Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 23, 2013

City College of San Francisco has filed a draft report describing changes the college is making to avoid having its accreditation revoked. The college also released a paper detailing how it would handle being shut down in a worst-case scenario. Progress has been made in correcting a broad range of fiscal and administrative problems at the college, officials said, including across-the-board pay cuts ranging from 2.85 to 5.2 percent. But more work remains, and a "special trustee" the college brought in to help manage the crisis recently asked for an extension to a mid-March deadline set by the accreditor.

January 23, 2013

Three people were shot Tuesday in an incident at Lone Star College’s North Harris campus in Houston. Details were still emerging Tuesday evening, but reports indicated the shooting stemmed from a dispute between two individuals, at least one of whom was a student. Among the injured was a maintenance worker who was hospitalized and in stable condition, Lone Star Chancellor Richard Carpenter said. In a news conference Tuesday afternoon, Carpenter said “things could be learned from the incident.”

As the national debate on gun control has grown increasingly contentious, national advocates and state politicians have continued a push to legalize the carrying of weapons on campuses. Just last week, Texas State Senator Brian Birdwell, a Republican, filed a bill to allow people with handgun licenses to carry weapons on college campuses in the state.

As of 6 p.m. Tuesday, police said at least one person had been detained and another suspect was still at large. It was the fourth shooting on a campus this year, following incidents a week ago at Hazard Community and Technical College in Kentucky and the Stevens Institute of Business & Arts in St. Louis.

January 23, 2013

Male scientists are more likely than their female counterparts to engage in research fraud, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal mBio. The study analyzed a large database of cases of scientific fraud, categorized those who committed the fraud by different stages of careers and then compared those at different stages of their careers (from junior levels to senior scientists) to the gender make-up of the fields. While there are more males than females in all of the groups, the proportion of fraud by men was greater than the male representation among scientists at all the different levels.

 

January 23, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Marek Urban of the University of Southern Mississippi explains the creation of a material with the ability to heal itself. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


 

January 22, 2013

Many colleges impose fees on students who park in campus lots. At Worcester State University, even those who don't drive must pay. That's because, as The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reported, the university charges a mandatory "parking pedestrian access fee." Students don't like it, but university officials said that they need the money to keep sidewalks repaired.

 

January 22, 2013

Ahmed Al-Khabaz was expelled by Dawson College in Montreal shortly after he found a network security flaw that may have endangered the privacy of more than 250,000 students in Quebec's general and vocational colleges, The National Post reported. Al-Khabaz said that he was initially thanked for identifying the problem but was expelled after he tested the system to see if the problem had been fixed. Dawson administrators declined to discuss the case.

January 22, 2013

Somali universities, which suffered enrollment declines during civil war, are getting back to normal, without the threats of violence that deterred many students from enrolling. But The Guardian reported that students have a new fear: tuition levels that, for some, are difficult or impossible to pay.

 

January 22, 2013

Cornell University opened classes this week at its new technology master's program in New York City, which the university is operating in partnership with Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, The New York Times reported. Eight students are in the first class, but the program projects 2,000 students by 2037. Cornell and the Technion jointly won a contest sponsored by New York City to create the program, which has an emphasis on training students who will work with or start their own tech companies.

 

January 22, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Craig Stanford of the University of Southern California explores the variety of threats the world’s great apes face from modern humans. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 22, 2013

The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools is reviewing the role played by Governor Rick Scott in the decision of the University of Florida board to convince Bernie Machen to put off retirement and stay on as president, The Miami Herald reported. When Machen and the board announced he was staying, it was immediately clear that the governor was involved in the discussions, but a SACS official said at the time that there was nothing wrong with that, since it appeared that the board had played the key role. But SACS is investigating because Governor Scott has confirmed that he met with a potential candidate to replace Machen before asking asking Machen to stay. SACS officials are investigating whether the governor in that meeting overstepped his role. SACS principles call for college and university boards to have protect the independence of institutions.

 

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