Princeton University announced Tuesday that it is banning freshmen from participating in rush for fraternities and sororities. Princeton's Greek system is not recognized by the university, and students live in campus housing. Eating clubs (to which students belong as juniors and seniors) have been the source of much debate at Princeton over the years, but fraternities have gained popularity recently. President Shirley M. Tilghman, in a letter to new students, explained the rationale for the new policy. "[T]he decision to prohibit freshman year affiliation and recruitment is driven primarily by a conviction that social and residential life at Princeton should continue to revolve around the residential colleges, the eating clubs, and the shared experience of essentially all undergraduates living and dining on campus."
Higher Education Quick Takes
Bethany College in Kansas has suspended all 15 members of its men's golf team for three tournaments after learning that they had posed naked (with golf clubs covering certain body parts), The Wichita Eagle reported. (The photograph in question is visible with the link.) Jon Daniels, athletic director and golf coach, said: "I've been around a long time and I think this is a case of young people who just don't think beyond the moment and don't realize who they're hurting."
Authorities in Idaho reported that they found Ernesto A. Bustamante, who until last week was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Idaho, dead from an apparently self-inflicted wound. The Associated Press reported that he was the primary suspect in the murder of a graduate student in psychology. Officials did not say why Bustamante left the university or whether he knew the victim, Katy Benoit, who earned her undergraduate degree at Idaho last year.
A $7.6 million bequest to the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has been made not in the name of the late donor, but in that of her late cat, KSBW News reported. Maxine Adler, the donor, brought Du Bee, her cat, to the veterinary college for treatment for cancer 10 years ago. The cat died, but Adler appreciated the care provided. Under the terms of the bequest, any cancer treatment developed with the funds must include "Du Bee" in its name. Also, a Du Bee award will be made every year to researchers who make advances in cancer treatment for pets.
Hazo Carter, president of West Virginia State University, announced that he would retire at the end of the academic year, a decision that follows a faculty vote of no confidence in his leadership, The Charleston Daily Mail reported. Faculty members complained about a lack of leadership, and until Tuesday, he indicated that he planned to stay on.
Bethany University in California shut down this year, but another Christian college in the state, Olivet University, is taking over its campus, The San Jose Mercury News reported. Classes will begin this fall.
Facing a decline in student interest, Melbourne University may end or revamp its Australian studies program, The Australian reported. A review panel found that fewer students at Melbourne (and at other universities) are interested in courses built on "the national narrative.'' One idea under consideration is to focus more on Australian environmental history, a subject that relates to Aboriginal history and to historical geography.
Michele M. Moody-Adams, dean of Columbia College at Columbia University, announced over the weekend that she was resigning at the end of the academic year due to disagreements with reorganizations under way in the university administration, The New York Times reported. President Lee Bollinger then said that Moody-Adams would be leaving immediately. Full details of the disagreement are not available, but the e-mail from Moody-Adams announcing her departure said that changes under consideration would “transform the administrative structure” of the faculty of arts and sciences, compromising her authority over “crucial policy, fund-raising and budgetary matters.”
Texas Governor Rick Perry's controversial higher education platform may be coming to a college near you -- if you're at a college or university in Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida's governor, Rick Scott, has been sharing the philosophical framework for Perry's performance-based vision for public colleges and universities -- the Texas Public Policy Foundation's "Seven Breakthrough Solutions" -- with candidates he is considering for trustee positions. "It does get the conversation going," Scott told the newspaper, referring to ideas like creating "separate budgeting and reward systems for teaching and research, making it possible to reward exceptional individuals in each area," and allocating state aid through vouchers for students in place of institutional support. Faculty leaders in Florida are not excited about the potential export from the Lone Star State. "People are just mortified by it," said Tom Auxter, president of United Faculty of Florida, the statewide faculty union. "The devil is alive and well in those details."
Students in education courses are given consistently higher grades than are students in other college disciplines, according to a study published by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Monday. The study, by Cory Koedel, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Missouri at Columbia, cites that and other evidence to make the case that teachers are trained in "a larger culture of low standards for educators," in line with "the low evaluation standards by which teachers are judged in K-12 schools."