Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

March 11, 2013

Some University of Oklahoma students are objecting to the choice of the journalist Fareed Zakaria as this year's commencement speaker, The Oklahoman reported. Zakaria's journalism at Time and CNN has led to numerous campus speaking invitations. But students note that he was suspended from his journalism jobs last year (and then reinstated) after he was found to have used portions of a New Yorker article for one of his Time pieces. Doug McKnight, a senior, said he would skip commencement, because "I don't think I can go hear him talk to me about integrity and professionalism."

March 11, 2013

Food service and custodial workers plan a three-day strike this week at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, The Chicago Tribune reported. The workers, members of the Service Employees International Union Local 73, are frustrated by what they see as a lack of progress in negotiating a contract. The union predicted significant disruptions to food service this week, while the university vowed that it would provide hot meals and would minimize disruption by reassigning non-striking workers.

 

March 11, 2013

A federal judge has denied a retrial to Teresa Wagner, the conservative scholar whose political bias claims against the University of Iowa were rejected last year by a jury, The Des Moines Register reported. Wagner said she was denied a job at the law school at Iowa because of her politics, and the jury rejected one claim and deadlocked over another. A judge on Friday rejected her request for a new trial and also dismissed the claim on which the jury couldn't reach a verdict. The university denied the claims.the articles i found don't say why judge ruled as he did -- so I may add more -- could even be short story -- if I can ge decision -sj

March 11, 2013

Towson University announced Friday that it would eliminate its men's soccer and baseball teams, while reinstating men's tennis. The shifts are designed to help the university reduce its athletic deficit and comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972. The Baltimore Business Journal reported that although 61 percent of Towson undergraduates are women, only about 52 percent of athletic slots go to women (some estimates of the women's share are higher, although still below the 61 percent figure). In 2012, the athletics department had a deficit of $1.36 million.

March 8, 2013

The U.S. Department of State is investigating claims of exploitative living and working conditions faced by guest student workers at three McDonald’s franchises in central Pennsylvania, The Patriot-News reported. The students, who came to the U.S. on J-1 visas, staged a protest on Wednesday, and have petitioned McDonald’s for restitution and improved conditions for guest workers.  McDonald’s said it is investigating the situation.

March 8, 2013

Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, has doubled its enrollment in the last six years -- twice -- to become the largest private university in the country, The Washington Post reported. Much of the growth has been online. Total enrollment at Liberty is now 74,000, with 62,000 enrolled online. (The 74,000 figure is more than 30,000 more than the enrollments at other large private nonprofit institutions, such as New York University, the University of Southern California and Brigham Young University.) A 2010 article in Inside Higher Ed explored Liberty's online strategy.

 

March 8, 2013

Students were terrified Wednesday when an intruder came into a law school class at Seattle University and engaged in bizarre behavior, The Seattle Times reported. A man in a trench coat, eating ice cream, entered the classroom, sat down at a table at the front of the classroom and refused the professor's request that he leave. Authorities said he turned over tables and other classroom furniture and that some students thought he might pull a gun (he didn't). The man was arrested on trespassing charges.

 

March 8, 2013

In today’s Academic Minute, Matthew Gilg of the University of North Florida reveals what reproduction between diverging species has to teach us about evolution. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

March 8, 2013

Dozens of prominent law professors and deans have urged an American Bar Association panel studying the state of legal education to consider drastic changes to "alter the economics" of law schools, because "legal education cannot continue on the current trajectory." In a letter drafted by a group called "Coalition of Concerned Colleagues," the 67 professors and deans describe the litany of problems facing law schools and their graduates -- rising student debt, a dearth of jobs, and increasing socioeconomic and racial stratification within law schools -- and calls on legal educators to "grapple with these issues before our institutions are reshaped in ways beyond our control."

Among the possible solutions they cite: admitting students to law schools after three undergraduate years, awarding law degrees after two years of law school (and committing the third for electives or internships), diminishing the role of rankings, and expanding Internet-based legal education.

March 8, 2013

After growing opposition from coaches and athletics directors to measures adopted in January by the National Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Board of Directors, the NCAA has suspended two of the proposals and will reconsider modified versions before the board's next meeting in May.

The rules, part of NCAA President Mark Emmert’s broad reform effort, deregulated recruiting through two dozen proposals. The two that have been put on hold are Prop. No. RWG-11-2, which vastly expanded the number and type of athletic staff who could recruit, and Prop. No. RWG-13-5-A, which allowed for unlimited printed recruiting materials to be sent to prospects. Colleges are concerned that the new rules will accelerate the athletics arms race, even though the idea behind the deregulation was to recognize that some programs have more resources available to them and the NCAA should not attempt to ensure that no one program has an advantage over another.

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