The University of Wisconsin Pain & Policy Studies Group has decided to stop taking money from the drug industry, The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported. Over the last decade, it has taken in about $2.5 million from the industry. The decision to stop taking the money followed another article in the Journal Sentinel on criticism of the research center's findings supporting "controversial uses of narcotic painkillers" at a time that it was receiving the funds.
Higher Education Quick Takes
The National Research Council on Thursday released the corrected versions of its rankings of doctoral programs, including factors that had been recalculated based on various errors or omissions. The NRC website features links to the new and old versions. Most of the changes involve the subcategories being corrected, with relatively modest shifts in the overall categories. This article details the changes released on Thursday and this one details the generally skeptical reaction with which the NRC methodology has been greeted. The corrections released Thursday do not address the larger methodological issues cited by many critics.
Facing criticism from local politicians and conservative groups, the County College of Morris board this week reversed a policy on undocumented students that was adopted only two months ago, The Star-Ledger reported. The New Jersey community college had voted to permit such students to pay in-state tuition rates if they graduated from high school in the United States and entered the country before the age of 16. But this week, the board voted to charge such students out-of-state tuition rates. For a full-time student, the shift increases tuition for a year from $3,450 to $9,780. The Daily Record reported that several board members were influenced by the threat of a lawsuit over the policy granting in-state tuition rates.
David G. Carter, the former chancellor of the Connecticut State University System, has agreed to pay a $2,000 fine for not reporting a conflict of interest when his office approved the hiring of his wife, who had retired as a dean, as a temporary retiree rehire, The Hartford Courant reported. The rehire created a "double dipping" situation in which she was simultaneously receiving a pension and pay, and authorizing that should have been reported as a conflict, authorities said.
Tough financial problems and limited enrollments have led a number of seminaries in recent years to merge or collaborate in new ways. On Thursday, two seminaries that had been in discussions of a possible merger announced that they were calling off the talks. The two seminaries are the Meadville Lombard Theological School, a Unitarian Universalist seminary in Chicago, and Andover Newton Theological School, an American Baptist and United Church of Christ seminary outside of Boston. Meadville Lombard issued a statement in which officials said that the institution was stronger financially now than when the merger talks started, and so was well positioned as an independent institution. The statement attributed the end of the talks to "issues related to governance and finances." Andover Newton's statement cited "institutional complexities that rendered partnership infeasible at this time." At the same time, Andover Newton noted that it is moving ahead with plans for Hebrew College to share its campus and cooperate on many programs -- while the two institutions maintain their separate faiths.
Peru State College has rescinded an invitation to Greg Mortenson to appear on the Nebraska campus in September, citing allegations that portions of his book Three Cups of Tea are false, and that management of his charity has been questionable, The Lincoln Journal Star reported. The allegations, in a "60 Minutes" report, have stunned many colleges, where Mortenson is a popular speaker and his book is frequently assigned. "In light of the uncertainty surrounding Mortenson, we cannot set him out as an example for our students or southeast Nebraskans at this time, nor can we expect donors to continue to support his appearance," Peru State said in a statement.
The National Association of Scholars, which advocates for a traditional curriculum and against what it sees as political correctness, marked Earth Day by releasing a critique of campus sustainability movements. The association's statement stresses that stewardship of the environment is a worthy goal, but suggests that in the name of sustainability, many colleges are promoting some political views over others, questioning progress, and endorsing a wide range of leftist ideas. Many campuses are marking the day with efforts to promote sustainability. Colby College, for instance, will complete the process of dumping bottled water, consistent with a student-led "Take Back the Tap" campaign.
The U.S. Education Department said on Tuesday that the draft student loan default rates it published in February contained incorrect data that inflated the rates. The department said it had incorrectly included some defaulted loans that should not have been counted, and that without those loans the three-year cohort rates for all sectors would have been lower.
Antonio Calvo, a Spanish lecturer at Princeton University, killed himself this month, a few days after being told he was losing his job, setting off many questions over how he was treated, The New York Times reported. Many of his students have raised questions about how he was treated, questioning why the university no longer wanted him to teach there. The Times reported, however, that some graduate students whom he had supervised urged the university not to renew his appointment. They complained about his management style and harsh comments he made about them.