Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

August 8, 2013

Romantic undergraduate student-professor and undergraduate-staff relationships are now banned at the University of Connecticut. The university’s Board of Trustees unanimously approved the new policy this week, The Hartford Courant reported. Graduate students also are prohibited from dating faculty in some cases where the relationship could be “exploitative,” such as when the student is a teaching assistant for the professor. Violation of the policy could result in termination of employment.

UConn had been working on drafting a policy for about a year, but its absence of a stance against such relationships came into focus in July following allegations that Robert Miller, professor of music at the Storrs campus, visited dorms and had sex with students. The allegations emerged during investigations by several law enforcement agencies and the university into separate allegations that Miller was a pedophile. Miller is on paid leave but barred from the university pending the ongoing investigations. No charges have been filed.

August 8, 2013

It's time for Inside Higher Ed's monthly Cartoon Caption Contest.

There are multiple ways to participate. Suggest a caption for a new cartoon; the three entries that our judges deem most clever or chuckle-inducing will be put to a vote by our readers next month, and the winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of the cartoon signed by Matthew Henry Hall, the artist.

You can also choose your favorite from among the three finalists nominated for best caption for last month's drawing.

And congratulations to the winner of the Cartoon Caption Contest for June, Donald Larsson, professor of English at Minnesota State University-Mankato. Find out more about him and his submission here.

 

August 8, 2013

A new poll by Citi and Seventeen looks at which expenses related to college students handle themselves and which ones their parents handle. For most items -- including tuition -- the results are mixed. There is one item on which parents are far more likely than students to pay the bill: monthly phone bills.

 

August 8, 2013

What it all will eventually amount to is far from clear. But the agitation over the perception that colleges and the National Collegiate Athletic Association -- and pretty much all parties but athletes themselves -- profit from the sale of merchandise bearing the likenesses of players continues to grow.

USA Today reported Wednesday on the filing of another lawsuit by former players against two photography companies, arguing that they "conspire with numerous colleges and universities that participate in the NCAA … to market and sell thousands of photos of active and former collegiate athletes without offering compensation to or obtaining consent from these student-athletes." The lawsuit is the latest in a string related to the use of players' images in video games and other profitable enterprises.

And the sports Twitterati and blogosphere continued to explode Wednesday with discussion prompted by Jay Bilas, the ESPN men's basketball commentator, who noted in a series of Twitter posts that the NCAA website's own store sells jerseys that lack players' names, in line with NCAA rules that bar the sale of equipment that identify specific athletes. But Bilas noted that punching the names of certain players into the search engine on the ShopNCAASports.com site brings up jerseys with those players' colors and numbers. Excoriating the NCAA's hypocrisy, Bilas's stream of tweets ended by suggesting that if you punched "NCAA Executive Committee" in the search engine, the image that would show up was of a group of clowns.

Within a short time, the NCAA had disabled the website's search function.

August 8, 2013

France is considering a proposal from its High Council for Integration that Muslim headscarves be banned at universities, Reuters reported. A ban is already in place in schools and many French leaders place a high priority on promoting secularism in public institutions. Muslim groups are speaking out against the proposal. "This is one more step in the legal stigmatization of Muslims,” said a statement from the March 15 Liberty Committee, a Muslim group opposed to the proposed ban. "The separation of church and state cannot be reduced, as some want it to be, to an arsenal of laws against Muslims."

August 8, 2013

Hood College, in Maryland, and Regis College, in Massachusetts, have both announced that they are ending requirements that all applicants submit the SAT or ACT. Hood suggests that those who do not wish to submit test scores have a minimum high school grade point average of 3.25 and schedule an on-campus interview. Regis says that it will still require the SAT or ACT for applicants to its undergraduate nursing program, and for home-schooled applicants.

 

August 8, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Micah Berman of Ohio State University calculates the cost an employer can expect to incur when hiring a smoker. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

August 7, 2013

A former women’s head rowing coach at the University of California at San Diego gave six athletes prescription drugs on at least 24 occasions, the National Collegiate Athletic Association said Tuesday, announcing penalties stemming from unethical conduct and the university’s failure to monitor the program. Athletes also competed while ineligible, in some cases, with the knowledge and at the direction of coaches, the NCAA’s public infractions report says.

The former head coach also lied to NCAA investigators about having told athletes to compete and sign for meals under the names of “eligible student-athletes or other individuals.” The rowing team will get one year of probation, a $2,500 fine and vacation of women’s rowing results from 2010-12. The former head coach faces a three-year show cause order, making it difficult for her to be hired at another institution, and a former assistant coach who allowed an ineligible athlete to compete and then lied to investigators faces a one-year show cause order.

August 7, 2013

By September, Yale University will clarify what sort of scenarios it considers “nonconsensual sex” after a semi-annual incident report used the term in reference to "a range of behaviors that fall within the university's broad definition of sexual misconduct." The university will also post more information next week about sexual assault investigations and reporting procedures, the New Haven Register reported. Students found responsible for nonconsensual sex received punishments ranging from written reprimand (by far the most common) to mandatory counseling to a two-term suspension. A slew of criticism and accusations that Yale was watering down the issue and failing to properly punish students who committed sexual assault quickly followed the report’s release Friday. A federal investigation into Yale’s handling of sexual assault on campus ended a little over a year ago with a resolution agreement requiring the university to improve its policies, procedures and practices.

August 7, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Nick Royle of the University of Exeter asks if personality is genetically determined or learned. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

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