Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

Pennsylvania State University, still reeling from the recent sex-abuse scandal, announced Thursday that it will give $1.5 million to groups with which the university will form partnerships to fight the sexual abuse of children. The money will come from Penn State's share of Big Ten bowl revenue.

 

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Education Department today published final rules to update the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, making relatively few substantive changes from proposed regulations that drew significant comment and quite a bit of criticism from some college groups. The rules give colleges and universities more latitude to share student-level information with state agencies and others, without student consent.

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

Florida A&M University has dismissed four students for their roles in the death of a marching band member widely believed to have been hazed, the Associated Press reported. The university has said that it has a "zero tolerance" policy toward hazing, but others have charged that hazing in the band has been well-known for some time.

 

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 4:35am

The National Science Foundation on Thursday released "Rebuilding the Mosaic," outlining the agency's plans for providing support in the social sciences. The report places a strong emphasis on research that is "interdisciplinary, data-intensive and collaborative." Among the subject areas identified for a special focus:

  • Population change.
  • Sources of disparities.
  • Communication, language and linguistics.
  • Technology, new media and social networks.

The report is the result of a year-long review.

 

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

Savannah State University has agreed to pay Robby Wells, its former football coach, $240,000 to settle his suit claiming that he was forced out by the historically black institution because he is white, the Associated Press reported. The university paid an additional $110,000 to his lawyers. Savannah State officials continue to deny that they discriminated against Wells.

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

The quality of data used to inform state policy decisions on education has improved, according to a new analysis from the Data Quality Campaign, but still lags in many areas. For example, only a few states are using broad data on whether students need remediation in college. Also of concern are efforts to track workforce development: 38 states are not adequately matching and sharing data between colleges and the workforce.

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

Inadequate and diluted resources at the state regulatory level have led to lax oversight of for-profit colleges, according to a new report from the National Consumer Law Center, and those regulatory gaps have contributed to fraud and other problems. The Boston-based consumer advocacy group found that regulators are often understaffed, particularly in Delaware, Massachusetts, Oklahoma, Washington and Wyoming. The report also claims state for-profit supervisory boards often include industry representatives, sometimes even a majority hailing from for-profits, which is a conflict of interest that gives the industry "undue influence."

Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Jill Lany of the University of Notre Dame explains the complex nature of an infant's ability to learn language. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.


 
Friday, December 2, 2011 - 3:00am

A black student at the University of South Carolina at Beaufort has set off a campus debate by displaying the Confederate flag in his dormitory window, the Associated Press reported. The student removed the flag at the request of university officials, but is now considering a return of the flag. While many see the flag as a symbol of white supremacy, Bryon Thomas disagrees. "When I look at this flag, I don't see racism. I see respect, Southern pride," he said. But Thomas added that "I know it's kind of weird because I'm black."

Thursday, December 1, 2011 - 3:00am

Bard College announced Wednesday that it has assumed ownership of the European College of Liberal Arts, in Berlin, Germany. ECLA will be a new satellite institution of Bard, with the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation providing financial support for the transition. ECLA was founded in 1999, one of a several small liberal arts colleges operating in Europe -- a region where large universities are the norm. Bard plans to expand the college's programs, and to offer dual degrees recognized in the United States and in Germany. The college also plans a study abroad program for American students who want to spend a semester or year studying in Berlin.

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