Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, May 27, 2011 - 3:00am

Two members of Congress -- Representative Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, and Representative Joe Barton, a Texas Republican -- are asking the College Board and ACT for more information about the policies they have to protect the privacy of those who take the SAT or ACT, Bloomberg reported. The lawmakers note that the associations not only collect names of test-takers, but also sell the names to colleges seeking potential applicants. Officials of the two testing companies said that they hadn't received the information requests, and so couldn't comment on them.

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 3:00am

The British Columbia Human Rights Tribunal this week upheld the right of the University of Victoria to evict a man who had been living in a campus apartment for 20 years, long after he graduated with a bachelor's degree in 1997, The Vancouver Sun reported. Alkis Gerd'son, the long-term resident, had argued that the university had no right to evict him because he has a mental disability, but the tribunal rejected his argument.

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 3:00am

Senator Tom Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican known for his efforts to limit federal spending, on Thursday issued a report attacking the National Science Foundation for "waste, fraud, duplication and mismanagement." The report details various grants (mostly in the social sciences) that Coburn finds hard to justify. A statement from Coburn said that the NSF plays a role in key discoveries but that much of its spending "contributes to our debt rather than science." Coburn is a long-time critic of social science research at the NSF -- in 2009, he tried without success to ban political science research from receiving NSF support. An NSF statement about the report said: "The National Science Foundation is renowned for its gold-standard approach to peer review of each of the more than 40,000 proposals it receives each year, While no agency is without flaws, NSF has been diligent about addressing concerns from members of Congress about workforce and grant management issues, and NSF's excellent record of tracking down waste and prosecuting wrongdoing is apparent from Senator Coburn's report. We believe that no other funding agency in the world comes close to NSF for giving taxpayers the best return on their investment."

Friday, May 27, 2011 - 3:00am

Many students and faculty members at Tsinghua University, in China, have been stunned to find that "the No. 4 Teaching Building" has been renamed for a corporate supporter, Xinhua reported. The building is now called "Jeanswest Building" after a clothing company. Officials noted that Jeanswest had helped the university financially, but some on campus are saying that the university is "selling itself."

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Michigan has agreed to pay Andrei Borisov, a former non-tenured faculty member in pediatrics, $550,000, and to remove certain negative statements from his personnel file, to settle his suit against the university, AnnArbor.com reported. Borisov had resigned in 2008, after being told that his behavior was seen as threatening, following inquiries he had been making into possible plagiarism in reports to federal agencies that made grants to Michigan. The university denied wrongdoing in those cases.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

California's public higher education systems have agreed to drop opposition to a state bill that will require much more disclosure of records about their foundations and auxiliary operations. However, the colleges and universities have been assured of provisions that will preserve in most cases the right of donors to be anonymous. With the agreement, the bill is expected to be enacted.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

A state judge has ordered the University of Virginia to release documents produced by Michael Mann, who formerly taught there, to a conservative foundation requesting them as open records, The Washington Examiner reported. Mann is a climate researcher whose work is consistent with the scientific consensus on climate change, but who is doubted by some conservatives. In an e-mail, Mann said: "I think it's very unfortunate that fossil fuel industry-funded climate change deniers ... continue to harass U.Va., NASA, and other leading academic and scientific institutions with these frivolous attacks."

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Pauline Oliveros examines the difference between passive hearing and active listening. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, May 26, 2011 - 3:00am

  • Judy A. Beal, interim dean of the School of Nursing and Health Sciences at Simmons College, has been named to the job on a permanent basis.
  • Beth Halloran, assistant vice president for development at the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, has been appointed as vice president for development and alumni relations at Grinnell College.
  • Ronald S. Harichandran, chair of the department of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan State University, has been selected as dean of the Tagliatela College of Engineering at the University of New Haven, in Connecticut.
  • Onye Ozuzu, associate chair and director of dance in the department of theatre and dance at the University of Colorado at Boulder, has been named chair of the dance department at Columbia College Chicago.
  • Carol Rozansky, professor of education at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, has been chosen as chair of the education department at Columbia College Chicago.
  • Darrell P. Wheeler, associate dean for research and community partnerships at Hunter College of the the City University of New York, has been selected as dean of the School of Social Work at Loyola University Chicago.
  • The appointments are drawn from The Lists on Inside Higher Ed, which also include a comprehensive catalog of upcoming events in higher education. To submit job changes or calendar items, please click here.

    Wednesday, May 25, 2011 - 3:00am

    Architecture faculty members at Tel Aviv University are angry over the design for a new wing of the architecture school, saying that the design doesn't work with the campus, Haaretz reported. Faculty members say that the university can't object to the design because the architect is also the donor.

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