Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

January 14, 2014

The University of California at Berkeley's chancellor has appointed Claude L. Steele, the I. James Quillen Dean of Stanford University's education school, as the flagship public's executive vice chancellor and provost. With the appointment by Chancellor Nicholas Dirks, which awaits the formal approval of the University of California's regents, Steele will once again be a major university's top academic officer.

He served as provost of Columbia University from 2009-11 before returning as education dean to Stanford. where he had built his career as a social psychologist best known for his theory of "stereotype threat." Dirks worked with Steele at Columbia, where he was executive vice president and dean of the college of arts and sciences.

"Claude is a world-class scholar, an extraordinarily gifted administrator, and a visionary leader with a deep commitment to teaching, innovation and collaboration," Dirks said. "He is uniquely qualified to help sustain and expand our public mission and ethos, maintain our academic excellence and access and advance on our commitment to diversity in every sense of the word. We look forward to welcoming him to Berkeley."

January 14, 2014

The University of Illinois at Chicago is investigating allegations that Angela Henderson, currently interim provost of Chicago State University, plagiarized her nursing Ph.D. dissertation, The Chicago Tribune reported. The Tribune had three experts on academic integrity review the dissertation and sources on which it drew. "The experts said Henderson had errors in attribution that violate the UIC College of Nursing's policy on academic integrity included in the student handbook," the newspaper reported. "In her dissertation, Henderson at times uses verbatim or near-verbatim language from other sources without using quotation marks to tell the reader that it is identical. Her citations include the author and year of publication but not the exact reference or page number as required by UIC's policy."

Tricia Bertram Gallant, editor of the book Creating the Ethical Academy: A Systems Approach to Understanding Misconduct & Empowering Change in Higher Education, said, "These are repeated issues. It is not sloppiness here or there, or plagiarism here or there, it is quite often."

The Tribune also noted that a member of Henderson's dissertation committee was Wayne Watson, president at Chicago State, with whom Henderson previously worked. Henderson's husband is Watson's personal lawyer.

Henderson declined to comment.

 

January 13, 2014

In today’s Academic Minute, James Coan of the University of Virginia reveals evidence that our brains are wired for empathy. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

January 13, 2014

"Managing the Student Lifecycle" is a collection of news articles -- in print-on-demand format -- about issues facing students as they progress through higher education. The articles aim to put recent developments into long-term context. The goal is to provide some of Inside Higher Ed's best recent material in one easy-to-read place. Download the booklet here.

This is the fifth in a series of such compilations that Inside Higher Ed is publishing on a range of topics, such as retention, online learning and accreditation. On January 28, 2014, Inside Higher Ed will offer a free webinar in which Editors Scott Jaschik and Doug Lederman will discuss these issues. You can register for the webinar here.
January 13, 2014

Most universities lose money on research, according to an analysis published in the journal Technology and Innovation - Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors. The study notes that universities seek (and receive) research grants from the federal government and other sources. But the study says that these grants cover such a small share of "indirect costs" of research -- such as staffing, equipment and facilities -- that typically institutions lose money. The authors of the paper are Karen Holbrook, former president of Ohio State University, and Paul R. Sanberg, senior vice president for research and innovation at the University of South Florida.

January 13, 2014

The University of Colorado at Denver does not plan to seek the dismissal of an administrator who was placed on leave after the revelation that she was running a phone sex service, CBS Denver 4 reported. The TV network has also found that she ran an escort service. The administrator -- Resa Cooper-Morning, cultural diversity coordinator in the university's ethnic studies department -- has declined to comment, and her lawyer has denied any wrongdoing.

A spokesman for the university said: "We’ve been unable to establish that Ms. Cooper-Morning engaged in criminal activity nor have we been able to determine that she operated her outside businesses while on the job. The university does not condone Ms. Cooper-Morning's activities, but under the law, there are limits on actions that employers can take regarding off-duty conduct of employees. In the absence of additional information, Ms. Cooper-Morning remains employed by the university."

January 13, 2014

Pennsylvania State University earned more ($2.7 million) on credit card royalties and fees than did any other college or university, according to an analysis by The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The newspaper used reports required by a new federal law. But the analysis also found that the number of accounts on which Penn State is paid is going down -- from 65,955 in December 2011 to 60,490 in December 2012.

January 13, 2014

The University of Southern California is today announcing a $50 million gift to create a center for "convergent bioscience." The center will be a collaborative effort of USC's arts and sciences and engineering colleges.

 

January 13, 2014

Robby Burleigh, a professor at Baton Rouge Community College, has been arrested on charges that he attacked his fiancée, who also is one of his students, The Times-Picayune of New Orleans reported. Police records state that the fiancée is pregnant and that a fight started over her desire to keep the baby. Burleigh teaches philosophy of religion, biomedical ethics, introduction to ethics and introduction to logic at the college. He faces charges of domestic abuse battery, false imprisonment and simple criminal damage to property. He told authorities that he did pin down his fiancée, but only to try to "calm her down."

 

January 13, 2014

Seven fraternity members at the State University of New York at Canton have been charged by authorities with hazing, and The Watertown Daily News detailed some of the acts they are alleged to have orchestrated in November's pledging process:

  • Pledges were branded with a metal hanger, with the branding done by the father of a fraternity member.
  • Removing excrement from a toilet by hand and being told to eat it. (The pledge who reported this said he declined to actually eat.)
  • Rubbing hot sauce onto their crotches for 15 minutes.
  • Cracking raw eggs into the mouth of a pledge, who would then be told to spit the egg into another pledge's mouth.

The students who were charged will appear in court later this month to respond to the charges.

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