Florida International University faced a dilemma this semester when more students applied for and were qualified for work-study than had been expected, and funds were short. The university responded with program cuts that affected 600 students. But The Miami Herald reported that students responded with letters, Facebook posts and other statements about the impact of the cuts. The university has now found an additional $1.5 million in other funds to add to the program, eliminating the need for the cuts.
Higher Education Quick Takes
With Nobel Prizes being awarded next week, the Ig Nobels (an annual spoof) were awarded Thursday night. Among this year's winners: In physiology, the scholars behind the paper "No Evidence of Contagious Yawning in the Red-Footed Tortoise," and in chemistry, the research team that determined "the ideal density of airborne wasabi (pungent horseradish) to awaken sleeping people in case of a fire or other emergency, and for applying this knowledge to invent the wasabi alarm." The complete list of winners may be found here.
The former chancellor of City College of San Francisco pleaded guilty last week to charges that he made illegal campaign donations to try to win support for bonds for the institution, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Philip R. Day Jr., who stepped down as president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators in 2009 after the charges against him became public, agreed to pay $30,000 in fines to resolve the allegations, the newspaper reported.
Officials involved in running the SAT program have called this week's arrest of an Emory University student on charges that he took the exam, for pay, for six Long Island high school students an isolated incident. But The New York Times reported that some prosecutors and others see a broader problem. The prosecutor said that she is investigating two other high schools and other test-takers, and that she believes the problem is "systemic." School officials said that they agreed.
Hocking College, which ousted Ron Erickson as president in June after a fight with him over governance roles, reversed course and reinstated him, The Athens Messenger reported. While some board members and Erickson criticized each other prior to his ouster, they reached a settlement under which the board and Erickson agreed not to end the criticism.
The Oregon Court of Appeals on Wednesday overturned a 20-year-old state regulation barring the possession of firearms on public colleges' campuses, ruling that Oregon's Board of Higher Education was not authorized by the state legislature to enact such a rule. The court's ruling, which came in a case brought by a citizens' group, said that the board's policy was preempted by a 1995 state law that restricts cities from creating their own gun laws. The court did not address the question of whether the higher education board's policy violated the Second Amendment. The chancellor of the Oregon University System, George Pernsteiner, said in a news release that system officials were disappointed by the decision and would consider their legal options.
The University of Illinois, which has already admitted that it had errors in the data on students in the Class of 2014 of its law school at the Urbana-Champaign campus, now says that there were also errors in the data reported on the three prior classes. The errors in the three additional years of data are relatively small -- a 0.2 difference in the grade point average for one year, a 1 point difference in the median reported Law School Admissions Test score in another year, and one point difference on the LSAT and a 0.1 difference in the G.P.A. for another year. All the errors inflated performance. The errors in the most recent year were discovered before the law school reported those figures to the American Bar Association (which accredits law schools) and to U.S. News & World Report, which ranks them. The earlier errors, however, were included in information provided to those and other organizations. The law school said that it has informed those organizations of the errors.
Seton Hall University is offering a $21,000 discount off of tuition rates to students who are in the top 10 percent of their high school classes, have standardized test scores that exceed 27 on the ACT or 1200 on the critical reading and mathematics portions of the SAT, and apply by December 15. With the discount, Seton Hall officials say that the full cost will be comparable to that of Rutgers University, the flagship public in New Jersey.
Forty chaplains at British universities have issued a joint letter saying that they "deeply regret" the government's focus on higher education as an economic tool to advance individual interests, Times Higher Education reported. "University education is said to bring economic benefits, equip individuals for work and raise their expected income. Whilst these aims are good in themselves, in our understanding higher education includes much more,” the letter says. "Universities also serve the common good - they help to build societies where there is greater mutual respect, understanding and tolerance, they deepen understanding and question commonly held assumptions. The university experience is about self discovery and personal formation as much as it is about improving employment prospects."
Two former college football players have filed a lawsuit charging the National Collegiate Athletic Association with failing to protect athletes from life-altering brain injuries. The lawsuit, which the plaintiffs hope to turn into a class action, says that the association has failed to adopt sufficiently stringent screening and medical treatment policies despite mounting evidence linking sports-related concussions to dementia and other serious ailments. The case was brought by former players at Northwestern University and the University of Central Arkansas.