that Migos, one of the groups slated to perform, had been involved in a shooting incident in Florida last week. Black students are planning a rally tonight in place of the concert, charging that their events are held to a higher standard, and that there was no need to cancel the event.

April 4, 2014

In a major development vis-à-vis international scientific collaboration, NASA has suspended the majority of its ties with the Russian federal space agency, Roscosmos, in light of what NASA described as “Russia's ongoing violation of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” CNN reported. Collaboration with Roscosmos will continue, however, in regards to the International Space Station. Since the retirement of NASA’s shuttle program in 2011, the U.S. has had to rely on Russian Soyuz vessels in order to send American astronauts to the station.

Inside Higher Ed reported earlier this week that many academic partnerships between the U.S. and Russia are continuing per usual despite growing tensions between the two governments over Russia’s actions in Ukraine. 

April 4, 2014

Diana G. Oblinger, president and CEO of the higher education information technology organization Educause, on Thursday announced she will retire in March 2015. Oblinger has been involved in the organization's leadership for a decade, also serving as vice president between 2004 and 2008.

In a message to the Educause CIO listserv, Oblinger said her decision was based on "a variety of personal reasons," but did not elaborate. The Educause Board of Directors will begin the search for Oblinger's replacement next month, according to a press release.

April 3, 2014

The U.S. Senate's Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) on Wednesday announced that it had approved Portia Wu as assistant secretary of labor for employment and training. Wu is a lawyer who previously worked for the committee. She replaces Jane Oates, who left the Labor Department last year and is now vice president for external affairs at the Apollo Education Group, which owns the University of Phoenix.

April 3, 2014

Three Congressional lawmakers are pushing for a new federal committee that would coordinate the government’s oversight of for-profit colleges. Senators Dick Durbin of Illinois and Tom Harkin of Iowa, both Democrats, plan to introduce legislation Thursday that would create a committee comprising representatives from nine federal agencies that oversee for-profit colleges.

The committee would be tasked with improving the coordination among the various federal and state regulators that are investigating for-profit institutions. It would also publish an annual “warning list” of colleges that have been found guilty of illegal activity or institutions for which the committee otherwise has “sufficient evidence” of widespread abuses. Representative Elijah Cummings, a Maryland Democrat, plans to introduce an identical proposal in the House, but both bills are likely to face fierce opposition from Republicans, who have been critical of the Obama administration’s efforts to more tightly regulate the for-profit industry. 

April 3, 2014

The National Geographic Channel has indefinitely put off a new television show "Nazi War Diggers" that was to have featured the digging up of Nazi war graves, The New York Times reported. The action followed strong criticism of the planned program by the American Anthropological Association and other scholarly groups. Scholars, who conduct digs according to ethical standards, have said that their work is undercut when television shows suggest that digs are about entertainment or making money.

 

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