Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

June 9, 2014

Two websites -- here and here -- have been set up to raise money for Mary-Faith Cerasoli, a homeless adjunct who has been on and off a hunger strike to draw attention to issues facing those off the tenure track. Cerasoli has serious health issues that have many of her supporters worried about her well being, and that prompted the fund-raising drives.

 

June 9, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, Luis Zayas, dean of the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, shares some numbers about the growing number of suicides of female Hispanic teens, and dissects the factors contributing to this troubling trend. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

June 6, 2014

The University College London’s student union barred a self-described “Nietzsche Club” from holding meetings on campus because of concerns that the group, which advertised discussions of the philosophers Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger and Julius Evola and which printed the phrase “Equality is a false God” on its posters, was formed to promote fascism or might have ties to fascist organizations, The Daily Beast reported.  

The motion to ban the group stipulates that the philosophers the Nietzsche Club proposed to study were “on the extreme-right, racist, sexist, anti-immigrant, homophobic, anti-Marxist, anti-worker and have had connections, direct or indirect, with Italian fascism and German Nazism." (The Daily Beast article noted that while Mussolini and Hitler were known to be admirers of Nietzsche, many political scientists argue that links between fascism and Nietzsche result from misreadings of his work. Heidegger was a member of the Nazi Party while Evola wrote the book, Fascism Viewed From the Right.)

A student union official told The Daily Beast that the ban, approved by the student union in March, has been temporarily suspended pending legal review. Members of the Nietzsche Club did not return the publication’s requests for comment.

June 6, 2014

At least three universities with big-time football programs plan to stop selling jerseys with individual players' numbers on them, ESPN reported, as college athletics faces increasing scrutiny over whether players are getting a fair share of the revenues teams generate. A trial begins next week in an antitrust lawsuit that challenges National Collegiate Athletic Association policies limiting players' rights to be compensated for commercial use of their likenesses, and two video game companies just settled a related suit for $40 million. With those and other threats looming, Northwestern and Texas A&M Universities and the University of Arizona will sell more generic jerseys that do not appear to promote individual players, according to ESPN.

 

June 6, 2014

The governing board of the Technical College System of Georgia on Thursday voted to approve the proposed merger between Moultrie Technical College and Southwest Georgia Technical College. The system has used mergers in an attempt to save money and be more efficient. The Moultrie and Southwest consolidation is due to be completed next year. It will reduce the number of colleges in the system to 22, down from 33 in 2009, when the mergers began. System officials said students experience little change in the day-to-day operations of their campuses during mergers. 

June 6, 2014

Christine Lagarde, managing director of the International Monetry Fund, withdrew as graduation speaker at Smith College this year as some students protested the organization she leads. But she is scheduled to get an honorary degree on Monday -- but not from Smith. She will receive one from Université de Montréal. A spokesman there said that the event was planned before the Smith controversy, and that no one has objected.

 

June 6, 2014

Editorial board members of the journal Prometheus: Critical Studies in Innovation are furious about their publisher, Taylor & Francis, for delaying publication of and changing a special issue about the damage done to scholarship by for-profit publishers, Times Higher Education reported. Some board members may quit. The publisher notes that the pieces, in some form, were eventually published.

 

June 6, 2014

More than half (53 percent) of grandparents are saving for their grandchildren's college costs, or plan to start saving, according to research released Thursday by Fidelity. And 90 percent reported that, if asked, they would be likely to make a financial contribution to their grandchildren's college costs. A majority of grandparents are also talking to both their children and grandchildren about college savings. The national survey was conducted of adults who are at least 45 years old and who have at least one grandchild younger than 18.

 

June 6, 2014

The Anderson Graduate School of Management is "inhospitable" to female faculty members, according to an internal report, The Wall Street Journal reported. The report noted that only 18 percent of tenured or tenure-track faculty members are women. The report found that the business school creates "gender ghettos" for women in some fields, showing a "lack of confidence" for them elsewhere. Judy Olian, the dean, sent a message to the faculty and others after the article appeared. In the message, she said that while some progress has been made for women, more needs to be done. "This is a very personal issue for me as dean, and as a woman," she said.

June 6, 2014

The Senate appropriations committee on Thursday approved a spending bill that would increase funding to the National Science Foundation by about 1 percent in the coming fiscal year.

Lawmakers on the panel passed a measure that would provide the science agency with $7.2 billion for the fiscal year starting October 1. That is the same amount that the Obama administration requested earlier this year, but lower than the $7.4 billion level that the House set last week. 

Unlike the House version of the budget bill, however, the Democrat-led Senate panel did not include provisions targeting social science research.

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