Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011 - 3:00am

Academics worried about the various reform ideas being proposed in Florida (such as ending anthropology programs) may not like the latest proposal to come up. Mike Haridopolos, who is finishing a term as Senate president, told The Orlando Sentinel that higher education needs more cuts, and that public campuses can consolidate based on the ideas behind trading baseball cards. "I would prefer that the college presidents sit around a table and literally start trading like baseball cards some of these majors,” said Haridopolos. "If they have a program that is kind of underserved, why don’t they just talk to other universities and see if they have the same kind of program?... Why not consolidate them on one campus, and then say ‘I’ll take your British history program, and you’ll take our medieval studies program.'... I just think that’s a common-sense way of doing things."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 4:28am

Cardiff University, in Wales, is running a "free tuition for life" contest being compared to the "golden tickets" offered by the fictional Willy Wonka or the competitions of allegedly real "reality" television shows. The university will be unveiling a series of challenges that need to be completed, leading to a live challenge at the university. The winner will not be charged tuition for any program for the rest of his or her life -- and can enroll in an unlimited number of undergraduate and multiple graduate degree programs. Applicants must be from Britain or other European Union countries.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 3:00am

Fans of the University of Connecticut and others are debating a new practice there of asking those attending home football and basketball games to say the pledge of allegiance to the flag before the traditional playing of the national anthem, The New York Times reported. While some see the pledge as a welcome sign of patriotism and unity, others question a public university asking people to say anything with the words "under God" and note concerns for international athletes.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 3:00am

For-profit colleges have done a better job of being mindful about efficiency and effectiveness than their nonprofit peers, U.S. Representative Virginia Foxx, who heads the House subcommittee on higher education, said during a panel discussion on Monday. The Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools hosted the event, which was on workforce training. Representative Foxx, a North Carolina Republican, also said the federal government has not scrutinized nonprofit colleges with the same vigor as for-profits, noting that "accountability hits the new kid on the block hardest."

Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Monica Ciobanu of the State University of New York at Plattsburgh examines the options newly formed governments have as they seek justice against deposed rulers. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.



Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 4:17am

Authorities in Vancouver continue to investigate an incident in which a student meeting at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, in British Columbia, was interrupted by people who released substances believed to be pepper spray, and some students needed medical assistance, The Vancouver Sun reported. The meeting was being held to oust the student government, and the chemicals were released just before a quorum was reached.


Tuesday, December 6, 2011 - 4:22am

Israel's Council for Higher Education has passed a series of reform proposals designed to assure higher levels of competence in English by university graduates, Ynet News reported. The changes raise the scores required in English on entrance requirements and also require more instruction in English while enrolled at universities.


Monday, December 5, 2011 - 4:18am

An article in The Syracuse Post-Standard reviews many of the questions circulating about Syracuse University's inquiries into allegations that Bernie Fine, formerly an assistant basketball coach at the university, molested boys. The story focuses on whether trustees should have been informed of the allegations in 2005 (when the university says it was unable to corroborate them), and whether the university should have used a law firm (rather than professionals trained in sexual abuse) to look into the allegations.


Monday, December 5, 2011 - 3:00am

Duncan Eddy, a student at Rice University, has created a website called Save Duncan's Butt to try to raise enough money for him to pay for damage he caused while attempting to participate in a campus tradition. The tradition involves running through the library naked and leaving body marks by covering certain body parts in shaving cream and pressing those parts against glass surfaces. Eddy's attempts broke a window in the library and he now must raise $15,000 to replace it -- or leave the university, according to his website. So far, he has raised more than $9,000.

Monday, December 5, 2011 - 4:20am

The Iowa Board of Regents will consider proposed rules this week that would bar public universities going forward from naming centers or institutes after public officials who are still in office, The Cedar Rapids Gazette reported. The proposal is a response to criticism of the board's decision in April to name a center at Iowa State University the Harkin Institute for Public Policy, honoring U.S. Senator Tom Harkin, a Democrat. Many Republicans criticized the decision.



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