Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

October 6, 2014

President Obama on Friday announced 10 recipients of the National Medal of Science, the nation's highest honor in science.

The winners are:

  • Bruce Alberts, University of California at San Francisco
  • Robert Axelrod, University of Michigan
  • May Berenbaum, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • David Blackwell, University of California at Berkeley (awarded posthumously)
  • Alexandre J. Chorin, University of California at Berkeley
  • Thomas Kailath, Stanford University, CA
  • Judith P. Klinman, University of California at Berkeley
  • Jerrold Meinwald, Cornell University
  • Burton Richter, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University
  • Sean C. Solomon, Columbia University

More information and links on the winners may be found here.


October 6, 2014

Kaplan University is today unveiling a new "Open College" that is designed to let adult students earn a bachelor of science in professional studies by combining credits they've previously accumulated through prior learning with academic credit they earn taking open courses offered by Kaplan and other providers. OC@KU, as the fledgling institution is called, is the newest entrant in the hunt to create a $10,000 bachelor's degree. In Open College's case, such a goal could be attainable through its mix of prior learning, open courses, and Kaplan-provided assessments to help fill in gaps in learners' accumulated credits.

October 6, 2014

Cornell University will today announce a plan to expand off-campus "engaged" learning, in which students interact directly -- all over the world -- with different communities, The New York Times reported. The engagement will be through new courses, and by 2025 the university plans to have all students take one or more of such courses. The new program is being financed by a $50 million gift being announced today from the Einhorn Family Charitable Trust, plus $100 million in other gifts.


October 6, 2014

Adjunct professors at the California College of the Arts in San Francisco and Oakland voted 181 to 113 to form a union affiliated with Service Employees International Union, they announced this weekend. Adjuncts at Mills College and San Francisco Art Institute also have formed unions as part of SEIU's Adjunct Action campaign in recent months. SEIU says it now represents 21,000 adjuncts nationwide. “Now we look ahead to addressing faculty working conditions and student learning conditions — the basis of our institution,” Carol Manahan, a senior adjunct professor of critical studies, said in a news release. Melanie Corn, provost, said in an email to faculty staff that the administration remains "committed to collaborating with the entire [college] community to ensure that the educational experience for our students is our highest priority."

October 6, 2014

Emory University officials are condemning and investigating swastikas that were found painted on the Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity house early Sunday, Business Insider reported. The fraternity is historically Jewish.


October 6, 2014

On "This Week," Inside Higher Ed's free weekly news podcast, Editor Scott Jaschik and the moderator Casey Green were joined by a diverse panel of Educause annual meeting attendees to assess the conference: Dartmouth College's Joshua Kim, the Oakland University CIO Theresa Rowe, and Montgomery County Community College President Karen Stout. To receive notification of new podcasts, sign up here.

October 6, 2014

A new British Council report forecasting trends in mobility at the graduate (or post-graduate) level through 2024 projects that China and India will continue to fuel growth in the number of outbound graduate students, and that the average annual rate of growth in the number of outbound students from India will exceed that of China. "For destination markets, this [India] is likely to be the real opportunity for inbound student growth over the next decade," the report states.

Other countries that are forecasted to experience high rates of growth in the number of outbound graduate students include Nigeria, Indonesia, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia. The report also predicts that the U.S. will remain the No. 1 destination country for internationally mobile master’s and Ph.D. students in 2024, followed by the United Kingdom, Germany, and Australia. 

October 6, 2014

We're not entirely sure what statement (if any) is being made here, but many at Ohio University are talking about how the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity created a parody of the Chi Omega recruitment video on campus.

The sorority's video:

The fraternity's video:

October 6, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Kathryn Heinze, an assistant professor of sport management at the University of Michigan, shows the potential of philanthropy when a National Football League franchise focuses on the community. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


October 3, 2014

A federal court on Thursday ruled that the Obama administration had again failed to adequately justify its ban on colleges paying recruiters bonuses that are tied to students' graduation. The court also faulted the Department of Education for not properly addressing the effect the rule may have on minority students.

The judge, Rosemary M. Collyer of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, sided with the for-profit college association challenging the rule, but she denied its request to block the regulations, which remain in effect. Collyer told the department to come up with a better explanation for the rule and address the impact it has on diversity initiatives.

An appeals court in 2012 largely upheld the administration’s package of stricter incentive compensation rules that were aimed at cracking down on abusive practices in the for-profit industry. But that court singled out the specific ban on compensation tied to the number of students graduating a program, ruling that the department had not offered a legally sufficient basis for it.

The department argued that colleges were doling out bonuses to recruiters based on graduation rates in order to make an end run around the clear federal prohibition on compensation based on enrollment numbers.

But the judge wasn’t swayed by that argument, writing in Thursday's opinion that the department used faulty logic and failed to provide sufficient evidence for its position.

The Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the for-profit group that sued, said it was pleased with the judge’s ruling. Sally Stroup, the group’s executive vice president of government relations and general counsel, said in a statement that the department “should correct its errors by suspending the flawed regulations and engaging in a new rulemaking.” 

The department on Thursday did not say how it planned to proceed in light of the court's decision.  “We are studying the ruling and discussing our options for addressing it," said Dorie Nolt, the department's press secretary. 


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