Higher Education Quick Takes

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Monday, October 29, 2012 - 3:00am

Bradley John Witham and Mark Anthony Bustos, two IT officials at San Mateo County Community College District, are facing multiple charges related to allegations that they used district money to buy computer equipment and software, and then sold the items privately for their own profit, The Palo Alto Daily News reported. The two officials have entered pleas of not guilty.

 

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Kathrin Stanger-Hall of the University of Georgia reveals the connection between abstinence-only sex education and teen pregnancy rates. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 3:00am

About two-thirds of the 510 students at Wilberforce University have requested withdrawal forms to formally threaten to leave by next fall if they don't see dramatic improvements, The Dayton Daily News reported. Students at the private, historically black university have raised complaints over the quality of facilities, safety, library hours, food service and more. Organizers of a protest last week said that they have tried to explain the problems to the administration, but that officials have not been responsive. President Patricia Hardaway said that she has an "open door" policy for students, and is working on many of the issues they have raised.

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 4:18am

Education officials from Taiwan traveled to California last week to recruit students, The Los Angeles Times reported. About 1,000 people -- many of them recruited because they are Taiwanese-Americans -- attended the first education fair ever put on by Taiwan in the United States. Wei-Ling Chiang, Taiwan's minister of education, made the case, noting that undergraduates would pay about $3,000 in tuition, lower living costs than in the U.S., and that some programs are taught in English.

Monday, October 29, 2012 - 3:00am

Louisiana State University's board voted Friday to combine the positions of system president and chancellor of the flagship campus at Baton Rouge, The Times-Picayune reported. Officials cited an outside report suggesting that the move would promote better decision-making. Currently, a single person is filling both positions (on an interim basis). Faculty leaders said that they were not told in advance that the issue would be considered, and that they were not given an opportunity to analyze the implications of the change.

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 3:00am

The University of Tokyo is planning to shift the start of its academic year to the fall, and the move has been greeted with approval by many higher education leaders in Japan, who expect the move to prompt similar shifts elsewhere. The idea is that Japanese universities will benefit by being on a similar academic calendar to that used in much of the Western world, and that high school graduates can enjoy a summer vacation rather than starting their programs in the spring. But The Japan Daily Press reports that many parents are objecting to the plan. Their concern: They aren't sure what they will do with their children between when they graduate high school and when they enroll at a university.

 

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 3:00am

Political bloggers and columnists were having fun Thursday with an ad by the South Dakota Republican Party that seems to treat foreign graduate degrees as a something a bit suspect in a Congressional hopeful (although perhaps not as bad as having taught at the Biosphere). Check out this ad about candidates for a U.S. House seat:

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 4:25am

A U.S. Senate report Thursday accused the pharmaceutical company Medtronic of heavily editing and even writing sections of journal articles published by academic researchers on its consulting payroll, without those ties or the company's involvement being reported. The Democratic and Republican leaders of the Senate Finance Committee, Montana's Max Baucus and Charles Grassley of Iowa, said their 16-month investigation had found significant evidence of undisclosed ghostwriting of positive articles about the company's product known as InFuse. Medtronic disputed some of the report's findings in a statement, and an article in The Wall Street Journal included rebuttals from some of the academic researchers.

 

Friday, October 26, 2012 - 3:00am

In today’s Academic Minute, Amy Smith of the University of the Pacific probes the international appeal of the characters that populate the work of Jane Austen. Learn more about the Academic Minute here.

 

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