Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

Subscribe to Inside Higher Ed | Quick Takes
Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 3:00am

The full U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has refused, 9 to 7, to consider an appeal of a decision by a three-judge panel of the court to uphold the consideration of race in admissions decisions by the University of Texas. The panel's ruling, in January, rejected an argument that the state had shown it could use the "10 percent plan" -- in which all students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high school classes are admitted -- to promote diversity without the consideration of race. The decision cited various flaws in the plan, and types of diversity that may not be produced by it.

As is the norm, the judges who voted not to reconsider the case did not issue any statement on their thinking. Five of the judges who would have heard the case issued a dissent expressing strong doubts about the panel's decision. These judges said that the three-judge panel had adopted "a new 'serious good faith consideration' standard of review, watering down" the Supreme Court's requirement for consideration of race only with "strict narrow tailoring. Second, it authorizes the university’s race-conscious admissions program although a race-neutral state law (the Top Ten Percent Law) had already fostered increased campus racial diversity. Finally, the panel appears to countenance an unachievable and unrealistic goal of racial diversity at the classroom level to support the university’s race-conscious policy,"

The plaintiffs who challenged the University of Texas policies still have the option of appealing to the U.S. Supreme Court.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 3:00am

David Flory, a physics professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University, is in custody in New Mexico, where he has a vacation home. Flory is charged with running a website that arranged prostitution for 200 women and more than 1,200 of their customers, The Bergen Record reported. A university spokeswoman said that the institution was "saddened" by the news and had been cooperating with law enforcement. She declined to comment on Flory's job status. A police official said that Flory said he did not make money from the site, but maintained it as a hobby.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011 - 3:00am

Yale University, which recently announced that it is phasing out an institute to study anti-Semitism, is creating a new institute to study the same subject. The soon-to-be-gone center received an unfavorable review from a faculty committee, but some in the pro-Israel blogosphere have suggested that its elimination resulted from its willingness to talk about Muslim anti-Semitism in ways that made some uncomfortable. Others, however, including experts in anti-Semitism, have raised questions about whether the original center mixed advocacy with scholarship in a way that may have been inappropriate. The news that Yale is creating a new center (under direct control of faculty members, unlike the original center) was praised by the Anti-Defamation League, which had criticized the decision to eliminate the first center.

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Alberta announced Friday that Philip Baker is stepping down as medical dean (although staying on as a professor). The move follows a dispute over his speech to graduates this month -- a talk that students discovered was nearly identical to one that Atul Gawande, a surgeon, gave to Stanford University medical students last year. Gawande's speech was subsequently republished in The New Yorker, and students said that one of the few changes made by Baker was leaving out a few lines about the U.S. Medicare system. In a statement Friday, Baker said he did not want to detract from the accomplishments of the graduating class. "My hope is that the university and the faculty will be able to put this unfortunate incident behind them, and that this will bring closure for the university, the faculty and my family," he said.

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 3:00am

At a time of scrutiny for Ohio State University athletes, including questions about some athletes' alleged use of free cars, WBNS-10TV News reported that Ohio State's athletics director and director of compliance for athletes both have "courtesy" cars provided by local dealers. While the cars for the sports officials do not violate rules of the National Collegiate Athletic Association, some observers said it was odd for the university to have officials charged with preventing the use of free cars driving them. Bret Adams, a sports agent, told the station: "I don't understand why -- given the scrutiny that is happening at Ohio State -- why the compliance office would risk this relationship?"

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 3:00am

Senator Dianne Feinstein announced Friday that the Senate Intelligence Committee, which she chairs, would investigate reports that the Bush administration sought to have intelligence officers gather information to discredit a University of Michigan professor, The New York Times reported. The professor, Juan Cole, is an expert on the Middle East with a wide following for his blog, Informed Comment, which was harshly critical of the Bush administration's policies. On his blog, Cole noted his frustration at being a target of the administration and also questioned the idea that the government would spend time tracking a person who shared his views all the time. "How inept do you have to be to enlist intelligence officials in monitoring bloggers? They put up their thoughts for everyone to see every day," he wrote.

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 3:00am

We Are Ohio, a group supporting union rights for public employees, announced Friday that it has gathered 714,137 signatures -- more than three times the number necessary to place on the fall ballot a proposal to repeal a law that effectively barred unions for public college and university employees, and most other public employees. While such petition drives typically produce many signatures found to be invalid, the high number collected suggests that the item will be on the fall ballot. Many of Ohio's public colleges have unionized faculties and the American Association of University Professors has been particularly strong in the state, making the outcome especially important to the group.

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Linda Schadler discusses why nanoparticles have the potential to make almost everything better. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 3:00am

The University System of Maryland Board of Regents on Friday approved a continuation of Salisbury University's policy -- first adopted five years ago as a pilot -- of letting students who graduate from high school with a 3.5 or higher grade point average opt out of submitting an SAT or ACT score. A study done by the university found that students who enrolled without submitting test scores outperformed those who submitted them in course completion and graduation rates, while the two groups were similar in grade-point averages at the university.

Monday, June 20, 2011 - 3:00am

Donations to education increased by 5.2 percent in 2010 (3.5 percent when adjusted for inflation), according to "Giving USA," an annual report released today. The report notes that giving to elementary and secondary schools, and to colleges, rebounded in the late part of the year. The rate of growth for education exceeds that for all charitable giving for the year -- 3.8 percent (or 2.1 percent adjusted for inflation).

Pages

Search for Jobs

Back to Top