Higher Education Quick Takes

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Friday, November 2, 2012 - 3:00am

Green Mountain College has delayed a controversial plan to slaughter two oxen because local slaughterhouses have received threats from outside groups about actions that would be taken if they kill the animals, the Associated Press reported. The college prides itself on sustainability, and says that when one ox became unable to continue working, the right thing to do from an environmental perspective was to slaughter the oxen and to serve their meat in the dining hall. But animal rights groups and others have mounted online campaigns to save the oxen.

Friday, November 2, 2012 - 3:00am

The National Student Clearinghouse is taking over management of the University of Texas at Austin's SPEEDE server, which more than 300 colleges use at no charge to process electronic transcripts and share student academic records, the two entities announced Wednesday. The clearinghouse quickly followed Thursday with another announcement making clear that it would continue to provide SPEEDE's services free, presumably in response to questions from many registrars and admissions officials about whether the much larger organization would seek to privatize, or at least monetize, its new operation. Also on Thursday, a corporate player in the e-transcript space, Parchment, announced its own collaboration to create a gateway for electronic academic records.


Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 3:00am

Over the past few decades, there has been dramatic growth in the number of countries where significant numbers of college-educated women either marry or live with less-educated men, according to new research by the Center for Demographic Studies of the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Historically, it has been rare for countries to see many men end up with better-educated women, but that has changed for a variety of reasons, including greater educational attainment of women. The growth in the number of relationships in which women partner "downward" educationally is seen in a range of countries -- Western and non-Western, developed and developing -- the research found.


Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 3:00am

The full Faculty Senate at Saint Louis University has voted 51-4 on a measure of no confidence in the university's president, Rev. Lawrence Biondi, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. Faculty members are angry over a proposal (since withdrawn) that they say would have effectively eliminated tenure protections, and there have been a number of clashes in recent years over the university's direction. A faculty compilation of documents and articles about the conflict may be found here. A spokesman for the university called the vote "unjustified," adding that "during the past 25 years, Father Biondi has led SLU through a remarkable era of progress, improving academics, increasing the size and quality of the student body, transforming the campus, and enhancing SLU's national and international reputation."

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 3:00am

Law School Transparency, a group that has pushed law schools to release more information and more accurate information about graduates' job placement and debt records, on Wednesday unveiled what it is calling an alternative to the U.S. News & World Report law school rankings. The LST Score Reports do not rank law schools. But they provide raw data on employment rates, projected costs of attendance, admissions statistics and more.

Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 3:00am

George Lucas, the film producer who is selling his company to Disney for more than $4 billion, plans to put most of the money into an education foundation, The Hollywood Reporter reported, citing a statement from his spokesman. It is unclear whether the funds will go to his existing foundation or a new one.


Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Ephraim Fischbach of Purdue University reveals how solar flares may soon be predicted through measuring variability in nuclear decay rates. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.


Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 4:04am

A medical research facility at New York University lost thousands of laboratory mice during Hurricane Sandy, NBC News reported. Staff members tried to save the mice but were unable to do so, given the severity of the storm and the speed with which it hit the city. Some research projects could be delayed by years as a result of the losses.



Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 4:07am

A student at Lorain County Community College was arrested Wednesday after an instructor overheard him say that he wanted to leave class because Governor Mitt Romney was in town and the student wanted to shoot him, the Associated Press reported. The student, who was charged with inducing panic, told police that he was just making a joke and that he didn't even have a gun.


Thursday, November 1, 2012 - 4:11am

Keiser University has agreed to offer thousands of former students free retraining and has pledged that its admissions counselors and marketing materials will not misrepresent offerings, under an agreement with Florida's attorney general that was announced Wednesday, The South Florida Sun-Sentinel reported. For the last two years, Florida officials have been investigating the recruiting and marketing practices of for-profit colleges. Keiser was for-profit when the investigation started but has since become a nonprofit entity. Keiser has denied any wrongdoing and the agreement does not include any admission that the university did anything wrong.

Among the pledges made by Keiser in the agreement are that it will not advertise its programs as "fully accredited," that it will not say programs have "limited availability" unless that is true, and that federal student loans will not be described as if they have no cost to students. Further, Keiser must "clearly and conspicuously disclose" that credits may not be transferable to other colleges.


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