Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

May 30, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Judith Ochrietor of the University of North Florida explains how a dangerous protein can also be dangerous for cancer. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

May 30, 2013

A new national poll by Gallup, Microsoft and the Pearson Foundation focuses on whether students used "21st century job skills" in their last year of education. Those who did report higher work quality, and those who finished their education in college, not high school, were more likely to have used and learned such skills during their education. For example, 28 percent of those polled with a high school degree or less said that they had "often" worked on a long-term project that took several classes to complete. That compared with 50 percent of college students or graduates and 65 percent of those with postgraduate work or a degree. Asked whether they had applied classroom lessons to "real problems" in their community or world, only 22 percent of those with a high school degree or less had done so, compared to 27 percent of college students or graduates, and 37 percent of those with some postgraduate work.

 

May 30, 2013

Flash floods have caused significant damage at Carl Sandburg College, and forced the Illinois institution to call off classes through tomorrow. There were no injuries. Security footage captured the moment when water rushed into one building (visible shortly after 0:30 in the video below).

 

 

May 30, 2013

A federal appeals court on Wednesday rejected a Sioux tribe's effort to stop the National Collegiate Athletic Association from restricting the University of North Dakota's use of the Fighting Sioux name and mascot. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit upheld a lower court's decision dismissing the lawsuit by the Spirit Lake Tribe of Indians, which had sought to enjoin the NCAA from blocking North Dakota's use of the Native American symbols. The court's ruling is the latest of many failed efforts to sustain the university's use of the Fighting Sioux.

May 29, 2013

Faculty members at Transylvania University have voted, 68 to 7, no confidence in President Owen Williams, The Lexington Herald-Leader reported. Faculty members object to the president's refusal to grant tenure to two faculty members who had passed reviews and who, faculty leaders said, had performed the work they had been told would assure tenure. Professors also criticized the president's management style. Trustees responded with a unanimous vote expressing confidence in Williams.

 

May 29, 2013

The Harvard University dean who authorized searches of the e-mail accounts of some resident deans (who are something like junior faculty members) has announced she will return to the faculty. Numerous press accounts seemed to suggest a link between the departure of Evelynn M. Hammonds as dean of Harvard College, and the controversy over the e-mail searches. But she told reporters that there was no such link. The Harvard announcement said that she had decided to return to teaching and research. Hammonds will lead a new program for the study of race and gender in science and medicine.

 

May 29, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Christopher Nomura of the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry explains the discovery of a new weapon in the battle against bacteria. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

May 29, 2013

ST. LOUIS -- In an opening plenary speech at the annual NAFSA: Association of International Educators conference on Tuesday, former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan recalled his time as an international student at Minnesota’s Macalester College, saying that it taught him “lessons which have remained indispensable throughout my career. Not all these lessons were learned, I must admit, in the classroom."

“I remember when I got to Minnesota, my first winter ever, coming straight from Africa to Minnesota, I had to put on layers and layers of clothes to stay warm. And I thought that was reasonable enough.” There was, however, one common item of clothing he was determined he would never wear: “the earmuffs,” as he called them. He would wear no such things. “They were inelegant,” he told a laughing audience.

“Until one day when the temperature had hit -23 degrees, with a wind chill factor, I went to get something to eat and I thought my ears were going to fall off. The next day I can assure you I went and bought my earmuffs.”

“I learned a precious lesson – that you don’t walk into a situation, you don’t go into a country and pretend you know better than the locals, you know better than the natives. You better listen to them and look at what they do," Annan said.

More than 8,000 professionals in international education are attending the conference, which continues through Friday. 

May 29, 2013

The group Friends of Roxbury Community College is opposing the selection of a new board chair because he is white, The Boston Business Journal reported. The group sent a letter to Governor Deval Patrick, a Democrat, saying that it was "insulting for Governor Patrick to appoint a white person to head up the body that is the primary decision maker for the college. He is sending a message that although we are a predominantly black institution, it will take a white person to give you the vision and leadership to take the college to the 'promised land' of education. That is the 'plantation' type mentality." The governor's appointee is Gerald Chertavian, who is the CEO of Year Up, a nonprofit that helps urban youth advance educationally. In an interview, Sadiki Kambon, the head of the Friends of Roxbury Community College, said that the organization had no objection to Chertavian personally and would welcome him on the board, just not as chair. The governor's office did not respond to a request for comment. Chertavian said he was focused on "serving the college and the students as best I can and making sure they achieve their potential."

 

May 29, 2013

In what is believed to be a first, a man playing college basketball has identified himself as gay during his college years. Jallen Messersmith told his story to the website Outsports, which reported on his experiences coming out at Benedictine College, a liberal arts college in Kansas that plays in the NAIA. Messersmith described coaches and fellow athletes who have been totally supportive, as "100 percent for me." Other men who played college basketball have come out after the end of their college careers, but Messersmith is a junior. There are many out women in college basketball, although many report facing homophobia.

 

 

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