Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Illinois on Monday released the results of an outside investigation it commissioned on false statements made by its law school about applicants' grade-point averages and test scores -- and the university pointed a finger at one person as responsible. Paul Pless, formerly assistant dean for admissions and financial aid at the law school, on the Urbana-Champaign campus, "knowingly and intentionally" miscalculated data, the report found. Pless has been on leave since an inquiry started into the statistics, and he resigned last week. The various changes Pless made in applicants' test scores and grades were designed to give the law school a better U.S. News & World Report ranking. (Pless could not be reached for comment.) The investigation found that changes Pless made took place after applicants had been evaluated, so admissions decisions were based on accurate information.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 3:00am

A medical professor at George Washington University who is alleged not to have taught classes, and simply to have awarded grades of A, has resigned, the Associated Press reported. Students complained to the university provost about the alleged lack of teaching.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 4:20am

South Korean officials announced Monday that the government is shutting down two universities -- Myungshin University and Sungwha College -- that were found to have violated the law through "serious corruption and irregularities," including embezzlement and creating fake documents, The Korea Herald reported. The government will help students current enrolled at the two institutions transfer elsewhere.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Barry Albright of the University of North Florida introduces and describes a new species of dinosaur recently discovered in southern Utah. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 - 3:00am

Faculty members at two California State University campuses -- East Bay and Dominguez Hills -- will strike for a day on Nov. 17 to protest a decision to withhold negotiated pay raises, according to the California Faculty Association. The association’s board of directors voted Monday to approve the strike.  The raises, for the previous two academic years, were withheld after the state cut funding, according to the Associated Press. Informational picketing is being organized today and Wednesday on all Cal State campuses in the state.

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Janet Angelis of the State University of New York at Albany examines the common actions and policies shared by high-performing schools. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 3:00am

The vice chancellor (the equivalent of president) of the University of Queensland and his top deputy have announced plans to resign their positions amid a scandal over an admissions irregularity at the Australian institution. The official statement from the university praised both officials but said that they offered their resignations after an inquiry "confirmed an irregularity had occurred in the admission process for a student." While the statement said that no specific act of wrongdoing was attributed to the student or the senior officials, they still said that they would quit. The Australian reported that the student was a relative of Paul Greenfield, the vice chancellor who is resigning, and that this relative was admitted to a medical program. The newspaper also reported that a second investigation has started -- this one focusing on the admission to the dental school of the husband of an academic at the university.

 

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 3:00am

An Abilene Christian University bus crashed Friday, killing a student and injuring 15 other students and faculty members, the Associated Press reported. The group was traveling to do service work at a children's home. The driver was a faculty member who apparently lost control of the bus as it was entering a bend.

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 4:28am

The California State University System is facing a period of dramatic change in campus leadership, The Los Angeles Times reported. Five long-serving presidents have announced retirement plans. Charles B. Reed, chancellor of the system since 1998, said he couldn't remember a time when the system had as many presidential openings, and that there may be additional retirements within a year. The campuses where presidents have announced that they will retire are the Cal State institutions in Fullerton, Northridge, San Bernardino and San Francisco, and the California Maritime Academy.

 

Monday, November 7, 2011 - 3:00am

Southern Illinois University at Carbondale is facing questions and criticism over its decision on Friday to remove from its Facebook page comments about the strike by faculty members at the institution. The university removed the comments after a number were posted that urged officials to settle the strike or that expressed sympathy with the faculty members. Rod Sievers, a spokesman for the university, said that the university noticed some comments that were "profane" or were "personal attacks," and that some of the comments were "pretty vile." He said that campus officials initially tried to delete only that type of material, but that the university has only a single person to monitor the Facebook page. "That person couldn't keep up with the profanity and personal attacks. So the university had to stop all comments," Sievers said.

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