Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

July 15, 2015

Purdue University has eliminated the position of chief diversity officer and merged the duties into those of the provost, The Lafayette Journal & Courier reported. Many universities have created chief diversity officer positions in recent years to coordinate diversity activities and act as an advocate at the senior levels of the administration. Purdue officials said that the provost's office would be able to continue needed work in this area.

Benjamin D. Reese Jr., vice president for institutional equity at Duke University and president of the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education, said via email that he couldn't comment on a specific college or university policy. However, he added: "I'm suspect when a role, as critical as the chief diversity officer, is merged with another senior executive role. It's like eliminating a chief financial officer and saying the president will now oversee university finances. With the diversity challenges our country, and higher education, are currently experiencing, it seems like a time when institutions most certainly should be looking to the chief diversity officer for guidance, not diluting the role."

July 15, 2015

Student and faculty leaders at Ohio University are calling for Steven Schoonover, one of the institution's major donors, to leave the foundation board because of an email message that recently surfaced, The Columbus Dispatch reported. In the email, Schoonover said that officials should “play the race card” against critics of a controversial plan to buy a new mansion for the president. (The current president is African-American.) “So if you are worried about the petition by the faculty just play the race card and call them racists and make them defend themselves!” he wrote.

Joe McLaughlin, former chair of the Faculty Senate and associate professor of English, said, “It’s something that has no place in an academic community or any kind of community. This guy should have absolutely nothing to do with anything at Ohio University.”

July 15, 2015

After months of discussions of a possible merger, Salem State University and Montserrat College of Art announced Tuesday that they will remain independent. “Montserrat College of Art is an exceptional, small art college with an outstanding faculty and programs that Salem State would have been pleased to add to its curriculum, but the numbers just didn’t work at this time,” said a statement from Salem State's president, Patricia Maguire Meservey. seeking info on where this leaves the art college -sj

July 15, 2015

Adjunct faculty members at the Community College of Allegheny County have voted 394-64 to unionize with the American Federation of Teachers. Another AFT unit has represented full-time faculty members at the college for more than 40 years.

July 15, 2015

Students who earned their bachelor's degrees and medical doctorates in seven years rather than the normal eight had similar academic and residency match rates to their peers who took the traditional route; they were also younger and overwhelmingly Asian-American, according to a study published in Academic Medicine, the journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges. The study is part of a package of articles exploring the extent to which accelerated B.A./M.D. programs might ease the cost, to institutions and students themselves, of producing medical doctors.

July 15, 2015

City College of the City University of New York announced Tuesday that it is starting a medical school, in partnership with Bronx-based St. Barnabas Hospital. City College already has a program that provides an undergraduate education and the first two years of medical school, but the new program will be a full medical program. The school will focus on training doctors to work in areas without enough medical professionals.

July 15, 2015

In today's Academic Minute, Upmanu Lall, professor of engineering at Columbia University, explores the future of irrigation. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

July 14, 2015

Historians are reacting with outrage to the ruling of a German court that the estate of Joseph Goebbels, the Nazi minister of propaganda, may claim royalties on excerpts from his diaries in a new scholarly biography, Times Higher Education reported. The suit itself raised concern from many scholars, who have assumed they could quote freely from diaries of long-dead Nazis. “It’s quite shocking,” said Neil Gregor, professor of history at the University of Southampton, “that these diaries … are being used, effectively, to profit so shamelessly from one of the chief culprits of Nazi genocide.” The suit involved Goebbels, by Peter Longerich, professor of modern German history at Royal Holloway of the University of London. Random House Germany, Longerich's publisher, is planning an appeal to the German Supreme Court.

July 14, 2015

Federal authorities have arrested a Massachusetts man and charged him with plotting an ISIS-style attack on an unnamed university, The Boston Globe reported. The man was arrested while purchasing four guns as part of an arsenal documents say he was gathering. Court filings describe how the man shifted his target to a university with the goal of killing more people.

July 14, 2015

The total number of colleges that U.S. Department of Education regulators are more closely monitoring because of concerns about their ability to handle federal funds ticked downward slightly last month, recently released data show.

The Education Department has updated its list of colleges facing extra scrutiny known as heightened cash monitoring. The new list shows that, as of June 1, 413 institutions were on the lower tier of cash monitoring, and 70 institutions were on the more restrictive level.

When the department first published the cash monitoring lists in March, 474 colleges faced the lesser restrictions and 69 colleges were on the higher level of scrutiny.

Education Department regulators may place a college on cash monitoring for any number of reasons ranging from serious concerns about administrative or financial capacity to missing a paperwork deadline. Colleges on the list face restrictions on how they access federal student aid money.

The new lists show that the Education Department has removed its aid restrictions on 16 Everest and WyoTech campuses, which were owned by Corinthian Colleges until February, when they were sold to ECMC’s Zenith Group. None of the other former Corinthian campuses that are now being run by Zenith are on the cash monitoring list.

Sixteen colleges found themselves newly on the lower level of cash monitoring as of June 1. The majority of them were placed on that status for failing the Education Department’s financial responsibility standards. Three public institutions -- Northern New Mexico College, Mesalands Community College in Tucumcari, N.M., and Copiah-Lincoln Community College in Mississippi -- were slapped with the cash monitoring restrictions for submitting audit documents to the Education Department either late or not at all.

Ten colleges have been added to the list of colleges that the Education Department is most closely scrutinizing:

Name

City, State

Type

Reason

Bristol University

Anaheim, Calif.

Proprietary

Program Review -- Severe Findings

Eureka Institute of Health and Beauty

Miami

Proprietary

Administrative Capacity

Access Careers

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Proprietary

Accreditation Problems

The Dance Theatre of Harlem

New York

Private, Nonprofit

Program Review

Institute of Design & Construction

Brooklyn, N.Y.

Private, Nonprofit

Accreditation Problems

Salon & Spa Institute

Brownsville, Texas

Proprietary

Problems Relating to a Change in Ownership

Faith Evangelical College & Seminary

Tacoma, Wash.

Private, Nonprofit

Program Review -- Severe Findings

Hamilton Technical College*

Davenport, Iowa

Proprietary

Financial Responsibility

Court Reporting Institute of Louisiana*

Baton Rouge, La.

Proprietary

Audit Late/Missing

Max-trix Beauty College*

Houston

Proprietary

Audit Late/Missing

(*Denotes institution was previously on heightened cash monitoring, level 1 as of March and has now been upgraded to level 2.)

Overall, 81 colleges that were on either level of heightened cash monitoring in March were removed from the lists as of June 1. That includes 12 Corinthian-owned campuses that suddenly closed in April shortly before the company filed for bankruptcy.

Seven for-profit colleges and one private nonprofit college that faced the more stringent aid restrictions in March won removal from that designation by June: the Real Barbers College in Anaheim, Calif.; Stone Academy in West Haven, Conn.; Manhattan Beauty School in Tampa, Fla.; American College of Hairstyling in Cedar Rapids, Iowa; International Beauty School in Cumberland, Md.; American Institute of Medical Sonography in Las Vegas; Institute of Therapeutic Massage in Lima, Ohio; and Ohio Mid-Western College in Cincinnati.

Asian-American International Beauty College, a for-profit college in Westminster, Calif., was removed from cash monitoring level 2 but remained on level 1.

Heightened Cash Monitoring Over Time:

  March 1, 2014 March 1, 2015 June 1, 2015
# on HCM1 454 474

413

# on HCM2 75 69

70

Total 529 543

483

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