Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

April 9, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Tom Smulders of Newcastle University explains why our fingers become wrinkly after prolonged exposure to water. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

April 9, 2013

Some Yeshiva University alumni and supporters are calling on the university to block a planned award by a law school student group to President Carter. The student-run Journal of Conflict Resolution plans to give Carter its "Advocate for Peace Award" on Wednesday. A statement from alumni urging that the award be called off says: "Jimmy Carter is anathema to the aspirations of the Jewish people and the survival of the State of Israel. Honoring him at a bedrock of the American Jewish community does not bring wisdom to life or combine a fine education with the teachings of Torah. Honoring Jimmy Carter makes the statement that, notwithstanding the empty claims by the administration that the journal’s choice does not necessarily represent the views of the institution, this individual is someone deserving of recognition. Awarding this honor to someone with Carter’s anti-Israel record that includes whitewashing the genocidal aims of Hamas, mainstreaming the notion that Israel is a racist state, and validating a nuclear Iran is quite simply abhorrent."

Richard M. Joel, president of Yeshiva, issued a statement Monday that also criticized Carter, but said that the award did not imply an endorsement by the university. "While he has been properly lauded for his role in the Camp David Accords of 1978, I strongly disagree with many of President Carter’s statements and actions in recent years which have mischaracterized the Middle East conflict and have served to alienate those of us who care about Israel. President Carter’s presence at Cardozo in no way represents a university position on his views, nor does it indicate the slightest change in our steadfastly pro-Israel stance," Joel wrote. "That said, Yeshiva University both celebrates and takes seriously its obligation as a university to thrive as a free marketplace of ideas, while remaining committed to its unique mission as a proud Jewish university."

 

 

 

April 8, 2013

Legislation in North Carolina would remove the state income tax break for parents if their children register to vote with a residence other than the home of their parents, WRAL News reported. The bill was apparently designed to discourage students from voting in the college towns in which many of them live.

 

April 8, 2013

Officials of Northern Kentucky University on Friday revealed why Scott Eaton was fired last month as athletics director: a series of affairs. NKY.com reported that over a period of years, he had four affairs with women who were university employees and one with a student. Two of the employees worked in jobs that fell under his authority.

April 8, 2013

The University of Arizona has announced an 11 percent cut in tuition for in-state residents and an 8 percent cut for out-of-state residents -- even as most other students at the university will be paying 3 percent more next year. The Arizona Daily Star reported that the press release said that the cuts were "part of the college's larger plan to help students manage law school costs." But the newspaper noted what was left out of the press release: Enrollment of first-year students dropped 14 percent last fall, and applications are down 35 percent since 2005.

 

April 8, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Alex Hastings of Georgia Southern University reveals how work on the Panama Canal has helped paleontologists gain a better understanding of crocodile evolution. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

April 8, 2013

Boston University has been caught up in a messy fight over a collection of papers, videotapes and film reels of the independent filmmaker Mark Rappaport, The Boston Globe reported. Rappaport gave the materials to Ray Carney, a film professor at BU, in 2005. But Rappaport said he believed that he was turning over the materials for storage while he was going to be out of the country. But Carney has treated the agreement as a gift of the materials to him. With many film luminaries signing a petition demanding that Carney return the materials, some faculty members at BU fear that the reputation of their film program is being hurt by the dispute.

April 8, 2013

Valencia College has a national reputation as a leading community college, but President Sandy Shugart and some trustees have appeared to be having tense relations of late. The Orlando Sentinel reported on e-mails from Guillermo Hansen, one of the trustees who have been critical of Shugart. Hansen complained in an e-mail about his daughter not being interviewed for a job at the college. In addition he complained about the college not moving to advertise publications that might reach Latino students. Hansen is the owner and editor of a bilingual publication for Latinos. Hansen said that he was raising legitimate issues of importance to the college and its students.

 

April 5, 2013

edX, the provider of massive open online courses, will offer free test-grading software, The New York Times reported. Officials at edX said that the service will use artificial intelligence to grade short essay answers, and thus would allow faculty members to focus on other subjects. Many experts on writing dispute the claims that such grading is educationally sound.

 

April 5, 2013

Feeling creative?

Click here to propose a caption for April's edition of Inside Higher Ed's Cartoon Caption Contest. The three entries that our experts' panel likes best will be put to a vote by our readers, and the winner will receive a $75 Amazon gift certificate and a copy of the cartoon signed by Matthew Henry Hall.

You can also click here to vote on the three captions nominated by our judges as finalists for our March cartoon. 

And congratulations to the winner of our February contest: Alan F. Edwards Jr., director of policy studies for the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Find out more about him and his submission by visiting this link.

 

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