Higher Education Quick Takes

Quick Takes

August 5, 2014

Chegg's new relationship with the Ingram Content Group could be key to Chegg expanding in digital textbook markets, The New York Times reported. Chegg was founded as a textbook-rental business and of late has been pushing to grow in e-texts. The Times noted that a major challenge for Chegg has been buying and distributing print textbooks, and that the deal with Ingram -- which will provide the physical texts -- frees Chegg to expand elsewhere.

 

August 5, 2014

In today's Academic Minute, Sean Morrison, director of the Children’s Research Institute at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, explains how a new technique for understanding the way stem cells function reveals new clues about aging and opens an undiscovered world of biology. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

August 4, 2014

The University of North Carolina Board of Governors has adopted a policy that will bar the UNC system's campuses from spending more than 15 percent of tuition revenue on financial aid, The News and Observer reported. Six of the system's campuses -- including UNC Chapel Hill and North Carolina State University -- currently spend larger proportions of tuition revenue on student aid. Officials at Chapel Hill, which has devoted considerable resources to expanding aid for low-income students, have predicted that the policy will lead to considerable increases in student debt levels. Proponents of the policy have said that the policy will limit tuition increases, and that such limits help all students. University officials have said that they plan to try to raise more money so that they can pay for financial aid that would be limited under the new policy.

 

August 4, 2014

Legislators and others are criticizing a draft policy under consideration by the University of Virginia's Board of Visitors that suggests that they should not publicly criticize decisions made by the board, The Washington Post reported. The draft distinguishes between debate before and after a decision is made. “After robust discussion of an issue, we strive to reach a consensus on the merits,” the draft says. “Visitors shall publicly support, or at the very least not openly oppose, the board’s action as a strong, visible consensus facilitates successful execution of policy and strategy.” Critics say that the policy is anti-democratic and anti-dissent. Others are criticizing the $200,000 paid to a consultant to help develop the policy. The board has been reviewing how it can function better in light of a governance crisis two years ago when board members attempted to oust the university president.

 

August 4, 2014

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has sued Harold Washington College for age discrimination against a 66-year-old adjunct English instructor, The Chicago Tribune reported. The suit says that, when the woman applied for a full-time position, she was passed over in favor of candidates who were younger and lacked her qualifications. A spokeswoman for City Colleges of Chicago, of which Harold Washington College is a part, declined to comment.

 

August 4, 2014

Many American colleges and universities are recruiting more undergraduates from China. An article and video in The Chicago Tribune explore the issues related to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign recruiting about 600 freshmen (around 10 percent of the class) from China. As recently as 2006, Illinois was enrolling only about 20 new undergraduates from China. This year, Illinois held three orientation sessions for Chinese students while they were still in China.

 

August 4, 2014

The interim president of Kentucky State University, Raymond Burse, asked his board to cut more than $90,000 from his $350,000 salary so that raises could be given to those who earn the least at the institution, The Herald-Leader reported. The money will be used to raise the salaries of those who earn less than $10.25 an hour (considered by many to be the lowest livable wage) to that level.

August 4, 2014

On the new This Week, Inside Higher Ed's news podcast, the University of Maine's Elizabeth Allen and Kevin Kruger of NASPA: Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education joined Inside Higher Ed Editor Scott Jaschik and the moderator Casey Green to analyze the firing of a major university's band director over allegations of hazing in his program -- and what it says that so many people rallied to his defense. And the University of Pennsylvania's Joni Finney joined us to discuss new data about the 31 million Americans who attended college but have no degree, and the implications for the national "college completion" agenda.

 

August 4, 2014

South Korea's Duksung Women's University has withdrawn invitations to three Nigerian students to attend a conference attracting students from many countries, Reuters reported. The university said that it "politely withdrew" the invitations after a student at the university urged that the entire conference be called off to avoid the spread of Ebola. The university is going ahead with the conference, including 28 students from Africa.

August 4, 2014

The Air Force Academy has ordered a probe of its athletics department after a report in The Colorado Springs Gazette about numerous violations of academy rules and the law by athletes and the way some officials in the past have looked the other way. The Gazette article describes how "cadet athletes flouted the sacred honor code by committing sexual assaults, taking drugs, cheating and engaging in other misconduct at wild parties while the service academy focused on winning bowl games and attracting money from alumni and private sources in recent years."

 

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