Four music students at the conservatory of Baldwin Wallace University face charges that they were stealing equipment and chemicals from the university to set up a lab to produce the drug ecstasy, The Plain Dealer reported. The article details the investigation into the students, and the role of their text messages in implicating themselves. Dennis Bort, the lead investigator for the local police, said some of the texts were funny. One student messaged that "he had a really sweet hat" for a break-in and was told by one of his alleged drug partners that "a fedora is not B-and-E [breaking and entering] wear."
Higher Education Quick Takes
Alabama State University's board has placed its president, in office only since September, on leave, Alabama.com reported. Citing various press reports in the state, the article said that the president, Joseph Silver, said he was being forced out because he had tried to fire two officials for insubordination. One of those officials has now been named interim president.
Two Kentucky newspapers -- The Herald-Leader and The Courier-Journal -- recently obtained open records showing that the reported attendance at University of Kentucky football games far exceeded what some people would consider actual attendance (the number of actual tickets scanned at each game). When the journalists attempted to find the data for the last home game, they found that they couldn't get it. As The Courier-Journal reported, the university announced that it was no longer keeping attendance -- so it had no information to give out.
The 2013 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Ideas Improving World Order is going to the authors of a book on non-violence. Erica Chenoweth, assistant professor at the University of Denver, and Maria Stephan, a foreign affairs officer with the U.S. State Department, were honored for Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Non-Violent Conflict, published by Columbia University Press published the book in 2011. The award is worth $100,000.
Saint Augustine's University, in North Carolina, is in talks with Saint Paul's College, in Virginia, to acquire the institution, The News & Observer reported. Both institutions are historically black and were founded by the Episcopal Church. Saint Paul's lost its accreditation in June, setting off concerns about the viability of the institution without its students being eligible for federal aid. (Accreditation has been restored by a court injunction.) If Saint Paul's became a part of Saint Augustine's, the former could operate under the accreditation of the latter.
In today’s Academic Minute, Jason Briner reveals evidence that glaciers respond to temperature changes more rapidly than previously thought. Learn more about the Academic Minute here. And click here for last Thursday's Academic Minute, on youth voting patterns, and here for last Friday's podcast, on the literary movement known as Afro-futurism.
A series of conflict-of-interest scandals have led to many attempts to limit the role of the pharmaceutical industry in supporting biomedical research. But an article in The Washington Post says that these ties remain strong and may even be growing, as the pharmaceutical industry has come to support more research than does the federal government. The Post analyzed articles on new drugs that appeared in The New England Journal of Medicine for a one-year period ending in August. Of 73 articles, 60 were funded by a drug company, 50 were co-written by people who worked for drug companies and 37 had lead authors, generally professors, who had in the past received funds from drug companies for consulting, speaking or doing research.
Why did Moorpark College oust Jon Foote as president of the student body? Foote is popular with fellow students and has emerged as a strong advocate for them, demanding more information about the California community college's budget, and questioning whether funds might be shifted from non-academic to academic areas, The Los Angeles Times reported. The college ousted him from his position after a series of altercations, all of which involved disputed incidents in which Foote's defenders -- including faculty members -- question the facts as stated by administrators.
Southern Utah University is investigating allegations that some instructors in its English programs for international students have been ignoring widespread plagiarism, The Salt Lake Tribune reported. One instructor quit in protest over her sense that officials were unwilling to deal with the problem, and one instructor is on probation pending an investigation. The instructor who quit estimated that one-fifth of the assignments she graded included questionable material. The instructor said that there was little discipline of students she found engaged in plagiarism. She discovered some of the plagiarism when she noticed certain unusual phrases that she found turn up when passages are converted from Arabic to English through Google Translate.
British authorities have granted the for-profit College of Law university status, and the soon-to-be renamed University of Law will be the country's first for-profit university, Times Higher Education reported. The institution trains 7,000 students annually in both undergraduate and graduate programs.