Higher Education Quick Takes

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Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Gavin Schmidt of Columbia University explains why we shouldn’t always expect scientists to agree. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 4:27am

About 85 students at George Washington University are suffering from norovirus, which typically leads to several uncomfortable days, but is not life-threatening, The Washington Post reported. Students with norovirus tend to experience diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and stomach cramps. Close quarters in which college students tend to live make it easy for the norovirus to spread. In New Jersey, officials at Princeton and Rider Universities report that outbreaks on their campuses last week appear to be subsiding. At Huntington University, in Indiana, officials are dealing with an outbreak of head lice affecting students in four dormitories, The Journal Gazette reported. Officials believe that the source of the list is a group of students who were on a trip to India in January.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

A six-month investigation by local police into drug dealing at Texas Christian University resulted Wednesday in the arrest of 17 students, officials at the university announced Wednesday. Chancellor Victor Boschini Jr. called the arrests "shocking and disappointing," and said that those convicted of selling drugs would be expelled (they were immediately "separated from TCU and criminally trespassed from campus," he said). Those arrested included four members of the university's football team, news reports indicated.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 4:31am

Johnson & Wales University has agreed to triple its annual payment to Providence (from $309,000 to at least $958,000), the Associated Press reported. Providence officials have been pushing local colleges -- especially Brown University -- to up their payments in lieu of taxes, setting off a debate over what the appropriate level of such payments should be.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Authorities have charged two African-American female students at Montclair State University with creating the racist threatening note they reported finding on their door, The Star-Ledger reported. Reports about the note left many black students feeling unsafe. The reported discovery of the threat against black students followed a campus rally against threats (real ones) that had been found against gay people.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 4:33am

The Los Angeles Community College District and the local district attorney are investigating spending by the director of a foundation that provides scholarships to needy students at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, The Los Angeles Times reported. Rhea Chung's expenses included more than $9,000 on golf outings, spending of $2,300 at the Los Angeles Philharmonic and a $1,500 monthly car allowance. Chung, who has been placed on leave, told the Times that the spending was an appropriate way to provide access to potential donors.

Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that the University of Connecticut's donor records are not covered by the state's open records laws, The Hartford Courant reported. The court ruled that the exemptions in the law for trade secrets apply to these records.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Heather Munroe-Blum, principal (president equivalent) of McGill University, will be leaving her position -- among the most prominent in Canadian academe -- next year, The Montreal Gazette reported. McGill's research programs and fund-raising capabilities have grown substantially during Munroe-Blum's tenure, which started in 2003. The university faced employee strikes and student protests in the last year, but Munroe-Blum said that those incidents had not led to her decision. She said she decided some time ago to serve two terms, which she is doing.


Thursday, February 16, 2012 - 3:00am

Quentin Hanley of Nottingham Trent University has completed a study questioning whether several leading American for-profit universities should be called universities, Times Higher Education reported. Since 1993, he said, the University of Phoenix has produced fewer than 200 papers, which have been cited about 700 times. He found about 100 papers from Kaplan University, with a little more than 500 citations. "Their impact is on a par with a single medium academic at an approximately mid-ranked UK university," said Hanley, who was prompted to do his research by the growing interest of the British government in for-profit higher education. "Calling an organization with no meaningful scholarship a university is a bit like calling a muddy path through a forest a motorway." A spokesman for the Apollo Group said that Phoenix had pioneered strategies, such as the use of e-books, that are now used by many colleges and universities.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Wael Asaad of Brown University discusses the important roles expectation and surprise play in the learning process. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


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