Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, August 29, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Southern California on Sunday announced a $6 billion fund-raising campaign, which would be the largest ever in higher education, The Los Angeles Times reported. Half of the funds would be used to increase the size of the university's endowment (to support faculty hiring and student aid in particular) and the rest would support construction and research. In December, Columbia University upped its campaign total to the then-record of $5 billion. Harvard University is currently planning a campaign that could top the USC goal.

Monday, August 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Nearly half of those who've graduated college in the last decade report having taken a course online, but only 28 percent of Americans under 30 say that a course taken online "is equal in value to a course taken in person," according to a report on online education published Sunday by the Pew Research Center. The report is based on a survey of 2,142 adults last spring.

Monday, August 29, 2011 - 3:00am

The California Supreme Court will decide whether the State Bar must release data that might show racial patterns in performance on the state's bar exam, The San Francisco Chronicle reported. Richard Sander, a law professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, wants the information (with demographic information but not the names of test-takers) to test theories about the impact of affirmative action at private law schools in the state. Sander has argued that affirmative action policies at the law schools result in the admission of students who cannot perform well on the bar exam.

Monday, August 29, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of California at San Diego, facing budget cuts, is in the midst of selling 150,000 books, California Watch reported. The books will be sold where possible or donated. The university's libraries are currently facing a cut of 12 percent (around $3 million), on top of $5 million in cuts since 2008.

Monday, August 29, 2011 - 3:00am

The City of Chicago and the University of Chicago announced a deal on Friday that is intended to speed development -- by the city and the university -- of the university's Hyde Park neighborhood. Pledges about mutual planning and communication are designed to prevent zoning and other delays that have hindered construction projects. The announcement, from Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said that the deal came out of informal discussions he started with the leaders of universities in the city. The university currently has a $1.7 billion capital program for the next five years.

Monday, August 29, 2011 - 3:00am

Twenty-five colleges and universities in Boston -- public and private -- are starting a campaign to make sure that more graduates of Boston high schools finish college, The Boston Globe reported. The effort was prompted by a study two years ago finding that most graduates of Boston's public high schools who start college don't graduate. Efforts being tried by various colleges include scholarship aid, special (and free) summer programs and "learning communities" in which cohorts of students take multiple courses together.

Friday, August 26, 2011 - 3:00am

A Pew Hispanic Center analysis of Census Bureau data has found that Hispanic enrollments in higher education increased by 24 percent from 2009 to 2010. During that year, the number of Hispanic young adults enrolled in college grew by 349,000, compared with an increase of 88,000 young blacks and 43,000 young Asian Americans and a decrease of 320,000 young non-Hispanic whites. With these combined shifts, Latino enrollment would be larger than black enrollment.

Friday, August 26, 2011 - 3:00am

The faculty union at Youngstown State University, after indicating Thursday evening that a strike could start today, announced it would not go on strike today, The Youngstown Vindicator reported. The union and the university remain divided on a new contract.

Friday, August 26, 2011 - 3:00am

The University of Utah will have its debut in the Pac-12 in a home game on Thursday evening, Sept. 1. Fearing transportation difficulties, the university has canceled classes that afternoon and evening. Some faculty members, The Salt Lake Tribune reported, aren't happy. "I don’t like the message it sends," said Jay Jordan, an assistant professor of English. "We are going to use the academic schedule to accommodate football."

Friday, August 26, 2011 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Sarbajit Banerjee of the State University of New York at Buffalo explains his efforts to create a window coating that will hold back heat on warm days, while allowing it to pass through during the winter months. Find out more about the Academic Minute here.

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