Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 3:00am

A three-year fund-raising campaign has produced a permanent scholarship fund of $67.7 million at the Foundation for California Community Colleges. That is enough money to support 3,400 students a year.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 3:00am

In today's Academic Minute, Dayna Scott of York University examines the legal rights of factories and the civil rights of those living downwind from pollution hot spots. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 3:00am

Governor Dannel P. Malloy met Monday with leaders of Connecticut's private colleges, and heard their complaints of over-regulation by the state, The Hartford Courant reported. College leaders complained that some regulation takes too long (disputed by some state officials) and that it is inconsistent. Four colleges in the state -- Connecticut and Trinity Colleges, and Wesleyan and Yale Universities -- are exempt from state requirements that new programs at private colleges be approved. Malloy said he was sympathetic to the complaints, but couldn't argue for eliminating all regulation. "We over-regulate, I have to agree with you," he said. But he added: "I'm not saying there shouldn't be some basic review. I'm not a no-review guy."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Tokyo is considering a shift in its academic year, from the current system of starting in the spring to instead starting in the fall, The Mainichi Daily News reported. The move is being considered in part to better align the university with those of many other nations, potentially encouraging more collaboration. If the University of Tokyo makes the shift from the traditional schedule of Japanese universities, many others are expected to follow.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011 - 3:00am

The American Bar Association has imposed a public censure on the law school of Villanova University over its past practice of reporting inaccurate grades and LSAT scores of incoming students in an apparent bid to improve its standing in the rankings, The ABA Journal reported. The sanctions could have been worse, up to removing Villanova from the list of ABA-approved law schools. But the ABA settled for a public censure because the law school determined who was involved in the deception, and none of those people are still employed there.

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Western Kentucky University has banned from campus an incoming freshman who has been planking on campus, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. The problem wasn't the planking itself -- a fad of posing flat in unlikely places, and posting photographs online -- but of the planker putting stickers on the spots where he planked. The university considers that act to be defacing property.

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Two law schools that have done without federal funds so they could keep military recruiters off campus are preparing, with the end of military discrimination against gay people, to welcome recruiters back to campus, the Associated Press reported. The two are Vermont Law School and William Mitchell College of Law. Many law schools tried for years to fight a federal law barring federal funds from going to colleges or universities that didn't permit military recruiters. These law schools said that their anti-bias rules made it impossible for them to welcome military recruiters. But that argument was rebuffed by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2006. Since then, all other law schools have permitted the recruiters.

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 3:00am

Baltimore International College, a nonprofit college that focuses on culinary and hospitality education and was recently informed that it was losing its accreditation from the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, is merging into a for-profit institution based in Virginia, The Baltimore Sun reported. Stratford University has many similar programs and is accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools. So if the merger is approved by Maryland officials, Baltimore International's students would continue to be attending an accredited college, and thus be eligible for federal student aid.

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 3:00am

For about 48 hours this weekend, it appeared as if the chaos that reigns every few years when the college conferences that play big-time college sports start raiding one another's members was about to resurface. Word that Texas A&M University's Board of Regents would meet today to consider leaving the Big 12 Conference (still healing from the last round of league shifting) for the Southeastern Conference brought condemnation from Big 12 officials who viewed Texas A&M as breaking a commitment and from commentators who said it possible upheaval showed that no one is in control in college football. The prospective move by Texas A&M to become the Southeastern league's 13th member was seen as a precursor to the SEC raiding other conferences for a 14th member (if not 15th and 16th members), causing yet another round of money-fueled competition aimed at attracting bigger television contracts.

Sunday afternoon, though, the SEC's presidents announced that they would not look to add any additional members -- at least not right now. “The SEC presidents and chancellors met today and reaffirmed our satisfaction with the present 12 institutional alignment,” said Bernie Machen, president of the University of Florida and chairman of the league's presidents. “We recognize, however, that future conditions may make it advantageous to expand the number of institutions in the league. We discussed criteria and process associated with expansion.”

Monday, August 15, 2011 - 3:00am

John Sharp, former Texas comptroller, is expected to be named Monday as the next chancellor of the Texas A&M University System, The Austin American-Statesman reported. Sharp would be the latest in a series of former politicians named to lead higher education systems in Texas.

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