Higher Education Quick Takes

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

At a retreat Tuesday of about 50 Division I college presidents, called to develop "creative solutions to the significant issues facing intercollegiate athletics," National Collegiate Athletic Association President Mark A. Emmert said that while he wants to increase financial support for athletes, "there is absolute consensus we will never move to pay for play."

The two-day meeting in Indianapolis is closed to the public and the press, but Emmert made a few brief statements in the evening regarding the day's topics: the division's fiscal sustainability, and the steadily widening financial gap between the biggest-time programs and the rest. He also stressed the importance of acting "rapidly," saying that whatever ideas come out of these discussions should be proposed to the NCAA Board of Directors at its October or January meeting. Kansas State University President Kirk H. Schulz also said on Twitter that presidents expressed much concern "about rapidly escalating coaches' salaries." At tomorrow's sessions and subsequent briefing, Emmert will discuss athletes' academic performance and "fortifying the integrity of intercollegiate athletics."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

The Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario has ruled that the University of Ottawa was within its rights to exclude twin 10-year-old boys from classes there, Maclean's reported. The tribunal ruled that age-discrimination laws do not apply to those younger than 18, and that the university's requirement that students finish high school is a reasonable one.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

Professional science master's programs received nearly 4,400 applications for fall 2010 admission, and 48 percent of applicants were accepted, according to data released Tuesday by the Council of Graduate Schools. Programs in biology/biotechnology received more applications than those in other fields of study, constituting 34 percent of all applications received.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

Sheng Wang, who until last month was an assistant professor at Boston University's medical school, fabricated data used in two journal articles, a federal probe has found, The Boston Globe reported. Following the investigation by the Office of Research Integrity of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Wang agreed to retract the articles. Wang's lawyer did not respond to requests for comment.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

The American Association of University Professors has released a final version of its new policy on how colleges should handle personnel decisions involving politically controversial figures. The new version contains only minor changes (and no substantive policy shifts) from the draft released in February. The political views of academics should not be used as the bases to hire, fire, promote or demote them, the AAUP says, and strict, faculty-run procedures should be in place to prevent political influences on such actions.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Paul Smith’s College's Curt Stager describes how the climate change we feel today will shape the Earth for the next 100,000 years. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

Irma McClaurin has resigned as president of Shaw University after less than a year in office, The Raleigh News & Observer reported. McClaurin and the university described the decision to leave as mutual, but did not reveal much more than that. She was the university's third president in the last three years. The historically black college, which has struggled financially, suffered major damage in April from a tornado that hit the campus.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

The Library of Congress is expected today to name Philip Levine as the next U.S. poet laureate, The New York Times reported. Information about the poet laureate's position may be found here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011 - 3:00am

University and high school students in Chile are on strike, staging major protests in Santiago and elsewhere, BBC reported. Government officials have pledged to increase funding for education, but students say that the promises have been insufficient. One key student demand is that private universities be required to invest their income in educational improvements.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011 - 3:00am

The Michigan Employment Relations Commission ruled 3-0 on Monday that there was no reason to reverse a 1981 ruling that research assistants are not employees and are thus not entitled to unionize, The Detroit Free Press reported. The ruling was a setback to a drive to unionize those workers. The University of Michigan Board of Regents voted to permit collective bargaining, but groups skeptical of the union asked the commission to block the process. While critics of the union see the commission vote as a major victory, the union says it could still hold an election. The University of Michigan said that it was studying the decision.

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