Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

A new report is urging sted wordier "putting out a call to action to" dl higher education leaders not only to engage in preventing climate change but to prepare for and respond to its impact. The report, "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate," compiled by the Higher Education Climate Adaptation Committee, states that many colleges and universities have taken some steps to mitigate this sentence is hard to scan ... can we say "have taken some steps to mitigate climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions." dl climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. But these institutions "have a critical role to play in preparing society to adapt to the impacts of climate disruption," the report states. The discussion must shift to include prevention and adaptation, the report states, and colleges and universities have a unique opportunity to push that change. The report recommends climate change-focused curriculum, research, risk management and community engagement. It points out that colleges have the opportunity to serve as "hubs" in their local communities for climate change adaptation strategies.

 

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Senate's Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee generated lots of headlines in September with a report finding that $1 billion in Post-9/11 G.I. Bill benefits were used last year by students who were attending eight for-profit institutions. Critics of for-profits seized on the report's findings, arguing that those colleges have been overly aggressive in recruiting members of the military. The $1 billion figure, however, was incorrect, the committee said today, and actually referred to two years' worth of G.I. Bill benefits.

The committee ran the data again, and distributed corrected numbers Thursday to the news media. The panel's statement said that its basic findings were unchanged: For-profit colleges still accounted for eight of the top 10 recipients of G.I. Bill benefits last year. But the updated findings concluded that the institutions received $626 million, a less attention-grabbing figure. In a written statement, the Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities called the original report a "reckless rush to judgment" that "unleashed an unwarranted tidal wave of negative publicity for our schools." The group mentioned corrections to a previous Government Accountability Office report that identified improper student recruiting practices at for-profits, and called for "fewer press conferences and more collaboration on higher education reform."

 

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Administrators and faculty members at Cincinnati State Technical and Community College agreed to a new contract Thursday that was preceded by months of negotiations and a weeklong strike in September, the Middletown Journal reported. The trustees unanimously approved the new three-year collective bargaining agreement that will require faculty members to teach 36 workload units over two semesters, 20 percent more than the 30 hours they had originally asked for. The newspaper reported that faculty members will not receive a raise this year but will receive a 2.75 percent annual raise for the next three years. The new contract applies to 200 full-time faculty members.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Vanderbilt University's Rangaraj Ramanujam uses fourth down plays to explain why and when businesses choose to go for it. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, November 4, 2011 - 3:00am

Tullisse (Toni) Murdock announced Thursday that she will retire as chancellor of Antioch University at the end of the academic year. Murdock was praised by board leaders for her leadership in a time of many changes for the university, but her positions have frequently been controversial. Murdock was widely criticized by supporters of Antioch College after the university's decision to shut the college down (the college has since been revived but is no longer part of the university that grew around it). More recently, she has clashed with board members of the Los Angeles campus. In many of the controversies she has faced, Murdock has argued that she was making tough, necessary decisions -- while critics have said she was not sufficiently open to autonomy for various parts of the university system.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 4:38am

The Carnegie Corporation of New York today announced that it is making $500,000 grants to Freeman A. Hrabowski III, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County, and Eduardo J. Padrón, president of Miami Dade College, as the latest in a series of awards to presidents for "fulfilling their administrative and managerial roles with dedication and creativity." The presidents can use the funds in any way to promote their academic initiatives. Hrabowski was honored for "his development of a culture of excellence and success in preparing students of all backgrounds to become Ph.D. scientists and engineers." Padrón was selected "for innovations that have contributed to a culture of success that has produced impressive results in student access, retention and graduation rates, and overall achievement at a school with a predominantly low-income and minority student population."

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:00am

Lady Gaga on Wednesday announced that she is creating the Born This Way Foundation to focus on youth issues such as preventing bullying and promoting self-confidence in young people. While only a few details have been released, one key player in creating the foundation will be the Berkman Center for Internet & Society, at Harvard University. John Palfrey, faculty co-director of the center, released this statement: "It seems Hollywood launches foundations all the time, but I can't recall an artist of Lady Gaga's reach or caliber who has done the months of due-diligence and behind-the-scenes meetings with the experts before they've launched such a foundation."

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:00am

The average student loan debt of the two-thirds of seniors who graduated from college with federal debt in 2010 rose to $25,250, up 5 percent from the previous year, according to a report released today by the Project on Student Debt. The nonprofit group's report shows the debt levels by state and singles out institutions whose students accumulated particularly large and small amounts of debt.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:00am

WASHINGTON -- An official with the U.S. Department of Labor Wednesday urged community college leaders to steer students to an online career tool the department created earlier this year. Speaking at a policy briefing hosted by Jobs for the Future, Gerri Fiala, the department's deputy assistant secretary of employment and training administration, said the site, dubbed "My Next Move," is particularly helpful for students as they explore potential careers. The briefing was on how nonprofit organizations, high schools and community colleges can help students who drop out of high school get back on track for college. Fiala and other federal policy makers who spoke at the event stressed the need for collaboration between two-year colleges and student employers.

Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 3:00am

The Wisconsin Assembly voted Wednesday to end consideration of race in a state grant program for disadvantaged students attending colleges in the state, The Capital Times reported. The program is for nontraditional students, with eligibility determined by such factors as having a disability, being a first-generation college student, or being black, Native American, Latino or Hmong. The program's authorization was amended in the Assembly to remove minority group membership as part of the criteria. While it is not clear that there is a speedy path for the bill to be enacted, the vote stunned and angered supporters of efforts to recruit more minority students.

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