Higher Education Quick Takes

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 3:00am

University of New Mexico officials thought they had a plan to save about $70,000 by eliminating the job of a vice provost (at a salary of $192,000), and replacing him with three part-time administrators. But The Albuquerque Journal reported that officials brought on the part-timers before they realized that the vice provost already had been given (and had signed) a contract for the year. So now the university has the vice provost (being assigned new duties) and the three part-time administrators on payroll.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 3:00am

University of New Mexico officials thought they had a plan to save about $70,000 by eliminating the job of a vice provost (at a salary of $192,000), and replacing him with three part-time administrators. But The Albuquerque Journal reported that officials brought on the part-timers before they realized that the vice provost already had been given (and had signed) a contract for the year. So now the university has the vice provost (being assigned new duties) and the three part-time administrators on payroll.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 3:00am

New Zealand's University of Auckland is rejecting calls that it fire Margaret Mutu, head of the Maori studies department, over controversial statements she recently made. Mutu called for the country to limit immigration by white people, saying that they bring "an attitude of white supremacy" that hurts people from indigenous groups. News 3 New Zealand reported that Stuart McCutcheon, the vice chancellor, issued a statement focused on academic freedom. "The vice-chancellor understands the concerns raised ... but believes very strongly in the right of academics to comment on issues in which they have expertise, even when those comments may be controversial," he said.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 3:00am

The Education Department is taking its leaders on the road for a back-to-school bus tour focusing on education and the economy. Martha Kanter, the under secretary of education, will spend today at Monroe Community College, in Rochester, N.Y., discussing public-private partnerships and "cradle-to-career" education reform. Other department officials, including Education Secretary Arne Duncan, are touring Pennsylvania, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois as part of the bus tour, the department's second such effort. Last year's trip focused on the South and the Northeast.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 3:00am

National Louis University is offering a tuition discount on a course through the popular website Groupon, The Chicago Tribune reported. The three-credit graduate course in education normally would have a tuition rate of $2,232. Groupon will offer it for $950. A spokeswoman for Groupon said this was the first time a college had used Groupon to attract students with a discount.

Friday, September 2, 2011 - 3:00am

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced in Thursday's Federal Register that it would extend by a month the period in which researchers and others can comment on the federal government's plan for new regulations governing protections for human subjects in research studies. In an article last month, Inside Higher Ed analyzed the early work done as part of the government's first major review of its so-called Common Rule.

Friday, September 2, 2011 - 3:00am

The decision by the Association of American Universities to expel the University of Nebraska at Lincoln from its membership last spring showed the "growing disconnect between the elites of American higher education and contemporary reality," the university's chancellor said in his first comments on the decision since the controversy first flared in May. In his State of the University speech Thursday, Harvey S. Perlman, Lincoln's chancellor, focused most of his attention on what the university needs to do to raise its ambitions as it joins the Big Ten Conference, where its peers will include many of the country's strongest public research universities. (Among his goals: by 2017, increasing enrollment to 30,000 from 25,000, tenure-track faculty to 1,300 from 1,140, and the six-year graduation rate to 70 percent from the current 64.)

But he also acknowledged lingering disappointment about the AAU snub, though he asserted that it said more about the group of research universities than it did about Nebraska itself. "Our path is the right one for a socially relevant and forward-looking public research university," he said. "That path simply diverged from the new course that some AAU members have set. We'll let history judge which path will pay greater dividends."

Friday, September 2, 2011 - 3:00am

AlcoholEDU, the widely used survey and educational tool that colleges distribute to incoming freshmen, can reduce harmful drinking during students’ first semester – but come spring you wouldn’t know it, according to the results of a new National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism study. Students who took the online course at 30 colleges nationwide reported “significantly reduced” alcohol consumption and binge drinking during fall semester as compared to spring, the NIAAA said Thursday. But the researchers, at the University of California’s Pacific Institute for Research and Evaluation, also reinforced the strong belief among many prevention educators that the tool is best used in combination with other environmental prevention strategies.

Friday, September 2, 2011 - 3:00am

Allen C. Meadors, president of the University of Central Arkansas, on Thursday apologized to trustees who were upset to realize that a $700,000 "gift" from Aramark to renovate the president's home was linked to a contract for the company to provide food services at the university, the Associated Press reported. Meadors asked the trustees to consider rejecting the gift and seeking a new set of bids on the contract to avoid an appearance of conflict of interest. Meadors said that he thought it was common practice for such grants to be linked to contracts.

Friday, September 2, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Pamela V. Thacher of St. Lawrence University explains why actively trying to find sleep only increases its elusiveness. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

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