Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 3:00am

Latino enrollments in higher education passed several milestones in 2011, according to a new report from the Pew Hispanic Center:

  • Latino students are now the largest minority group among four-year college and university students.
  • Latino students now make up one quarter of community college enrollments.
  • Total Latino enrollment has passed 2 million students, or 16.5 percent of all college enrollments.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 4:24am

Jane Davis, chair of the Faculty Senate at Tennessee State University, was arrested for disorderly conduct at a Senate meeting Monday, The Tennessean reported. Davis has clashed on a number of issues with the administration, and the university -- at a faculty member's suggestion -- recently surveyed professors on whether Davis should be ousted as chair. University officials said that, during a Senate meeting, Davis was disruptive by refusing to stop speaking in defense of her leadership, and in questioning the survey. Following her arrest, she was led from the meeting in handcuffs, and the Senate voted to remove her as chair -- a vote Davis said was not valid.


Tuesday, August 21, 2012 - 4:26am

There's a new kind of massive open online course (MOOC), and it lacks an instructor, The New York Times reported. The course will combine existing materials from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology OpenCoureware project, quizzes from Codeacademy and study groups from Open Study, and will be coordinated by Peer 2 Peer University. With those services, organizers said, an instructor (while central to other MOOC offerings) won't be necessary. The first offering will be on a computer programming language and is called "A Gentle Introduction to Python."


Monday, August 20, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Darby Dyar of Mount Holyoke College explains one of the more spectacular instruments aboard the Mars Science Lab’s Curiosity rover. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Monday, August 20, 2012 - 3:00am

The University of Oregon has paid $25,000 to a political consulting firm to try to influence a student vote in October on whether to impose a new fee to finance renovations of the student union, The Register-Guard reported. Administrators want the students to authorize the fee, but they have twice rejected the idea. A memo about the consultants' work obtained by The Register-Guard said that critics would be described as "narrow minded" and "stubborn." Student leaders are criticizing the decision to hire the consulting firm, saying that students should be able to express their views without an expensive campaign to influence them.

Monday, August 20, 2012 - 3:00am

Taiwan's Cabinet has approved draft legislation to ease the regulations for universities to hire foreign academics, Focus Taiwan News reported. Officials are concerned about brain drain and want to make it possible to attract more foreign talent.


Monday, August 20, 2012 - 3:00am

The University of Georgia newspaper board has backed down on asserting the direction of The Red and Black, the student newspaper, The Associated Press reported. Last week, the student editors and staff walked out to protest board guidance that they said took away their control and encouraged them to minimize hard-hitting journalism. With the withdrawal of the guidance and an apology from the board, the students are starting to return to their former positions at the paper.


Monday, August 20, 2012 - 3:00am

Steve M. Street, a well-known supporter of adjunct faculty rights and a leader of several organizations working on behalf of adjuncts, died Friday of cancer. He was 56. Street taught writing and literature as an adjunct at several colleges since 1980. Street was part of the New Faculty Majority, the Coalition of Contingent Academic Labor, and the United University Professions, the faculty union at the State University of New York. Street also wrote about the precarious situation for adjuncts in several publications, including Inside Higher Ed.

“Steve was a clear and forceful thinker and writer, someone who was never afraid to speak truth to power,” said Maria Maisto, president of the New Faculty Majority, in a message she posted on an e-mail list for adjuncts. “He gave more than he took, and we miss him deeply,” said Mark Street, Steve M. Street’s brother, and an assistant professor of visual arts at Fordham University, in an e-mail.

Monday, August 20, 2012 - 3:00am

Many German students are frustrated by the "Bologna Process" reforms under which European higher education attempted to become better coordinated with similar requirements from country to country, Spiegel Online reported. Many German universities used to have four-year undergraduate programs, but Bologna reforms have cut the programs to three years. Many German students complain that there is more material than can be covered in three years, and that there aren't enough spaces in master's programs.


Monday, August 20, 2012 - 3:00am

A lab technician at Georgia Health Sciences University has been arrested and charged with public drunkenness after authorities said that they found him drunk and not fully clothed in the locker room for technicians of an animal research lab, WJBF-TV News reported. At the time, two monkeys in the lab were out of their cages. The university released the following statement about the incident: "No animals were harmed during the incident, but the university takes the allegations very seriously. GHSU does not condone behavior that conflicts with the research, education and clinical missions of the university and employees are expected to conduct themselves, at all times, with integrity and respect."


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