Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Ilya Buynevich of Temple University explains what studying the
structure of today’s coastlines can teach us about the geology of the past. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Boston University researchers have retracted a paper, originally published in Science, in which they claimed to have identified a genetic signature for human longevity, The Boston Globe reported. A new analysis found that some of the data they used were incorrect. A statement from Science said: "Although the authors remain confident about their findings, Science has concluded on the basis of peer review that a paper built on the corrected data would not meet the journal's standards for genome-wide association studies. The researchers worked exhaustively to correct the errors in the original paper and we regret the outcome of the exhaustive revision and re-review process was not more favorable."

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

The heads of four major archaeological institutes at Israel universities have written to Limor Livnat, the country's culture minister, to ask that she withdraw proposed changes to the Antiquities Authority Law, Haaretz reported. Currently the chair of the Antiquities Authority Council must be a scientist who is a member of the Israel's National Academy of Sciences. Livnat has argued that the pool of candidates isn't large enough so she wants to be able to select someone after consulting with the National Academy of Sciences, but not necessarily from that body. The academic institute leaders argue that this shift is an attempt to put a right-leaning scholar in charge of the council and its work.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

Peace College, a women's college in Raleigh, N.C., announced Thursday that it will become a university and will admit male students to all programs. Peace said that it would maintain its commitment to students in part by offering selected "single-gender courses in targeted disciplines where research shows that women and mean learn differently and that each benefit from a single-gender classroom." Even with such sections, "all classes will be accessible to add students," the statement said. The last year has seen numerous controversies at Peace as budget cuts and layoffs have been criticized by many. Moves to admit men to women's colleges have angered alumnae elsewhere. The first post on the Peace alumnae Facebook page is a link to a petition "to save Peace College," and criticizing the administration's management of the institution.

On Thursday, in response to the news from Peace, Meredith College -- another women's institution in Raleigh -- issued a statement affirming that it plans to remain single-sex.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

An appeals board of the U.S. Department of Labor this week issued a ruling backing the right of the University of Texas at Brownsville to use online advertising to show that it had attempted to recruit an American for a position for which it wanted authority to hire a non-citizen. An FAQ from the Office of Foreign Labor Certification has said that an employer must use a print advertisement for such purposes. But the Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals ruled that the regulations on this subject do not require a print ad, so the FAQ cannot be relied upon. Further, the board found that the official who rejected the Brownsville request to be certified based on an online ad offered "no rationale or explanation as to why an electronic national professional journal is somehow inadequate." Full disclosure: The ad that Brownsville fought to get certified ran in Inside Higher Ed, which as an online publication stands to benefit from the ruling because it ends a motivation for some institutions to advertise some positions in print.

Friday, July 22, 2011 - 3:00am

An appeals board of the U.S. Department of Labor this week issued a ruling backing the right of the University of Texas at Brownsville to use online advertising to show that it had attempted to recruit an American for a position for which it wanted authority to hire a non-citizen. An FAQ from the agency's Office of Foreign Labor Certification has long said that an employer must use a print advertisement for such purposes.

But the Labor Department's Board of Alien Labor Certification Appeals ruled that the regulations on this subject do not require a print ad, so the FAQ cannot be relied on. Further, the board found that the official who rejected Brownsville's request to be certified based on an online ad offered "no rationale or explanation as to why an electronic national professional journal is somehow inadequate." Full disclosure: The ad that Brownsville fought to get certified ran in Inside Higher Ed, which as an online publication stands to benefit from the ruling because it ends a motivation for some institutions to advertise some positions in print.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 3:00am

A new report, "Consequences of Neglect: Performance Trends in California Higher Education," documents the impact of years of budget cuts on colleges and universities in the state. The report, prepared by the Institute for Higher Education Leadership and Policy, of California State University at Sacramento, notes the extent to which California was once considered a higher education leader. The report finds that the state is currently struggling to be average in many higher education measures. The study examines six categories, rates current performance compared to other states and offers a seven-year trend.

Category Current Performance 7-Year Trend
Preparation Worse than most states Up
Affordability Average Down
Participation Better than most states Down
Completion Average Level
Benefits Average Level
Finance Average Down

 

Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 3:00am

Louisiana State University at Baton Rouge is working with a local microbrewery, Tin Roof Brewing, to launch a beer, the Associated Press reported. The blonde ale should be available during the next football season. The name has not been revealed yet. It will relate to LSU but not be called LSU Beer.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 3:00am

The Council of Independent Colleges announced Tuesday that it received a $300,000 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation to expand the council's leadership development programs. The council operates several programs -- some individually, some with partners including the American Academic Leadership Institute, American Association of State Colleges and Universities, the Aspen Institute, and Academic Search, Inc. -- to discuss issues of leadership and prepare prospective leaders to become chief officers and chief academic officers to become presidents.

Thursday, July 21, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Ed Stander of SUNY Cobleskill explains why astronomers must consider
scale when applying the laws of physics to any object beyond Earth. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

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