Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

February 17, 2014

Students at Reed College created a massive snowball last week and when rolling it, lost control of the 800-lb. creation, and it crashed into a dormitory, literally breaking through the wall. Details are here.

big snowball photo

Giant snowball cracks wall in Reed dorm.

 

 

February 17, 2014

In November, black male undergraduates at the University of California at Los Angeles released a video about the challenges they face as part of an extreme minority. Now black UCLA law students have followed with a video called "33," referring to their number among 1,100 law students. In the video, students describe feeling isolated, stereotyped and unwelcome. The media contact for the law school did not respond to an email message seeking comment.

February 17, 2014

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, announced Sunday that the state would start supporting college degree programs in state prisons. Since Congress barred the use of Pell Grants for prisoners in 1994, many higher education programs in prisons have been eliminated or substantially reduced, making the New York State initiative notable as a move in the opposite direction. New York will offer associate and bachelor's programs in 10 prisons (one in each region of the state). Governor Cuomo said that the state would end up saving money on the effort. The state will pay roughly $5,000 a year to educate a prisoner, but the state pays $60,000 a year to incarcerate a prisoner. The state's recidivism rate is currently 40 percent, but studies have shown that inmates who earn college degrees are far less likely than other prisoners to return to jail.

"Giving men and women in prison the opportunity to earn a college degree costs our state less and benefits our society more," said a statement from Cuomo.

February 17, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Seth Bruggeman of Temple University reveals why George Washington’s status as a Virginian made him a symbol of national unity. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

February 17, 2014

Gregory D. Jordan has resigned as president of King University in Tennessee amid increasing criticism from faculty members and alumni, The Times News of Kingport, Tenn., reported. While board members defended him, critics said he was shifting attention to branch campuses and ignoring the concerns of those on the main campus.

February 17, 2014

University of Chicago students have been stunned by the death of a student whose body was decomposing in his residence hall room, The Chicago Tribune reported. The student's body was discovered Saturday after other students reported on an odor coming from the room. The cause of death has not been determined. University officials said that the student had last used his key card eight days before his body was discovered. “It was just really surprising to me to think somebody on this campus could go unnoticed for so long,” Tinley Melvin, a junior, told the Tribune. “It’s everyone’s worst fear that they would be so anonymous."

February 17, 2014

Education Secretary Arne Duncan broke an NBA Celebrity All-Star Game record Friday night, with 20 points. One pass in particular has the basketball blogosphere singing the secretary's praises.

 

 

February 14, 2014

California Institute of Technology, Stanford University, and the University of California campuses at Berkeley and Los Angeles jointly announced a new effort Thursday to increase the number of minority Ph.D.s in science, mathematics and technology fields. The four universities will create "a unique, cross-institutional community of underrepresented minority Ph.D. students, postdoctoral scholars and faculty members in the targeted fields; developing faculty training to better recognize and help these students thrive and advance; and conducting research that includes annual surveys of Ph.D. students about what factors impact their attitudes, experiences and preparation for the future," the announcement said.

 

February 14, 2014

Faculty members have voted no confidence and students are protesting Gregory Jordan, the president of King University, in Tennessee, The Johnson City Press reported. Administrators say that Jordan is making changes to position the college in the changing environment for higher education. But professors say that he has refused to listen to their concerns, and falsely characterized critics as a marginal group.

 

February 14, 2014

The University of the People, an unusual online institution in which students pay no tuition and faculty members volunteer, has been accredited, The New York Times reported. Officials at the university have predicted that accreditation could lead to rapid growth. The university was accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council.

The university's founder described his goals in a podcast interview with Inside Higher Ed in 2009.

 

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