Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 3:00am

Authorities in Idaho reported that they found Ernesto A. Bustamante, who until last week was an assistant professor of psychology at the University of Idaho, dead from an apparently self-inflicted wound. The Associated Press reported that he was the primary suspect in the murder of a graduate student in psychology. Officials did not say why Bustamante left the university or whether he knew the victim, Katy Benoit, who earned her undergraduate degree at Idaho last year.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 3:00am

A $7.6 million bequest to the University of California at Davis School of Veterinary Medicine has been made not in the name of the late donor, but in that of her late cat, KSBW News reported. Maxine Adler, the donor, brought Du Bee, her cat, to the veterinary college for treatment for cancer 10 years ago. The cat died, but Adler appreciated the care provided. Under the terms of the bequest, any cancer treatment developed with the funds must include "Du Bee" in its name. Also, a Du Bee award will be made every year to researchers who make advances in cancer treatment for pets.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 3:00am

Hazo Carter, president of West Virginia State University, announced that he would retire at the end of the academic year, a decision that follows a faculty vote of no confidence in his leadership, The Charleston Daily Mail reported. Faculty members complained about a lack of leadership, and until Tuesday, he indicated that he planned to stay on.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - 3:00am

Bethany University in California shut down this year, but another Christian college in the state, Olivet University, is taking over its campus, The San Jose Mercury News reported. Classes will begin this fall.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:00am

Michele M. Moody-Adams, dean of Columbia College at Columbia University, announced over the weekend that she was resigning at the end of the academic year due to disagreements with reorganizations under way in the university administration, The New York Times reported. President Lee Bollinger then said that Moody-Adams would be leaving immediately. Full details of the disagreement are not available, but the e-mail from Moody-Adams announcing her departure said that changes under consideration would “transform the administrative structure” of the faculty of arts and sciences, compromising her authority over “crucial policy, fund-raising and budgetary matters.”

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:00am

Texas Governor Rick Perry's controversial higher education platform may be coming to a college near you -- if you're at a college or university in Florida. The Orlando Sentinel reports that Florida's governor, Rick Scott, has been sharing the philosophical framework for Perry's performance-based vision for public colleges and universities -- the Texas Public Policy Foundation's "Seven Breakthrough Solutions" -- with candidates he is considering for trustee positions. "It does get the conversation going," Scott told the newspaper, referring to ideas like creating "separate budgeting and reward systems for teaching and research, making it possible to reward exceptional individuals in each area," and allocating state aid through vouchers for students in place of institutional support. Faculty leaders in Florida are not excited about the potential export from the Lone Star State. "People are just mortified by it," said Tom Auxter, president of United Faculty of Florida, the statewide faculty union. "The devil is alive and well in those details."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:00am

Students in education courses are given consistently higher grades than are students in other college disciplines, according to a study published by the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research Monday. The study, by Cory Koedel, an assistant professor of economics at the University of Missouri at Columbia, cites that and other evidence to make the case that teachers are trained in "a larger culture of low standards for educators," in line with "the low evaluation standards by which teachers are judged in K-12 schools."

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, DePaul University's Joe Schwieterman explains a new trend that has more people renting cars and reveals why the practice should be encouraged. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:00am

It's time to feel old again. Beloit College has released its annual "mindset" list about the world view of the new class of freshmen (at least those enrolling straight from high school). Among the things to know about this year's frosh, according to the list:

  • There has always been an Internet ramp onto the information highway.
  • Ferris Bueller and Sloane Peterson could be their parents.
  • Amazon has never been just a river in South America.
  • The Rocky Horror Picture Show has always been available on TV.
  • Andy Warhol is a museum in Pittsburgh.

The complete list is available here.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011 - 3:00am

A business law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles has set off a debate over the appropriateness of the UCLA law school accepting a $10 million gift from Lowell Milken to create a business law institute, The New York Times reported. Lowell Milken is the younger brother of Michael Milken and worked with his more famous brother in the junk bond business. Michael Milken pleaded guilty to securities law violations when the government agreed to drop criminal charges against Lowell, but the Securities and Exchange Commission barred both brothers from the securities industry. Lowell Milken never admitted wrongdoing in these cases.

Lynn A. Stout, a business law professor, wrote to senior officials saying: “The creation of a Lowell Milken Institute for Business Law and Policy will damage my personal and professional reputation, as I have devoted my career to arguing for investor protection and honest and ethical behavior in business." Many other UCLA professors, the Times reported, have no problem with the gift.

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